Police receive multiple reports of broken windows in Hoquiam

Hoquiam Police responded to 4 separate reports of broken windows Thursday, and they’re asking the public if there were more. Police Chief Jeff Myers reports the first call came from a residence in the 100 block of West Chenault Avenue just before 4 Thrusday morning where a window to a home was broken, but no entry was made. Officers found footprints to and from the residence in the dew on the lawn.
Later yesterday officers took three more broken window reports, including two business locations. Myers said it appeared none of the homes or businesses were entered, and in all cases the damage occurred during the night.

Citizens are encouraged to call and report suspicious persons or activity immediately by calling 911 or the non-emergency dispatch line at 533-8765.

Anonymous information regarding these incidents can be reported to Detective Ryan Pearson at 360-532-0892 x 102.

Montesano man in custody after brief high-speed chase

A 23-year-old Montesano man is back in custody after a high-speed chase from Hoquiam into Aberdeen. Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us the man was at Grays Harbor Community Hospital for an evaluation when Aberdeen police received the report that he had left. Hoquiam Sgt Mitchell spotted a suspicious vehicle that had been reported near an auto dealership on Simpson Avenue just before 3 pm Wednesday. Mitchell reported that the vehicle sped off at a high rate of speed into Aberdeen as he approached. When the Ford pickup rounded the corner from Simpson Avenue onto Park Street it rear-ended an SUV. Myers reports no injuries to either the man or the driver of the vehicle he struck, but the damage disabled his vehicle enough that he put it in reverse and drove into the parking lot near another dealership and struck a U-Haul truck. At that point Mitchell was able to pin the truck and make an arrest with the help of responding officers.

23-year-old Derek Robecker was in Grays Harbor County custody this morning for multiple charges dating back to the summer of 2014.

Myers said it appears that he had just been released that morning, left the hospital and stole a truck from a parking lot near the Grays Harbor PUD. From there it appears he attempted to break into a home on Aberdeen Avenue but was confronted by the homeowner, fled back to the truck, and was then spotted by Mitchell.

On Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at approximately 1435 hours, Aberdeen PD was advised of a subject who had walked away from Community Hospital; he was apparently at the facility pending a mental health evaluation. A passerby later reported giving the subject a ride from the top of the hill down to the area of the Dollar Tree.

At 1445 hours, Sgt. Mitchell was dispatched to a car lot in the 2700 block of Simpson Ave for a report of a suspicious person who had just arrived in a blue and gray older model Ford pick-up. The subject had quickly exited the truck and jumped a six foot-barb wire fence into a nearby alley. Sgt. Mitchell checked the registration on the truck, which returned to an older gentlemen from Copalis Beach; the description of the driver did not match the owner.
Sgt. Mitchell and other Hoquiam officers checked the area in an attempt to locate the subject to no avail. Sgt. Mitchell returned to the car lot a few minutes later to find the male sitting in the truck now parked on the sidewalk. As Sgt. Mitchell pulled over, the suspect rapidly accelerated out into traffic, nearly striking the patrol car. As the suspect entered Simpson Avenue, he lost control of the truck, nearly striking a passing car.
Sgt. Mitchell activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop the pick-up. The driver accelerated and weaved back and forth between both lanes of Simpson Avenue around other traffic at a high rate of speed. The sergeant was forced to slow for heavier traffic in the 3000 block, but the pick-up driver avoided traffic by driving down the parking strip and then up onto the sidewalk.
Upon entering the city of Aberdeen on Simpson Avenue, the driver weaved from sidewalk to sidewalk around other traffic. The suspect approached Aberdeen Corporal Snodgrass parked on the side of the street intending to deploy spike-strips to stop the truck; the suspect passed by the patrol car at a high rate of speed, only missing the side of the car by inches.
The suspect entered the corner from Simpson Avenue onto Park Street whereby he lost control and apparently struck the rear of a green Jeep in traffic ahead. The pick-up sustained damage to the left front corner, apparently making it difficult to steer.
Sgt. Mitchell attempted to cut-off the pick-up, but instead the driver threw the truck into reverse and careened across both lanes of traffic, over an adjacent grass strip and into the corner parking lot near the old middle Swanson’s store. The driver continued in reverse until he struck the corner of an unoccupied U-Haul truck.
Sgt. Mitchell used his patrol car push-bars to pin the side of the truck to prevent the driver from trying drive off. The suspect, a 23-year Montesano man was pulled from the truck and taken into custody; he was not injured. The occupants of the green Jeep were checked by Aberdeen Fire Department, but apparently were not injured. It was determined the suspect arrested from the pick-up was the same person who had earlier left the hospital.
Officers discovered the pick-up had been stolen from the parking lot of the PUD office during the time-frame after he had left the hospital. Unfortunately, the truck owner had left his keys in the ignition when he went inside to pay his power bill.
Hoquiam officers were later advised the same suspect had forced his way into a home in the 2700 block of Aberdeen Avenue in Hoquiam between the time he stole the truck and led Sgt. Mitchell on the pursuit. The homeowner was concerned as the suspect had been acting strangely and refused to leave, demanding to use the phone. The suspect never made a call and finally left after a few minutes.
Aberdeen PD is investigating the stolen vehicle and related traffic collisions; Hoquiam PD is investigating the trespass at the home and the felony attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle. The suspect was booked at the Grays Harbor County Jail, ironically where he had just been released that morning after serving his sentence on prior offenses. Aberdeen PD and Hoquiam PD are coordinating all the charges against the suspect with the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor.

