SHOP LOCAL, BUT PLEASE PAY UNLESS YOU WANT ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE GRAY BAR HOTEL
• A shopping spree for two Pierce County men ended yesterday with their arrests at the Centralia Outlets for organized retail theft and possession of methamphetamine. Police called about 5:30 p.m. to the 1300 block of Lum Road regarding a shoplifted purse found a pair of suspects in an adjacent store and a vehicle with merchandise inside it from places such as Aeropostale, Corning, Nike, Sunbirds in Chehalis and Sears at the Lewis County Mall, according to the Centralia Police Department. When one of the men was patted down, an officer discovered suspected stolen goods such as sunglasses and gloves, along with a tie from another retailer, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. “They cuffed him,” Reichert said. One of the subjects was seen kicking a bag under a patrol car; it contained suspected meth, according to police. The total value of the goods was $1,665, but it only takes hitting three or more stores to push a misdemeanor shoplifting offense up to the felony of organized retail theft, according to Reichert. Police counted approximately nine victim businesses. Centralia has lately become somewhat of a destination location for “northerners” engaging in this type of activity, Reichert said. Roland T. Hunter, 52, of Tacoma, and Matthew D. Drennan, 36, of Edgewood, were booked into the Lewis County Jail.
• A 39-year-old Rochester man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine following a traffic stop about 10:50 p.m. on Friday on West Main Street and North Washington Avenue in Centralia. An officer asked James W. Strothman if he wanted to retrieve anything from his vehicle before it was impounded and he asked for a small black bag, according to police. The officer checked to make sure it didn’t have any weapon inside before handing it over and found a handgun and a baggie of a powdered substance, according to police. The Rochester man was booked into the Lewis County Jail.
• Centralia police were called just before 9 a.m. yesterday to the 1500 block of South Gold Street after a woman discovered someone had taken her purse and keys from the back of her truck. She was getting ready to leave and set them there while walking a dog, according to the Centralia Police Department.
• A leather jacket was reported stolen from an unlocked car at the 1100 block of West Pear Street in Centralia on Friday morning.
• A 62-year-old Olympia man was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital after a single-vehicle collision yesterday evening on Interstate 5 near Vader. Troopers called about 6:30 p.m. to the southbound lanes near milepost 58 found that traffic had slowed in front of Bill Bakke who was unable to stop. Bakke moved to the left into the concrete barrier, then rotated back the other way coming to rest in the right lane, according to the Washington State Patrol. His 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt was described as totaled. He was cited for following too closely, according to the state patrol.
• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, DUI, 49-year-old woman walking in the middle of the roadway disrupting traffic; responses for possible identity theft, for shoplifting such as a man pushing a baby stroller at Outlet stores, alcohol and energy drink from grocery store … and more.