Shoe print on toilet seat leads to suspect’s arrest

Everyone knows criminals get caught because of fingerprints, but a 32-year-old Port Orchard man found out a shoe print also can be used.

The man broke through a sheetrock wall and left a unique boot print on a toilet seat once inside, which eventually helped lead to his capture.

Bail was set at $100,000 as the man was charged with residential burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm April 16 in Kitsap County Superior Court. He faces 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines.

Court records show the case started when the owners of a waterfront home hired a company to paint the inside of their house while they were away. On March 26 the home was burglarized. About $18,000 cash and up to $100,000 in jewelry was missing from a safe. The suspect reportedly found a code that was written on a tag on a key to the safe that was hidden in the house.

Someone broke through a sheetrock wall to gain entry into a bathroom in the house. A shoe print with a unique octagon-shaped pattern was found on a toilet seat.

The owner of the painting company said he thought an employee might be responsible. He had fired the worker previously due to drug issues but hired him again because his mother was a friend from high school. On the day of the burglary, the worker left midday and never returned.

Days later, on a routine traffic stop, the suspect was driving a new car purchased the day of the burglary. His girlfriend was with him. He also was wearing a gold band even though he is not married. The man who sold the suspect the car said he paid with $4,000 cash.

When officers tried to pull the car over later on it sped off at over 90 miles per hour. Officers went to the suspect’s mom’s house, and the couple was detained.

The girlfriend was questioned. She said along with the car the boyfriend paid $1,700 cash for each of them to get a new cellphone. She called her boyfriend a “perpetual liar.” He had told her he had sold his truck for $6,000, but an officer found out it was only worth about $1,000. A search warrant was obtained for the sold truck, and it had meth and fentanyl inside.

Also, a gun was found in the trunk of the car the suspect had just purchased. Both he and the girlfriend are convicted felons and therefore prohibited from possessing firearms. Meth and fentanyl also were found in the car.

A pair of black Lugz boots were found in the car’s backseat with an octagon-shaped sole pattern, matching the shoe print on the toilet seat. In a woman’s Victoria Secret bag in the car was a small safe containing meth, fentanyl powder and pills, and black tar heroin, as well as a digital scale and baggies.

Since his arrest, the suspect’s jail phone account has been monitored. He called his mom April 12. “I need to get bailed out before this other thing hits,” he said. “As soon as they search the car mom I’m cooked.”

He said he’d leave the area to avoid prison. “If I get bailed out I could figure out how to get a lawyer and sh—, or I could just leave town.”