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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 11:33 am
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•••

HIDING HANDBAG IN POLICE DEPARTMENT LOBBY LEADS TO ARREST

• A 20-year-old Oakville resident who stashed her purse in a storage cabinet inside the lobby of the Chehalis Police Department while she went to municipal court on the ground floor of the same building yesterday was subsequently arrested for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act. An officer retrieved the handbag and made contact with Natasha T. Henderson when she came back to get it, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Inside, the officer found needles and a spoon with brown residue that field-tested positive for heroin, department spokesperson Linda Bailey said. Henderson  was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Centralia police were called about 1:40 a.m. today for a burglary to a residence on the 500 block of East Main Street. Taken was a television, clothes and other personal items, according to the Centralia Police Department.

VEHICLE THEFT FROM THE WOODS

• A deputy was contacted yesterday by a timber cruiser whose 1995 Honda CR250R dirt bike was stolen from the Forest Service Road 2513 near Randle. The 27-year-old man from Cottage Grove said it disappeared sometime since 4 p.m. on Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss is estimated at $1,500.

LICENSE PLATE VANISHES

• A license plate was reported stolen from a vehicle parked on the street yesterday morning at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard in Centralia. Police had no suspect information as of this morning, according to the Centralia Police Department.

RUNAWAY LOCATED

• A 14-year-old runaway reported missing about two weeks ago tried to flee from officers about 4:30 p.m. yesterday from a residence on the 800 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia. He also had a warrant for his arrest, according to the Centralia Police Department. He was caught and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to police.

SOCIABLE RETRIEVER DETAINED BY POLICE

• Chehalis police were called about 9:45 p.m. yesterday after a woman opened her door to let her dog in and a strange dog walked into the house with it. An officer responding to the call at the 100 block of Southeast Washington Avenue was told the woman tied the friendly canine to a bush in the yard and planned to let the animal control officer pick it up this morning, but was called shortly after 2 a.m. for a complaint about a barking dog, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The golden retriever, which had no tags or license but was “of good temperament” was then taken to the city’s kennel, according to police.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, shoplifting, forgery, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, dispute,  suicidal person, civil problem, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 159 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:50 a.m. today.

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Winlock mill owner gets federal prison for trafficking in poached specialty wood

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Winlock man was sentenced yesterday in federal court to six months in prison, six months of home detention, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay nearly $160,000 for violating the Lacey Act by trafficking in big leaf maple illegally cut on national forest land.

Harold Clause Kupers, 48, pleaded guilty in November, and admitted he suspected the specialty maple had been illegally taken from the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

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Courtesy photo by U.S. Attorney’s Office

Kupers was the owner and operator of the now defunct J & L Tonewoods, which sold the wood to purchasers in interstate commerce for total revenues of $499,414, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The maple is particularly valuable for musical instruments.

Kupers was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma by Judge Benjamin H. Settle.

“You were a central figure in what made this all [the stolen maple trade] work … You knew you were getting stolen wood, but you hid behind ignorance,” Settle said.

U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes said Kupers acted as essentially a fence for stolen goods.

“As long as unscrupulous mill owners like this defendant create a market for poached wood, our protected forests are at risk,” Hayes stated in a news release.

According to the plea agreement, in April 2012, law enforcement officers with the U.S. Forest Service met with Kupers and specifically informed him that he was required by Washington law to review specialized forest products permits for all persons from whom he purchased maple.

Despite that, he admitted, he continued to buy the wood without requiring the harvesters to show the permit until March 2014.

Three men who illegally cut the wood previously pleaded guilty to theft of public property or conspiracy to steal public property for illegally harvesting the maple trees in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in November and December 2011 and May 2012.

