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‘Behind on bills’ says employee accused of writing self extra checks for thousands

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 8:07 am
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Allyson N. Reed goes before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court for a bail hearing.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – When a police officer asked the 33-year-old Chehalis office manager if she had any idea where several thousand dollars of missing funds from her workplace had gone, she said she did not.

When the officer then explained that her boss had showed him copies of checks written by her and cashed by her totaling more than $70,000 over and above her normal paychecks, the mother of two looked at the ground and started to cry.

She said she’d gotten behind on her bills and didn’t realize she’d taken that much money.

So say charging documents in the case of Allyson N. Reed, also known as Allyson N. Fuller.

Reed was charged on Monday in Lewis County Superior Court with first-degree theft.

Chehalis police say an officer responded last week to Northwest Heating and Cooling on Southwest Chehalis Avenue regarding the discovery of money missing from the business. Police department spokesperson Linda Bailey said it appeared it occurred over the past five months.

According to charging documents, the company’s owner Wesley Floyd had looked at the accounts after another employee told him he had seen an order for some gift cards and thought it was odd.

Floyd noticed that several checks were issued to Reed, his officer manager, that he didn’t recall writing, some even while he was out of the state, according to documents.

Reed earned about $16 per hour, getting paid once a week, accounting for about 20 of the checks, the documents state, but Floyd found another 147 checks totaling about $72,000, according to the documents.

The Centralia woman was arrested on Friday and booked into the Lewis County Jail.

Charging documents state that before she was taken away, but after she arranged for childcare, she said she wanted to talk with her boss.

Reed told Floyd her parents would pay him back $60,000 to not press charges, the documents state. He said he wouldn’t take their money.

Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher told a judge on Monday afternoon the charges included two aggravating factors: that it was a major economic offense and that she used her position of trust, confidence or fiduciary responsibility to carry out the alleged crime.

The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine.

Meagher in requesting bail noted Reed had 10 convictions in 2006 for false identity and controlled substance violations. Temporary defense attorney Joely O’Rourke argued the offenses were 10 years old and that Reed has resided in Centralia her entire life.

Judge R.W. Buzzard set bail at $10,000.

He was told Reed plans to hire a lawyer. Her arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

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Body of Vader boy finally will leave coroner’s office

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 6:40 pm
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Casey Henderling and Nikki Warner quickly leave the courtroom after talking with the judge about the cremation of their dead toddler.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – It took less than 10 minutes for a judge to help the parents of a toddler whose body has been stored at the county morgue for months to come to agreement today about which funeral home can be called to handle his cremation.

Three-year-old Jasper Henderling-Warner died Oct. 5 from what the coroner calls battered child syndrome and is the victim in an ongoing criminal case involving a couple who had taken him into their Vader home.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

Jasper’s unmarried parents initially agreed to have the child cremated at Steele Chapel in Longview, and the services have been paid for, according to Lewis County Civil Attorney David Fine. But the mother Nikki Warner changed her mind and told the coroner she wanted him taken care of by a funeral home in Battleground where she would hold the memorial service.

At the end of January, Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod was notified he no longer had to hold Jasper for a possible second autopsy for the criminal case. Two weeks later, after failing to get the parents to agree on the same mortuary, McLeod filed a request in Lewis County Superior Court, asking for a judge to intervene.

Warner and Casey Henderling sat next to each other this afternoon, in front of Judge James Lawler.

Warner told the judge what she wanted, and told him she had custodial rights before her son’s death.

“As I understand it, we’re not talking about the memorial service here, only the cremation,” Lawler said.

“You still agree the ashes are to be divided between you, right?” the judge asked.

Both answered affirmatively.

Lawler told the two parents he was only trying to understand what difference it makes where the cremation takes place.

“I’m not trying to twist your arm,” he said. “Just trying to understand. Make sure you understand.”

Warner agreed they could use the funeral home in Longview.

Coroner McLeod indicated he would phone Steele Chapel within the next 10 minutes and arrange for the child’s body to be picked up.

The Vader couple accused in the death both remain held in the Lewis County Jail.

