Posts Tagged ‘news reporter’

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
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•••

DOMESTIC INCIDENT

• A woman called 911 last night to tell police that after she struck her teenage daughter in the face, the daughter struck her back. The 15-year-old girl was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for fourth-degree assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Even though they both (allegedly) hit each other, parents have certain rights to carrying out physical discipline but children do not have similar rights, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said.

JEWELRY THEFT

• Police were called about 6:40 p.m. yesterday to the 1000 block of B Street in Centralia to take a report of a stolen wedding ring.

COMMOTION AT CHEHALIS PARK STILL MYSTERIOUS

• Chehalis police are still trying to sort out an alleged attempted robbery from Sunday night at Stan Hedwall Park. A woman called 911 about 7:49 p.m. and said a stranger tried to take her car keys and that she was knocked down and kicked, according to the Chehalis Police Department. However, not everyone involved is making themselves available to be interviewed, detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said. It appears there were two groups of people, he said, with a “couple of females” at the park on Rice Road and then a “couple of males” who showed up. When officers arrived, one male fled and the other was already gone, he said. “I’ve got nothing concrete yet,” Wilson said.

WAYWARD PELLETS

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office yesterday said the duck hunters involved in the incident the morning before in which pellets from bird shot landed on a vehicle and a person in the area of Southwest Sylvenus Street in Chehalis were not cited, but were warned of “better practices”. They were on a pond on private property off the Hillberger and Shorey roads area and fired at a duck overhead, according to Chief Deputy Stacy Brown. The person hit with one of the pellets was on the Rails to Trails trail in the same area, Brown said. There were no injuries to the person and no damage to car, according to Brown. “Of course we would prefer that hunters not shoot at all in areas where there are other people but in this case they heeded our advice and there were no further issues,” Brown said.

DRUGS

• Morton police reported yesterday two juveniles were caught smoking marijuana a week and a half ago at the the 400 block of Main Avenue.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Morton police reported yesterday officers responded to Main Street  to an accident a week ago Monday at 2:49 p.m.  A Lewis County deputy’s vehicle was damaged by another car backing out of a driveway, according to police.  No one was injured and the accident is being handled through the Washington State Patrol.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, probation violation, obstructing, trespassing, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault; responses for alarm, dispute, loose dogs, misdemeanor theft, malicious mischief, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 25th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 1:12 p.m.

MYSTERY COMMOTION AT CHEHALIS PARK

• Numerous law enforcement officers responded to a report of a robbery at Stan Hedwall Park in Chehalis last night. A spokesperson at the Chehalis Police Department indicated she couldn’t reveal much about what occurred because police are still gathering information. “There was a report of some sort of an altercation out there,” spokesperson Linda Bailey said this morning of the park on Rice Road. The 911 call came at 7:49 p.m. and no arrests have been made. Bailey said she wasn’t aware of anyone being hurt and said the department doesn’t have all the details yet.

SHOT AT IN CHEHALIS

• Police were called about 8:40 a.m. yesterday to the area of Southwest Sylvenus Street in Chehalis where individuals said one of them and their vehicles were sprayed with buckshot from duck hunters. A Chehalis officer responded to take the initial report and the case was turned over to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. No further information from either agency was readily available this morning.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT RANDLE

• Deputies responding yesterday morning to an alleged domestic misdemeanor assault on Cline Road in Randle decided to recommend a felony charge against a 16-year-old boy after learning that two days earlier he had allegedly slammed the same woman against a wall and stopped her from breathing by placing his elbow against her throat, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The teenager was arrested and booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center, according to the sheriff’s office.

BURGLARY PACKWOOD

• Eight hundred dollars cash and two laptop computers were stolen in a burglary at the 100 block of Timberline Point Road in Packwood yesterday, sometime between 8:50 a.m. and 5:10 p.m. The loss to the Steilacoom resident is estimated at $2,375, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Two accordions are missing after a residential burglary at the 600 block of Nick Road in Centralia sometime during the 24 hours that ended at 3 p.m. on Saturday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AUTO THEFT

• A car left running and unoccupied parked on a Centralia city street was stolen, according to a report made to police about 12:45 p.m. on Saturday. Missing from the 200 block of Centralia College Boulevard is a 1994 four-door Infiniti J30 with a license plate reading ASP 3830, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called just after 1 p.m. on Friday to the 2600 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue regarding a possible theft related to use of a credit card at a business. The case is related to an incident three days earlier at Valley View Medical Center in which all four receptionists tills were reported missing. The investigation continues, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

REMOVED FROM BUILDING

• Centralia police were called about 7:30 a.m. yesterday to the 700 block of Harrison Avenue where sometime during the previous evening someone had removed security cameras from their mountings on the outside of the building. The case is still under investigations, according to the Centralia Police Department.

REMOVED FROM GARAGE

• A 38-year-old man was arrested for trespassing after a real estate agent contacted Centralia police on Saturday to report possibly people in the garage at the vacant home on the 200 block of Tilley Avenue. Zebediah S. Schoening was issued a citation and removed from the property, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called yesterday about a vehicle prowl at South Market Boulevard and 11th Street where someone had broken a side window and damaged the ignition.

• A coin purse and a grooming kit were stolen from a locked vehicle overnight at the 400 block of Southwest 14th Street in Chehalis, according to a report made to police on Friday.

VANDALISM

• Chehalis police were called about 4:30 p.m. on Friday to the 1000 block of Southwest Interstate Avenue where someone had cut a portion of a fence around a business.

DRUGS

• A 26-year-old Chehalis man was arrested for possession of methamphetamine last night following contact with an officer at the 1000 block of Scammon Creek Road in Centralia. Jeffery T. Larson was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 34-year-old Centralia resident as arrested for possession of methamphetamine around 11 p.m. on Saturday following contact with an officer at the 200 block of North Ash Street in Centralia. Efren J. Arias, 34, was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 22-year-old Centralia man who ran on Friday when an officer tried to contact him as a possible suspect in a vehicle prowl the day before in Chehalis was eventually found in a vacant garage, by a police dog, according to the Centralia Police Department. Nathan A. Cheney was arrested for possession of methamphetamine and a warrant in the case associated with the 700 block of South Gold Street, according to police. He was booked into the Lewis County Jail.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants,  shoplifting, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor assault, no-contact order violation, driving with no license, driving with suspended license, driving under the influence; responses for alarm, dispute, lost dog, found dog, loitering, hit and run, vandalism, civil issue, misdemeanor theft, suicidal person, suspicious circumstances, harassing text messages, collision on city street, request to have a customer with a couple thousand dollars worth of merchandise in a shopping cart removed from Wal-Mart … and more.