James Miller, 36, of Morton was sentenced in February to six months in prison and three years of supervised release. Ryan Justice, 28, of Randle, was sentenced in December to 15 months in prison. Kevin Mullins, 56, of Packwood, is scheduled for sentencing June 6.
•••

For background, read “Feds: Winlock mill owner admits illegal buying and selling of specialty maple ‘music wood’ ” from Monday November 16, 2015, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 11:23 am
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Car hits Centralia house / Courtesy photo

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police responded about 4:36 p.m. yesterday to a two-vehicle injury wreck at the 900 block of South Tower Avenue. The victim vehicle was redirected by the collision and struck a house, causing damage to the home, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police responded about 2:36 p.m. yesterday for a vehicle versus pedestrian low-speed collision at Yew and Mellen streets in Centralia. The victim was transported for possible injury, according to the Centralia Police Department.

SEARCH FOR WOMAN HIKER SUCCESSFUL

• A 21-year-old Pierce County woman who never returned from a day hike on Sunday outside of Ashford was located safe by deputies. Her family went looking for her on Monday and her car was found along the Forest Road 84 where the snow starts, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. She was found walking out about nine miles up the road on Monday, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. “Basically she just overextended herself,” Brown said.

MISSING JEWELRY

• Centralia police were called at noon yesterday to the 2300 block of Scheuber Ridge Court regarding the theft of a wedding ring.

MAN BOOKED FOR CHURCH BREAK-IN

• Joshua A. Schwenning, 28, from Lacey, was arrested yesterday for second-degree burglary in connection with incidents on Feb. 11 when someone kicked in the door to a church on Bishop Road, stole laptop computers and someone subsequently broke into the Housing Mart on Hamilton Road, where they ate food and drank alcohol and left some of the laptops there, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Through tips and investigation a deputy concluded he was involved and yesterday met up with him at his probation office in Olympia, according to the sheriff’s office. Schwenning was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

CAR PROWL

• An officer was called about 2 p.m. yesterday about an overnight vehicle prowl at the 100 block of West Magnolia Street in Centralia.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, hit and run, misdemeanor assault, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 152 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:31 am
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•••

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Firefighters were called just before 8 p.m. yesterday to a rollover crash at the 16800 block of Old Highway 99 west of Tenino. Two patients – the driver and a child – were transported to the hospital by medics, according to Thurston County Fire District 12.

• A 29-year-old motorist was injured yesterday after he lost control of his car after passing a truck on the right-hand shoulder of Interstate 5 near Winlock. The Washington State Patrol reports Ngoc H. Nguyen, from Lacey, clipped the International flatbed truck when trying to re-enter the right lane, causing his Honda Accord to spin around, cross both lanes and strike the inside concrete barrier. Troopers called about 2:20 p.m. to the scene near milepost 64 planned to issue a citation for negligent driving. Nguyen was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital. The 25-year-old Centralia man driving the flatbed was uninjured.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, misdemeanor domestic assault; responses for dispute, runaway teen, civil issue, third-degree theft, first-degree theft investigation, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, 17-year-old boy arrested and booked into juvenile detention for kicking three dents in his mother’s vehicle … and more, among 157 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:50 a.m. today.

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 18, 2016 at 10:34 am
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•••

FRAUD

• An individual called Chehalis police yesterday evening to report the discovery that someone made purchases on his credit card at Wal-Mart earlier in the day, even though he had his card. Further details were not yet available, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

MISSING JEWELRY

• Centralia police were called about 4:35 p.m. on Saturday to the 200 block of West Oakview Avenue regarding the theft of jewelry, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A 22-year-old Morton resident was arrested for second-degree theft and forgery on Saturday after allegedly forging a signature on a check belonging to his roommate. Michael J. Barnett was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

• Zachary T. Moreno, 20, of Centralia, was arrested for second-degree theft and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant on Friday morning after Centralia police were called about 9:45 a.m. to the 400 block of South Street. Moreno was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 6:15 a.m. today regarding a theft from a vehicle parked at the 500 block of South Tower Avenue.

• Police responded to a call just before 2 o’clock this morning for a vehicle prowl at the 700 block of Marsh Avenue in Centralia. A jacket was stolen, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Someone got into a vehicle parked at the 600 block of West Pine Street and stole some change, according to a report made to Centralia police about 11:45 p.m. yesterday.

