Burglars made off with $30,000 worth of guns, jewelry and other items from a Pierce County home. Deputies have arrested two for the crime and recovered 10 guns.
Still missing: a $20,000 ring.
The chain of events started sometime before 3:30 p.m. on Monday. That’s when a resident living on 116th Street East in the Alderton/McMillin area returned home to find his house ransacked.
Missing were a gun safe with 10 firearms, a watch, a laptop computer, jewelry, checks and other items.
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A rookie deputy and a veteran Foothills deputies responded to the scene, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said in a post on social media.
Even before they arrived at the scene, the rookie got a phone call from Puyallup police who reported that a woman had just run out of a bank after trying to cash a $1,500 check that was possibly stolen from the burglarized residence.
The deputies found tires tracks in the backyard and up to the victim’s rear door. The burglars apparently had entered through a dog door.
A forensics team processed the scene for fingerprints. By the next morning, deputies had two suspects: a boyfriend and girlfriend.
“The (Proactive Property Crime Unit) deputy called the burglary victims, who said that they knew the female suspect and that they had let her stay with them several years ago when she was a teenager in need of a place to live,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
Deputies soon located a truck driven by the male suspect near 70th and Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. In the back they found a gun safe. Someone had drilled holes in its side.
“Deputies contacted the 42-year-old male suspect, who claimed that he had found the safe on the side of the road and was planning on selling it for scrap,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
Soon, his story changed.
The pair had lost most of their money at a casino, the male suspect allegedly told deputies. They were at the burglarized residence to retrieve her property, he said.
“The suspect went on to say that he did not go there to commit a burglary, but became aware that his girlfriend was stealing property once they were there. He added that it was ‘already a felony,’ so he helped her so they could be done faster,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
The suspect said they were trying to get money to buy methamphetamine. He was placed into custody and his truck was impounded.
The female suspect, 35, was found at a trailer park on 63rd Street East in Puyallup. She was wearing a ring that was allegedly stolen during the burglary. She denied any knowledge of the crime.
The female suspect eventually said that she and her boyfriend broke into the house and stole the items. Insider her home, deputies found $3,000 worth of jewelry and $1,000 worth of medication taken during the burglary. She was placed into custody.
Deputies then found three pieces of jewelry that were pawned by the male suspect on the afternoon of the burglary.
On Wednesday, deputies searched the female suspect’s vehicle, the male suspect’s truck and the gun safe. Deputies recovered two handguns, seven rifles, one shotgun, a watch, multiple pieces of jewelry, a crate of ammunition, tools, and stolen clothing. The combined value was over $6,300.
Investigators are still trying to locate a ring that was valued at over $20,000.
The suspects are being held in the Pierce County Jail for investigation of burglary, unlawful possession of a firearm, theft and other charges.