Danny A. Wing, 26, has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. His wife Brenda Wing, 27, awaits trial. She is charged with homicide by abuse or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter, as either the principal or accomplice.
•••

For background, read “Toddler’s body still at morgue more than five months after death” from Wednesday March 18, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 3:04 pm

SHADY DEAL VICTIMIZES CHEHALIS RESIDENT

• A 54-year-old Chehalis woman contacted police yesterday after she ran into some shifty subjects when she tried to purchase a puppy. She found the animal she wanted online on a site called something like Pet Express and spoke with them on the phone and sent $300 for her new dog, according to the Chehalis Police Department. However, once they got her money, they demanded $2,000 more for quarantine fees and such related to travel and threatened she would be subject to fines for animal cruelty if she abandoned the supposed pup at that point, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. It appeared the company was in Western Washington and had relocated to Arizona, Bailey said. Police did some research and discovered the website was listed as a fraudulent or possibly fraudulent entity, Bailey said. The woman is out the $300 and it’s unlikely the case will be solved, according to police. Bailey said oftentimes, the contact information scammers give is false, so it’s difficult to follow leads. “So, before anybody does purchase (online),” Bailey said. They might want to investigate before sending any funds.”

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called just after 7 a.m. today to a burglary to a business on the 1200 block of Belmont Avenue in which a window was broken out. Officers are investigating, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A gun and jewelry were reported stolen from the 1300 block of Windsor Avenue in Centralia yesterday morning. A suspect has been identified, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BREAK-IN RANDLE

• A deputy took a report last night of a burglary to a Randle residence in which two firearms, a Samsung DVD player and other items were stolen. The break-in at the 700 block of Carr Road happened between last Monday and Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BREAK-IN MORTON

• Morton police reported yesterday they were investigating a situation in which someone kicked in the door to a home on the 500 block of Division Street, a discovery that was made on Friday afternoon. Nothing was taken from the residence, but the damage is approximately $200, according to the Morton Police Department.

SHED BURGLED CENTRALIA

• A red wagon with wood side rails and two bicycles were stolen from a shed on the 100 block of South Diamond Street in Centralia during the night, according to a report made to police yesterday.

AUTO THEFT

• A vehicle stolen in Idaho was recovered by police yesterday afternoon  at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE LEADS TO ARREST

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reports this morning deputies arrested a Pe Ell man at his home for unlawful imprisonment on Saturday. According to the sheriff’s office, a deputy responded to the 600 block of East Pe Ell Avenue regarding a family dispute about 10:30 a.m. and Max A. Nacht, 41, answered the door, said his wife was not there and slammed the door shut. The deputy knocked again and the wife, another female and Nacht came out, according to the sheriff’s office. The wife said he had pushed her and wouldn’t let her leave the house, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. An altercation ensued, Nacht wouldn’t obey the deputy’s commands and he was Tased, Brown said. However, the wire on the Taser broke, and Nacht ran back inside the house, she said. Eventually after other deputies arrived, Nacht came out and was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to Brown. Prosecutors declined to file a felony charge and Nacht was released from the jail yesterday.

ELK CAUSE COLLISION

• A 72-year-old Packwood driver was injured when he swerved to miss an elk on Forest Service Road 52 yesterday afternoon and ran into several large boulders. It happened around 3:30 p.m. near milepost 17, according to Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Both he and his passenger, a 72-year-old woman from Packwood, were wearing their seat belts, but he was transported to Morton General Hospital with back pain, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, shoplifting, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, hit and run, collision on city street  … and more.

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News brief: “Stolen” pup back with owner

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Chehalis police this morning report the 8-week-old Chihuahua that went missing from the Wal-Mart parking lot last week turned up safe and sound.

2015.0409.chihuahuastolenAn officer called on Wednesday afternoon was told by its owner the puppy fell from his his vehicle while he was setting items inside of it, and when he went to retrieve her, she was nowhere to be found. Witnesses said they saw a man with a backpack pick it up and put it in his jacket.

Chehalis Police Department spokesperson Linda Bailey said  this morning the owner was talked to over the weekend and apparently the little dog was found when it came crawling out from under his vehicle’s seat.

Bailey said it wasn’t clear if the one-pound pup had been hiding there the whole time or if perhaps whoever picked it up had put it back in the vehicle while the owner was looking around. She said she also didn’t know how much time passed before the pet was located.
•••

For background, read “Dognapping outside Wal-Mart” from Thursday April 9, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm

Updated at 2:56 p.m.

