Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor Police blotter: Shots fired at suspected car prowler

Posted on June 16th, 2022 By:

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

A 76-year-old man fired a handgun at another man, whom he suspected of possibly stealing items from parked cars, outside a business on Highway 16 on June 11.

Nobody was injured.

Police were called to the business around 4 a.m. June 11. The 76-year-old told them he had seen another man walking near his vehicle in the parking lot. The other man told the 76-year-old something like: “Don’t follow me, I have a gun,” the older man told police.

The younger man walked around a corner toward a vehicle idling in front of another business. The 76-year-old followed him, explaining to police he was concerned due to recent thefts at the business complex.

The younger man turned to face the 76-year-old. The 76-year-old, who would later tell police he was in fear for his life, fired off four rounds from his .22-caliber handgun.

The other man fled in a silver passenger car. Officers found shattered glass in the parking lot and items that appeared to have fallen out of a car.

The suspected prowler did not contact law enforcement. A check of area hospitals turned up no gunshot victims. No charges were filed.

Part-time bookkeeper admits to embezzling

The owner of a business on Bujacich Road told police on June 10 that a former employee had embezzled an estimated $100,000 over a nine-month period.

The employee had been hired to work three to four hours a day as a bookkeeper and payroll specialist. Instead, the employee marked herself down for 40 hours per week, plus 10-25 hours of overtime, in the first month.

After that first month she made herself a salaried employee, but still credited herself with up to 73 hours of overtime pay.

The bookkeeper admitted to taking the money, explaining to officers that she had accrued extensive medical debt following the birth of a child. She also used the stolen money to buy special formula for the baby, which cost about $700 per month, and to pay the mortgage on a home that she eventually lost. She told officers she no longer had any of the money and was unable to repay the business owner.

Due to Covid-related restrictions, she was not taken to jail. The case was forwarded to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office to determine criminal charges.

Officer scuffles with suspect outside stolen vehicle

An officer on routine patrol noticed a black GMC pickup with no license plates parked outside a gas station on Point Fosdick Drive early on June 12. A man in the bed of the truck was strapping down a “large quantity” of pallets.

The officers asked the man where he got the pallets, and the man said Home Depot gave them to him. The officer noted that he had previously been told by Home Depot employees that the store recycles pallets internally and nobody has permission to take them.

Since the vehicle was missing license plates, the officer attempted to check its VIN, or vehicle identification number. While retrieving the VIN, the officer noticed a hatchet and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle.

The VIN showed the vehicle had been reported stolen from the Pierce County town of Pacific.  The man resisted the officer’s attempts to arrest him, the officer wrote. The officer shoved the man into the side of the pickup and managed to get handcuffs on him, though due to the struggle they were not aligned properly and caused a minor wound on the man’s wrist.

Due to Covid restrictions, the suspect could not be booked into jail. Instead, he and a female passenger were provided with a ride  into Tacoma. The report was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for possible criminal charges and the vehicle was impounded until its owner could pick it up.

Gun stolen from unlocked car

A Port Orchard man reported that a handgun had been stolen from his vehicle while it was parked at the Best Western Hotel in Gig Harbor.

The man told police he checked his vehicle around 7 p.m. on June 10 and noted the handgun was in the drivers side door compartment, where he normally keeps it. When he returned to the vehicle around 8 a.m. on June 11, the door was ajar and the weapon was missing.

The man told police he believed he forgot to lock the door.

The handgun was licensed to him and he had a concealed weapons permit. Hotel staff promised to see if surveillance footage provided any suspect information.

Password request leads to dispute

A physical domestic dispute started when a woman asked her husband to tell her the password to his iPad.

The man responded by demanding that she provide him with the passwords to all of her devices.

Police were called to an apartment complex off Point Fosdick Drive on June 9. The wife told them that the argument over passwords became heated. Her husband stopped her when she tried to leave the scene.

The husband grabbed keys from her, possibly breaking a finger, and put his hands around her neck. The wife told officers she bit his hand while trying to get away. Both people declined to be examined by EMTs.

The husband was arrested on suspicion of fourth degree assault. The wife was provided information about resources for domestic violence victims, but also informed officers that she did not wish to participate in the prosecution of her husband.