News brief: Low-interest recovery loans available for December storm victims

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – While 66 homes in Lewis County were damaged or affected by the December storm, no recovery assistance will be forthcoming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

However, individuals who suffered losses may apply for assistance through the Small Business Administration loan recovery program in Cowlitz County, according to Steve Mansfield, manager of Lewis County Department of Emergency Management. The SBA offers low-interest loans.

Mansfield learned last week Washington state did not qualify for FEMA-funded help for individuals.

Of the 66 residences affected, 18 of them were secondary dwellings and the degree of damage was not noted in a list compiled by DEM for possible help from FEMA because they wouldn’t qualify.

Among the primary residences affected, three were destroyed and 11 sustained major damage, according to Mansfield. Another 33 were affected to lesser degree and at least one was left inaccessible.

As of last week, DEM didn’t yet have information about where or when Cowlitz County’s Disaster Loan Center would be set up.

Those with questions for Lewis County Department of Emergency Management can reach them at 360-740-1151.

News brief: Volunteer law enforcement officer opportunities open locally

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Centralia Police Department is now recruiting for up to five reserve police officer positions.

A reserve law enforcement academy is tentatively scheduled to begin in April, with graduation in September.

Applications for the volunteer positions are due by Feb. 1.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office will be tentatively co-hosting the training.

The program is sponsored through the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Stacy Brown says the academy requires a minimum of 249.5 hours of course work and certifies individuals to work as reserve officers throughout the state.

“Reserve deputies typically work with full-time deputies in performance of their duties,” Brown states. “Tenured reserves who have passed appropriate training are also allowed to perform patrol duties by themselves with minimal supervision.”

Centralia police describe the testing process as including a physical ability test, oral board interview, background investigation, polygraph (lie detector test) and psychological testing.

Persons interested in becoming part of the sheriff’s office reserve program may contact Deputy Matt Schlecht at mathew.schlecht@lewiscountywa.gov or at 360-748-9286.

Those interested in becoming involved with Centralia’s program can contact Sgt. Carl Buster at cbuster@cityofcentralia.com or 360-330-7680. Centralia’s applications can be downloaded from http://www.cityofcentralia.com/files/Job%20Application%20-%20Fill%20in%20Form.pdf

Jasper’s case ends with a second 34-year sentence

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016
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Brenda A. Wing, 28, and her lawyer finalize her sentencing documents in Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A Lewis County judge yesterday decided that standing by and doing nothing while her husband inflicted abuse upon a toddler that led to his death merited the same lengthy prison sentence for Brenda A. Wing.

Twenty-eight-year-old Wing, a mother of three, was given 34 years and eight months for first-degree manslaughter.

The couple who are originally from the Vancouver area were taking care of a 3-year-old boy in their Vader home. Jasper Henderling-Warner died on Oct. 5, 2014.

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Jasper Henderling-Warner

Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt called it the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen.

“The two months worth, over two months, of torture here,” Hunt said. “As I recall, no single incident was fatal; Jasper’s body simply gave up.”

“This is the reason accomplices are equally as guilty,” he said.

The court hearing yesterday afternoon in Chehalis brings to an end the case that began 15 months ago.

The family had been living in the Vader house about two weeks when the Wings called 911 to say the toddler was unconscious and not breathing. Jasper’s 21-year-old mother had given the couple temporary custody while she was homeless and looked for work out of state.

There was no trial to bring out all the facts and details of what transpired. Lewis County prosecutors entered into a complex plea agreement because they did not know what actually happened.

Among the autopsy findings was facial trauma, including two lower-front teeth missing, as well as scrapes and bruises and also that Jasper had contracted MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection.

Some of the statements from the couple given to investigators, and tested with polygraphs, which have been revealed during numerous court hearings suggest it began on the return home from a beach trip to Oregon.

Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper had placed his hands over their infant child’s mouth, prompting Danny Wing to strike Jasper in the face several times in the back of their van.

Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead has said that the little boy was being hit and conditioned until he would say it was someone else who had been harming him.

The plea agreements offered the Wings an opportunity of recommendations they be locked up for about 16 years if they truthfully described what occurred.

Halstead, the judge and defense attorney John Crowley spent a great deal of time yesterday discussing what the language in the supplemental agreement meant and whether Brenda Wing held up her end of the bargain. The deputy prosecutor successfully argued she withheld material information from investigators.

Halstead read from some of her statements: “Sometimes I would hold him down, while Danny was hitting him; this was to keep him from getting hurt worse” and “I remember flicking Jasper in the mouth.”

It turns out, while Brenda Wing told her husband Jasper assaulted their baby in the back of the car, he hadn’t, according to Halstead.

Halstead told the judge Brenda Wing admitted the lie to one of her relatives in a phone call from the jail, and said she didn’t know why she had said that to her husband but said it was what started all of the abuse.

When Danny Wing was sentenced in September, his lawyer compared the couple’s treatment of Jasper to a “Cinderella affect.”

Brenda Wing’s convictions, from the pleas she made last year, also include third-degree child assault, two counts of witness tampering and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.

Halstead asked the judge yesterday to give her 55 years in prison, the same request he’d made regarding her husband.

“I’m not going to go back through all of the facts,” he said. “I think the court’s aware of what’s in the file.”

Crowley requested a sentence of 14 and a half years, contending his client had not failed in the requirements of the plea agreement.

“She feels great remorse for whatever role she did play,” Crowley said.

Brenda Wing declined to speak on her own behalf.

