Prowling for vehicles and being unwelcome visitors | Port Orchard Police

PORT ORCHARD — The following summaries were gathered from reports filed over the past week by the Port Orchard police department. The summaries are not to be considered a complete recounting of incidents under police investigation.

Feb. 20:

CENCOM called Port Orchard police officers to advise them of a possible vehicle prowl occurring in a store parking lot at the corner of Bethel and Lund avenues. There have been several vehicle prowls in that area recently and store employees reported they have been on alert for suspicious people loitering about. The caller advised that a male and female suspect were seen looking into vehicles in the parking lot before the two had gone into the store. Their vehicle’s license plate had been recorded by employees.

With officers en route, CENCOM reported that the subjects were now leaving the store with employees following them. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to provide the direction of their departure, according to the report. When officers arrived later, they searched the area and businesses surrounding the store without success. One of the officers, however, spotted a male and female sitting outside the store on a bench. When the officer informed them of his suspicions, they replied that they were indeed the subjects being observed by store employees. The pair told the officer that they had seen a vehicle probably belonging to the female’s father, who they have been looking for. Earlier, they told the officer, they had entered the store only to be told as they exited that 911 had been called and their license plate number reported. When the suspects’ names were called in for a warrant search, the male was found to have a felony warrant for his arrest. He was subsequently handcuffed, placed into custody and transported to jail. He was booked into Kitsap County Jail on a warrant of $10,000.

CENCOM received a call from a tire business on SE Mile Hill Drive about a burglary in progress. The business’s owner and a witness had located a male sleeping inside the building. The witness told arriving police officers that the male was being detained inside. Officers were taken inside to a room at the rear of the building, where the owner had detained the man. One of the officers recognized the suspect as a previous “customer” from past contacts, including incidents where he had been sleeping in vacant businesses. The reporting officer stated the suspect had moved tables together to accommodate a sleeping bag on top and some clothing-filled bags. As had become evident, the owner told police that the man did not have permission to be in the building. The suspect was escorted to the patrol vehicle, read his Miranda rights, and then asked why he had set up housekeeping there. He responded that after being released from jail, he began looking for a place to stay because he was getting cold. The suspect said he found the door to the space unlocked on Feb. 14 and had stayed there since then. When asked if he had caused any damage, the suspect said he had not. If that was true, the officer said, he could get off with just a criminal trespass charge. The owner, however, said the facts didn’t support his claim. Two weeks prior, the owner said he found the door frame to be broken and a piece of the hardware on a nearby shelf.

Based on evidence and statements showing that force had been used to gain entry, the suspect was charged with second-degree burglary, with a $10,000 bail. The upset man denied the accusation after being told he’d be charged with a felony, after all. He was transported to Kitsap County Jail. Damage to the door was estimated to be $100.

Officers were dispatched to the 700 block of Sidney Parkway at the Port Orchard Marina for a criminal trespass in progress. The reporting party, a marina resident, said the suspect was an adult male who was identified as being aboard his own boat. The suspect told officers that he had his boat towed to the location that night after the engine failed. At the time, he said he was pumping water out of the vessel. Later that day, he said a friend was going to come out and tow his boat from the marina after he returned with fuel for the motor. An officer told him he was criminally trespassing and shouldn’t be there. He understood that, he replied, but he had to “be somewhere last night.” He was placed under arrest for second-degree criminal trespass but released with a court case number so that he could be allowed to remove the boat from the Port Orchard Marina property.

Feb. 16:

Officers responded to a shoplifting call from a department store on Bethel Avenue. A store security employee reported that two subjects inside the store were acting suspicious and had been removing security devices (spider wrap) from merchandise. One of the suspects was a white male wearing a baseball cap who had a slender build. A white female was the other suspect. With the officer parked in the lot and out of sight, the security employee followed the suspects around the store while keeping the officer on the line. The store employee reported the male had selected a BB handgun and had removed a security device attached to the box. The female selected a baby monitor and fishing reel, also making sure to remove the security device on the monitor. Several other items were selected but the suspects put the majority of them back on the shelf.

Store security, meanwhile, apparently had become a little too visible to the suspects. The male took off his sweatshirt and placed it on top of his shopping basket to presumably conceal merchandise. His female partner proceeded to the self-checkout stand and purchased a shirt. The pair then continued on past the grocery exits without paying for their loot. Two officers quickly exited the store in pursuit of the pair. After detaining them, they were brought back to the store’s loss prevention office. When their names were checked against police records, the male was found to have been a felon with no outstanding warrants. Both both had been “no-trespassed” after an earlier incident at the chain’s Bremerton store. Since they had been banned from the company’s stores, the two were arrested for second-degree burglary with $10,000 bail each. Their stolen and recovered merchandise was valued at $228.72. The police report stated the pair were heroin users “who have a desire to get clean.”