Observant citizen helps catch mail theft, burglary suspects

An observant citizen helped the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office locate three people suspected of stealing mail and other items, and who may be connected with at least one burglary and an attempted burglary Thursday in South Aberdeen.

Just after 10 a.m. Thursday, a resident in the 900 block of Carney Drive reported an unknown man had broken his sliding glass door and entered his home.

The man told deputies he had been in the shower, and “all of a sudden he gets out and he sees someone who entered his house,” Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate said.

The intruder, was described only as a tall white man in his mid- to late-30s wearing a stocking cap, blue flannel shirt and gloves. The Aberdeen Police Department helped contain the area as deputies pursued the man in the wooded area near Grays Harbor College.

Deputy Tracy Gay and his K-9 partner, Max, arrived and searched the area, but were unable to locate the man.

At about 12:45 p.m., a concerned citizen from South Arbor Road near Ocosta called to report a pile of mail dumped in her driveway with various addresses.

“Even though it had been raining, the mail was still dry leaving her to believe it had just been dumped,” Shumate wrote in a press release. “The citizen was observant enough to get a good description of the male and two female occupants of the vehicle and also followed the vehicle, giving law enforcement updates as to its direction of travel.”

She provided a license plate number and last saw the car turning onto Euclid Avenue in Ocosta.

Deputies located the vehicle abandoned on a dirt road off Euclid, and with the assistance of the Westport Police Department, followed tracks to a home off of 3rd Street. They eventually located a man and two women hiding inside one of the rooms matching the description given by the concerned citizen. The man’s mother was the resident of the home where they were found.

Deputies found more mail from various addresses and numerous items believed to be stolen.

The man, a 32-year-old from Seattle, is suspected in at least one burglary on South Arbor Road and the attempted burglary on Carney Drive. Investigators are also looking into a possible link with a mail theft earlier this week on Ocean Beach Road in Hoquiam, which led to more than $1,000 in fradulent credit card charges.

The crimes were all committed in isolated areas, Shumate said.

“That’s typically the thing, they’re not going to go into downtown Aberdeen … they’re going to go into remote areas were there aren’t as many cars or neighbors to see,” he said.

The two women, 25 and 27, are both residents of Enumclaw and have no apparent ties to the Harbor. The man has not been cooperative, Shumate said, but the women have been.

Investigators are working to determine where the three may have been and what crimes they may have been involved with, looking through the mail and contacting the victims of those thefts. The investigation is ongoing.


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