Police beat: If you’re going to pawn a stolen item, try not to pawn it at the business where it was stolen

Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

Oct. 16: As it turns out, warnings to criminal defendants about avoiding drugs and alcohol to stay out of jail actually matter.

The dispatch call started as a reported disturbance and a possible robbery. Sheriff’s deputies drove to an address in the 11500 block of 215th Avenue East in Graham.

They found an 18-year-old standing by the side of the road. One deputy spoke to him and asked if he needed medical aid. Answer: No.

So what happened?

The teen said his friend had robbed him and taken his stuff, then drove off. They had gone to a grocery store to buy some alcohol, then somewhere else to buy some weed. They came back to the youth’s house and smoked it.

At that point, the teen said, his friend told him to get out of the car.

The teen said he’d been assaulted. The deputy saw no signs of injury, and the kid couldn’t say how he’d been assaulted. He couldn’t say what else had been stolen.

Gradually, the deputy understood the teen’s chief complaint: His friend had taken off with the rest of the weed. But that didn’t sound right, either — the teen said they bought a gram and smoked two bowls, which wouldn’t have left much to spare.

The deputy began to think no crime had been committed. Maybe the teen and his friend had argued, but that appeared to be all. While he talked to the kid, another deputy ran a records check. It turned out that the teen had an active warrant for his arrest.

A search of the immediate area turned up a backpack. It contained a bottle of liquor, a pellet gun and a cell phone.

Was this the stolen property?

The teen mumbled.

“I don’t want to get in trouble for all that,” he said.

Did he have a phone? What kind?

The teen described his phone. It matched the phone in the backpack. He said the phone was his, but the backpack wasn’t. Then he admitted the liquor was his. Then he said he didn’t want anything in the bag except the phone.

The deputy took to the teen to the Pierce County Jail. The teen said he didn’t understand why he kept getting flagged for parole violations.

Did his conditions of release include avoiding drugs and alcohol?

Yes, the teen said — but he didn’t think his parole officer cared. He was booked into the jail on the warrant and suspicion of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Oct. 17: Pawning an item stolen from your employer isn’t the best idea, but the screw-up factor increases exponentially when your employer is same pawn outlet that fired you.

The dispatch call reported an attempt to sell stolen property. Two Tacoma officers drove to an outlet in the 7200 block of South Tacoma Way.

The manager identified the alleged perpetrator, a 21-year-old man. The item in question was an Apple Macbook. It had been stolen from another outlet in Tacoma that was part of the same chain of stores.

The man said he bought the computer from a friend through an online ad. The friend said he bought it from the other store, where the man had previously worked. The man said he didn’t know the computer was stolen.

Why didn’t he work at the other store anymore?

The man said he’d been fired about a week earlier for accepting counterfeit money. Officers checked with the other store and confirmed through records and a serial number that the computer was stolen.

The man had active misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on the warrants, and suspicion of possessing stolen property.

Oct. 18: One key idea of a driver’s license is not to drive if you don’t have one. Speeding past an officer tends to compound the problem.

At 12:42 a.m., the Tacoma officer spotted the white 2016 Ford Fusion ripping through the 3500 block of South Union Avenue at 55 miles per hour, and wandering over the center line.

The officer turned around and pulled the car over. He spoke to the driver, an 18-year-old woman, and asked for her license. She said she didn’t have it with her.


“Because I’m just getting off work,” she said.

The officer asked for a name and date of birth. The woman gave it, and kept talking as the officer asked questions. She started talking on her phone. The officer told her to stop. She didn’t.

A records check on the woman’s name showed she had no driver’s license, only a state identification card. The woman didn’t have that, either.

The officer spoke to the woman and told her to stay in the car. Instead, she stepped out. The officer decided to arrest her.

Shortly, the woman’s sister, 24, arrived on the scene. The officer cuffed the younger woman, who swore. He took the car keys and gave them to the sister, who owned the car.

Why was the sister letting her sibling drive without a license?

“She was supposed to be getting her license,” the sister said.

The officer booked the woman into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of driving without a license. During booking, the woman said she knew she shouldn’t have been driving.