• Chehalis police were called about 10:30 a.m. yesterday to a car prowl at K-Mart on the 1400 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue. The only items missing were the registration and an insurance card, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday about a car prowl at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia. A backpack was missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 28-year-old Centralia resident was arrested for second-degree vehicle prowl on Saturday morning after a traffic stop during which an officer noted broken glass on his clothes. Police contacted David J. Eslick at the 1200 block of Alder Street in Centralia just before 6 a.m., saw the glass and allegedly subsequently found him in possession of a stereo stolen from a vehicle at the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road, according to the Centralia Police Department. Eslick reportedly told the officer where it came from. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail also for third-degree driving with suspended license, according to police.

STREET FIGHT

• Centralia police were called about 3:15 p.m. on Friday for a report of a group of juveniles who jumped another juvenile at Yew Street and Centralia College Boulevard. No arrests were immediately made, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

• Centralia police arrested a 48-year-old Centralia resident for two counts of second-degree robbery domestic violence after being called just after 2 p.m. on Friday to the 700 block of M Street. Booked into the Lewis County Jail was Michael S. Hansen, according to the Centralia Police Department. Prosecutors declined to file the felony charge.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 33-year-old Napavine man was arrested for driving under the influence after his 1994 Ford Mustang struck a fence at the 500 block of Park Road at about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday. Tyler L. Sanow was reportedly uninjured but his car sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail , according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 49-year-old Puyallup man suffered facial lacerations when he wrecked his 2014 Harley Davidson on Cline Road in Randle. He hit some gravel and lost control, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. He had been wearing a helmet and was transported to Morton General Hospital for treatment, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said this morning.

HOUSE FIRE WINLOCK

• A house fire yesterday morning in Winlock remains under investigation, according to Lewis County Fire District 15. Crews called just before 5:30 a.m. to the 900 block of Southeast First Street reported heavy fire and conducted a defensive attack, according to Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Anderson. They protected an adjacent home from catching fire, but it sustained some damage from the heat, according to Anderson. There were no injuries reported. A crew was on scene until just before noon dealing with hot spots.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, trespassing, third-degree theft, misdemeanor assault, reckless driving, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence (at least four others over the weekend); responses for alarm, dispute, shoplifting, hit and run, civil issue, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more, among 116 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about  6:40 a.m. today.

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News brief: Multiple wrecks clog up I-5

Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm
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Interstate 5 near Thurston-Lewis county line / Courtesy photo by West Thurston Regional Fire Authority

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Six people were transported to area hospitals following a pair of wrecks on Interstate 5 in south Thurston County this morning that included an ambulance.

The first incident around 9:30 a.m. was a serious accident involving a rolled over car in the northbound lanes near milepost 86, according to authorities.

A responding emergency unit and a truck collided shortly after and a southbound lane became blocked, according to West Thurston Regional Fire Authority and the state Department of Transportation.

Four patients were taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia and two were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital, WTRFA reported.

Firefighters at about 12:30 p.m. noted the scene was not yet cleared and they were called for yet another accident.

“Please slow down and have patience,” WTRFA posted on its Facebook page.

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Traffic cam near Interstate 5 near Thurston-Lewis county line / Department of Transportation

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 15, 2016 at 12:58 pm
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•••

Updated at 1:26 p.m.

POLICE: PASSENGER CHOKES DRIVER

• A 22-year-old woman reported to Chehalis police yesterday morning that while she was driving along the 700 block of North National Avenue, her boyfriend grabbed her by the neck and struck her several times. Cornelio T. Delarosa, 23, from Centralia, was subsequently located and booked into the Lewis County Jail for fourth-degree assault and reckless endangerment, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

UNRULY IN CENTRALIA

•  Chad C Bass, 28, of Centralia and Tyler J. Carbaugh, 21, from Morton were cited for fighting in public at the 1000 block of Seminary Hill Road in Centralia yesterday evening. The two were contacted by police about 6:45 p.m., issued their citations and then released, according to the Centralia Police Department. At about 7:25 p.m., Bass was contacted at the 200 block of Railroad Avenue, arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to police.

