Gig Harbor police reports for the week of April 19

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Manager admits to gift card scam

April 9 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched at 6 p.m. to Famous Footwear on Borgen Boulevard after an employee admitted to stealing merchandise the month before.

The store manager informed police another manager had found a discrepancy while performing an audit on returns. The discrepancy lead to the assistant manager. The audit showed the assistant manager authorized a return on Van Wards shoes on March 24 at 8:27 p.m. and credited $70.51 to a gift card. On March 30, the assistant manager made a purchase for some armor shoes for $53.15 with the previously mentioned gift card. The manager told police when she confronted the assistant manager about the issue, the assistant manager confessed.

The officer contacted the assistant manager who was willing to talk to police. The assistant manager admitted to making a false return on the Vans and never returned the shoes and then made a purchase on the gift card. The assistant manager said she did have the money to purchase the shoes and she was being “stupid.” The assistant manager said there were no other thefts from the store. The assistant manager said the gift card with the left over $17 was in her purse in her car and she was escorted to her car by the officer.

The officer placed the assistant manager under arrest for theft in the third degree.

Walgreens employee unable to stop thief

April 9 - A Gig Harbor officer responded to Walgreens on Borgen Boulevard at 8:57 p.m. in regards to a shoplift incident. The manager said a man and woman stole various items before fleeing the store. The manager was unsure what was stolen but it included alcohol and cosmetics.

The manager gave a description of the suspects and promised to email the police security camera footage. The two suspects fled the area in a blue GMC Jimmy. The officer ran the license plate which showed it was registered to a man in Tacoma. The investigation is ongoing.

Thief receives master key, worth $5

April 11 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to a construction site on Athena Court at 3:08 p.m. for a theft report.

The foreman told police sometime the night before a key box, with a master key inside, was broken from its location and taken. The key inside was a master key to several new residences being built in the area. The foreman also said the locking mechanism of a Conex storage container had been bent and was damaged.

The key box was valued at $50, the master key is worth $5 and the damage to the Conex container was estimated at $100. There is no suspect .

Even after returning items, suspect still arrested by police

April 11 - A Gig Harbor police officer received a call from another officer who called South Sound 911 that he was on a shoplift in progress at the Fred Meyer on Point Fosdick Drive Northwest. The officer receiving the call was en route and was informed a man and woman entered the store and were acting suspicious.

The woman’s handbag appeared empty when she entered the store and now looked full to the point she was struggling to carry it. An anonymous witness said the woman was acting suspicious as if she was being watched. The woman walked to another part of the store and came back with an empty, lighter handbag.

The two officers met at the store and waited by the front door where they contacted the man and woman as they exited. The male suspect denied stealing anything and showed the officers the interior of his backpack. The woman appeared nervous but also said she did not steal anything. The first responding officer stayed with the suspects while the second officer checked the suspects’ identities through the records program.

Records showed the male suspect had a quashed warrant out for theft and the female suspect had multiple active warrants. The second officer returned to the suspects and placed the woman under arrest. The first officer said the woman had just admitted to filling her handbag with merchandise with the intent of stealing but then emptied her bag after becoming scared that she was going to get caught. The woman listed the items she almost stole and a Fred Meyer employee valued the items at $237.91.

The man was released from the scene and the woman was placed inside a patrol car. The woman admitted to police she had used heroin. Her handbag was searched and police found no money and two pairs of wire clippers. The woman was taken to Kitsap County jail and booked for her warrants and theft of the third degree.

They took the cameras, but left the television

April 12 - A Gig Harbor police officer responded to a residential burglary call on Lena Place, the officer did not report a time. The burglary took place in a model home.

When the officer arrived they contacted the project manager. The manager told police he arrived to the residence and noticed signs of a forced entry to the front door and a large Samsung television was sitting on the front porch with two pillows. The suspect(s) cut a circular dimension into the front door directly above the deadbolt.

The suspect(s) entered and stole two security cameras from the residence. For unknown reasons, the suspect(s) left the Samsung television on the front porch. The television had been attached to a wall on the first floor with a bracket.

