Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
Feb. 17: The woman said her name was “Philly Cheesesteak,” and officers couldn’t prove she was lying.
The dispatch call started as a report of trespassing. Officers drove to a vacant house in the 1900 block of South Yakima Avenue.
The signs were obvious: The dark house appeared to have no electricity. Windows and doors on the back side were covered with boards. The front window was shattered, covered with a curtain. Bystanders shouted that people were “shooting up” inside.
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The officers called for a back-up unit, anticipating they would face a group. One of them knocked on the door, loudly said, “police,” and walked in.
Inside, garbage, clothing and used needles were scattered across the floor. The officers found six people — four women and two men — and walked them outside.
Five of them provided names. One, a woman wrapped in a blanket who looked to be in her mid-20s, stayed silent.
Did she have any identification?
“What is your name?”
“Well, there’s record of it somewhere,” she said.
The officer asked again. The woman said she had no identification, and there was no way for the officer to know who she was.
Asked her name a few more times, the woman finally answered.
“My name is Philly Cheesesteak.”
She repeated it several times and refused to provide any other information.
The officer told her she was hindering an investigation. The woman stared at him and said nothing.
The officer told her she was under arrest for obstructing a public servant.
Another woman identified herself. Records showed a pair of active arrest warrants. The other four people gave their names, but no warrants appeared. Asked if they had permission to be in the house, they said they were invited by someone they couldn’t name.
Officers released the four after allowing them to collect their things.
The two women were booked into the Pierce County Jail. Despite her distinctive tattoos, jail staff could find no records for the woman who called herself Philly Cheesesteak. She was booked as Jane Doe.
Feb. 22: The couple argued all evening and kept fighting as they stopped for fast food. Eventually, the woman, 28, told the man, 27, to get out of the car.
He walked home, but the fight wasn’t over.
Officers responding to a report of a domestic disturbance drove to an address in the 1400 block of South M Street. The woman said the man had broken the door down to get into their apartment.
The woman was waiting when officers arrived. They cuffed the man and sorted out the stories.
The woman said that the earlier argument kept escalating, and she told the man to get out of the car near the intersection of South 19th Street and South Union Avenue.
The man walked the two miles from there to the apartment and found the door locked. He didn’t have his keys, so he bashed the door open.
The woman said the entire argument was verbal; the man hadn’t touched her. The man said the same.
Officers checked records. The man had a prior arrest warrant for misdemeanor assault. They booked him into the Pierce County Jail.
Feb. 23: The shoplifter set his sights on laptops and a TV, but he settled for a pair of cigarette lighters.
An off-duty Tacoma officer working security at a department store in the 7200 block of Pacific Avenue approached the man, 21, at the northeast exit. One of the store’s loss prevention officers was waiting, and explained what had happened.
The man had wandered through the electronics department, picking up headsets, laptops and a TV. The security locks on the items foiled him. Giving up, the man snagged a pack of lighters and stowed it in the cuff of his pants.
The Tacoma officer took a quick look at surveillance footage from the store’s security cameras and saw the man’s failed efforts to pull off the security locks on the laptops.
Checking the man’s identification, the officer found three active arrest warrants, two of them for third-degree theft.
He cuffed the man, told him he was under arrest, told him he was banned from the store, and booked him into the Pierce County Jail on the warrants.