Hoquiam police report record turnout for DEA Drug Take Back Day

The Hoquiam Police Department partnered with the DEA for yet another successful “Drug Take Back Day” over the weekend, collecting 312 pounds of prescription drugs. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us their evidence custodian, Officer James Gaddis, staffed the police department lobby for the event. During the four hours, a total of 98 citizens stopped by to dispose of 312 pounds of medications. Myers said they filled eight large boxes, which will be shipped off to the DEA for incineration.

Since the Hoquiam Police Department began participating in the federal program 4 years ago, they have collected over 1142 pounds.

Myers added that by turning in medication at this free event, citizens were able to safety dispose of unwanted drugs; safe disposal prevents medications from getting into the hands of children, drug abusers and also keeps these chemicals out of the environment.

DEA Drug Take Back Day 2014


Results from previous years:

National Drug Take Back Program


September 25th 2010


21 people

2 boxes


May 2nd 2011


72 people

4 boxes


October 31st 2011


28 people

3 boxes


April 30th 2012


53 people

4 boxes


September 29th 2012


23 people

3 boxes
April 28th 2013


53 people

3 boxes


October 28th 2013


76 people



April 26th  2014



98 people

8 boxes

Hoquiam police arrest two at Harbor Paper Mill site, unable to find alibi dog named “Something”

Hoquiam police arrested two men on alleged metal theft charges this week, after coaxing them out of the swamp near the Harbor Paper mill.

Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us a 50 and a 54 year old Hoquiam man, were both booked on 2nd degree Burglary, Theft and Malicious Mischief charges after being caught stripping stolen copper wire.

On April 2, 2014 at 0941 hours, Hoquiam officers were dispatched to the former Harbor Paper site at 801-23rd Street in reference to a theft complaint.

The former Harbor Paper site is currently in the process of being demolished by Hero Demolition Corporation. Equipment, materials and scrap at the site were recently auctioned off to bidders who are now in the process of removing the items they purchased.

Since the closure of Harbor Paper, the site has been the victim of several thefts of metal and equipment. The demolition company is currently employing full-time security across the entire site, which covers several city blocks adjacent to the Chehalis River.

Demolition employees reported someone had entered the property overnight to steal several thousands of dollars of copper wire. The suspects cut the wires not only from a power box inside of a defunct mill building, but also from a rented generator being used during demolition.

The damage to the United Rentals generator power cord was estimated to be over $3,400 alone.

Both the generator cords and wires to a power box inside the building had fresh cut marks. In addition to the damage to the wires, numerous demolition employees were unable to work without power, costing the company nearly $5,000 in lost wages.

Following drag marks in the dirt and into the brush beyond, employees located several pieces of stolen wire. No suspects were located at that time.

At approximately 1315 hours, officers were dispatched back to the location when security caught two suspects stripping wire on the property. The suspects fled on foot and were chased by employees to a swampy area between the mill and 28th Street.

One of them surrendered but Myers said the other had to be coaxed out of the swamp by officers.

Both men denied being on the property or stealing metal yet both were identified by the demolition company employees.

One of the men claimed he was just helping the other to find his dog, yet could not explain anything about the dog, the other also claimed he was looking for his dog but could only describe his dog’s name as “Something.”

Officers checked the area where they had been discovered by the demolition company employees; officers identified approximately two hundred pounds of copper wire, half already stripped and the other half being prepared to be stripped. Officers confirmed it was the same wire stolen from the mill.

The demolition employees then discovered the pair of bolt cutters next to the stripped pile of wire had actually been stolen from inside the mill building during the burglary.

Both were booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Burglary 2nd Degree, Theft 2nd Degree and Malicious Mischief 2nd Degree.

Both suspects have extensive criminal history.

“Swift and Certain” proves reliable for Hoquiam City Jail as they celebrate 1 year opening

The Hoquiam Police Department celebrated the one year anniversary of the reopening of the city jail yesterday, April 1, 2014, and Chief Jeff Myers tells us business is booming. “As long as we have the contract with the DOC I have no doubt that we will continue to operate. In fact what we really need to do at this point is expand because there was one point last week where we had 27 inmates – remember we’re only bunked for 14 male 4 female, we were out of mattresses and the DOC was trying to bring in 6 more, which they had to divert to other facilities outside Grays Harbor.
Celebrating with a cake is (left) Chief Jeff Myers, Deputy Chief Don Wertanen, Police Services Officer Jared Spaur and DOC Supervisor Dave Thomson who supervises the community corrections offices in Grays Harbor in Pacific Counties.  And for the record, the prisoners did not partake in the cake.
Celebrating with a cake is (left) Chief Jeff Myers, Deputy Chief Don Wertanen, Police Services Officer Jared Spaur and DOC Supervisor Dave Thomson who supervises the community corrections offices in Grays Harbor in Pacific Counties.
And for the record, the prisoners did not partake in the cake.

