Archive for February, 2017

Morton woman charged with burning down own home

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office requested a $25,000 arrest warrant today for woman charged with first-degree arson in connection with a Morton house fire 14 months ago.

Kristin H. Skiles, 45, was summonsed by mail to appear this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court but did not show.

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Sunday December 20, 2015

The fire destroyed a two-story home on the  200 block of Third Street the morning of Dec. 20, 2015.

Prosecutors allege Skiles told a roommate she would burn the house down before the executor of the estate “or anyone gets anything.”

Nobody was injured, but three people were present, the fire chief said at the time.

According to charging documents, Skiles was being evicted because the house was going into foreclosure.

Her roommate Diana Stephens told police that when she arrived home that morning, the doors were nailed shut and Skiles was inside, sitting on the couch and made the statement about what she would do.

Skiles initially told police she’d been doing her hair and knocked an ashtray over, but in a follow up interview reportedly said she was suicidal and had once lit a small string on fire with her cigarette lighter, according to charging documents.

When she was interviewed again a month later, she said she couldn’t remember how it started but that she may have accidentally started it, the documents allege.

Fire Investigator Jay Birley concluded the origin was upstairs but the cause was undetermined. A fire investigator working on behalf of the insurance company concluded it could not have been begun the way Skiles first described based on studies that show how long it would take a discarded cigarette to ignite other materials.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead included statements gathered by the Morton Police Department from Stephens and also Mark Clevenger who was at the house that suggested the fire was intentionally set by Skiles.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told a judge this afternoon the summons had been sent to Skiles last known address in Morton and didn’t come back in the return mail.

First-degree arson has a maximum penalty of life in prison.
•••

For background, read “News brief: Flames, water claim Morton house” from Monday December 21, 2015, here

News brief: SUV crashes and burns at Ritchie Brothers

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Winlock man was hospitalized with a head injury after his vehicle collided with a 500-gallon propane tank and burst into flames on private property south of Chehalis yesterday.

The 56-year-old motorist thought he was traveling along North Military Road but instead was at Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers just west of Interstate 5, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Stephen G. Kamhout was operating a 2003 Ford Expedition which was destroyed, according to authorities.

He was able to flee the vehicle and when contacted by law enforcement appeared to be under the influence of intoxicants, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

Lewis County Fire District 5 was joined by personnel from Districts 15, 7 and 2 and put water on the tank until someone was able to get close enough to shut off the valve, Firefighter Sam Heldreth said. Nobody else was injured.

Two nearby propane tanks were not affected, Breen said.

Ritchie Brothers is a heavy equipment auction business.

Kamhout was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital to be medically cleared for booking but they kept him to treat a head injury, Breen said.

A case for driving under the influence will be referred to prosecutors for charging, Breen said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, February 27th, 2017
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•••

DEPUTY ASSAULTED

• A 49-year-old Chehalis woman allegedly struck a deputy with her fist after the deputy went to the 300 block of state Route 131 in Randle to remove her from a residence. Brandi L. Weston reportedly did not know the homeowner and was refusing to leave last night. Weston was booked into the Lewis County Jail for third-degree assault and a case for second-degree trespassing was referred to prosecutors, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

HOMELESS PERSON ASSAULTED

• Chehalis police are investigating after a woman brought a homeless man to the police department on Friday evening so he could report getting assaulted at the playground four days prior.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• A burglary to a garage on the 400 block of Courtland Street was reported on Friday morning in which a battery charger and several hand tools were stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called about 3:15 p.m. on Saturday to the 500 block of South Market Boulevard after a female saw two individuals inside her vehicle in a parking lot there. An officer subsequently located a 14-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy and arrested them for vehicle prowl and released them to parents, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called to the 300 block of Noel Avenue in Centralia about 7:20 a.m. on Saturday to take a report of the theft of a small safe and contents from a travel trailer.

• A flight bag was reported stolen from a residence at the 100 block of Jalyn Street in Centralia at about 8:45 p.m. on Friday.

• Centralia police took a report on Saturday morning from the 900 block of J Street where someone stole a bicycle from the yard and left another bike behind.

