Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor police blotter: Officers deter ‘large group of shoplifters’

Posted on April 29th, 2022 By:

Editor’s note: The following items were written based on information in Gig Harbor Police reports. 

A Gig Harbor officer and a Pierce County deputy were able to successfully scare off a “large group of shoplifters” from Target on April 23.

When the two officers walked into the store, “several people ditched their carts inside the store and left.” Target estimated that more than $5,000 worth of merchandise was recovered.

Officers contacted one possible suspect outside the store who was the subject of multiple felony arrest warrants. However, he could not be booked into jail “due to a recent injury to his hands with open wounds.”

An officer recognized a second possible suspect from previous contacts with him. Since the first suspect had ditched him, he asked the officer for a ride into Tacoma, which the officer agreed to provide.

The officer noted that the second suspect was “now a skeleton compared to what he used to be.” The male suspect admitted that he had become  addicted to fentanyl and didn’t think he would be able to stop. “It was apparent that (he) commits theft to support his drug habit and to get food,” the officer wrote in his report.

Suspects saw through security device to steal iPhones

Two men used a small saw to hack through security measures at the T-Mobile store on Point Fosdick Drive on April 23.

Gig Harbor Police were called to the store around 6:30 p.m. for a report of a panic alarm activation. Clerks told them that two men had entered the store together and looked around.

While a sales clerk was speaking to one of them, the other pulled a small saw out of a backpack and cut through a security mount holding a display phone in place. A store employee activated the alarm because of concerns about what the man might do with the saw.

The suspects fled before officers were able to arrive. They made off with an iPhone 13 and an iPhone 13 Pro, worth about $2,000 combined.

Stolen U-Haul recovered

An officer observed a full-size Chevrolet van pulling into the Target parking lot just a few minutes before closing. He saw a man and a woman get out and walk inside, then place items seemingly at random into shopping carts.

The officer warned store security about the possible shoplifters, then walked back out to check on the van. He discovered its license plate did not match its VIN number; the VIN indicated the vehicle had been stolen from a U-Haul lot in Lakewood. The U-Haul decals had been stripped off the vehicle.

The plate had been stolen from a similar van in King County. The owner of that van wasn’t aware the plate had been stolen until he was contacted by police. The stolen van was returned to U-Haul.

Both suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and for having outstanding arrest warrants.

Shoplifter targets baby formula

Gig Harbor Police were called late on April 24 to the Safeway store on Point Fosdick Drive, where employees were attempting to detain a shoplifting suspect.

The suspect briefly complied with employees’ request to remain in the store. He told them he was stealing because times were tough and he attempted to bargain with them, saying he really just needed two containers of baby formula.

When employees declined to negotiate, the suspect pushed his way out of the store with $300 to $500 worth of baby formula. Officers were unable to locate the suspect.

Window smashed, bicycles grabbed

A Gig Harbor Police officer arrived at a bicycle shop on Kimball Drive within a minute of a report of a burglary alarm being dispatched on April 24. Nonetheless, thieves made off with three bicycles.

The officer arrived to find a shattered window, wire cutters lying near a severed security cable, and a large rock. No suspects were observed and security cameras from nearby businesses did not provide information on what vehicle the suspects may have fled in.

Case smashed, laptops grabbed

Two suspects smashed the glass case in the electronics section of Target on April 25 and stole six laptop computers worth a combined $1,800. After using a metal pole that had been part of the case to shatter the glass, they left the store via a nearby emergency exit.

More catalytic converter thefts

Catalytic converters were stolen from vehicles parked on Wagner Way, Point Fosdick Drive and Kimball Way on April 25 and April 26.

Law enforcement around the country have reported a rash of thefts of the devices. The thieves sell precious metals located inside the converters.

No suspect information was reported.