Drug Takeback Day everyday at the Hoquiam Police Department

Got Drugs? You can now drop off your unused or unwanted prescription drugs at the Hoquiam Police Department any time. Thanks in part to Jefferson County who donated the large metal drop box.

Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us they have participated in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Drug Takeback day twice a year for the past four years, collecting and safely disposing of over 1,307 pounds of unwanted medications.

Myers said the program provided an opportunity for citizens to safely dispose of unwanted prescription and over the- counter medications. Safe disposal prevents diversion of medications to children, teens and drug abusers; it also prevents chemical derivatives from ending up in the water table from medications being flushed into the sewer system.

For most teens, drug abuse starts from within the family medicine cabinet, not from the drug dealer.

The DEA provided boxes for each collection day and the department shipped the filled boxes back to the DEA for incineration. The most recent DEA Take Back-Day was September 27, 2014 whereby the department collected 165 pounds of medication from 58 people. This volume of medications filled six large boxes.

To date, the Hoquiam Police Department has successfully collected and safely disposed of 1,307 pounds of unwanted medications. Myers said it’s a great program, but limited to certain dates.

“Inevitably, within a few days of the last Drug Take-Back day, citizens came in with medication wondering when the next collection day would be? Each year it was not clear if the federal government would continue to fund Take-Back days. Our sergeants felt it was important to provide safe medication disposal more than just twice per year.”

While at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department on a recent investigation, Det. Sgt. Shane Krohn was able to obtain a brand-new, metal Drug Take-Back box; Jefferson County donated it to HPD.

Image Signs of Hoquiam marked the box before it was installed by Police Services Officer Roy Kinney in the police department lobby. PSO Kinney recognized the important need of this service and finished the installation on his day-off.

Myers said “I am very proud of the ingenuity and dedication of our staff in serving the citizens of Hoquiam with programs such as this Drug Take-Back drop box. HPD is the first law enforcement agency with this service, so we hope all citizens in Grays Harbor will take advantage of safely disposing of medication 24/7 in our lobby drop-box. Although there is a nominal measure of work added to our evidence custodians, as well as a small fee for incinerating these medications, our department leadership team felt the benefit outweighs the cost.

The Grays Harbor County Health Department is currently applying for a $2000 grant to assist in supporting and promoting this valuable service. I would like to commend Det. Sgt. Krohn, Officer Gaddis and PSO Kinney for their work in implementing this program.


No foul play expected in Hoquiam death investigation

Hoquiam police do not expect foul play in the investigation of a death yesterday. Several neighbors in the 2000 block of Broadway Avenue reported a woman outside of a trailer screaming about a man laying in bed with a gun.
Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us they discovered the man in the home, he appeared to have been dead for a while, a weapon was also recovered.  Patrol officers located the female down the road and transported her to the station for an interview. She was apparently a friend of the victim.

Myers said at this time, the police department is not considering this to be a homicide investigation. The Grays Harbor County Coroner’s Office will notify next of kin and determine the official manner of death.

Hoquiam driver makes his own detour through one-way traffic

Traffic backed up through Hoquiam yesterday after the driver of a loaded chip truck sideswiped the guard rail on the Simpson Avenue Bridge, breaking the front axle and flattening several tires on the truck. It happened just after 8 Monday morning. Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tell us the truck was wedged against the side of the bridge and needed a commercial tow truck to be removed. His officers directed traffic all morning, while they waited for tow trucks from Shelton.