Jasper’s mother, flanked in the first row bench by four women friends, advocated for the maximum sentence when she addressed the judge.

Nikki Warner recalled her child’s amazing and silly laugh and told the judge she asked people she considered family to take care of him while she got back on her feet.

“I could not believe it when I found out the living hell my son suffered,” she said.

Jasper would have celebrated his fifth birthday next week, she said.

“Why did you lie about Jasper doing mean things to your son that never happened?” Warner asked the defendant.

Also speaking to the court was Ruth Crear, a 14-year volunteer for the fire department, who was the first to arrive to the Vader house that evening.

She urged the judge to put Brenda Wing away for as long as he could.

“He was 3 years old, he couldn’t defend himself,” Crear said.

Crowley said his client will appeal.
•••

For background, read ” Vader man gets 34 years for toddler death” from Friday September 25, 2015, here

News brief: Mossyrock woman hurt in Highway 12 crash

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

A 22-year-old driver was injured when she lost control of her car and wrecked into a guard rail along U.S. Highway 12 just west of Mayfield Lake last night.

Troopers responding about 11:15 p.m. found Layla R. Horton was traveling eastbound near Filbert Road when her vehicle left the roadway to the right, she overcorrected and then crossed to to opposite side of the highway, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The Mossyrock resident was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital, according to the state patrol. She had not been wearing a seat belt.

Her 2010 Hyundai Accent was described as totaled.

Troopers suspect alcohol or drugs to be involved, according to the state patrol. The collision is blamed on driving too fast.

Horton was to be cited for first-degree negligent driving, according to the investigating trooper.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 22nd, 2016
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•••

Updated at 8:10 p.m.

BICYCLE BANDITS STRIKE IN CHEHALIS

• Chehalis police were called at 3:50 p.m. yesterday to Northwest State Avenue where a woman said she set her backpack down and two white males on bicycles snatched it up and fled.

CAR PROWL

• An individual reported a vehicle prowl in progress just after 4 o’clock this morning at the 200 block of South Iron Street in Centralia, but the suspect was scared off, according to the Centralia Police Department. A track with a police dog failed to locate the suspect, according to police.

• Police caught a woman who ran but continued trying to track down a man for almost two hours yesterday morning in Chehalis after an individual caught someone believed to be prowling his vehicle on Northeast Terrace Road. Jobie K. Watson, 30, from Centralia, was arrested for obstructing because she ran from police and then also for possession of drugs, according to the Chehalis Police Department. She was booked into the Lewis County Jail. The male was not located.

• An unknown suspect broke into a locked car and stole a helmet and paperwork from the 900 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police about 1:40 p.m. yesterday.

• Centralia police were called about 1 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of West Chestnut Street where someone had stolen a (broken) guitar and a set of jumper cables from an unlocked vehicle.

WHAT THE HECK?

• Centralia police were called at 12:45 p.m. yesterday to the 2600 block of Cooks Hill Road where someone had stolen windshield wipers from three parked vehicles. They replaced them with old, used wipers, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police yesterday were called to the 300 block of Southwest 13th Street where 1994 Toyota Camry missing from Centralia was found.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called just after 8 a.m. yesterday to the 1400 block of Lum Road where an individual had attempted to use a credit card that was denied. He then attempted to open a line of credit and later it was later determined that the credit card was stolen and the credit application fraudulent, according to the Centralia Police Department.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A 24-year-old man was arrested for second-degree assault yesterday after allegedly choking his significant other at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis. Officers responding about 3:15 p.m. booked Matthew P. Paylor, of Centralia, into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• Someone spray painted graffiti on the side of a residence at the 1100 block of Alexander Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police last night.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Centralia police say a pedestrian sustained a minor leg injury when he stepped off a curb last night and was struck by a passenger vehicle. It happened about 9:20 p.m. at Tower Avenue and Maple Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 16-year-old driver was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center with a serious facial laceration after his truck left the roadway early this morning in Onalaska. Deputies responding about 12:30 a.m. to the wreck at Deggler and Middle Ford roads found the 1986 Nissan pickup was totaled, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The teen, from Onalaska, and his 14-year-old passenger from Chehalis had both been wearing seat belts, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said. The girl was transported to Providence Centralia Hospital with bruising to her torso, according to Brown.  The boy was cited for second-degree negligent driving and a case will be forwarded to juvenile prosecutors for driving with a suspended license, according to the sheriff’s office.

• A 44-year-old man was injured today when his van struck a tree off state Route 7 just a mile north of Morton, according to the Washington State Patrol. Troopers responding at approximately 11 a.m. found that Frank J. Willing had been southbound and going too fast before his vehicle left the roadway, rolled and hit the tree. The Tacoma resident was transported to Morton General Hospital. His Chevrolet Astro van was described as totaled, according to the state patrol. He was to be issued a citation for second-degree negligent driving. Willing was not wearing a seat belt, according to the investigating trooper.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting; responses for alarm, dispute, disorderly conduct, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 21st, 2016
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•••

BURGLARY CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 11:30 a.m. yesterday regarding the theft of items from a home while its owner was incarcerated. The back door at the residence on the 700 block of Yew Street had been forced open, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police responded to an approximately 4:30 a.m. report today of a car stolen from the 300 block of North Tower Avenue. Missing is a black 1994 Toyota Camry, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Someone siphoned gas overnight from a vehicle at the 2600 block of Cooks Hill Road in Centralia, according to a report made to the Centralia Police Department yesterday morning.

DRUGS

• An officer was called to Chehalis Middle School yesterday morning for a 12-year-old boy allegedly in possession of marijuana, according to the Chehalis Police Department. The case is being referred to juvenile prosecutors, according to police.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for dispute, hit and run, misdemeanor assault,  suspicious circumstances … and more.

Convicted drug dealer threatens lawsuit over confiscation of defense documents

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A $1.5 million claim has been filed against Lewis County, by a former inmate who said he was left with no option other than entering into a plea agreement after his attorney-client-protected documents were removed from his cell before trial and handed over to a prosecutor.

Forrest E. Amos says the actions rendered his fair trial rights meaningless, violating his rights under the federal and state constitutions.

