Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor Police blotter: There is no ‘legal amount’ of alcohol

Posted on August 25th, 2022 By:

Editor’s note: The Police Blotter is written based on information in Gig Harbor Police reports.

An officer who pulled over a suspected drunk driver on Highway 16 asked the driver if he had been drinking. The driver responded that he had consumed “the legal amount” of alcohol, which turned out to be not true.

The officer noticed two vehicles doing “burn-outs” in a parking lot near the intersection of Olympic and Point Fosdick drives at about 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 18. He flashed his emergency lights in an attempt “to correct this action and to let them know that there was law enforcement in the area.” That didn’t work, as the two drivers continued recklessly driving around the parking lot.

One of the vehicles, a Toyota 4Runner, soon left the parking lot. The officer noticed it had expired tabs. But when he attempted to pull it over, it instead merged onto Highway 16 and accelerated.

Eventually the 4Runner pulled over. The officer noted the smell of alcohol, which is when the driver made the “legal amount” comment.

A check of state records showed that the 32-year-old driver’s license was suspended and that he was required to use an ignition interlock device. The 4Runner had no such device. Records also showed the driver’s most recent DUI conviction was in July 2022.

The suspect agreed to submit to a breath test, which confirmed that he had not in fact consumed a “legal amount” of alcohol. The officer arrested the suspect on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI and cited him for other traffic violations.

No friend or uncle, just a screwdriver

Employees at a retail store on Hunt Street flagged down an officer on the afternoon of Aug. 23 to report that possible shoplifters had entered the store.

They pointed out the Ford F-350 pickup the suspects arrived in. The officer checked the license plate and found that it belonged on a van belonging to a business in Lacey.

The suspects had seen the officer and left the merchandise inside the store before returning to the truck. The driver claimed that he borrowed the truck that morning from “a friend’s uncle.” He acknowledged that he used a screwdriver to start the truck, a fact which he found unremarkable.

The suspect could not reach the “friend,” or the “uncle,” to corroborate the story.

Officers checked the truck’s VIN number and confirmed that the vehicle was stolen from a mechanic shop in Enumclaw. The vehicle owner found a third plate — which matched neither the F-350 nor the van in Lacey — inside. He also found drugs and paraphernalia.

The suspect was involved in a similar incident in Puyallup in June and is described in the report as having “a lengthy criminal history.”

Nonetheless, the suspect was not incarcerated due to restrictions at the Pierce County Jail. He was arrested and released at the scene. Police forwarded the report to prosecutors for evaluation of possible charges of motor vehicle theft or possession of stolen property.

Cash, booze stolen from restaurant

The owner of a restaurant on Harborview Drive reported a burglary at his business on the evening of Aug 16.

The owner said about $5,500 in cash was stolen, along with some tools and several bottles of alcohol. The suspect appeared to gain entrance by breaking a window then crawling into the bar area.

The owner promised to review surveillance video in an attempt to identify a suspect.

Drive-by egging

A Sentinel Drive resident told police that his home and vehicle had been egged, and he thought he knew who did it.

He produced surveillance cameras which showed a vehicle driving slowly past with its headlights turned off. He thought the vehicle belonged to a neighbor with whom he had previously had a confrontation over speeding in the neighborhood. The homeowner promised to send a copy of the video to police.