The traffic was apparently too much for one Hoquiam driver who tried to carve his own detour across the Riverside bridge, and the wrong way down Riverside Avenue into three lanes of oncoming traffic. It happened just as tow trucks were arriving to remove the truck, and officers had a bird’s eye view of the car from the Simpson Avenue bridge. They intercepted the vehicle and cited the driver for negligent driving in the second degree. He told officer that he had to get to work, adding that he did have his hazard lights on.

Photos from the Simpson Avenue Bridge Monday provided by HPD Chief Jeff Myers

Hoquiam man sentenced to prison for 5th DUI

A Hoquiam man was sentenced to prison for his fifth DUI earlier this month, the arresting officer, Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers thanked the County Prosecutor for getting tough on repeat DUI drivers.
Arresting documents show 55 year old Carl C. Weber was driving his son home from the hospital on a revoked license on April 15th when he tested at twice the legal limit for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. Interim County Prosecutor Gerald Fuller said on July 9th, just 4 days after Weber’s birthday, he was sentenced to 25 months for felony DUI.
Myers said in his report that the man repeated several times during the traffic stop, and his arrest, that he “was going to go to prison this time.”

“Swift and Certain” punishment model shines in Hoquiam City Jail

The Hoquiam City Jail is doing well, and after being closed for almost 10 years it could become a showcase for the State Department of Corrections. About 2 years ago, their “Swift and Certain” punishment model needed a jail for quick arrests and convictions of parole violators, instead of lengthy jail and court times. “From the street level, anecdotally I can that I think it works. I think it’s holding people accountable in a way that wasn’t working with the duration it took to get probation violators through the court system.” Police Chief Jeff Myers reported to the city council last night, “now they are proposing to extend the contract, which expires this year, out to 2017 and give us a maximum per diam of $85 per day per inmate.”
The city jail was closed for almost 10 years before Myers was able to re-open it part-time in 2012. Later that year partnering with the DOC, he said the contract saves ratepayers. “The citizens of Hoquiam receive a fulltime functioning city jail for about .20 cents on the dollar because of this DOC contract.” For that Myers thanked Hoquiam Senator Jim Hargrove “Senator Hargrove was the main sponsor, he continues to ‘kick’ the DOC when they need to be ‘kicked’ and make sure things move forward, he’s a big proponent of this.” The “Swift and Certain” model received national attention earlier this year when President Barack Obama announced he wants to expand on similar programs.

Reported drug house in Hoquiam shut down after complaints

Heavy foot and vehicle traffic reported at a suspected drug house turned up a few arrests for Hoquiam Police yesterday. Chief Jeff Myers tells us deputies from the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department aided in serving a search warrant in the 200 block of K Street yesterday morning. A 34 year old Hoquiam woman was arrested on methamphetamine charges. A 28 year old Hoquiam man was also arrested on DOC felony warrants.
Myers said the home had no electrical service, and was in such disrepair that the city plans to condemn the building
In the morning hours of June 26, 2014, detectives with the Grays Harbor Drug Task Force, along with officers from the Hoquiam Police Department and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at 211 K Street in Hoquiam pursuant to an investigation regarding small-scale methamphetamine sales.
During the course of the search warrant, the suspect and resident of the premises, a 34-year old Hoquiam woman, was arrested for multiple counts of Violation of the Uniform Substance Act. The female was subsequently booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail on pending felony drug charges.
A 28-year old Hoquiam man, who was staying at the home, was arrested on an outstanding DOC felony warrant for probation violations. Suspected methamphetamine was also found on his person. He was booked at the Hoquiam City Jail under the contract with DOC to hold state probation offenders and may face additional felony drug charges.
Other occupants staying at the residence at the time of the search warrant were checked for outstanding wants and released.
This investigation stemmed from numerous neighborhood complaints to the Hoquiam Police Department of heavy foot and vehicle traffic to and from the residence. These complaints were forwarded to the Drug Task Force, which initiated an undercover investigation.
Given the conditions of the residence, including the fact there was no electrical service, the premises will be condemned by the Hoquiam Building Department. Anyone who returns will be arrested for trespassing once the premises is posted “unsafe to occupy”.
A derelict vehicle, also belonging to the female resident, was impounded from the street in front of the house.
“One of our three Department Focus Points is targeting drug dealers and drug locations. The Drug Task Force took on this location based on citizen concerns and developed a case which will hopefully resolve the problem.”