VEHICLE THEFT

• Centralia police were called at 12:25 a.m. today to the 1000 block of North Scheuber Road to take a report of the theft of a red 1984 Honda scooter.

• Officers recovered a stolen vehicle at the 400 block of North Buckner Street in Centralia yesterday that had been missing out of King County, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 8:50 a.m. yesterday to take a report of a stolen vehicle. The vehicle in the case associated with the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road was subsequently located, the Centralia Police Department reports this morning.

SPRING CLEANING

• Someone got into a county building at Rose Park on the 200 block of Penning Road outside of Chehalis and left with various cleaning supplies as well as a case of toilet paper, a case of paper towels and a bag of trash can liners. A deputy called to the scene yesterday morning learned that also missing were two rakes, two shovels and a light fixture, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

HANDBAG INVESTIGATION

• Centralia police were called yesterday at about 12:20 p.m. to a business on the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue regarding the attempted theft of a purse The investigation is ongoing,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Police were contacted by a Chehalis resident yesterday who reported that when he tried to file his federal taxes, the IRS rejected it, informing him someone had already filed taxes using his identity, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He needed a case number so he could proceed, according to police.

FOLLOWUP ON 100 MPH-PLUS POLICE PURSUIT

• The investigation after the police pursuit up Interstate 5 and out toward Salkum on Wednesday morning revealed a number of potential reasons the female driver probably didn’t want to talk to police. It began just after 9 a.m. when a trooper went to contact an illegally parked car at the Toutle rest area in Cowlitz County. Two people came walking up and they got in the car to retrieve their information for the trooper, but then they took off, according to the Washington State Patrol. Speeds topped out around 110 mph as they headed north through Lewis County, before exiting onto U.S. Highway 12, Trooper Will Finn said. A purse tossed from the window was found to contain other people’s passports and identifications; the car was stolen from California, its plates were stolen from another vehicle; and a set of brass knuckles and an 8-inch knife were recovered, Finn said. Law enforcement officers conducted a felony stop near milepost 77 and the highway was shut down for about five minutes while the pair from Modesto, California were taken into custody, without incident, according to Finn. The chase ended because their car ran out of gas, Finn said. The two were booked into the Cowlitz County Jail for multiple offenses.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, drugs, shoplifting, possession of a dangerous weapon, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, vandalism, missing wallet, parking issue, civil problem, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, passing vehicle with music so loud it shook house windows … 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.

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News brief: Mock DUI Crash at Winlock High School

Friday, April 15, 2016 at 9:15 am

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Don’t be alarmed about the emergency response vehicles at Winlock High School today, the fire department is there for educational purposes.

The school and public safety agencies are conducting a mock crash with a full agenda of speakers in a program about the consequences of driving under the influence and distracted driving, according to Lewis County Fire District 15.

“The goal of this event is to highlight dangerous driving behaviors and support safe driving choices as part of a grant funded program through Lewis County Fire District 15,” Fire Lt. Patrick Jacobson stated in a news release.

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Local drug detectives bust two for alleged selling, supplying of cocaine

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 6:16 pm
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•••

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Two individuals were brought before a  judge this afternoon in connection with alleged cocaine dealing, following their arrests by drug detectives in the Grand Mound area

Eighteen-year-old Leonardo A. Flores-Martinez is charged with twice selling to a confidential informant.

He lives with his parents in Rochester and told police he was born into the Surreno gang, according to court documents.

When the home of 32-year-old Esteban A. Vasquez III was searched yesterday, law enforcement officers allegedly found  in a shirt in his closet a digital scale and approximately 15 grams of cocaine, charging documents state. A loaded Glock was also removed from his closet, according to prosecutors.

The arrests came yesterday after Lewis County’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team served a search warrant at Vasquez’s Grand Mound home.

Flores-Martinez was contacted outside, taken into custody and allegedly confessed that was the residence where he got his supply.

Vasquez was not home, but voluntarily returned to the scene, Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello told a judge this afternoon.