The residence did have an alarm system and the project manager said he would contact the company to find out what time the alarm was set off. A follow up to the case will be made once police receive surveillance video from the manager.

Sleeping on paraphernalia

April 12 - A Gig Harbor police officer responded to the Albertsons grocery store parking lot on 51st Avenue Northwest for a welfare check of a man found passed out inside a vehicle. The officer did not report the time of the check.

The officer was informed the vehicle, a green Subaru, had it’s engine running. The driver was a man in his 30s and was surrounded by drug paraphernalia. When the officer arrived they spotted the man sitting unresponsive in the driver seat with the car engine running while the car was parked. The officer noticed a sheet of tinfoil with a single dark burn mark on it. The officer also noticed a small, dirty rubber hose pipe and another metal pipe on the passenger seat. There was also a small, green colored container near the gear shift and a stainless steel tweezers.

The officer was able to wake the driver and have him exit the vehicle to be taken into custody. When asked if there was heroin in the car, the suspect replied “yes”. The suspect gave police verbal permission to enter his car for a search. A second officer had arrived at the scene to stand by while the responding officer searched the car.

The officer recovered a small green tin of heroin, two pipes, a tinfoil sheet with burn marks and a stainless steel tweezer. The heroin tested positive on a portable test kit. The total weight was three grams. The man was transported to Pierce County jail.

Lost driver falls asleep at the wheel

April 14 - A Gig Harbor police officer was dispatched to the area of Wollochet Drive and Wagner Way at 5:33 a.m. for a car that had driven off the road. A Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy was on the scene. When the officer arrived they saw the car had been driven over the curb and into some trees.

The driver was standing next to his car. The driver said he was lost and became tired and fell asleep before driving off the road. The driver said he was uninjured. Emergency medical technicians were called to the scene to inspect the driver.

The officer received the driver’s identification and a records check showed his driver’s license was suspended in the second degree. The officer placed the driver under arrest and issued him a criminal citation. Medics examined the driver and cleared him of injury. The vehicle was removed from the scene by a tow truck.

Customer, store employee can't agree on what thief looks like

April 14 - A Gig Harbor police officer was working uniformed patrol when they were dispatched to Go Wireless on 51st Avenue Northwest for a shoplift incident that occurred at 11:34 a.m. The caller was a customer who reported seeing a suspect running from the business towards Target after stealing a demo cell phone. The caller described the suspect as a young man, in his teens or 20s, wearing a black or gray nylon jacket and olive-green shorts.

The officer was in the Albertsons grocery store parking lot when he received the dispatch and went ahead with an area check for the suspect. The officer did not see the suspect and went to Go Wireless where they contacted a store employee.

The store employee said she noticed the suspect, who she described as older wearing khaki pants and a green shirt, enter the business and he didn’t seem like he belonged in the store. She said he was in the store waiting for another employee to become distracted by other customers before cutting the security wire to a Galaxy S9 cell phone. The suspect then took the demo phone from the display.

The officer then spoke with the customer who called 911. The customer described the suspect to the officer and said they witnessed the suspect flee the scene and head towards Target.

A second Gig Harbor police officer contacted the responding officer saying they contacted a possible suspect in the parking lot of Albertsons. The possible suspect was brought to the store for questioning. The possible suspect had a Galaxy S8 phone.

The employee believed the apprehended suspect was the one involved in the theft but the customer witness said the suspect was not the same man. The reporting officer did not believe the apprehended suspect was the same man who stole from the phone store.

The suspect was released at the scene.

The store did have security cameras but the employee did not have access to the footage. The employee estimated the phone’s value at $929.99. The phone has a SIM card glued to the inside that keeps the phone on demo mode, which prevents the phone from being used. The case is still under investigation.

Unhinged door leaves opportunity for car theft

April 14 - A Gig Harbor police officer was working uniformed patrol at 2:06 p.m. when they were dispatched to an apartment complex on Olympus Way for a vehicle prowl report.

When the officer arrived they contacted the victim who said an unknown person entered her car and removed property without her permission. The victim believed theft occurred sometime between 8 p.m. the day before and that day. The victim said they were missing a bag with $15 worth of quarters, a pill holder which contained over the counter pills and a Garmin Nuvi GPS unit.