Prolific vehicle prowler linked to at least 17 incidents from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia

The Hoquiam Police Department nabbed what they describe as a prolific vehicle prowler. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us they’ve linked 26 year old Troy N. Hodge, of McCleary, to 16 additional vehicle prowls from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia.

Myers said he was booked in the Grays Harbor County Jail for possession of stolen property in the second degree. Detective David Blundred continues to work to identify the owners of property recovered during the course of this investigation and associated vehicle prowls in Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, Elma, Shelton, Olympia, Tumwater and Centralia.
On May 25, 2014, Hoquiam officers investigated a reported vehicle prowl in the parking lot of Olympic Stadium. One of the items stolen in the prowl included a MacBook Pro.
Officers used an Apple tracking feature to locate the MacBook in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary, but were unable to pinpoint the exact location.
Lacey PD officers stopped a stolen vehicle on June 3, 2014 whereby they recovered a MacBook Pro. Lacey’s evidence custodian checked the MacBook in an effort to identify the owner, but instead found data related to Troy Hodge; Hodge was known to reside in the 400 block of Second Street in McCleary.
When Lacey PD contacted Hodge about the MacBook, he was evasive and did not seem to know much about it, which raised the suspicions of the officers. They checked the LINX system (a computer system which links police reports from around the state and the country) and located the reported vehicle prowl in Hoquiam, including the stolen MacBook.
Detective Blundred applied for a search warrant for Hodge’s residence based on the fact the stolen MacBook had been tracked to the area of Hodge’s residence and had been used by Hodge.
During the service of the search warrant at Hodge’s residence in McCleary on June 9, 2014, detectives recovered additional items which had been stolen in the vehicle prowl in Hoquiam. The victim’s wallet was observed in Hodge’s vehicle, therefore the vehicle was impounded and another search warrant was obtained.
During the course of the two search warrants, detectives recovered identification, driver’s licenses, wallets, credit cards, checkbooks, vehicle titles, cell phones, keys, garage door openers, tools, battery chargers, clothing and personal information belonging to numerous victims.

In addition to the stolen property, detectives also recovered key rings with “shaved keys” organized by vehicle brand as well as approximately one thousand assorted keys for vehicles, homes, lock boxes, padlocks and safes. Hodge’s vehicle contained a box of various vehicle make/ model key fobs, garage door openers, slim-jim and other vehicle entry devices.
In checking the victims, Hoquiam detectives were able to link the stolen property to at least sixteen additional vehicle prowls ranging from Aberdeen to Olympia to Centralia. It is suspected there are more victims and cases which were possibly not reported or items recovered which have not been linked to a specific victim at this time.
Detectives believe Hodge traveled around the region in his vehicle, a black 1994 Honda Civic, whereby he engaged in vehicle prowls of cars parked in public parking lots. It appeared Hodge traveled to different areas at different times; therefore many of these crimes were not linked until now.
HPD has submitted a state-wide bulletin to notify other law enforcement agencies of the information.
Detectives continue to work leads and attempt to identify victims; Hodge will be facing additional felony charges to include numerous counts of possession of stolen property.

Hoquiam Bike Rodeo teaches bike safety at Central Elementary

Hoquiam Police are hosting a Bike Rodeo at Central Elementary School today Chief Jeff Myers said this morning;”This is something we started a couple of years ago, and has turned into an annual event right before school gets out. This is a good time to emphasis bike safety not only for the kids on the bikes, but also for us drivers to be aware that the kids will be out soon for the summer season.”

After a car versus child bicycle collision in April 2011, principal Traci Sandstrom teamed with the department for sponsorship of the Bike Rodeo to promote bicycle safety and awareness- especially to emphasize the importance of bike helmets. Chief Myers reminds parents “kids in Hoquiam under the age of 18 are required to wear a bike helmet.” The parental responsibility law could cost the parents a $95 fine.

On Wednesday June 15, 2011, the Hoquiam Police Department, in conjunction with Central Elementary School, hosted a “Bike Rodeo” during school hours on campus.
On Wednesday June 15, 2011, the Hoquiam Police Department, in conjunction with Central Elementary School, hosted a “Bike Rodeo” during school hours on campus.

Although the department had sponsored a Bike Rodeo in the past, it was not well attended because of schedule conflicts and poor weather, until 2011 when  Central Elementary decided to bring the Bike Rodeo onto campus and incorporate it into their field day and BBQ for the end of the school year.