Creative policework nets burglary suspects

A Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s deputy thought outside the box to catch three people suspected in at least five burglaries in the Copalis Rock development in Copalis Beach.

Dep. Bob Wilson was dispatched to a burglary at about 11 p.m. Friday, and while canvassing the neighborhood, discovered four more that hadn’t been reported as well as one unreported attempted burglary.

Undersheriff Dave Pimentel said Wilson found some property taken from the burglaries hidden off hiking trails nearby.

“He set up a game camera on some of the stolen property that had been hidden, and with the pictures he got that had been taken by the game camera and also from a cell phone that had been left at one of the burglaries, he was able to identify three suspects,” Pimentel said.

Using the cameras like that isn’t part of any standard department protocol, he added.

“It was his own idea and it was a darn good one,” Pimentel said.

With the evidence Wilson gathered, a 26-year-old Ocean Shores man was arrested Saturday, a 37-year-old Hoquiam woman was arrested Sept. 1 and a 20-year-old Elma man was arrested this morning.

The majority of the stolen property from the Copalis Rock homes has been recovered and returned.

Pimentel said two of the three have confessed to the Copalis Beach burglaries as well as other burglaries in the area. Detectives are currently working on follow-up in those cases.

Pimentel asked anyone who was recently the victim of a burglary to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 249-3711 and ask for Detective Keith Peterson or Detective Darren Wallace.