“He was informed what law enforcement discovered and nodded his head in affirmation,” Masiello wrote in court documents.

Vasquez was charged today in Lewis County Superior Court with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Because he has a prior felony conviction, he was also charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Charging documents state detectives found indications of gang affiliation in his bedroom.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge Vasquez grew up in Centralia and has strong community ties. He’s currently working at a Lacey mattress manufacturer and has been there for three years, she said in seeking his release on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Flores-Martinez was charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance – for instances between March 1 and yesterday – and one count of possession of methamphetamine, for what was retrieved from his pocket yesterday.

He’s unemployed and has a recent case from March 22 of possession of a controlled substance as well as driving under the influence, the two lawyers said.

Judge Richard Brosey set his bail at $25,000.

While court documents show both men with Rochester mailing addresses, charging papers state the various offenses all occurred in Lewis County.

Their arraignments were scheduled for next Thursday.

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What was Ruben Inman running from anyhow?

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 1:07 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The 25-year-old who stowed himself away beneath a big rig to escape from a deputy last month and was finally apprehended in Centralia, even trying to run after he was handcuffed, was scheduled for his arraignment today.

Lewis County resident Ruben A. Inman is charged with one offense that he allegedly has been trying to avoid since March 3.

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Ruben A. Inman

Inman was released from prison in mid-January and placed on community custody.

He reported to the Chehalis office of the state Department of Corrections on March 3 as directed, but when he was ordered to provide a urine sample, he said he couldn’t do it, went to get a drink of water and never came back, according to court documents.

A secretary’s DOC warrant was issued for his arrest, for the felony of escape from community custody. That’s willfully discontinuing making himself available for post-release supervision.

The former Twin Cities resident made headlines after the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office told of an encounter at  Gee Cees truck stop near Vader on March 11.

A sheriff’s deputy was following up on a trespassing complaint in the area and located Inman and a female at Gee Cees, but Inman slipped away and vanished.

A truck driver said he’d seen the male crawl under the trailer of semi truck and it left with him still beneath it. Security footage confirmed what happened and when the truck was finally stopped in Arlington, its driver didn’t locate his hitchhiker but did find his cap.

His daring feat was featured on the television show Washingon’s Most Wanted.

On March 15, Inman left a voice mail message with his community corrections saying he wanted to turn himself in. He was upset his escape was on the news and wanted to know why he was getting so much attention for a warrant, according to court papers.

He didn’t leave  call back number.

On April 6, law enforcement officers went to a residence at the north end of Centralia to find Inman, and he reportedly fled on foot, and then after he was cuffed, tried again to flee.

He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

Prosecutors declined to charge Inman with escape for that incident. But, on Tuesday, they filed the escape from community custody charge, for walking away from his supervision appointment. His bail was set at $35,000.

It’s a class C felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. For hiding out from his DOC supervisors over a urine test.

The charging documents in his case don’t make mention of what Inman was in prison for, but it couldn’t have been a very long term.

A look into the archives of Lewis County Sirens .com shows two incidents from four years ago, when an individual by the same name attempted to elude officers.

JULY 31, 2012: “A short foot pursuit of an individual wanted in connection with vehicle theft ended with the arrest about 10:20 p.m. yesterday of Ruben A. Inman, 21, of Centralia.”

SEPT. 25, 2012: “A 21-year-old arrested yesterday for a warrant after a foot pursuit in the area of Northwest Prindle Street reportedly kicked out a back window of a patrol vehicle, climbed out and ran away again. “He was again apprehended, put back in the patrol car and then booked into jail.”
•••

For background, read “News brief: Daring escapee apprehended in Centralia” from Thursday April 7, 2016, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 10:37 am
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•••

Updated at 11:10 a.m.

COMMERCIAL BURGLARY

• A deputy responding to an alarm at Stihl NW on the 200 block of Hamilton Road south of Chehalis about 1:15 a.m. yesterday found an open door and subsequently learned chainsaws and concrete saws were stolen. The loss is estimated at more than $6,000, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. There was evidence left behind and there are persons of interest in the burglary, according to the sheriff’s office.