POLICE: EMPLOYEE THEFT OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS

• The office manager of a Chehalis business was arrested for allegedly stealing approximately $72,000 from her employer over a period of time, according to the Chehalis Police Department. An officer was called on Friday to Northwest Heating and Cooling on Southwest Chehalis Avenue about the discovery of missing money and subsequently arrested Allyson N. Reed at the workplace, according to police. The 33-year-old Centralia resident was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree theft, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. Bailey said at this point it appears it happened during the past five months.

THOUSANDS DOLLARS STOLEN FROM HOME

• Centralia police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday about a large amount of money being taken from a woman in her 50s from a home on the 800 block of South Silver Street. Police have suspect information and are following up, according to the Centralia Police Department. The amount missing was not revealed by police but Sgt. Stacy Denham said it is more than a “couple thousand” dollars.

GARAGE BREAK-IN

• A cement mixer was stolen from a garage on the 2000 block of North Pearl Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday. The burglary occurred overnight, according to the Centralia Police Department.

BUSINESS BURGLED

• A 36-year-old man who was caught inside a fenced business early yesterday morning allegedly trying to steal unspecified items was arrested for second-degree burglary. Centralia police say Brian L. Yost admitted to stealing from the same victim on the 200 block of Floral Street approximately two months earlier in an incident that was captured on video. Yost was booked into the Lewis County Jail,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

BURGLARY AND THEFT PACKWOOD

• Someone broke into a home on the 100 block of Willame Street in Packwood and stole a Toshiba flat screen television, 10 silver dollars and two rings, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. It happened sometime between 3 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A deputy was called Saturday to the 100 block of Alder Street in Packwood after the discovery someone tried to break into a garage and tried to steal a travel trailer. The trailer was still there but had been pulled away from its spot about 250 feet and collided with a pump house, according to  the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. A turquoise Ford F150 pickup truck had been seen in the driveway by a neighbor around 10 a.m. on Friday, according to the sheriff’s office.

SHED BURGLED TOLEDO

• A Poulan chainsaw was taken from a shed along the 600 block of Jackson Highway South sometime between  3 p.m. on Friday and 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

VEHICLE PROWL

• An officer called Saturday to the 1900 block of South Market Boulevard in Chehalis about  possible car prowl learned that nothing appeared to be missing, but then learned of a second prowl in the same area that occurred Thursday night. The victim didn’t report it then, but subsequently got a call from her bank advising her of a suspicious transaction, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is under investigation, according to police.

SHOPLIFTING TURNS UGLY

• Police were called to the Safeway store on the 1100 block of South Market Boulevard about 8:10 p.m. on Saturday after a suspected shoplifter allegedly bit an employee on the shoulder during a physical altercation. Margaret D. Shults, 27, of Centralia, had been stopped after she was observed removing items from a makeup display and concealing them, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Shults was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery, according to police.

ASSAULT WITH VEHICLE

• A 19-year-old man was arrested for second-degree assault after he allegedly hit his 26-year-old sister with his vehicle when he was trying to leave a residence on the 100 block of Deerhaven Drive in Winlock over the weekend. Deputies called about 2:20 a.m. yesterday were told the woman had been standing in front of his vehicle and it impacted her several times, according to  the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She sustained cuts and scrapes and said she would seek medical attention, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The suspect, Daniel F. Dixon, 19, of Winlock, was located in Kelso and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Brown said. He is to be released with no criminal charges filed.

BAR FIGHT

• Two people were arrested after a large fight outside a downtown Centralia bar early yesterday morning at the 100 block of South Tower Avenue. Officers responding about 12:35 a.m. booked Terry L. Hadley, 28, of Centralia, into the Lewis County Jail for obstructing a public servant, according to the Centralia Police Department. John D. Russo, 27, of Curtis, was booked for possession of a controlled substance and also allegedly involved in misdemeanor assault, according to police.

