Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor Police Blotter: Shoplifter’s getaway car gets away

Posted on November 30th, 2023 By:

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

A 43-year-old Port Orchard man’s unpaid shopping spree at a Gig Harbor department store went badly for him when his partner drove his getaway car away at the first sight of police.

An officer patrolling the area noticed the man pushing a cart of obviously unpaid merchandise out of the store at about 2:45 p.m. Nov. 19. The suspect saw the officer, too, and audibly cursed his luck. He swore again when he noticed a silver Honda Civic with no license plates driving away, saying “don’t *** leave me!”

Several customers followed the suspect out of the store, pointing him out to the officer.

The officer found more than $850 worth of unpaid merchandise in the shopping cart. The suspect told him he took the items to outfit his new residence.

Officers also found two daggers and fentanyl pills on the Port Orchard man’s person. The officer cited the suspect for shoplifting but could not book him into jail “due to call volume and staffing,” according to the report.

Barista gets his tips back

A Gig Harbor officer arrested a 29-year-old Milton man who witnesses said stole money out of the tip jar of the Starbuck’s coffee inside the Fred Meyer on Olympic Drive.

A witness flagged the officer down in an Olympic Drive parking lot to report that he had seen the 29-year-old take the tip jar money earlier that day. He said the suspect was inside a tobacco shop at that moment.

The suspect admitted to stealing the tips, which amounted to about $25. Officers also found merchandise stolen from another nearby store.

Neither the barista nor the store wanted to cooperate in the case. Officers returned the tips and goods to their rightful owners, issued a trespass warning for the businesses to the suspect and released him.

Booze and dog food among odd items stolen

Shoplifters don’t always take the sort of things you expect, as two incidents on Nov. 29 illustrate.

In the first, an unknown suspect took “two buckets (20-packs) of Fireball shots” from a pharmacy store on Point Fosdick Drive. Fireball is a variety of booze that bills itself as cinamon whisky. Witnesses described the suspects as males in their late teens or 20s, but wearing nondescript clothing and medical masks to conceal their faces.

In the second incident, a female suspect took “a few bags of high-end dog food,” valued at about $200, from a store on Hunt Street. Store clerks told an investigating officer that the same suspect stole similar items from other locations. She uses the same scam every time:  claiming to be returning the goods, then walking out when employees pointed out that she couldn’t return merchandise she never bought.

Officers obtained video of the local theft and added it to their case file.

WSP seeks witnesses to shooting on Hwy. 16 in Tacoma

The Washington State Patrol looking for people who witnessed a shooting on Highway 16 near Union Avenue in Tacoma around 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21.

One of four occupants of a white Kia Soul shot at a grey Chevrolet passenger car, shattering one of the Chevrolet’s windows. The Kia fled and was last seen getting on southbound Interstate 5 from eastbound Highway 16.

Three of the four people in the white Kia were wearing ski masks. A black Kia sedan driving behind that one contained four more people with ski masks and WSP suspects the two vehicles were associated.

No one was injured.

Anyone with information or who witnessed any suspicious activity in that area at the time of the shooting should contact Detective Tessa Schahfer via email at [email protected] or (253) 538-3172.