OTHER ARREST

• Riley J. Youckton was pulled over about noon on Saturday at the 1200 block of Southwest Pacific Avenue in Chehalis and arrested for third-degree driving with a suspended license, and then booked into the Lewis County Jail in connection with a Centralia case, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 59-year-old Centralia motorist suffered an elbow injury when she rolled her vehicle at the 2400 block of Little Hanaford Road on Friday. A deputy called about the single-vehicle collision just before 3 p.m. noted the driver was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital and cited her for wheels off the roadway, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The 1995 Kia Sportage was totaled.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, trespassing, third-degree theft, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, harassment, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 368 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 72-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: South Gold auto shop catches fire

Saturday, February 25th, 2017
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Four fire departments responded to commercial structure fire on South Gold Street. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A fire that broke out this morning at Burkett Auto Sales in Centralia was extinguished before it could spread to an adjacent office and large shop building.

The fire on the 1100 block of South Gold Street however did an estimated $30,000 damage to the shop area of the building, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

Firefighters called at 8:35 a.m. were responding to multiple 911 calls reporting heavy black smoke coming from the building, according to Fire Capt. Casey McCarthy.

They were joined by crews from the Chehalis Fire Department, Lewis County Fire District 6 and West Thurston Regional Fire Authority. Nobody was injured, according to McCarthy.

Burkett Auto repairs and sells used automobiles. The cause is under investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, February 24th, 2017
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•••

VICTIM CLUBBED IN HEAD

• A 29-year-old man was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital yesterday evening after he was assaulted with a wooden club at the 600 block of South Washington Avenue in Centralia. Officers called just before 6 p.m. learned there had been a disagreement between the victim and a 26-year-old acquaintance, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim had been struck in the head, according to police. The investigation is ongoing.

TOOLS, EQUIPMENT STOLEN

• A Centralia area resident contacted the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday to report the discovery of a burglary to a building on the 100 block of Joppish Road in which an air compressor, a skill saw, an angle grinder, a sawzall and a guitar were missing. The owner checked his game cam and realized it happened between 11:40 a.m. and 6:07 p.m. on Jan. 17, according to the sheriff’s office. There is a person of interest, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

AUTO THEFT

• A blue 1994 four-door Honda Accord was stolen from where it was parked at Centralia High School on the 800 block of Eshom Road in Centralia sometime between 7:50 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It has a license plate reading AYR 1922, according to the sheriff’s office. The owner had let her brother use it and the loss is estimated at $2,000, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said.

LOCKER PILFERING

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday afternoon of the theft of a men’s Bulova wristwatch from a locker at W.F. West High School. It has a black face and a silver link-style band, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

PHONE STOLEN

• An individual who accidentally left a Trac phone in the restroom at a store on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue in Chehalis called police at 11:20 p.m. yesterday after tracking it to an area in Chehalis.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Police were called just before 4 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Harrison Avenue to take a report of fuel siphoned from a vehicle.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called over to Green Hill School just after 9 a.m. yesterday where a smoking device and green vegetable matter were found in the possession of a student-inmate. The items were collected and police are awaiting the results of lab testing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• An unknown suspect broke the windshield on a parked vehicle at the 1300 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police at 2:50 p.m. yesterday.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, civil issue, suspicious circumstances … and more among 143 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
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•••

GUNS, GARDEN TOOL, TAKEN IN BURGLARY

• A deputy was called about 7:30 p.m. yesterday when a man arrived home at the 100 block of Kirkland Road outside Chehalis to find his front door open and several firearms missing. Someone had also gone into his garage and taken a Stihl weed eater, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It happened sometime after 5:45 a.m., according to the sheriff’s office. Among the missing guns are a Mossberg shotgun and a 22 caliber Stevens rifle, Chief Dusty Breen said.

STORAGE FACILITY BREAK-IN

• Someone forced their way through a gate and broke into four units at a multi-unit storage facility at the 300 block of Toledo-Vader Road outside Toledo sometime between Monday and Tuesday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Two locks were cut, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY AND THEFT

• Centralia police were called to a burglary at a business on the 500 block of North Tower Avenue just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday. Taken were some small tools and change, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police took a report of the theft of antiques from a vacant house at the 1000 block of Eckerson Road in Centralia just before noon on Tuesday.

• Centralia police were called about 5:40 p.m. on Tuesday to the 100 block of South Tower Avenue about the theft of a computer tablet from a retail store.