DRUGS

• A 44-year-old Kelso man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine following a traffic stop on Friday evening along the 100 block of Annonen Road in Vader. A deputy found a glass bottle with residue that field tested positive for the drug,  according to  the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Robert D. Hyatt Jr. was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police yesterday morning took reports of windows being broken out of two vehicles, one at the 1700 block of Harrison Avenue and the other at the 600 block of South Pearl Street. They have suspect information in the second incident, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Two 12-year-old boys were contacted after a 40-year-old Morton resident saw rocks flying outside his home that broke windows in eight of his vehicles last night along the 900 block of state Route 7. A responding deputy was told two kids including one the man recognized were seen running away, according the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The case is being referred to juvenile authorities for possible charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, shoplifting skittles, criminal assistance, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarms, hit and run, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances  … and more.

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News brief: Fire claims Centralia area home

Monday, April 13, 2015 at 10:27 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Firefighters report nobody was hurt but a single family home is a total loss after fire broke out early this morning east of Centralia.

Firefighters called about 4:35 a.m. to the 100 block of Hideaway Hills Lane found the roof burning and the structure well-involved in flames, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

A barking dog alerted the two occupants even before the smoke alarms sounded, according to a news release.

Members of three other departments arrived to help and the blaze was brought under control within about 30 minutes, according to the news release.

The cause is under investigation, Chief Mike Kytta states. Kytta noted several pets were accounted for.

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Read about Chehalis resident loses life on kayaking outing …

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 9:57 am

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Two kaykers died – including 39-year-old Mandi Walkley of Chehalis and a 52-year-old Lacey man – after they and a third individual were rescued by Coast Guard crews from rough waters near Dungeness Bay yesterday, according to The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times writes they were part of a church-affiliated group of seven who encountered three foot seas in 35 mph winds yesterday afternoon.

Walkley was hoisted from the water by a Navy helicopter crew and all three were life-flighted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to the Peninsula Daily News.

However, a nursing supervisor this morning at Harborview said the hospital received only a 50-year-old man from the incident, and he is in critical condition.

A supervisor at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham this morning confirmed Walkley was brought to them and is listed as deceased.

Read more about it here

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Centralia man charged with stealing dead man’s estate by faking a will

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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Michael J. Dobbs is led back down to the jail after a bail setting hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Police believe a 47-year-old man forged a will making himself the sole heir of a Chehalis man who died, posed as his relative and took over his house, personal property and car.

Michael J. Dobbs, from Centralia, has been under investigation since last September when relatives of Walter Pettit went to Pettit’s home near Chehalis Middle School and  found it had been cleaned out and someone was remodeling it. Pettit was 55 when he passed away in January of last year, according to police.

Dobbs was arrested for theft and forgery but subsequently charged only with possession of methamphetamine, based on a baggie of meth found. At the time, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Eric Eisenberg said further investigation needed to be conducted regarding the authenticity of the will.

Since then, a Chehalis Police Department detective has gotten Pettit’s purported signature on the document compared with his signature card at his bank by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, which concluded the signature on the will does not appear to be Pettit’s, according to Eric Eisenberg. The name is also misspelled, according to Eisenberg.

In addition, an individual who supposedly signed as witness, was shown the will and said she recalled signing a document, but not the one she was shown, Eisenberg said.

Dobbs was booked into the Lewis County Jail last week, and went before a judge where his bail was set at $20,000, plus another $20,000 for a bail jumping charge.

According to court documents, he pleaded guilty to the drug possession and was supposed to serve 30 days on electronic home monitoring, but vanished.

Dobbs was described as a full time parent of three children when he appeared in court in September. Court documents show his address on Centralia College Boulevard.

He is charged with first-degree theft, forgery, theft of a motor vehicle and also false statement to transfer title. The charges were filed in Lewis County Superior Court on Feb. 10.

Charging documents allege Dobbs pretended to be Pettit’s son when he transferred the man’s car into his own name, and told a funeral home he was Pettit’s nephew when they released Pettit’s cremated remains to him.

Court documents state that when asked about the dead man’s belongings, Dobbs offered several improbable stories about how they’d been stolen, returned and then stolen again.

His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Lewis County Superior Court.

