Running away will only get you caught
Jan. 6 – While performing a routine patrol at 7 p.m., a Gig Harbor police officer spotted a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Home Depot on Borgen Boulevard. The officer noticed a white Mercury Cougar with a temporary permit instead of regular license plates and the officer spotted a black man in the driver seat staring at the him while a “heavy-set” white man left the car to enter the store. The officer walked in to talk to management, who told police they had experienced a number of thefts in the last couple of days.
The officer then walked outside to get some police stickers for local kids at the store when he noticed the same white man he spotted earlier get back in the white Mercury Cougar. The officer noticed the car had a broken tail light and stated he felt the situation was suspicious because the man was only in the store for a few minutes and left without purchasing anything. The reporting officer decided to follow the vehicle after witnessing the suspects speed up and almost collide with another vehicle in the nearby roundabout.
The vehicle then took off at a high rate of speed toward the Gig Harbor Target on 51st Avenue. The suspected vehicle kept up with reckless behavior, cut off another vehicle and almost caused a second crash before coming to a stop at the intersection of 51st Avenue and Baltic Street. The officer then chose to conduct a routine traffic stop on Baltic Street for reckless driving, but the officer did not turn on his lights or siren. The driver noticed the officer and drove around another vehicle and began to try and run away. The officer lost track of the vehicle in a residential area behind Target.
The officer pursued the suspected vehicle and spotted it on Beringer Street cutting off multiple lanes of traffic by making a left-hand turn in a right-turn only spot. The vehicle then took off at a high speed down Borgen Boulevard. The officer decided to activate his emergency lights and followed the vehicle at a high rate of speed up Borgen Boulevard toward Peacock Hill. While other drivers pulled to the side of the road upon hearing the officer’s sirens, the suspect vehicle kept speeding away. The officer pursued the vehicle at 60 miles per hour until the suspect turned on North Harborview Drive. The officer attempted to cut off the suspect by turning on Sellers Street but then the officer lost visual.
The officer switched off his lights and reported to dispatch. Fellow officers did an area check for the suspected vehicle. While the officer was southbound on North Harborview, a resident pulled up in his car to say he witnessed a black man jump out of a white vehicle toward Anthony’s restaurant and run toward Franklin Avenue. They said the male was wearing a blue hoodie and then the witness saw a large white male run toward Peacock Hill.
The original officer found the suspects’ vehicle. The officer found the temporary license number was not assigned to the vehicle at the scene and reported that he saw a screwdriver and a tampered ignition, leading him to believe the vehicle was stolen. A K-9 officer was called to the scene to help find the eluding suspects. The K-9 found the suspected driver behind some bushes on a private residence near Franklin Avenue. The male screamed and surrendered after being bit by the dog on the thigh.
The suspect told officers he tried to get away from the police because he had a suspended license and was afraid to go to jail. When asked why the car had a tampered ignition, the suspected driver said the car belonged to a friend who let him and the other white male suspect borrow the car to go to Home Depot in Gig Harbor, but they were never given any keys. He said the other suspect and him were planning to steal from Home Depot, but when they spotted the officer in the area they got scared and decided to leave. The suspected driver was sent to a nearby hospital under custody to be treated for his dog bite.
The white male suspect was found by other Gig Harbor officers and was placed under arrest. An investigation found the friend of the suspects who owned the car was arrested in Tacoma. Police suspect the car came from a “drug house” in Tacoma and it, with other cars, was going to be dumped after committing theft.
Sugar cravings lead to arrest
Jan. 11 – Gig Harbor police officers were dispatched to the Safeway on Point Fosdick Drive at 7:42 p.m. in regards to an in-progress shoplifting. Officers made contact with the loss-prevention manager of Safeway, who pointed out two suspects getting into a truck. The truck drove past the officer, who called for the driver to stop the vehicle.
The truck came to a stop and the officer asked the driver if he had been shoplifting any items from the store. The driver said he did not steal anything from the store but the officer observed a bottle of alcohol under the driver’s feet. The passenger of the vehicle appeared to be younger than 21 years old. Later, police identified the passenger and found out he was 17. The driver allowed the officer to search the vehicle. The officer detained the two suspects and asked again if there was any stolen merchandise.
The driver then pointed to the back of the truck. Officers found multiple alcohol bottles. The officer then searched the suspected driver and found candy and razor blades in his pockets. Officers believe the dollar amount of the all the stolen merchandise was about $861, which meant it was theft of the second degree and was a felony. The suspects then admitted that not all of the merchandise was from Safeway but some items were from a Quality Food Center. The driver was placed in custody and booked into Pierce County Jail.