Under a contract to hold state probation violators, the city was able to reopen the city jail to full-time 24-7 operation.  Myers added that the swift and certain program appears to be working “What it does tell me is that the system that the state has gone to with community corrections seems to be working. We are holding accountable those that need to be, and you hope that at some point in time it starts to change those folks’ behavior.”

The program focuses on repeated and consistent arrests, instead of court dates and jail time, to curb recidivism. Myers said over the past year, the city has had a close partnership with the department of corrections in holding not only city prisoners but also state probation violators from Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties.
The contract with State DOC has offset 74.8% of the operating expenses to operate the city jail. Myers added “I believe this is been a very successful partnership not only because it allows the city to have a full-time jail again, but it also enhances public safety in all of Grays Harbor by holding offenders accountable.”
The city is currently working to fill one police services officer position, Myers tells us they will also recognize their two newest later this month “Two of our new police services officers are graduating the corrections academy in Burien at the criminal justice training commission on April 11th. And even with those two joining our ranks we’re still trying to hire one more police services officer so we’ll be running another entry-level test, applications are due to city hall by April 28th.” For details visit www.cityofhoquiam.com

Two rescued from Beacon Hill house fire in Hoquiam

A volunteer firefighter, and Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers evacuated two elderly people from a Beacon Hill home as flames and smoke were visible from across the harbor yesterday afternoon.

Fire Chief Paul Dean reports no injuries “We had an off-duty firefighter from [North Hoquiam] District 6 who had his turnout gear with him. Dave Judd put his gear on went inside got the lady out, handed her over the railing to [Myers] and got her out. Then the water department was up here and had-jacked the supply line back to the hydrant for us. The guys once they got here had a quick knockdown on it and had it mostly contained to the garage.”

Dean said they had a couple of aid calls out when the fire was first reported just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. Neighbors reported 20 foot flames on the outside of the garage, Dean added “we’ll be investigating but the occupant reported hearing a pop and the power went out.” The home suffered only minor fire damage and some smoke damage, thanks in no small part to a couple of water department volunteers and Sgt. Jeff Salstrom who helped to run lines before the fire department could get trucks up the windy road. The garage and one car inside appeared to be a total loss, estimating $40,000 in damages.

Hoquiam Sergeant Jeff Salstrom receives life saving award

Hoquiam Police Sergeant Jeff Salstrom was honored last night, Chief Jeff Myers spoke before the city council meeting “The department is very proud today to present Sgt. Salstrom with the Life saving medal. This occurred back in October, Salstrom was first on the scene of what turned out to be a dog attacking three children in the backyard of a home on the East side of town.
In a story we brought you last October, Salstrom saved two children and their babysitter from the family dog, their babysitter recounted those tense moments “We were on the trampoline, the dog came up on the trampoline and I had to jump off and I fell and she fell and the dog started getting her and I just had to grab her and throw her into the shed, then I had to get the dog off of me.
Salstrom found the large mastiff type dog biting the head of an 8 year old boy, as a 15 year old babysitter, and a three year old girl were taking shelter in an open shed in the yard.
Chief Myers added last night “I am proud to award the life saving medal award in recognition of Sgt. Salstrom’s actions and I would indicate here that he demonstrated exactly the decisive action and bravery that we expect, recognize, and appreciate here at the Hoquiam Police Department.

Aberdeen man sells nearly 5k in stolen metal for $139.60, shipping label included

Hoquiam investigators are working to identify a second person responsible for nearly $5,000 in metal cuttings heads and brackets that were scrapped for 139.60 recently. Chief Jeff Myers tells us a scrap processing company in Hoquiam notified Officer Hergert after a suspicious purchase last week. The cutting heads were still in bubble wrap, and a box of brackets still had a shipping label addressed to Vaughn Pump in Montesano.

Antonio B. Sarabia, age 22 of Aberdeen, was arrested and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for Trafficking in Stolen Property 1st Degree after he sold $4,500 in machine cutting-heads stolen from Vaughn Pump for $139.60 in scrap.

Myers said on January 30, 2014 at about 10 A.M. employees at a scrap processing company in Hoquiam notified Officer Hergert of a suspicious purchase which had come in just prior to closing the day before.

Stolen MetalOfficer Hergert examined a brass propeller, a box of orange shelf brackets and another box of machined solid metal pipe boring cutting heads. The cutting heads appeared to be new as they were still in a box in bubble wrap. The box of shelf brackets still had a shipping label attached for Vaughn Pump in Montesano.

