With the help of alert neighbors, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office was able to arrest two people suspected of breaking into a home in the 2300 block of Clark Road in Lebam on Thursday.
At about 11:15 a.m. Thursday, a man called 911 to report the burglary. He told dispatchers his wife had been home alone when she heard noises in the house, called him at work, then fled. The man returned home and found two people loading items into backpacks.
He picked up a hammer and chased the suspects, a man and a woman, from the home, Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock wrote in a press release.
The Sheriff’s Office responded, along with officers from the Raymond Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office apprehension K-9 team tracked the suspects through the heavily wooded area around the home for an extended period, but was not able to locate them.
Police were able to identify the pair by items left behind at the scene, Matlock reported. The woman left a state-issued EBT card with her name on it in a backpack, and the man had left two items with his initials and a matchbook from a Tokeland/Grayland-area establishment.
“We searched our data base for anyone with the initials … from the Tokeland and Grayland areas and found only a few names,” Matlock said.
Deputies worked from there, identifying the most likely suspect. The homeowner was able to positively identify the suspect, a 52-year-old Grayland man, from a photo.
That man came out of the wooded area near the victim’s home at about 6:30 p.m. and asked to use a neighbor’s phone. The neighbor called the Sheriff’s Office, and a relative detained the man while deputies and officers responded.
The man was arrested without incident, and confirmed the identity of the second suspect, a 35-year-old homeless woman.
Just after midnight, several miles away, another homeowner reported the woman had knocked on his door asking for help. Deputies and officers responded, but she was gone when they arrived. They continued to search, and received another call from a resident nearby advising them of the woman’s whereabouts.
She was found and arrested at about 2:30 a.m., booked into the Pacific County Jail on charges of residential burglary, narcotics charges and an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant. The man was booked on charges of residential burglary, possession of methamphetamine and several outstanding warrants.
Officers from the Raymond, South Bend and Shoalwater Bay Tribal police departments assisted with the arrests.
“The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the general public and the citizens that reside within the area that this incident occurred for their assistance in keeping a keen eye open for anything that would have assisted us with this investigation,” Matlock wrote.