• Centralia police took a report late yesterday afternoon of the theft of a notary public stamp from a mailbox at the 3100 block of Russell Road.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 7 o’clock yesterday morning to the 100 block of Southwest 11th Street where someone had stolen a car while it was being warmed up. Missing is a blue 2005 Ford Focus, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone stole fishing gear from a vehicle parked at the 1400 block of Lewis Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Tuesday. It happened during the night, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Someone slashed tires on two vehicles at the 1200 block of North Washington Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police at 8 a.m. yesterday.

GUN FIRE CENTRALIA

• Centralia police reported yesterday they were investigating an incident from the night before in which a resident near the 100 block of East Center Street produced a handgun and fired a bullet into the air to scare off a group of people, who fled the area. The gunfire followed a dispute, according to the Centralia Police Department. Officers contacted the resident who fired the shot, recovered the gun and took statements at the scene, according to police.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police were called just before 11 p.m. yesterday for a report of a hit and run to a garage by a box truck at the 800 block of South Tower Avenue.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, civil issue, stray rooster, runaway juvenile, misdemeanor domestic assault, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances … and more among 312 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Security images showing theft of Centralia utility payments leads to suspect

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police reported this morning they’ve arrested a suspect in the break-in to the Centralia city utilities payment drop box over the weekend and recovered several checks. The owners will be notified, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Erick D. Teichman-Lehrer, 31, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for second-degree theft, according to detective John Panco.

Police said the box on the  500 block of North Pearl Street was burgled at approximately 11 p.m. on Sunday and discovered on Monday morning.

The box had last been emptied by the city at about noon Sunday, according to police.

Anyone who dropped a payment into the box between noon and 11 p.m. on Sunday is advised to contact their bank and put a stop payment on their checks, police say.

Anyone who thinks their payment may have been stolen is asked to contact Officer Mike Lowrey at 360-740-1105 and reference case number 17A1928.

The city of Centralia recommends anyone who put a payment in the box any time between noon on Sunday and 8:30 a.m. on Monday contact the customer service center at 360-330-7657 to assure the payment was applied to their account.

Anyone who notices anything unusual related to payment processing of their utility account should also contact the customer service center.

Detective Panco today said images caught on camera led to a vehicle that matched the vehicle leaving the scene and their suspect and also showed the theft. Teichman-Lehrer allegedly admitted to breaking into the box and stealing envelopes containing checks made out to the utility department, according to Panco.

The red drop box was to be removed by the city and won’t be available until further notice.

News brief: Nighttime fire chases eight occupants out of house

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
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The scene on South King Street in Centralia. / Courtesy photo by Riverside Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Four adults and four children are displaced after a house fire during the night in Centralia, which started as a clothes dryer fire.

Firefighters called at 12:43 a.m. to the home on the 500 block of South King Street found all the occupants had gotten out and were uninjured, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Two cats perished, according to Fire Chief Mike Kytta.

“Firefighters quickly attacked the main body of fire which was located in the utility room and kitchen,” Kytta stated in a brief summary of the incident.

Firefighting efforts were challenged for short period of time by a live electric power line that was in the vicinity of the utility room, according to Kytta.

The fire department Tweeted it began in the laundry room where the dryer was in use at the time and heavily damaged the rear of the home. It left smoke and heat damage throughout, according to Riverside.

Riverside was assisted by the Chehalis Fire Department. The residents are they are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

News brief: Attempted robbery of delivery man

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police were called at 2:10 a.m. today after an individual said he was confronted by two masked males who tried to rob him as he was making a delivery to an auto parts store on the 1100 block of West Main Street in Centralia.

The males were armed with knives, demanded his money and he refused, according to the Centralia Police Department. The victim ran to get help, police said.

“Upon returning to the scene it was discovered that the suspects entered the victim’s vehicle and stole his backpack,” the police department stated in a brief summary of the incident.

This case is under investigation.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017
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•••

UNRULY CUSTOMERS

• A 21-year-old Chehalis man allegedly entered a business, stole a bottle of alcohol and pushed an employee there just before 8 a.m. yesterday at the 500 South Tower Avenue. After he was arrested he was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, according to the Centralia Police Department. Eric J. Stevens was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• Centralia police were called about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday to a business at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue where a man had been asked to leave, and punched the store’s owner in the chest, according to the Centralia Police Department. Matthew E. Eastman, 32 of Centralia, was arrested for fourth-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

• A 35-year-old man was arrested for third-degree assault after he allegedly slammed the victim to the ground in a bar dispute around 1 a.m. on Monday at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. Timothy R. Babcock, of Centralia, was subsequently arrested also for first-degree malicious mischief after he allegedly kicked out a window in the back of a patrol car, according to the Centralia Police Department. Babcock was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VEHICLE THEFT

• A deputy was called to the 200 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia after a woman woke up about 10 a.m. on Sunday and discovered her truck was missing from the driveway. She said she’d parked the silver 2011 Ford F150 about 10 p.m. the night before, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

GAS THEFT

• A business reported that two male suspects used an unknown tool to bypass the pay system at the fuel pump on the 1200 block of Mellen Street and stole an undetermined amount of fuel yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police are investigating.