The propeller, shelf brackets and cutter heads had been sold by Antonio Sarabia for a total of $139.60 in scrap.

Officer Hergert contacted Vaughn Pump which verified the shelf brackets and cutting heads were from the company. They reported a series of ongoing thefts where these sort of industrial items had come up missing. No one knew Sarabia nor had he been given permission to possess or sell the equipment.

The 140 shelf brackets had a total value of around $280 while the 19 cutter heads were valued at $4,500. Ownership of the propeller was not determined.

Sarabia admitted he knew the items were stolen. He indicated he was tasked to sell the stolen items and split the proceeds with another person. Sarabia denied he had stolen the items himself.

Sarabia was booked for Trafficking in Stolen Property in the First Degree which is a Class B felony. The investigation is ongoing to identify the other person involved.

Hoquiam police bag laundry room burglars

Hoquiam police arrested two men Friday morning, after finding one prying open the change box on an apartment’s washing machine. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us about 7 Friday morning, a citizen reported a burglary in progress in the laundry room of the apartment complex in the 400 block of Queen Avenue.

Sgt. Mitchell responded to the scene and observed an older white male standing in front of the window near the laundry entrance. The male looked at the sergeant, looked through the window and fled on foot.

Sgt. Mitchell looked through the window to see another white male standing in front of a washer machine with a screw driver in his hand prying on the coin box. Sgt. Mitchell found the door locked from the inside so he knocked on the window. The suspect, later identified as Michael Anderson, saw the officer and stopped prying on the machine. The suspect opened the door in surrender.

Anderson was arrested at the scene for burglary. In addition to the screwdriver, Sgt. Mitchell secured a crowbar and drug paraphernalia. The crowbar matched the pry marks on the door into the laundry room. Sgt. Mitchell also found fresh damage to the washing machines with one suffering severe damage with the coin box removed; it appeared Anderson had secured $4.50 in quarters for his efforts.

While detectives responded to assist in processing the crime scene, a resident advised Sgt. Mitchell of a man hiding on his nearby back porch. Sgt. Mitchell discovered this person, James Dudley, was Anderson’s look-out and was the man whom had fled upon the officer’s arrival. Dudley was also arrested for burglary.

Neither Anderson nor Dudley were residents of the apartment complex; according to the manager, the laundry room had been burglarized several times over the last month.

During the investigation, it would appear both suspects used controlled substances prior to deciding to burglarize the laundry room.

Anderson and Dudley were booked for burglary 2nd degree at the Grays Harbor County Jail.

Level 1 Registered Sex Offender arrested after harrassing, and panhandling from, neighbors

A level-1 registered sex offender in Hoquiam was arrested last week after he repeatedly harassed his elderly neighbor.
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us neighbors in the 1100 block of Soule Avenue reported that Christopher Grim was attempting to panhandle door-to-door.

On January 30, 2014, Detective Sergeant Krohn updated the department regarding a level one registered sex offender, Christopher Grim, who was frequently bothering his neighbors in the north end of town. Several nearby residents were concerned because Grim was attempting to panhandle several times a day at various residences.

Neighbors had learned Grim was a registered sex offender and several had come into the station over the prior days in order to verify Grim’s status and review his registration information.

Both Officer Hergert and Detective Sergeant Krohn contacted Grim to advise him to stop.

At approximately 1911 hours, Officer McCartney was dispatched to a home the 1100 block of Soule Avenue for Grim knocking on her door for the third time that day.

At approximately 1958 hours, Sergeant Salstrom contacted Grim outside his residence whereby Grim denied going to any of the neighborhood houses. Sergeant Salstrom advised Grim of the several complaints received regarding his behavior. Grim was warned if he went onto anyone’s property without permission or invitation he will be arrested for trespassing.

On January 31, 2014 at 1659 hours, Officer Pearson was advised of a trespassing complaint at the home in the 1100 block of Soule Avenue. Dispatch advised a large male subject matching Grim’s description was knocking on the door for the seventh time in two days. The resident was scared and had locked herself inside her home pending the arrival of the police.

Upon arrival, Officer Pearson located Grim standing inside the enclosed porch of the residence. Grim claimed he was looking for a friend. Officer Pearson told Grim he had been advised by several officers to stay away from the neighbors houses; Grim claimed he was not aware.

Grim was arrested for trespassing and stalking before being secured in the patrol car. Officer Pearson contacted the victim who was visibly frightened and shaking. The victim had to take some time to calm down before she could provide a written statement.