Court papers indicate Dobbs has state IDs in Oregon and Maryland. He also has prior convictions in California, from the 1990s through 2001 for offenses such as spousal assault, burglary and receiving stolen property.
•••

For background, read “Centralia man questioned about dead man’s vehicle, home, belongings” from Friday Sept. 19, 2014, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm

THREE VEHICLE WRECK

• Two cars were totaled and one driver injured when a motorist from Rochester made an illegal pass on the left shoulder of Interstate 5 yesterday and lost control of his car, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers called to the scene about 4 p.m. just north of the Winlock-Toledo interchange concluded Michael P. Thompson, 51, from Rochester, struck the inside concrete barrier before his Saturn collided with a Toyota Sienna and then hit a 2015 Mack semi truck and then traveled back into the center barrier again. All the vehicles were southbound, according to the state patrol. The driver of the Sienna, a 41-year-old woman from Maple Valley, was transported by aid to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. The cause of the wreck was under investigation with potential charges pending but a Michael P. Thompson was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday afternoon, for vehicular assault, according to the online jail roster.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police took a report about 11 a.m. yesterday from the 200 block of West Main Street regarding someone breaking the antennas on 13 new vehicles and also four windows on the building. Later in the day, an officers was called to a rock thrown through a window at the 400 block of North Tower Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence; responses for misdemeanor theft … and more.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 6:06 pm

Updated at 6:13 p.m.

AUTO THEFT

• A white 2013 Hyundai Veloster was reported stolen from the 900 block of Harrison Avenue at about 5 p.m. yesterday, according to the Centralia Police Department. The car has a license plate reading AOV6007, according to police.

BOAT THEFT

• A 33-year-old Tacoma man contacted the sheriff’s office last night after he was informed the boat and trailer he’d left parked at a public fishing access in Salkum turned up near Lake Cushman in Mason County, stripped  of its parts. The 2004 14-foot Alumaweld Intruder and its trailer were valued at more than $23,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The victim said he normally kept it at the Cowlitz Timber Trails Campground, but had been told he had to move it, and it was moved in February parked at the gravel lot near Spencer and Brim roads, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. He had trouble picking it up, but said he thought it would be fine there, Brown said.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called about 8:45 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of South Diamond Street in Centralia regarding a vehicle prowl. Among the missing items were two quarts of oil, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Centralia police yesterday took a report from the 500 block of North Pearl Street about a unauthorized account opened in a person’s name.

VANDALISM

• Centralia yesterday and this morning took reports of windows broken at the 300 block of North Tower Avenue and at the train depot, as well as a motel room on the 1200 block of Alder Street.

DRUGS

• Deputies responding about 5:30 p.m. yesterday to a report of a suspicious person along the 2600 block of Jackson Highway encountered a 29-year-old Olympia man who was stopping traffic trying to get a ride and ended up in two scuffles with him, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. After he was detained the first time, suspected methamphetamine was found and before he was put into a patrol car, they scuffled again, leaving scratch marks on the vehicle’s trunk lid, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. Michael W. Robinson was wanted on a warrant from the state Department of Corrections, according to Brown. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail for drug possession, and began fighting with staff there as well, she said.

FROM THE COURTHOUSE

• A former Centralia woman charged almost three year ago with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly plunging a knife though her mother’s neck in Rochester has yet to go to trial. Amanda Lee Bassell, who also goes by her given name of Daarud, was 23 when she was arrested in May 2012 and booked into the Thurston County Jail. Her parents had taken her in after her release from prison, just nine days before the attack. Her father at the time described Bassell as suffering from mental problems from previous drug use, and exacerbated by spending almost three years in solitary confinement. Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris said yesterday he’s still handling her case. Bassell has already been sent once to Western State Hospital for a 90-day so-called restoration period, according to Juris. And a judge recently signed an order for her to be sent back there one again, he said. “She’s had some issues we’ve had to deal with before we can deal with her criminal issues,” Juris said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor assault; responses for vandalism, indecent exposure, suspicious circumstances, collisions on city streets,  jail inmate breaks fire sprinkler head, message left on an answering machine from the “IRS” … and more.

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News brief: Centralia picks new police chief

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 12:38 pm

Updated

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia has chosen a new chief of police, and he’s from California.

Carl Nielsen comes from the Turlock Police Department in California’s central valley, where he is second in command.

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Carl Nielsen

He was one of five men extensively interviewed in mid-February and introduced to the public following a nationwide recruitment effort.