The victim believed she had locked the car but her husband was unsure if he shut his door completely, which would not have allowed the door to lock. There are no suspects at the time.

Angry suspect heads to church after car crash

April 15 - Two Gig Harbor police officers were dispatched to a trouble unknown call in the area of Wollochet Drive and Hunt Street at 10:20 a.m. Dispatch informed the officers that a man and woman were yelling on an open line, with the woman repeating what seemed to be a license plate number. Additional information came in about a tan-colored Acura sedan fleeing west on Hunt Street and the callers' blue Chevrolet Trailblazer was added to the call.

When the officers arrived, one contacted the man and woman who were seated inside the blue Trailblazer. There was debris on the ground near the rear side of the car.

The man said he was in the right lane on Wollochet Drive headed south approaching Hunt Street. He said he was driving when he realized he needed to merge into the left lane before the right lane ended before reaching Hunt Street. He said he noticed another car speed up behind him and pass him as he merged into the left lane. The driver said he thought the other car was trying to keep him from merging. The other car then slammed on their breaks, according to the man, and pulled out in front of the Trailblazer. The driver didn’t have time to stop before running into the back of the second car.

The man told police the other driver exited his vehicle and was acting aggressive. When the man tried to leave his car the other driver slammed the Trailblazer door shut. The second driver said he was going to “kick his ass” and was yelling at the man. The man said his arm and hand were injured by his door when the other driver slammed it shut. The other driver then picked up a piece of the Trailblazer’s bumper and threw it towards the car. Then the driver looked at his vehicle and told the man it was fine and left.

The first officer then spoke with the woman who was the passenger in the Trailblazer. The woman said the other vehicle had passed them and cut them off before making a stop causing the crash. No airbags were deployed and the damage seemed to be only to the front bumper of the car. The woman said the other driver approached them in an aggressive manner. She described the other driver as a man with black hair, about six feet tall with a thin build.

The officer then called a witness who saw the altercation and photographed the suspected vehicle from their residence, which he emailed to the police. The first officer used the photo to obtain a license plate number and check records. The plate number was registered to a man in Tacoma. The car was recently recorded as sold to a man with three possible addresses, two in Gig Harbor and one in Tacoma. The second officer checked on of the addresses on 58th Avenue but did not make contact with the suspect. The officers checked the two other addresses and did not find the suspect. A record’s check also showed the possible suspect had a suspended driver’s license for a previous hit and run incident.

Later, at 12:21 p.m., the officers were notified the suspect was outside of the Gig Harbor Police Department in a Volkswagon Jetta. Police contacted the suspect, who was a passenger in the Jetta, and his mother, who was in the driver’s seat.

The suspect said he was there to talk to police about what happened earlier that morning at the crash. The suspect said he was driving on Wollochet Drive in the left lane when the other car merged over into the right lane. He said he stopped and the other car crashed into the back of his Acura. The suspect admitted he was angry so he yelled and cussed at the other driver. He said when he looked at his car in his upset state he decided to leave for his church with his daughter, who was in the car with him at the time. The suspect admitted he did not have insurance for his car.

Police cited the suspect for failing to transfer a car title in 45 days of purchase, driving while having a suspended license and for leaving the scene of an occupied property damage collision. The officer also cited the suspect for failing to have liability insurance. The two victims gave a handwritten statement to police and the witness provided the photo of the crash.

An ice cream date turns sour

April 15 - A Gig Harbor officer contacted a victim of a vehicle prowl at 11 a.m. via telephone. The victim said his 2004 Chevy Malibu was parked on the south side of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in Uptown on April 14 between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. His wife’s purse was inside the car and the car was left unlocked.

The purse, a brown Michael Kohl purse valued at $300, two prescription pill bottles and a makeup bag with various items, valued at $50, was stolen from the car. No damage to the vehicle was done and no credit cards were in the purse. There are no video cameras in the parking lot so the police have no suspect information. The case is inactive depending new leads.