HOME BURGLARY

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning more than $5,000 worth of valuables were stolen in a residential burglary at the 600 block of Tauscher Road south of Chehalis on Tuesday. The victim reported that sometime between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. someone broke into his house and garage and stole a DS80 Suzuki, hunting knives and change including dollar coins, according to the sheriff’s office.

AUTO THEFT

• Two people were taken into custody by the Washington State Patrol yesterday after a pursuit from Cowlitz County onto U.S. Highway 12 yesterday morning. As the chase passed through Ethel, something was tossed from the passenger window and was tracked down by K9 Axel, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Sniffed out in the tall grass at approximately 10 a.m. was a small purse containing several stolen passports, driver’s licenses and credit cards, according to the sheriff’s office. The vehicle was stolen out of Oakland, California, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

• Chehalis police were called around 3:30 a.m. today regarding a car missing from the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. An officer learned it’s keys had been given to someone and then reportedly taken from that person, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The stolen vehicle is a silver 2006 four-door Mazda, according to police.

• A vehicle stolen from out in the county was recovered yesterday afternoon at Rose and Vienna streets in Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor domestic assault, driving with suspended license, driving with no license; responses for alarm, dispute, third-degree theft, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances … and more, among 136 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about  6:45 a.m. today.

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Chehalis Subway robber gets another life term in prison

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm
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Thomas L. Pleasant is sentenced today in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – For the second time in his life, a former Centralia man has been sentenced to life in prison.

Thomas L. Pleasant, 50, went before a judge today in Lewis County Superior Court, having pleaded guilty last month to first-degree robbery and second-degree assault for what took place at the Chehalis Subway store late one night in the summer of 2008.

It was a third strike case with a mandatory punishment neither the prosecutor or defense attorney disputed.

Judge Richard Brosey agreed Pleasant’s 1989 conviction  for first-degree robbery in Pierce County and a Colorado conviction for assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon counted as strikes one and two.

“You’re sentenced to the state Department of Corrections for the rest of your natural life, without the possibility of release or parole,” Brosey told the defendant.

Pleasant readily admitted to a string of robberies that summer, and by the end of 2008, was convicted of three first-degree robberies in Cowlitz County and sent off to prison for life, under the same persistent offender law.

Lewis County detectives interviewed him before he left and charges were filed in Lewis County for the July 16, 2008 holdup of the lone female employee at the shop in the Twin City Town Center. The charges were first-degree robbery and first-degree rape.

He admitted robbing her with a pellet gun that looked real, tying her up with an electrical cord and putting her in a walk-in cooler. When she was interviewed, she told of the same events, along with him asking her if she wanted to live and then with a gun to her back, raping her, according to court documents.

Pleasant denied the rape in 2008 and again today.

Lewis County Senior Prosecuting Attorney Will Halstead and Centralia defense attorney Don Blair struck a plea deal, agreeing the rape charge would be dismissed for “evidentiary reasons”.

Blair addressed the court this afternoon, and said his client’s DNA was not present, but other males’ DNA was. Judge Brosey said he understood the Chehalis Police Department no longer had the evidence for the case.

“We believe we would have prevailed on that count,” Blair said.

Pleasant accepted the judge’s offer to speak on his own behalf and told him he was willing to accept the consequences.

“It is what it is,” Pleasant said. “I don’t know why the person said what she said.

“I know I went in, I robbed her, tied her up and put her in the cooler; that was it.”

Halstead told the judge he’d met with the victim as recently as Monday, and believed she now understood why he amended the charges downward.

He read a letter from the victim, who was not named. “She’s adamant she was raped,” he said.

“To whom it may concern: I have to live with what happened to me every day

“I never asked to be robbed at gunpoint, raped and put in a cooler.”

She continued on how she would have liked to stand up to her attacker at trial, but that was taken from her.

“What does that say about the Lewis County court system,” Halstead read. “About the Chehalis Police Department?”