OTHER ARRESTS

• Kyle L. Davidson, 31, of Centralia, was arrested for first-degree trafficking stolen property on Sunday night. Officers contacted him at a dispute on the 400 block of West Main Street in Centralia and arrested him based on probable cause established on another case which occurred last week, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 22-year-old Chehalis woman who allegedly gave police a fake name after they contacted her about suspected shoplifting incident about 5:45 p.m. on Saturday at the 1700 block of North National Avenue in Chehalis was arrested for second-degree identity theft. Kristina S. Bailey booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Cash, coin collections and a wedding band were discovered stolen from a residence on the 1000 block of Roosevelt Avenue in Centralia after a houseguest was asked to leave, according to a report made to police about 4:40 p.m. on Saturday.

• Police were called about 12:50 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Mellen Street where an individual reported the theft of a ring described as a heart shaped solitaire in yellow gold.

• Centralia police were called about 5:30 p.m. on Friday to the 300 block of Hemlock Street in Centralia regarding the theft of golf clubs and sports memorabilia from an unlocked shop.

• Centralia police were called to the 600 block of West Pine Street about 10 a.m. on Friday where someone had stolen cement planters and a white angel figurine from the yard.

• Chehalis police were called by an individual about 4:25 p.m. on Friday whose wallet was lost and then turned in to a business on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue, but was minus its cash.

• Centralia police took a report about 3:20 p.m. on Friday of the theft of a bank card that had been left in an ATM machine at the 100 block of South Pearl Street and then used later by someone.

• Chehalis police were called just before 10 a.m. on Friday to the 2000 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue where sometime during the night someone stole a heat pump off the side of the building.

VEHICLE PROWL

• A pressure washer, paint sprayer and a variety of hand tools were reported stolen out of the back of a truck at the 1400 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police just before 1 p.m. on Saturday.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police are investigating a hit and run collision to a building on the 600 block of North Tower Avenue.  The suspect vehicle is described as a blue truck, according to police who were called just after 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, trespass, shoplifting, probation violation, protection order violation, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, hit and run, dine and dash, civil issue, vehicle collision, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances … and more.

 

News brief: Centralia utility payment box burgled

Monday, February 20th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police got a call about 6:25 a.m. today from a citizen who reported the Centralia City Light payment drop box had been broken into and everything taken.

An officer responding to the 500 block of North Pearl Street found it was opened and empty, according to the Centralia Police Department.

A representative of the utility was contacted and advised items from inside the box had been collected on Friday, according to police. They will be checking with other employees tomorrow to determine if anything was taken, according to police.

The case is currently under investigation.

New earthquake analysis leads to lowering Riffe Lake reservoir

Friday, February 17th, 2017
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Mossyrock Dam on the Cowlitz River sits at the west end of Riffe Lake. / Courtesy photo by Tacoma Power

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Recently revised earthquake predictions, which portend failure of the spillway gates of the Mossyrock Dam have prompted the the dam’s owner to begin considering seismic retrofits.

In the meantime, Tacoma Power plans to keep less water in the reservoir which is Riffe Lake to reduce the amount of downstream flooding if a big one should strike.

Tacoma Power announced this week the changes it is implementing.

They want to keep the level of Riffe Lake 30 feet lower than normal, according to Chris Gleason, the community and media services manager for Tacoma Public Utilities.

The United States Geological Survey recently revised its earthquake predictions for the Cowlitz River basin, information that was passed along to the owner of the hydroelectric dam in November, according to Gleason.

Riffe Lake, more than 23 miles long, is 778.5 feet when full.

The probability of a large earthquake is low, and the issue isn’t the dam itself, according to Tacoma Power.

But, preliminary analysis concluded that specific seismic events could render the spillway gates useless, which could cause considerable downstream flooding, according to the utility.