The victim related Grim first came to her door at approximately 11:00 AM on January 30th. He knocked on the door and the windows of her residence. The victim did not know Grim other than she had been told by a neighbor Grim was a registered sex offender living nearby. The victim hid in her kitchen until after several minutes of knocking, Grim walked away.

Grim came back to the residence two hours later and again knocked on the door and windows of her residence. The victim said she opened the blinds to ask him what he wanted; Grim claimed he was looking for “Linda”. The victim told Grim she was not Linda and did not know of a Linda in the area.

At approximately 7:15 PM, Grim returned and knocked on the victim’s door and windows. The victim opened the blinds and said “what do you want?”; Grim looked at her and said “oh I made the mistake again” then walked off the porch. The victim called the police, but Grim could not be located.

The victim felt so uncomfortable in her home that she packed a bag and went to her sister’s house for the night.

The victim returned home on January 31st at approximately 12:00 PM; she was afraid to unlock or open the door to her house and did not even open the door to let the dog outside. Approximately an hour and a half later, the victim saw Grim walk past her house; she thought it was odd since she had just returned home.

At approximately 4:40 PM, Grim came to the door again and started knocking. The victim said she was afraid for her life so she hid in the corner of her front room hoping Grim could not see her. Grim stayed on the porch for several minutes then finally walked away. After Grim left, the victim was able to get to the phone and call 911. She later saw Grim walk past her kitchen window where he looked directly at her before walking back around the house and into the enclosed porch (where he was subsequently arrested by Officer Pearson).

In addition to the new charges, the department will be reviewing the registration status of Grim to determine if his sex offender level should be aggravated to allow additional community notifications.

Hoquiam man arrested after walking into home and stealing iphone

A Hoquiam man already facing charges that he stole from a fire engine during a fireman’s funeral services was arrested over the weekend on new charges that he stole an iphone from a house.

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us Officer Peterson was dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of K Street. A family member reported around 3:00 in the afternoon a man walked uninvited into the home of his mother-in-law, at which point the suspect proceeded to drink from the coffee pot, eat an avocado from the kitchen and then take an Apple I-Phone 5 from the dining room table as he left.

Family members were in the home installing a washer and dryer while the homeowners were away at a baby shower. The witnesses had no idea who the suspect was or why he was in the house; the suspect was acting strangely and had his hair up in two pony-tails.

Officers were able to start tracking the I-Phone and were directed to the area of West Emerson and Spencer Street. Officers were soon flagged down at a restaurant in the area of the 100 block of Lincoln Street regarding a man inside who was acting strange and harassing children.

Officers located Marll inside the establishment wearing the clothing and hair as described by the burglary victim. Marll was listening to the “Pandora” music app on an Apple I-Phone. He told officers he just two obtained the phone from “two guys” and was learning how to use his new phone.

Officers verified the phone was the one stolen from the home and took Marll into custody. It was clear to the officers Marll was under the influence of a controlled substance.

Marll was later transported and booked into the Grays Harbor County Jail for burglary and theft. Marll is the same suspect arrested by HPD on January 3, 2014 for stealing a flashlight off the side of a Grays Harbor Fire District #16 fire engine parked in town for a volunteer fire fighter’s funeral.

Marll is a convicted felon and has an extensive criminal history.

Man steals flashlight from fire truck at fireman’s funeral, “Not too bright” says Police Chief

A Hoquiam man stole a flashlight out of a fire truck over the weekend, during funeral services for a Fire District 16 firefighter. The convicted felon is well known to police in Hoquiam and said that he would have gotten away with it too, if they didn’t have a sting operation setup. While there was no official “sting,” the truck was parked for the nearby funeral of 37 year old Michael Webber. Webber’s fully loaded semi drove off of a Forest Service road in the Capitol Forest near Summit Lake two days before Christmas.

"I am not sure how much lower you can get than to steal equipment off of a fire truck parked at a funeral for a fallen firefighter." Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers
“I am not sure how much lower you can get than to steal equipment off of a fire truck parked at a funeral for a fallen firefighter.” Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers

Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us Nicolas J. Marll was arrested for an outstanding arrest warrant with the Department of Corrections. He added Second Degree Vehicle Prowl charges after he got into a fire truck parked at 6 Street and K Street around 2:45 the afternoon of January 3rd and removed a flashlight. Witnesses at the nearby funeral services reported seeing the man walking away with the flashlight. Officer Pearson said he still had it when he followed him into McHugh’s Furniture store where he told Officer Pearson that he “would not have caught him if [he] did not have a sting operation set up.” Pearson recovered the light, and just over 20 grams of methamphetamine, Marll remains in Hoquiam Jail on a DOC hold.