Pierce County Sheriffs deputies with the Peninsula Detachment discovered a trove of stolen financial information and credit cards after arresting a suspect last week on the Key Peninsula.
According to the arrest report:
At 9:20 a.m. Nov. 13, deputies responded to a 911 call reporting a suspicious person at the Shell gas station located in the 12100 block of Key Peninsula Highway N. The caller reported that a person at the store appeared to be high on drugs and needed to be checked on.
When deputies arrived at the gas station, they observed a man standing next to the store ice machines; he appeared to be nodding off and almost asleep, and did not see the deputies parked right in front of him. The deputies recognized the man from previous contacts, and asked for his name and date of birth; he provided a relative’s information. When the deputies ran his real name they learned he had a warrant for his arrest and placed him into handcuffs.
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As the deputies began to search the suspect, they located heroin, methamphetamine and several needles in his pockets. They also found numerous pieces of paperwork and receipts in his pockets. These included withdrawal receipts from numerous banks, mail and notes containing credit card numbers and PINs, and a money order form — all containing the name of a man that was not the suspect. He was also found in possession of a bag that contained more mail and paperwork. His wallet also contained credit cards in the victim’s name.
When asked where he got the mail, the suspect said he had been at a drug house in the Home Colony and some of the residents stole his belongings so he stole the mail from someone at the house. The suspect later admitted to stealing the victim’s mail from a mailbox and activating the victim’s new credit cards, as well as stealing mail from several other houses to support his drug addiction.
From receipts found on the suspect, deputies were able to determine that at least $1,500 in purchases — including buying a $999 drone and a $349 X-Box — were made on the victim’s credit cards, along with cash withdrawals of at least $300. The suspect also made numerous attempts to withdraw cash from various banks in the Gig Harbor area. When asked where the drone and X-Box were, the suspect said that he had tried to trade them for cash but someone stole them from him.
Deputies contacted the victim, who was on vacation out of state. The victim told deputies that he had been away from his house for one week and did not know the suspect or that his mail had been stolen. Deputies went to the victim’s house on Purdy Dr. NW to see if it had been burglarized; fortunately it had not, but the mailbox had been pried open.
The 38-year-old male suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail for possession of stolen property/identity theft, unlawful possession of a controlled substance – heroin, unlawful possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, and an active warrant for theft in the 3rd degree.