A spillway is the part of the dam that water flows through. The four spillways are located high in the middle of the dam.

According to Gleason, they’ve submitted their plans to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which will review and accept or modify the proposal.

They are required keep the lake below 745.5 feet during December and January, so it’s currently close to their lower level proposed, and they will maintain it there for the foreseeable future, according to Gleason.

The new lower level is expected to be in place into the next decade.

Mossyrock Dam, a concrete structure completed in 1968 is the state’s tallest dam. It produces enough electricity for 78,000 homes.

No concrete arch dams have failed due to earthquakes, according to Tacoma Power.

Boating, swimming and fishing will remain possible on Riffe Lake, but access could be limited.

Two Tacoma Power-owned boat launches are anticipated to be usable during the summer, but two others will be closed. They are considering a new swim beach at Mossyrock Park.

The seismic retrofits they are beginning to consider won’t take place for years. The development and implementation of possible solutions involves substantial analysis, planning and federal approval, according to Tacoma Power.

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On the east side of the dam are the piers that hold the spillway gates in place. / Courtesy photo by Tacoma Power

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, February 17th, 2017
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•••

BUSTING IN

• Centralia police were called at 2 o’clock this morning to the 300 block of North Tower Avenue on a report of forced entry to an apartment. Several persons of interest were contacted and the investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A 34-year-old man was arrested yesterday after allegedly forcing his way into his significant other’s home, taking two cell phones, car keys and a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am and leaving her with a swollen lip. The victim at the 200 block of Roe Road in Winlock called the sheriff’s office shortly after 6:30 a.m. yesterday and a deputy arriving at 7:38 a.m. found the woman also had a sore right hand from the encounter, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A mirror and two doors had been broken, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. The suspect, Adam C. Sullivan, was located a short time later and the items recovered, according to Breen. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree burglary.

KID ASSAULT

• Police responded to the 900 block of Johnson Road in Centralia following an 11:50 a.m. call yesterday about a fourth-degree assault involving two juveniles. No arrests were made, as of this morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called to 100 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue yesterday evening where someone had stolen fuel from a vehicle sometime during the previous two days.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called just after 11 a.m. yesterday to the 400 block of North Pearl Street where someone had spray painted graffiti on a building sometime during the previous week.

• Police were called to the 600 block of West Center Street in Centralia yesterday regarding damage to a window.

• A deputy called over to the Lewis County Jail yesterday regarding a kiosk in a housing unit getting broken viewed video and then talked with a suspect who stated he just got frustrated and blew a fuse, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Kirk D. Jackson, 54, of Olympia, was re-booked for second-degree malicious mischief, according to the sheriff’s office. The damage is estimated at $1,000.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, protection order violation, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, trespassing, shoplifting, theft of a meal, civil issue, suspicious circumstances … and more among 135 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Short gunshot investigation

Friday, February 17th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Centralia police this morning began investigating after they were advised a hospital in Thurston County had a victim of a gunshot, who claimed he was shot in the Centralia area, but couldn’t provide an exact location.

Officers were notified about 5:35 a.m. but by the time they arrived to the hospital, the patient had already left, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Police Sgt. Kurt Reichert said it’s starting to look as though the incident actually occurred in the Seattle area, and they are reaching out to police there.

The male is associated to an address up north and local officers learned an incident did occur up north, according to Reichert.

Hospitals are required to notify police of gunshot wound patients, and sometimes such victims intentionally provide misinformation, Reichert said.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, February 16th, 2017
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•••

GUNS STOLEN

• Someone made forced entry to a home on the 300 block of Willow Lane in Centralia and stole firearms, according to a report made to police about 9:45 a.m. yesterday.

GO-CART STOLEN

• Centralia police were called about 8:20 a.m. yesterday for a burglary to a shed in a fenced area at the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue. A go-kart was missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

TRAILER STOLEN

• Centralia police were called just after 4 p.m. yesterday to the 300 block of North Tower Avenue to take a report that a utility trailer had been stolen sometime during the previous week.

FRAUD

• Centralia police took a report about 10 a.m. yesterday that a stolen check was “washed” and then cashed at a financial institution on the 1300 block of South Gold Street.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday from a location along North National Avenue about the theft of an EBT card.