Chehalis Police Chief Glenn Schaffer this afternoon said the evidence was not lost, it was destroyed and he’s not sure exactly where along the line the case came apart.

The department keeps case evidence in a vault and periodically gets rid of or returns what they don’t need any longer, he said.

The department routinely checks with the prosecutor’s office before taking such actions though, according to Schaffer.

“We sent a note and the prosecutor’s office checked off on it,” he said.

Schaffer said he wasn’t certain at this point if his department erred in making the request, or if the prosecutor’s office erred in approving it.

“I’m not looking to place any blame, I don’t know,” he said.
•••

For background, read “Suspect from 2008 Subway robbery initiated reopening his case” from Monday March 7, 2016, here

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Judge to hear convicted triple murderer John A. Booth’s motion in May

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Convicted killer John A. Booth Jr. will be back in Lewis County next month, when a judge will hear his contention eavesdropping on inmates in the jail was governmental misconduct and jeopardized his rights to confidential communications with his lawyers.

The former Onalaskan was sentenced to life in prison for the August 2010 shootings at the home of 52-year-old David West Sr., from whom prosecutors contended Booth was seeking payment of a debt for a local drug dealer.

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John A. Booth Jr.

Booth was 31 years old when he was arrested for the slayings of three people, and wounding of a fourth person at the residence on Wings Way, off of Gore Road.

He’s lost his appeal, he’s lost his personal restraint petition and the upcoming hearing grows out of his December 2012 motion to vacate the judgement and sentence based on court rule 7.8.

He is represented by court assigned defense attorney Erik Kupka.

Kupka and Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher went before Lewis County Superior Court Judge RIchard Brosey this afternoon.

Booth and Kupka have requested various documents from the state to prepare for the hearing, and today Meagher told the judge his position is all information required to be turned over has been turned over.

Judge Brosey said he was denying any further requests for materials related to Booth’s request, noting his attorney would presumably make requests as he sees fit.

Four of the many individuals from the sheriff’s office expected at the May hearing have pre-paid planned vacations, according to Meagher.

Judge Brosey indicated they should be excused from the May 2 and May 3 proceedings, and if their testimony is still needed, the proceedings can reconvene when they return.

Booth was sentenced under the state’s so-called three strikes law.

Losing their lives on Aug. 21, 2010, along with West Sr., were 16-year-old David “D.J.” West Jr. and 50-year-old Tony Williams of Randle. West Sr.’s girlfriend, Denise Salts, survived a gunshot wound to her face

Booth denied shooting them.
•••

For background, read “”Ear hustling”: Convicted murderer John Booth tells judge about problems at Lewis County Jail” from Friday July 5, 2013, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 12:51 pm
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•••

AUTO THEFT, NOT HONDA

• Centralia police were called about 9:25 a.m. yesterday following the discovery a 2002 Cadillac Escalade was missing from the 500 block of East Maple Street. The owner had gotten a call from his cousin asking if he’d taken the Escalade for the day because it was gone, according to the Centralia Police Department. The owner got home and saw it was indeed not there, according to police. The tan colored vehicle has a license plate of ARV 7793, according to police.

• Just before 9:30 a.m. yesterday, Centralia police were called about a car stolen from the 200 block of Harrison Avenue. The missing 2014 Toyota Scion is white with pink accents and has a license plate of AWS 6756,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A Washington license plate reading AXH 7940, was reported stolen about 10:45 a.m. yesterday from the 1200 block of West Main Street in Centralia.

• Fuel was reported stolen from a vehicle at the 1800 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia yesterday evening.

FRAUD

• Centralia police yesterday got a report that an individual’s account number had been used to make unauthorized purchases at several stores. Police are investigating the case, associated with a location on the 100 block of West High Street in Centralia.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, obstructing, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, civil problem, vandalism, third-degree theft, suspicious circumstances, runaway juvenile, collision on city street, two loose dogs going to the bathroom everywhere they want … and more, among 136 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 7 a.m. today.