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Forrest E. Amos

Amos is serving a 12-year sentence in connection with trafficking in prescription pain pills.

Law enforcement estimated that in 2011 when Amos was aggressively dealing Oxycodone, he was the main supplier of the synthetic opiate within Lewis County, possessing and dealing thousands of pills a month.

Amos was held in the Lewis County Jail from December 2013 until the following August.

He writes in his claim that at the request of his lawyer, he prepared case notes, narratives, witness synopsis and questions, along with trial strategies and other materials intended to assist in preparing his defense.

He states that on June 18, 2014, two corrections officers stood by as a pair of Centralia police officers with a search warrant unlawfully went through all of his documents and seized them.

Amos contends that rather than place the materials into an evidence locker at the police department, the officers gave them to Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.

His lawyer, Don Blair, attempted to view the documents so he could continue to prepare to interview witnesses prior to trial but was denied access by both the prosecutor’s office and the police department, according to Amos.

Amos filed a similar claim against the city of Centralia on Nov. 23. The city has turned the claim over to its insurer, according to its personnel director Candice Rydalch.

Lewis County Risk and Safety Administrator Paulette Young indicated today the county has taken no action on it yet.

She received Amos’s claim last week, mailed from Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen.

Amos, formerly of Napavine and Chehalis, was 30 years old in December 2013 when he was brought before a judge in Lewis County Superior Court, charged with organized crime and a multitude of other offenses. Centralia police contended Amos’s illegal activities dated back to 2011 and continued while he was in prison.

New charges of witness intimidation filed June 18, 2014 – which were subsequently dismissed – included allegations that while in the Lewis County Jail, Amos used his”legal mail” to continue his criminal intentions without detection.

Amos’s claim against the county states that Centralia Officer Adam Haggerty secured the search warrant for his jail cell from Judge R.W. Buzzard, but it omitted a fact which would have caused Buzzard not to grant the warrant.

Amos writes that Haggerty had earlier persuaded jail officials to copy all of his incoming and outgoing mail, and forward them to the Centralia Police Department.

In August 2014, he entered into a plea deal involving far fewer charges that gave him a dozen years behind bars and included a promise not to appeal his convictions or sentence in any way.

Amos writes also that he plans to file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy and abuse of process. He is representing himself.

•••

For background, read “Local oxycodone dealer goes back to prison” from Thursday Aug. 21, 2014, here

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 2:04 p.m.

POLICE: GIRL WIELDS KNIFE TO RETRIEVE CELL PHONE, FROM MOM

• Centralia police arrested a 12-year-old girl yesterday who allegedly threatened her mother with a large butcher-type knife after the mom had taken the child’s cell phone away from her. Officers called about 4 p.m. to the 1100 block of South Pearl Street were told the girl confronted the 37-year-old mom who had been asleep in bed, according to the Centralia Police Department. She got her phone and ran off but was located in an alley and taken into custody, according to police. The 12-year-old was booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree robbery, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Nobody was hurt, Reichert said.

UNWELCOME VISITOR DETAINED BY CITIZEN

• A 28-year-old Morton man was held at gunpoint early yesterday morning by a 72-year-old homeowner who woke up to the sound of tires spinning in his driveway and a loud crashing noise around his front porch. Deputies called about 5:15 a.m. to the 900 block of Davis Lake Road in Morton found the accused trespasser sitting in the passenger side of a vehicle in the driveway, appearing to be “heavily” under the influence of an unknown substance, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement learned that when the resident confronted him, the subject was talking but not making any sense and went and got into the vehicle where he waited until deputies arrived. Brenton D. Michels was arrested for second-degree criminal trespass and booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

MONEY MISSING

• Chehalis police were called yesterday afternoon to the 1000 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue for a report that all four receptionists tills were taken from the medical department at Valley View Health Center. Police are waiting for further information from the victim, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

EMPTY RESIDENCE BURGLED

• Centralia police were called about 12:30 p.m. yesterday and told an unknown person broke in to a vacant residence on the 1300 block of Windsor Avenue. A loss has not been determined, according to the Centralia Police Department.

FRAUD

• Centralia police were called about 8 p.m. yesterday to take a report that a cell phone account was opened using a victim’s information. The case is associated with the 3000 block of Borst Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Someone smashed out a window of a vehicle at the 1200 block of Lum Road in Centralia and rifled through its glove box, according to a report made to police about 11:30 p.m. yesterday.

DRUGS

• Chehalis police were called to Green Hill School yesterday after a plastic baggie containing powder suspected to be be cocaine was found during a room search. The substance field-tested as such, but will now be sent off to the crime lab for analysis, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

VANDALISM

• A 26-year-old Vancouver man was arrested for second-degree malicious mischief after police were called to the 500 block of Southeast Washington Avenue yesterday regarding an estimated $3,000 damage to the fire suppression system in a room at the drug and alcohol treatment center. Christopher M. Rew was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

LOST AND FOUND

• Chehalis police were contacted by a woman in Shelton last night who said she got a phone call telling her that her dog which was stolen last year had been located in Chehalis, but the caller would only release details to a police officer.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• A 27-year-old Centralia woman was arrested for driving under the influence after she missed a curve and rolled her pickup truck last night at the 3600 block of Cooks Hill Road outside Centralia. Deputies responding about 9:15 p.m. found that neither Megan R. Lynch nor her two passengers were injured, but the truck sustained major damage, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Lynch was booked into the Lewis County Jail, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants; responses for alarm, dispute, misdemeanor theft, collision on city street, suspicious circumstances … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 2:43 p.m.

MAN ACCIDENTALLY SHOT IN RANDLE

• A 69-year-old Randle resident who was accidentally shot while cleaning a gun yesterday was transported to Harborview Medical Center, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said the man was home alone at the 100 block of Morris Road when he was injured in his left forearm by a Derringer 410 and then drove himself from  to the Randle Medical Clinic about 3:40 p.m. He was taken by ambulance to Morton General Hospital, before being transferred to the Seattle hospital, Brown said.