VANDALISM

• Someone spray painted someone else’s vehicle at the 300 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 9:30 a.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called yesterday to Green Hill School because a student-inmate allegedly was in possession of suspected marijuana. The police department will be waiting for the results from testing, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, harassment, dine-and-dash, hit and run, third-degree theft, civil issue, unfounded report, protection order violation, clogging of toilet, suspicious circumstances … and more among 133 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
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•••

Updated at 6:23 p.m.

TRAFFICKING STOLEN PROPERTY

• A pair of Longview residents were arrested last night while allegedly selling property they knew to be stolen in connection with an approximately 9 p.m. call associated with a location on the 100 block of North Cedar Street in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. Alisha M. Wilson 32, and Charles J. Stephens, 36, were booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree trafficking in stolen property, and charged today with the same offense in Lewis County Superior Court. Charging documents in the case indicate a man contacted police after he logged in to a popular sales application called Let’s Go, and spotted a pair of construction drywall stilts and two steel floodlight which had been stolen in a neighbor’s break-in the night before. An arrangement was made to meet the sellers at Fuller’s on South Tower Avenue and police waited nearby, according to the allegations. A judge this afternoon set their bail at $5,000.

THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday to the 1100 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue to take a report of the break-in to a storage area in which a butane stove, butane bottles and a 400 watt inverter were missing.

WARRANTS

• Centralia police report this morning that two people were arrested for outstanding warrants at the 1600 block of Windsor Avenue yesterday afternoon. The case is under investigation, according to the Centralia Police Department. A Chehalis K-9 officer and his partner assisted Centralia in a Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team case beginning at the same time, about 1:13 p.m., according to the Chehalis Police Department. According to charging documents, police got a tip on where 30-year-old Cory R. Aldrich was and went to the home. Officers spent a significant amount of time trying to get Aldrich to come out, but because he refused, the SWAT team was called in and gas canisters deployed, the documents relate. Aldrich had an outstanding warrant from the state Department of Corrections because he was on supervision, but became unavailable in October. Eventually he exited the house without incident but police found in what they believed was his room a 45 caliber handgun, a baggie with suspected heroin and three glass pipes containing suspected methamphetamine, according to the documents. He was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of meth and heroin and escape from community custody. His bail was set at $50,000.

MAN HITS GIRL

• Centralia police were called to the 400 block of North Ash Street in Centralia about 5:45 p.m. yesterday where they took a report that a 23-year-old man had punched an 11-year-old girl. No arrest had been made as of this morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DRUGS

• A traffic stop at the 500 block of North Market Boulevard in Chehalis about 1:20 p.m. yesterday and an outstanding arrest warrant led also to the arrest of a 36-year-old Winlock man for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Shawn E. Anderson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called yesterday by an individual who said that after an argument with a man over a handicap parking spot at the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue, she came out after shopping and found paint was scratched in various places on her 2016 Kia Soul.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A rural Chehalis resident convicted of ongoing sexual abuse of two female relatives has been given a sentence with a minimum of 160 months and a maximum of life in prison. Conlan M. Craig, 19, was arrested this summer and subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree child rape and one count of first-degree child rape. The original allegations suggested incidents began when he was as young as 10 to 12 years old and the girls were as young as 5 years old. His lawyer David Arcuri told the judge the charges had been amended to include only activity after he turned 18 to make sure when he was sentenced, he would be on lifetime supervision. He was sentenced last Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court. Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm said today the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board will decide when Craig is allowed to be released.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespassing, disorderly conduct, third-degree malicious mischief, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, third-degree theft, civil issue, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 124 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

News brief: Glenoma house fire victims died of smoke inhalation

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The three residents of the home that caught fire in Glenoma last week died from smoke inhalation, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

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Frost Creek Road

Coroner Warren McLeod this morning identified them as Alice M. Lauer, 83,  Lynn L. Lauer, 72, and Dennis L. Watson, 51.

The fire broke out in the single-story home on the 100 block of Frost Creek Road early last Thursday morning. Once the blaze was extinguished and the scene cooled down, responders were able to retrieve three bodies from inside.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and a fire investigator are jointly investigating the incident.

Chief Deputy Dusty Breen has said they knew the house was occupied by a husband, his wife and adult son, but the formal identification was made by the coroner’s office.

Coroner McLeod indicated this morning the cause of death for each victim has been ruled as asphyxia secondary to the inhalation of combustible materials.

