Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor blotter: Suspect caught when stolen Prius loses its charge

Posted on September 23rd, 2022 By:

Editor’s note: The Blotter is written based on information provided by Gig Harbor Police, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One.

Gig Harbor police apprehended a shoplifting suspect on Sept. 16 after the stolen Toyota Prius the suspect was driving ran out of gas and lost its charge.

The shoplifting occurred at a store in the Borgen Boulevard area around 10 p.m. Sept. 16.

An officer watched the suspects leave the store parking lot in a Prius. The officer attempted to pull the Prius over, but the suspects ignored him and fled east on Highway 16. The officer did not chase the Prius and decided to turn around at Jackson Street in Tacoma to return to Gig Harbor.

As the officer crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, he caught up to the Prius, which was suddenly driving very slowly. The Prius ran out of gas and/or battery charge on an offramp, where it blocked traffic. Tacoma police officers soon arrived at the scene and determined the Prius was stolen.

Two suspects in the vehicle were cited and released. Officers forwarded a report on the incident to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of possible charges of shoplifting, possession of stolen property and eluding police.

Catalytic converter thefts continue

At least five people reported catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles on Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 in Gig Harbor.

Two of the thefts occurred at Gig Harbor High School on Sept. 8. The other thefts occurred at a bank on Soundview Drive, a veterinary clinic on Burnham Drive and a home on Grandview Street. Officers identified no suspects in any of the thefts.

One victim estimated that the cost of replacing the part and repairing the damage at about $2,500.

Catalytic converters convert engine exhaust into less-harmful gasses. They contain precious metals — platinum, palladium and rhodium — that sell for thousands of dollars an ounce. Theft of catalytic converters has been on the rise nationally for several years.

Truck hits house; DUI suspected

A pickup truck barreled 30 yards down an embankment and into a house on Maple Lane Circle early on Sept. 10, according to a report from Pierce County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Deputies reported no injuries.

Deputies responded to the incident at about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 10. A man on the scene, who the report said “was clearly intoxicated,” denied being the driver of the truck. But deputies found the truck’s key fob in his pocket.

Deputies arrested the suspect, 43, on suspicion of DUI. Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One took him to St. Anthony’s Hospital for a medical evaluation. Deputies sent a report on the incident to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.

A burn ban reminder

A neighbor called Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One firefighters to a home on Rosedale Street after seeing and smelling heavy smoke in the area. Firefighters arrived to find the homeowner burning furniture and fence material in a 4-foot backyard firepit.

The homeowner agreed to extinguish the backyard fire. Firefighters explained that a burn ban, in place since early August, bars burning of debris like furniture and fencing material. The Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office put the burn ban in place due to hot, dry weather conditions.