DOMESTIC ASSAULT

• A 23-year-old Chehalis area resident who allegedly choked his girlfriend until she couldn’t breathe suffered cuts to his arm and leg when she grabbed an object off the bed and began hitting him, not realizing the object was a knife. Deputies called about 9:30 p.m. on Friday to the 100 block of Mountain Estates Drive learned the pair had been arguing about text messages from another woman, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Stacy Brown didn’t describe how serious the injuries were to Mikal S. Osborne, but noted he was arrested for second-degree assault and booked into the Lewis County Jail.  Instead of charging the felony, prosecutors moved Osborne’s case to Lewis County District Court.

• A 53-year-old Chehalis area man was arrested for second-degree assault after allegedly hitting his teenage son in the face multiple times, leaving him with what looked to be a broken nose on Friday. Deputies called about 4:40 p.m. to the 100 block of Borovec Road were told the two were arguing about the 17-year-old’s job, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The son went out the door, the dad told him to be home for dinner and the son’s reply of something like “FU” preceded the alleged assault, according to the sheriff’s office. Randy J. Granger was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

DETAINEE ASSAULT

• Chehalis police were called to the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center about 9:30 p.m. on Friday where a 15-year-old boy allegedly shoved a female employee. The teen is facing a possible charge of custodial assault, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

BURGLARY

• Officers responding to an alarm at the Twin City Town Center at about 5 a.m. on Sunday found the front door open at a business and several thousand dollars worth of merchandise missing. Police are still waiting for a detailed list of what was stolen, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called on Sunday to the 600 block of Northwest State Avenue where someone had busted through the back door of a business and left with various items, including grow lights.

• The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning that someone broke in to a shop at the 300 block of Fawn Hill Drive outside Chehalis some time between last Tuesday and Wednesday and stole a Stihl chainsaw, a 20-gauge shotgun and something described as a Fluke multimeter. The loss is estimated at $750, according to the sheriff’s office.

AUTO THEFT

• Chehalis police called about 2 p.m. on Friday regarding an unlocked van with its keys left in it stolen from the 600 block of South Market Boulevard were able to direct the victim to the vehicle discovered earlier abandoned in an alley. The victim was able to retrieve the van from the area near the 300 block of Southwest 16th Street, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Chehalis police were called regarding a vehicle prowl about 9:30 p.m. on Sunday in the area of Washington Avenue and Sixth Street.

POWER CUT

• Police were called just after 7 a.m. yesterday to the 300 block of South Tower Avenue in Centralia where sometime since the previous evening, someone had cut through a power cable at a business.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, trespass, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, urinating in public, driving with suspended license, making false statement to an officer; responses for dispute, misdemeanor theft, barking neighbor dog, child custody issue, warning for a panhandler, collision on city street, stranger standing in driveway, someone sleeping in the entryway of a church, request for advice on how to get two vehicles unstuck from each other following minor parking lot encounter … and more.

Centralia to send some offenders to Yakima County Jail

Monday, January 18th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The city of Centralia will begin sending some of its arrestees to Yakima County, instead of using the Lewis County Jail, after negotiating a price for bed space that is substantially cheaper.

Centralia, similar to other cities and towns in Lewis County, has long used the services of the only jail in Lewis County. It’s run by the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

Centralia Police Chief Carl Nielsen told the city council last week the fees the city has been charged increased significantly for the first time in several years, from $52.50 per bed night to $60.34.

As 2015 came to a close, the Centralia Police Department noticed a marked increase in the number of bed spaces they had been using, and began to look for alternatives, according to Nielsen.

The police department found that if they send individuals sentenced to more than 14 days to Yakima, the city could save approximately $10,000 over the course of the year, according to the chief.

Nielsen said the Lewis County Jail is still one of the cheapest places in the state to house offenders, but if he can find that kind of savings, he wants to do it.

Individuals arrested by Centralia police will continue to be booked at the Lewis County Jail, in Chehalis. And those convicted and then sentenced to less than 14 days, will continue to serve their time there, according to Nielsen.

The price negotiated with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is $54.75 per bed night, and includes the costs of transporting each inmate to Yakima, according to Nielsen. The chief said he wasn’t certain if the price included bringing them back.

Additionally, the police department is working with Centralia Municipal Court, to find circumstances in which they can avoid booking some arrestees into jail at all.

Nielsen said, for example, if a person is arrested on a municipal court warrant, perhaps instead of getting booked into jail, an officer will be able to re-cite them, with a new court date.

“Some (bookings) are mandated,” Nielsen said. “But if it’s a minor offense that we don’t have to, we’re trying to alleviate it for the minor offenses.”

The Centralia City Council approved Nielsen’s request to enter into an agreement with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, January 18th, 2016
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•••

BREAK-IN CENTRALIA

• Police were called about 8:40 p.m. yesterday to a burglary at the 700 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia. A bag of hand tools were taken from the garage and someone also attempted to steal a car parked at the location,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

AUTO THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 3:50 a.m. today to the 1500 block of Lewis Street to take a report that a black Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck had been stolen. It has a license plate reading C17258D, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• A 27-year-old Centralia resident was arrested on Saturday for theft of a motor vehicle in a case associated with the 400 block of East Pine Street in Centralia. Yolanda Ramirez was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called yesterday to the 400 block of South Silver Street where sometime since the previous evening, someone broke out the passenger window to the victim’s vehicle while it was parked in their driveway. Nothing was noted as missing, according to police.

• Police were called yesterday morning regarding a vehicle prowl at the 1600 block of Military Road in Centralia. Sometime since the previous evening, someone entered the unlocked vehicle and took a set of keys and some other unspecified items,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 5:30 a.m. yesterday where a resident of the 200 block of West Chestnut Street had yelled from their home at someone inside their unlocked vehicle, but the suspect had fled. The car stereo and other items had been removed, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 4:20 a.m. yesterday to the 500 block of South Silver Street when a car alarm activated when someone broke out its window. There was nothing immediately noticed as missing from the vehicle and officers were not able to find the suspect, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• Centralia police took a report from a taxi service about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday after a woman got a ride from Chehalis to Centralia and then ran off without paying. The case is associated with a location at Silver and Summa streets, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, assault, trespass, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, vandalism, misdemeanor theft, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, January 16th, 2016
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•••

VEHICLE THEFT

• Centralia police were called about 7:10 a.m. yesterday about a Yamaha 225 motorcycle stolen from the 100 block of North Oak Street sometime during the previous 24 hours. The Yamaha, non-functioning, was found abandoned on the 200 block of North King Street, according to the Centralia Police Department.