Authorities have not not said what they think ignited the fire.
•••

For background, read “Glenoma fire, death investigation continues” from Friday February 10, 2017, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017
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•••

DISTURBANCE CENTRALIA

• A 16-year-old boy was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for harassment related to allegedly making threats at the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road yesterday afternoon. Officers called at 4:24 p.m. report they also had probable cause for second-degree assault related to a previous incident and a different victim, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD CENTRALIA

• Joshua D. Ward, 29 of Randle, was arrested and booked into jail after allegedly trying to cash a forged check at a local bank. Police called just before 1:30 p.m. to the 200 block of West Main Street in Centralia booked him in to the Lewis County Jail for forgery, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police took a report yesterday from an individual who said he got a message from a tax business telling him his refund had been credited to his account; he said he believed his W-2 form had been stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

TOOLS TAKEN

• Police were called just after 7:30 a.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Orton Street in Centralia where someone had stolen tools from a building which was being renovated, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MISSING MEDS

• Centralia police were called about 9:15 p.m. yesterday to a report of the theft of medication at the 900 block of South Scheuber Road.

VEHICLE PROWL

• Chehalis police were called to the 2100 block of North National Avenue at 10 a.m. yesterday where someone had tried to siphon fuel from someone else’s vehicle. A siphoning hose was left behind in a gas tank, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

KIDS AND KNIVES

• Officers responded to the 400 block of Main Avenue in Morton about 5:05 p.m. on Friday to a juvenile reportedly chasing a group of kids with a knife. The situation is pending further investigation, according to the Morton Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, vandalism, third-degree theft, civil issue, runaway teen, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 140 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, February 13th, 2017
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•••

INTRUDER HEARING VOICES

• Chehalis police were called about 3:45 p.m. on Saturday to the 900 block of Northwest State Avenue where a friend of the store’s owner was holding a man at gunpoint, a man they said had refused to leave. An arriving officer noted Austin D. Wood, 33, of Napavine, appeared to be under the influence and thought he was hearing voices, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Wood was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree burglary, according to police. A case for a possible charge of fourth-degree was also to be referred, according to police.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 11:10 a.m. on Saturday to the 500 block of South Silver Street following the discovery someone had entered a residence and ransacked it. Nothing initially seemed to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CARGO TRAILER STOLEN

• A deputy responded on Saturday morning to the 100 block of Dieckman Road west of Chehalis where a 40-year-old man said he had parked his 2008 International utility cargo trailer, filled with $5,000 worth of furniture, across the street the night before and it had disappeared. The trailer is valued at $3,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

SHED BURGLED

• Centralia police were called to the 100 block of Eckerson Road on Saturday someone had broken into a shed during the night. Missing are a Ridged chop saw, a Stihl 22 chainsaw and a worm drive saw, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FIREARM STOLEN

• The owner of a .380 ACP Makarov pistol contacted police on Saturday afternoon to report that sometime in recent days someone had removed it and their wallet from their vehicle parked at the 2900 block of Mount Vista Road in Centralia.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called to the 2100 block of North National Avenue abut 2:48 p.m. on Friday where someone had stolen a Dell Laptop computer, a Dell Vastro laptop computer and a Stihl MS310 chainsaw.

• Chehalis police took a report on Friday evening from the 500 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue where an individual said package tracking showed her item was delivered but she did not get it.

DRUGS

• A 16-year-old Chehalis boy was arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act after he said he had some prescription medication not prescribed to him last night when a deputy responded to the 3400 block of Prill Road in Centralia for a call about a dispute. He was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Chehalis police were called to the treatment facility on the 500 block of Southeast Washington Avenue on Saturday afternoon to arrest one of their clients for possession of methamphetamine. Richard J.D. Bagley, 31, from Milton, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Sarah A. Horr, 39 of Rochester, arrested by Tumwater Police Department for an outstanding warrant from Centralia Municipal Court was allegedly found in possession of methamphetamine upon arrival to the Lewis County Jail, about 10:20 a.m. on Saturday.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, malicious mischief, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, civil issue, hit and run, suspicious circumstances … and more among 265 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

Centralian accused of taking advantage of multiple younger women

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
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Keith D. Keene prepares to go in front of a judge in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 49-year-old Centralia man was charged yesterday for allegedly molesting three women on separate occasions who he allowed to use his bed when they were either nodded off after using heroin or sleeping while withdrawing from drugs.

Keith D. Keene told a detective when he was arrested he knew their fathers or parents and never touched them.