In a news release today making the announcement, Centralia City Manager Rob Hill asks the public to join the city in welcoming Nielsen, and extending a helping hand during the transition. He starts work here on May 18.

Nielsen previously served eight years as a sergeant at the Tracy Police Department, also in central California, and before that spent 14 years with the San Diego Police Department. He holds bachelor and masters degrees in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach.

He has been active with both Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce, according to Hill.

Centralia Police Department Chief Bob Berg is retiring, after 11 years as head of the department with 31 commissioned officers.

Nielsen, 50, said he’s going on eight years at his present department. He and his wife Jan previously purchased a home in Rochester, with an eye toward retiring in this area in the next 10 years.

She trains police dogs and the couple came to know this area through a friend in the same profession who lives in Tenino, he said.

He describes his style as collaboration; not just partnerships, but relationships, he said.

“I discovered early on if you try to do everything yourself, you can isolate yourself,” he said. “And it doesn’t work as well.”

The pay for the police chief in Lewis County’s most populated city was advertised as between about $100,000 and $122,000. Nielsen will be earning $112,656, according to the city.

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Three arrested in connection with Chehalis ATM shakedown

Friday, April 10, 2015 at 11:46 am
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Andres F. Santiago, in red, appears with a lawyer before a judge for a bail hearing in Lewis County Superior Court.

Updated at 7:09 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 20-year-old Chehalis resident turned himself in yesterday, admitting to police he robbed a woman at the TwinStar Credit Union’s ATM machine two weeks ago.

Andres F. Santiago was booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree robbery, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

His arrest came the day after police arrested two younger males who reportedly were waiting in a car behind the bank.

The victim had gone to the 1500 block of South Market Boulevard to deposit a check in the ATM at about 9:15 p.m. on March 26. A male wearing a black bandana over his face approached her and said “empty all your cash,” but when she told him she had none, he demanded her cell phone, which she turned over, according to court documents.

2015.0409.james.rocha.7396

James M. Rocha

Jean Gillmer was unhurt, according to police, but said the bandit showed her something in his waistband that was either the handle of a gun or a knife, according to authorities.

Earlier this week, Chehalis detective Jason Roberts was able to view security video from both sides of the building that showed what took place.

Detectives were led to their suspects by witnesses who saw a smaller, reddish oxidized car both before and after the event, according to charging documents. One of them who watched the car speed down 16th Street with its lights off took down its license plate numbers, according to the documents.

Police were able to “ping” the stolen cell phone, which helped them as well, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said today.

The license plate led to a residence on Southwest 20th Street, where Roberts spoke with the registered owner and her teenage son on Wednesday, according to authorities. James M. Rocha, 18,  was arrested, according to Chehalis Police Department spokesperson Linda Bailey. Two detectives returned to the home later in the day and arrested a 15-year-old boy, Bailey said.

All are from Chehalis, according to police.

Charging documents state the 15-year-old told detectives he was there, but didn’t do anything. They also relate that Rocha admitted to being the driver of the car.

First-degree robbery is a class A felony, with a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Charging documents offer some of the details, as follows:

The owners of Dairy Dan’s, a drive-in restaurant across the street from the credit union, saw a reddish car parked in their lot, and watched it head over to behind the credit union, without its headlights turned on.

Rocha told police Santiago said he needed to go to the bank, to pull out some money to buy his daughter clothes and diapers. He said they stopped at Dairy Dan’s, so Santiago could make  phone call, and Santiago asked him to  drop him at the bank and wait for him.

Rocha said he parked in the back. When Santiago came back, he told them he’d just robbed a girl, and showed the two males a knife he had in a black holster.

When Santiago turned himself in, he told detective Roberts he’d forced Rocha and the 15-year-old to drive him around, and he wanted them released because they didn’t do anything wrong.

He also told the detective he’d had a 9 mm handgun in the rear of his waistband that night.

Santiago was contacted by police yesterday, after they learned he wanted to talk with them, at a Cascade Mental health safe house.

Prosecutor Meagher said he’s not sure if the phone has been found.

The 15-year-old is being held at the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center on a probation violation, and has not yet been charged, according to Meagher.

Rocha, a graduate of W.F. West High School has a job, lives with his mother and has a 1-month-old baby. He has one juvenile felony from four years ago. His bail was set at $75,000 yesterday afternoon.

This afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court, defense attorney Joely O’Rourke asked for Santiago’s bail to be set at $25,000 and unsecured.

The unemployed father of a 7-month-old daughter has no felonies in his past, she said.

“He also turned himself in,” O’Rourke said.

She told the judge Santiago had recently gotten himself admitted into inpatient treatment to get help with drug addiction, and was working with Cascade Mental Health to “get back on track.”

Judge James Lawler set his bail at $100,000.

Santiago and Rocha both qualified for court-appointed attorneys. Their arraignments are set for next Thursday.
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For background, read “Shakedown at Chehalis ATM” from Friday March 27, 2015, here

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Tenino reserve officer denies intentionally downloading child porn

Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

The Tenino reserve police officer arrested this week for possession of child porn is the same officer who was getting paid for working there, in violation of a city statute that prohibits payment.

Michael C. Boone, 38, Olympia, was arrested by a state patrol task force on Tuesday, at his workplace, according to authorities. He is a community corrections officer with the state Department of Corrections.

A Thurston County Superior Court judge yesterday set bail at $5,000 after finding probable cause for three counts of second-degree possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Boone was ordered not to have any in-person contact with minor children or access the Internet, according to Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor Craig Juris who is handling the case.

Tenino Mayor Bret Brodersen revealed last week that one of the reasons he terminated Police Chief Chief John Hutchings a week earlier was he had recently learned Hutchings added a paid reserve police officer, not approved, not budgeted for and in violation of city statute. The reserve officer collected $10,574 over the previous few months, according to the mayor.

Hutchings was hired by Brodersen’s predecessor in the summer of 2012 and was let go on March 25.

A payroll document obtained from the city of Tenino through a public record request shows Boone earned $10,574 from the time he started with the city until his last pay check or pay period ending on March 20.

He earned $17 per hour, and during his last two-week pay period worked 26 hours, according to the document.

Brodersen said on Tuesday in a news release Boone is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the state patrol’s investigation. The case was handled by the state patrol’s Missing and Exploited Childrens Task Force.

In an email, Brodersen indicated he would not answer reporter’s questions about Boone because of the sensitive nature of the situation.

The mayor hasn’t yet been able to answer when Boone was hired as a reserve officer.

In his March 30 news release discussing reasons for firing the police chief, Brodersen noted the paid assignments to the un-named reserve officer were stopped effective immediately on March 20, and that staff involved in the addition to the payroll had received disciplinary actions and processes were established to prevent it from happening again.

Boone, a married father of two, denied intentionally receiving child porn on his computer, according to the declaration of prosecutor supporting probable cause document filed in Thurston County Superior Court.

The declaration states detectives found three images in a file on his Toshiba laptop when they got a search warrant to seize the computer at Boone’s Olympia home on Tuesday. These were same three images initially reported by Microsoft – as having been noted in Boone’s cloud-type storage – to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the declaration.

According to the declaration, Boone told detectives he viewed adult pornography, and joined Internet groups that traded images and discussed sexual fetishes. He stated he would provide his email address to others to receive pornographic images, and on occasion he opened files that were of girls under 18 and would delete them, according to the declaration.

He was asked if he ever reported the sexually explicit images of children to police or to the Internet site and said no, he probably should have, but didn’t want people to know he viewed porn, the declaration states.

According to the declaration, and to Sgt. James Mjor of the state patrol’s MECTF, security officers at Microsoft noticed the electronic signature of well-known and frequently-traded images of child pornography on Boone’s Microsoft SkyDrive account. They  turned the information over to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who reported it on Dec. 19 to the Olympia Police Department.

And, an Olympia detective began investigating the IP address which led to a Comcast cable account registered to Boone’s wife on March 17. Once the detective learned Boone lived at the same address, the Olympia Police Department referred the case to the state patrol task force, because Olympia police have a working relationship with Boone, as a community corrections officer and an Tenino reserve officer.

The state patrol’s MECTF got the case on Friday.

Prosecutor Juris said he has until 5 p.m. tomorrow to file formal charges.
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For background, read “Microsoft tip leads to child porn arrest of Tenino officer, prison system employee” from Tuesday April 7, 2015, here