OTHER THEFT

• A wallet and a set of keys were reported stolen from a home on the 300 block of Kearney Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday evening.

• Centralia police were called about 6:25 p.m. yesterday about jewelry stolen from a room at a motel on the 1000 block of Eckerson Road.

• Police took a report yesterday from the 500 block of North Rock Street in Centralia regarding the fraudulent use of a credit card.

MORE FROM MORTON COUNTRY MARKET ARRESTS

• Morton police are working with other law enforcement agencies to contact at least 32 victims whose property was found inside the stolen Toyota Scion recovered in the parking lot at the Country Market in Morton last Monday. The driver, 19-year-old Jocelyn R. MacFarland, told the police chief the car was borrowed from a person in Tacoma and that not everything in the car belonged to her and her boyfriend. Besides a stolen firearm located in the glove compartment, police found credit cards, EBT cards, checks and personal banking and financial accounting documents, according to the Morton Police Department. Unspecified medications were recovered as well, according to police. Morton police have determined people in  four cities were victimized and are working with the Tacoma Police Department, the Puyallup Police Department and the state Department of Social and Health Services to find the rightful owners, according to information released yesterday. MacFarland, and Austin L. Hedges, 23, both from Morton, were charged on Tuesday in Lewis County Superior Court with taking a motor vehicle without permission and other related offenses. Morton police subsequently searched a residence on Third Street associated with the case and turned up more suspected unlawfully possessed credit cards and identifications as well as a “contraband weapon.”

LEWIS COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS

• Crime Stoppers of Lewis County and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office are seeking the public’s assistance with an arson investigation relating to the 200 block of Aubrey Lane,  east of Chehalis. On the night of Jan. 1, someone entered a garage on the property and set a fire in a vehicle. The loss is estimated at $5,000. Crime Stoppers is looking for tips and notes that anonymous calls can be made to 1-800-748-6422 or information may be shared online at www.lewiscountycrimestoppers.org

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, January 15th, 2016
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•••

SUPER SHOPLIFTING

• Chehalis police were called about 7:35 p.m. yesterday to the 500 block of South Market Boulevard after an alarm sounded at a rear emergency exit at Rite-Aid and then employees discovered “a lot” of alcohol missing from a back storage room. Two male suspects were described as in their 30s or 40s, one white and one black, according to the Chehalis Police Department. A dollar value of the loss was not yet available, police said.

• A trooper happened to be in the area when a man wheeled a big screen television out of Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon, without paying, according to the Chehalis Police Department. Donny L. Clark, 55, of Olympia, was contacted then arrested for third-degree theft in connection with the merchandise, a 55-inch TV valued at $620, according to police. He was then released pending his court date, according to police.

• A call to the parking lot at Wal-Mart for suspicious circumstances, a man seen looking into a vehicle, happened about the same time yesterday morning that a woman pushed a shopping cart of merchandise outside the store without paying and led to one arrest, according to the Chehalis Police Department. It turned out the two had arrived together and he was released, but she was detained, according to police. Elicia A. Thebiay, 40, from Oakville, was booked into the Lewis County Jail for a drug violation, as a glass smoking device was found, according to police. A case for third-degree theft was also forwarded to prosecutors, according to Deputy Chief Randy Kaut.

SHOPLIFTING SCUFFLE

• Two individuals were detained for alleged shoplifting at Sun Bird Shopping Center and a third person reportedly punched an employee and fled late yesterday afternoon. Officers responding to the approximately 5:35 p.m. call to the store on North National Avenue let the female go and arrested 35-year-old Jose A. Pulido for third-degree theft in connection with a flashlight taken, according to the Chehalis Police Department. He was then released pending a court date, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• Two stolen vehicles were recovered in Centralia yesterday morning, one parked on the side of the street at the 400 block of South Diamond and the other abandoned in a lot on the 300 block of South Street.

LOCKER ROOM THEFT

• An Apple watch was reported stolen yesterday from a locker room at the 800 block of Eshom Road in Centralia.

MAIL THEFT

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon to take a report that someone stole mail two days in a row from a mailbox on the 1500 block of Fairview Lane.

CAR PROWL

• Cash was stolen from a vehicle parked at the 300 block of Southwest Third Street in Chehalis sometime in the half hour previous to an approximately 7 p.m. call to police yesterday. One door had been left unlocked, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called about 10:25 a.m. yesterday regarding an unlocked vehicle prowled at the 700 block of Gold Street in Centralia. Nothing appeared to be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department. An officer took another report a while later from the same area of someone stealing the rear view mirror from inside another, unlocked, vehicle, according to police.

VANDALISM

• Centralia police were called yesterday to the 600 block of West Cherry Street where someone had slashed two truck tires sometime during the night.

DOMESTIC DISPUTE

• A fight over a plate of food being knocked out of one person’s hands led to a 59-year-old man arrested last night for fourth-degree assault. Officers called about 10:50 p.m. to the 2600 block of Fords Prairie Avenue in Centralia booked Eric J. Underwood into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, hit and run, suspicious circumstances, blankets on the backside of a building as though someone may be sleeping there … and more.

Juvenile administrators speak out on arrest of Green Hill counselor

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The state agency that oversees Green Hill School issued a statement yesterday in response to the arrest of one of its counselors who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a juvenile resident, calling such behavior inexcusable.

Thirty-six-year-old Erin L. Snodgrass, who also goes by Erin Stiebritz, was charged this week with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct.

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Courtesy photo DSHS

She was arrested on Monday at the juvenile incarceration facility in south Chehalis. Snodgrass has worked there since June 2013.

“We are disturbed by the actions of this individual and have done everything we can to hold her fully accountable,” Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration Assistant Secretary John Clayton stated in the press release.