Keene was arrested on Thursday night when detectives went to the Scammon Creek Apartments in Centralia and spoke to the third alleged victim and then him, according to court documents.

A detective searched Keene’s bedroom and reportedly found a glass smoking device and a small baggie, both with white residue. He was not charged with any drug crime.

When Keene was brought before a judge yesterday afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, Deputy Prosecutor Joel DeFazio asked for $100,000 bail, suggesting a public safety risk.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller requested the amount of bail be lower, as Keene has no felony history, resides locally and is employed locally by Sterling Breen. His only non-traffic misdemeanor was a fourth-degree assault from 1997.

Judge Joely O’Rourke chose $25,000 bail and signed sexual assault protection orders that require Keene not to go within 1,000 feet of the alleged victims.

Charging documents in the case indicate an inmate at the Lewis County Jail asked to speak with Centralia Police Department detective Adam Haggerty last July, and told him of at least four females who may have been sexually assaulted by Keene.

The documents go on to give the following account of interviews he subsequently conducted:

Later that month, the detective talked with a 21-year-old who at first said nothing happened and she wasn’t a snitch. “(Her) eyes welled up with tears and she looked away,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Melissa Bohm wrote.

However, the young woman contacted the detective later that night and said she would talk.

She said it happened in mid-May when she and a friend went to Keene’s fifth-wheel trailer and she injected heroin and nodded off. When she came to, her friend was gone and Keene told her she could use his bedroom and rest while she waited.

The 21-year-old said she woke up to her pants being pulled down to her ankles and Keene next to her in bed, with his finger inside her. She jumped up, fixed her clothes and left.

For that, prosecutors charged him with second-degree rape, an offense that has a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Detective Haggerty next interviewed a 20-year-old who described a somewhat similar scenario she said occurred in November 2015, a visit with friends to the fifth-wheel trailer. She said she woke up and Keene was behind her – clothed in boxer shorts and a wife beater T-shirt – rubbing himself against her. She said she got up and immediately went outside.

On Thursday night, detectives got a tip a recent victim of Keene’s was at the Scammon Creek Apartments, and found she had an outstanding warrant. Members of the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team and state Department of Corrections went there, arrested her and then Haggerty interviewed her. The 29-year-old said that in early February, Keene told her she could lay down on his bed and sleep as she was coming down from a several day drug binge.

The 29-year-old said she woke up to find Keene spooning her, rubbing himself against her backside and had one hand inside her panties.

For those incidents, Keene is charged with indecent liberties, crimes with maximum penalties of 10 years in prison.

“Detective Haggerty told Keene that he needed to speak with him about a serious matter,” Bohm wrote in the charging documents.

Before the detective could ask a question, Keene blurted out that a girl accused him of touching her and it was not true, the court documents relate.

Keene’s arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
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•••

FIREARM, ALCOHOL TAKEN IN BREAK-IN

• A pair of 14-year-old girls from Doty were arrested for allegedly burglarizing a home on the 200 block of Stevens Road and taking a handgun, soda pop and beer, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported yesterday. A deputy investigating the Thursday incident discovered the girls had used the phone at the home to call their mother, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. The teens were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to Breen. The gun was recovered, he said.

CENTRALIA BURGLARY AND THEFT

• Centralia police were called at 7:50 a.m. yesterday to the 900 block of Johnson Road regarding the theft of merchandise from the concession stand.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday afternoon of the theft of mail from the 1000 block of North Scheuber Road. The mail box was damaged too, according to the Centralia Police Department.

UNRULY CUSTOMER

• A 41-year-old Chehalis resident was jailed yesterday after allegedly assaulting a clerk who had asked him to leave after he passed out in the bathroom and was belligerent with employees at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. Officers called just before 4:30 p.m. indicated Maalgeney R. Denetclaw was highly intoxicated and arrested him for fourth-degree assault, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FAKE BILLS LEAD TO ARREST

• A 24-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for forgery on Thursday in connection with a Jan. 22 call to a business on the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue about the receipt of four counterfeit $20 bills, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Dillion S. Simmons was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

DRUGS

• A case involving a 14-year-old boy at the 900 block of Johnson Road yesterday morning resulted in a referral to juvenile prosecutors for a charge of possession of marijuana, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for drugs, warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, civil issue, hit and run, vandalism, vehicle collision, suspicious circumstances … and more among 273 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 48-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.