Despite active warrants and evidence of stolen mail the night of Richard Taii’s death, police have just recently begun searching for the two women who picked him up from jail hours before the shooting.
The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office announced Feb. 3 arrest warrants had been issued for 26-year-old Priscilla Scott and 33-year-old Anna Paalogo of Tacoma on suspicion of identity theft and possession of stolen mail.
Officials later updated that list to include Tovia Puaauli, who is suspected of helping the two women hide from police and should be considered “armed and dangerous.” Warrants were also issued in other jurisdictions, including for Scott’s arrest in Oregon.
Scott and Paalogo were both with Taii in a Chevy Tahoe when Chad Wilson of Port Orchard pursued them in his truck, believing his mail had been stolen, and shot and killed him in alleged self-defense. Wilson was taken into custody, but the two women were later questioned by investigators at the scene of the crime that night and were both allowed to leave on foot.
Sheriff’s public information officer Kevin McCarty later revealed Paalogo had an active warrant out of Pierce County, but was not taken in due to the nature of the crime scene.
“The priority that night was to investigate the homicide and obtaining Anne and Priscilla’s cooperation may not have been possible if they started running them for warrants and making arrests,” McCarty said. “It’s important to note, Anne and Priscilla were also shot at that night and could be considered victims of an assault.”
Police were required to obtain search warrants for the Tahoe and a backpack removed from the vehicle, both of which were found to contain over 20 pieces of stolen mail collectively and a lengthy spreadsheet containing the personal information of roughly 86 people.
“Anne and Priscilla were not arrested for mail theft on the night of the homicide because more investigation needed to be conducted to determine the extent of the theft and what crimes were committed,” McCarty said. “Detectives tried to obtain consent to search the Chevy Tahoe that night, however their request was denied.”
Further investigation has revealed additional criminal activity by Scott and Paalogo that allowed Taii to be released in the first place. Investigators reported Scott had authorized a $2,600 portion of the bail on a stolen American Express credit card later found by a deputy coroner. The payment led to A Plus Bail Bond posting a $25,000 bail bond for Taii. Shortly after the women picked up Taii from the Kitsap County Jail in Port Orchard at 8:53 p.m., American Express declined the fraudulent transaction.
As of the morning of Feb. 8, all three are not in custody, but officials believe they are in the Tacoma area.