Detectives learn purse-snatching victim was selling her pills, shut down drug house with “rest of the story”

The victim said the suspect was able to rip the purse from her hands and he fled westbound on foot down an alley. The victim suffered scrape marks during the struggle and was not otherwise injured.

Hoquiam units responded to the area to establish containment with the assistance of Aberdeen Police units. Aberdeen PD called out their canine team and a track was conducted from the scene; but the suspect was not located at that time.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned the victim had received a phone call from a neighbor asking about her whereabouts. The victim indicated she was at the pharmacy getting a prescription filled. It was not coincidental the robbery occurred immediately upon her return to her apartment building.

The neighbor was arrested on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant from the Hoquiam Municipal Court and booked into the City Jail. He was interviewed by detectives into the evening at which point they learned he had not only called the victim, but apparently had been assisting the victim with selling her prescription pain medication on the street in the past.

Detectives re-interviewed the victim and confirmed that the victim had been selling her pills. This also led to specific information as to the identity of the robbery suspect as well as the suspect’s residence in the 2100 block of Broadway Ave in Hoquiam. Officers were very familiar with the suspect and his residence due to prior cases and frequent neighborhood complaints about the location.

On Friday, November 8th, detectives were able to secure a search warrant for the home in the 2100 block of Broadway Ave based on the information learned to date in the investigation. Hoquiam officers served the search warrant with the assistance of the Aberdeen CRU Team.

Tactical officers were used to assist in serving the search warrant as the suspect was wanted for the armed robbery and was already out on bail regarding another HPD case. The suspect was already facing five to six years in prison if convicted of the prior offense. There was a concern for the safety of the officers as well as the cooperation of the suspect and others known to reside or commonly be present at the home.

The warrant was served at 1608 hours and six occupants were detained, including the robbery suspect. During a search of the premises, detectives recovered heroin, drug packaging, cash and prescription pills of the same type as those taken in the robbery.

Since the residence is a rental, the landlord will be served notice of the drug violations pursuant to state law.

The suspect, a 35-year old Hoquiam man was subsequently booked in the county jail on pending felony charges. Detectives have continued to interview witnesses (and persons with information) as the case is still under active investigation.

“I am very proud of the work of our officers and detectives in solving this robbery so quickly, especially once we learned the rest of the story.  At the same time, this drug house has been shut down, hopefully for good.  Targeting drug dealers and locations is one of our three department Focus Points.” –Chief Jeff Myers