Green Hill is run by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, which is section of the Department of Social and Health Services. It’s a medium to maximum security fenced campus that provides older, male offenders education and vocational training.

According to authorities, staff members reported the alleged inappropriate behavior that triggered the investigation.

Snodgrass was immediately placed on an alternative assignment and was not allowed to have any contact with juveniles while the investigation was ongoing, according to DSHS.

She’s now on unpaid leave and not allowed back at work while the administrative process is wrapping up, according to DSHS spokesperson Chris Wright.

Wright indicated Snodgrass has not had any other disciplinary problems.

Charging documents filed in Lewis County Superior Court state that in February of last year, employees at Green Hill intercepted a letter suspected to be from Snodgrass to the student-inmate, detailing a sexual relationship.

A detective with the Washington State Patrol over the next few months gathered evidence, concluding just before Christmas when the alleged victim said in an interview the two had had sex a few times in her office at Green Hill.

The activities are alleged to have taken place between June 1 and November 12, 2014. The alleged victim turned 18 in July 2014, according to Lewis County prosecutors.

Snodgrass, described in the charging papers as a resident counselor, was placed on the alternative assignment on Nov. 22, 2014.

Clayton in the press release describes a zero tolerance policy for such behavior.

The agency is committed to the standards set forth in the Prison Rape Elimination Act, also known as PREA, he said. The federal law prohibits misconduct and harassment at correctional facilities.

“As new knowledge and research about ensuring appropriate boundaries and behavior in institutions becomes available, we train and share that information with staff,” he stated. “We also educate our youth about how to spot and report misconduct.”

First-degree custodial sexual misconduct is a class C felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Snodgrass denies the allegations.

A Lewis County Superior Court judge on Tuesday allowed her to be released from jail with a $25,000 unsecured bond.
•••

For background, read “Counselor-inmate sex alleged at Green Hill School” from Tuesday January 12, 2016, here

Lewis County 911 manager terminated

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Board of Commissioners have fired their 911 manager and his supervisor.

The reason for the terminations are linked, but also included non-disclosure agreements signed with both men, Commission Chair Bill Schulte said today.

Schulte said only: “We felt there was some changes needed at 911.”

The Lewis County E911-Communications Division is responsible for providing and maintaining the communications center which serves as the primary answering point for all 911 calls placed in the county. The center dispatches calls for all local police, fire and emergency medical services.

Craig Larsen has been the 911 manager since Michael Strozyk moved out of the role and was promoted to director of central services for the county.

Strozyk oversaw facilities, information technology services, the Southwest Washington Fair and the 911 center. He reported to the three-member board of county commissioners.

Schulte said both were terminated yesterday morning.

While he would not discuss the reason, he said the move followed a meeting the commissioners had last week with a half dozen leaders of fire and police agencies in Lewis County.

“It was nothing we hadn’t heard before,” he said. “What surprised me was how strongly they felt.”

The commissioners appointed Lewis County Budget Administrator Steve Walton yesterday to serve as the interim director of central services.

Today, county personnel were drafting a contract with a Chehalis area man to work as the interim 911 manager, he said.

For now, Walton is in charge of the 911 center, according to Schulte.

“None of the dispatchers have been terminated, and I’m not aware of any who are going to resign,” he said. “The day-to-day operations are all in the hands of qualified people.”

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
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•••

Updated at 1:09 p.m.

FIREARMS MISSING

• Thirteen rifles are among the items reported stolen from  a Chehalis area residence sometime between 4 a.m. and 3 p.m. yesterday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The loss from the 2000 block of Bishop Road is estimated at about $2,000, according to the sheriff’s office. An investigation is ongoing, Chief Deputy Stacy Brown said.

GARDEN STORE BREAK-IN

• Chehalis police were called yesterday morning to a business on the 600 block of Northwest State Avenue where sometime during the night someone smashed open a door and made off with about $5,000 worth of lighting equipment. It’s the second time in less than two weeks that Kaija’s garden and pet store has been burglarized.

ATTEMPTED FRAUD

• Police were called to a bank at the 1100 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia just before 5 p.m. yesterday where an individual reportedly attempted to pass a stolen check. The suspect, described by police only as a white male, fled before officers arrived,  according to the Centralia Police Department.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 11:45 p.m. yesterday to the 800 block of South Gold Street where someone had rummaged through a parked, unlocked vehicle. Nothing was taken, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Police were called about 1:15 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 500 block of West Cherry Street in Centralia. Missing was some change and a basket, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Paperwork was stolen overnight from a car parked at the 600 block of Hamilton Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

OTHER THEFT

• An individual called Chehalis police just before 4 p.m. yesterday from the parking lot at Wal-Mart to say someone had stolen the license plates off his vehicle while he was shopping.

ASSAULT REPORTED

• Centralia police are investigating a suspected assault of a young child, following a report made late yesterday afternoon. No arrest has been made, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MISSING PERSON

• Chehalis police were contacted last night by a woman reporting her grown son was missing. The 32-year-old man from Edmonds was arrested in Centralia early on Sunday morning and she last knew he was at the Lewis County Jail, according to police. Chehalis police learned that upon his release from jail, he was taken to Providence Centralia Hospital for a mental health evaluation and was no longer at the hospital, according to the Chehalis Police Department. His name and information were entered into a law enforcement database, police said. Andre Laroche is 6-feet tall weighing 265 pounds and is bald but has a dark mustache and goatee, according to detective Sgt. Gary Wilson.

HIT AND RUN

• Deputies are looking for information about a truck which struck an overhead traffic light about 10:40 p.m. yesterday at Jackson Highway and Spencer Road. It’s believed the same vehicle struck power lines at Toledo-Vader Road in the area of Drews Prairie Road knocking out electricity to several homes, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, shoplifting, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation, driving under the influence, driving with suspended license; responses for alarm, disorderly person, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street … and more.

Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
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•••

Updated

OWNER CHASES SHOPLIFTER

• The owner of a Centralia business fought with a suspected shoplifter yesterday who fled with a rack of CDs. Officers called about 2:30 p.m. to the 600 block of North Tower Avenue learned that when the suspect got into a car, the owner grabbed the rack of CDs and the suspect’s cell phone, according to the Centralia Police Department. Police have identified a “person of interest” and are investigating the case as a second-degree robbery because the alleged shoplifter struck the owner while in the parking lot, according to police.

AUTO THEFT

• A 1987 BMW 535, with flat tires, was reported missing from the 200 block of Hemlock Street in Centralia yesterday afternoon. The car has a license plate reading AHT 9494, according to the Centralia Police Department.

MISSING MEDS

• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon to the 700 block of North Pearl Street to take a report of the theft of medication. A caregiver is suspected, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday regarding suspected stolen medication from a home on Southwest Third Street.

OTHER THEFT

• Chehalis police were called about 12:10 p.m. yesterday to the 1600 block of Northwest Louisiana Avenue regarding a theft. Further details were not yet available.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday about a cell phone missing from a locker at Chehalis Middle School.

• Centralia police took a report on Monday morning of the theft of mail from a mailbox at the 300 block of East Main Street.

CAR PROWL

• Centralia police were called about 1:10 p.m. yesterday regarding a vehicle prowl at the 400 block of East Main Street. A window had been broken out and it wasn’t yet known what might be missing, according to the Centralia Police Department.

• Chehalis police were contacted yesterday by a previous car prowl victim who reported a bank card had been stolen, from the 200 block of Northwest Chehalis Avenue.

• Police called about 8 p.m. on Monday about a person seen trying door handles in the parking lot at Wal-Mart contacted the individual and discovered he had a misdemeanor warrant. He denied the suspicious activity, but Stephen F. Lynn, 56, of Olympia, was arrested for the warrant and booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Police were called to the 700 block of North Pearl Street on Monday about an overnight vehicle prowl there.

• Change was stolen from a locked vehicle during the night a t the 900 block of E Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police on Monday.

• A pocket knife was among the items missing following a vehicle prowl at the 1300 block of Central Boulevard in Centralia, which was reported to police about 11 a.m. on Monday.

JUST ODD

• Someone cut the lock off a dumpster at the 500 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, according to a report made to police at about 5:10 p.m. on Monday.

MORTON COUNTRY MARKET ARRESTS

• A couple pulled over in a stolen car in the parking lot at the Country Market in Morton were brought before a judge yesterday in Lewis County Superior Court. Jocelyn R. MacFarland, 19, and Austin L. Hedges, 23, were each charged yesterday with taking a motor vehicle without permission, second-degree possession of stolen property and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. They told the Morton police chief when they were arrested on Monday the Toyota Scion was borrowed from person in Tacoma and that not everything in the car belonged to them, according to charging documents. A loaded Smith and Wesson was found in the glove box and the vehicle also contained two driver’s licenses, a social security card, a debit card and a credit card all with various people’s names on them, according to court documents. A third person told police she was only with them because she was getting a ride, prosecutors wrote. The judge yesterday ordered the two held on $10,000 bail and scheduled their arraignments for Thursday.

ON THE ROAD, OFF THE ROAD

• Troopers called about 11 a.m. yesterday to U.S. Highway 12 in Glenoma when an eastbound box truck left the roadway and came to rest about 50 feet away on its side found the driver had been distracted, according to the Washington State Patrol. The driver was taken to Morton General Hospital as a precaution, according to the state patrol. The truck was towed, Trooper Tara Hicks said.

AND MORE

• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, protection order violation; responses for alarm, shoplifting, suspicious circumstances, collision on city street, receipt of counterfeit bills … and more.

Counselor-inmate sex alleged at Green Hill School

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
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Erin Stiebritz waits her turn to go in front of a judge this afternoon at Lewis County Superior Court.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 36-year-old woman accused of having sex in her office at Green Hill School with a student-inmate was arrested yesterday and charged today with a felony.

Erin Stiebritz, who also goes by the last name of Snodgrass, worked as a counselor at the state institution in Chehalis.

Prosecutors allege the two had a sexual relationship during the latter half of 2014, before Stiebritz was placed on an alternative assignment based on allegations of inappropriate behavior with students, especially the alleged victim.

A detective with the Washington State Patrol investigated the case during 2015.

Stiebritz denies the allegations.

She was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday and brought before a judge late this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court. She is charged with first-degree custodial sexual misconduct.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson asked she be held on $25,000 bail, citing community safety concerns.

Defense attorney Joely O’Rourke told the judge she didn’t see that as an issue, as the alleged victim was 18 and the relationship alleged was consensual.

Judge James Lawler set bail with a $25,000 unsecured bond.

It’s not clear if Stiebritz is still employed at Green Hill.

Her court documents show she resides in Centralia but court documents in another case describe her as living in Cinebar with her husband in early 2015.

Charging documents give the following account of the investigation:

In February of last year, employees at Green Hill intercepted a letter suspected to be from Stiebritz to the student-inmate, detailing a sexual relationship.

A detective contacted the postmaster in Chehalis and confirmed the return address was a post office box she had rented two days after she was reassigned to a new position.

The student-inmate’s room was searched and approximately 30 letters and cards were found, with the same return address, discussing their relationship.

“A few of the letters describes how there is a pregnancy and (the student-inmate) is the father,” Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead wrote in the court documents.

In July, the detective interviewed her and she denied a relationship, writing the letters and renting a post office box.

The detective was able to listen to phone conversations made by Stiebritz to a different inmate at Walla Walla State Penitentiary during 2015 in which she allegedly spoke of the relationship and the post office box. The other inmate knows the alleged victim.

Two days before Christmas, the detective interviewed the alleged victim at Green Hill School, and he stated they had sex a few times in her office inside the Green Hill facility.

He told the detective initially she was helpful and concerned about him, but once he turned 18, she began to pursue him in a sexual manner.

Green Hill is run by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, which  is part of the Department of Social and Health Services. It’s a medium to maximum security fenced facility that provides older, male offenders education and vocational training.

First-degree custodial sexual misconduct is a class C felony, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Stiebritz’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 21.