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Court documents detail Winlock domestic assault with knife

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 11:33 pm
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Gregory L. Trujillo is being held in the Lewis County Jail on $500,000 bail.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 58-year-old man accused of beating a woman and attacking her with a knife at her Winlock home will get his chance to make his plea in Lewis County Superior Court on Thursday morning.

Gregory L. Trujillo is being held on $500,000 bail following his arrest last week for the incident.

He is charged with first-degree assault.

The Toledo area man appeared before a judge in a wheel chair last week. Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke noted he worked as a longshoreman, is a longtime area resident and has lots of family ties to the community.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson told the judge Trujillo had July 2012 convictions for second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and felony harassment.

Trujillo was picked up by police the night before at a Chehalis motel after his release from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Toledo Police Department Chief John Brockmueller said the night it happened, Trujillo sustained wounds to his abdomen and the woman had lacerations to her upper extremities. She declined an ambulance and was going to the hospital with a friend.

Police were still working the following Monday to figure out who did what.

Charging documents in the case don’t offer any clues about a disagreement between the two before the assault.

They give the following account of the emergency response about 9:30 p.m. on April 1 to the 300 block of Cedar Court in Winlock.

Police documented blood smears and splatters at various locations throughout the woman’s house. They were unable to locate the weapon, but were told it was a small-bladed knife.

The woman had multiple bruises on different parts of her body, a black eye swollen shut. She sustained a large deep gash from the palm of her hand near her ring finger to the outer portion of her hand near her wrist.

She was located at a neighbors. Trujillo was still inside the house.

Officers surrounded the residence and made multiple attempts to contact him with no response and finally made entry and found him in a bedroom, with what appeared to be stab wounds to his belly.

No information is included regarding a police interview with Trujillo.

The woman however, spoke to police.

She said the two had been in an intimate relationship for a couple of months, and on that date, he found her at a neighbor’s and asked if he could speak with her at her house. She agreed.

“As the victim walked into her house, the defendant began beating her with his closed fists,” Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Sheila Weirth wrote. “The victim tried to get away by moving toward the back of the house, while the defendant kept on hitting her, kicking her and even biting her.”

She said he pulled out a knife with a black handle and began attacking her. She used her hands to try to protect herself.

She managed to get back to the living room and as she moved to escape out the front door, Trujillo yelled, “You’re not leaving here alive, Bitch!”

At that point the neighbor knocked, the victim opened the door and the two fled.

Judge Richard Brosey last Thursday afternoon appointed Centralia attorney Don Blair to represent Trujillo. A no-contact order was also put into place.

Trujillo’s arraignment is Thursday morning.
•••

For background, read “News brief: One booked for Winlock knife incident” from for Thursday April 7, 2016, here

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Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 9:16 am
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•••

THEFT, THEFT, THEFT

• Chehalis police were called yesterday about theft from a garage on Southeast Washington Avenue. An officer is following up on it today, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Centralia police were called about 9:20 a.m. yesterday to the 900 block of L Street regarding the theft of a chainsaw, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called just before 10 a.m. yesterday to investigate a possible theft at the 300 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue. Further details are not yet available, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Mail was reported stolen from the 900 block of K Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon.

VANDALISM

• Police were called at 10:45 a.m. yesterday to the 2600 block of Eureka Avenue in Centralia where a window was damaged by a BB, according to the Centralia Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• A bag of meth was reportedly found in the lobby of the Lewis County Law and Justice Center yesterday.  It was “taken care of,” according to authorities.

• An individual called police yesterday evening with a bag of marijuana located in a family member’s room on North National Avenue in Chehalis, wanting to get rid of it, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Morton police reported yesterday one person was injured and taken to Morton General Hospital when a car struck a building just before 1 p.m. on Saturday at the 300 block of Second Street. The driver of the vehicle accidentally got her foot stuck in between the brake and gas pedal when she was attempting to park her car, according to the Morton Police Department.

AND MORE

• And, as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, shoplifting, misdemeanor assault, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, civil problem, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, third-degree theft, collision on city street … and more, among 122 calls for local law enforcement and / or fire-emergency medical services in the 24-hour period ending about 6:50 a.m. today.