Hoquiam police arrest couple sleeping in their car, recover drugs and gun

Hoquiam police found a couple of people passed out in their car, and recovered a firearm that may have been stolen recently from Aberdeen. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us just after 2 A.M. on May 13th they contacted a suspicious vehicle in the 2100 block alley between Simpson and Sumner Avenue. Officers were attempting to locate a 28-year old Hoquiam man who was wanted on an outstanding felony probation warrant from the state Department of Corrections, last observed running down the alley.

Officers approached this vehicle as they were concerned the suspect was possibly hiding inside. Instead, officers found a male and female lying back in the seats; both appeared to be “passed-out” under the influence of narcotics.

Officers recognized the male occupant as a 29-year old Aberdeen man, who also had a felony probation warrant from the state Department of Corrections, but were not positive as to his identity. When the officers knocked on the window, the occupants came awake and were shocked to see the police.

The female identified herself as a 29-year old female from Central Park. Although there was a purse in the car, she denied it was hers.

In speaking with the male, he denied being the person with the warrant and provided a false name. The male tried several times to reach toward a small black bag on the seat nearby.

Officers detained the male as they were concerned he was reaching for a weapon in the black bag. After reviewing booking photos and tattoo information from the mobile data terminal in the patrol car, officers confirmed the male’s identity and arrested him on the felony warrant (as well as providing false information).

As the male was being placed into the patrol car by an officer, the other officers discovered the small black bag did in fact contain a 9 mm pistol. When the suspect realized officers found the gun, he broke free from getting into the patrol car and ran a very short distance before being tackled and subdued.

Officers impounded the vehicle and applied for a search warrant to recover the firearm. In addition to the felony probation warrant, the male is a convicted felon and cannot possess a firearm.

The next day, officers served the search warrant issued by Grays Harbor District Court. Officers recovered the 9 mm pistol from the black bag which possibly matched one of five firearms stolen in a burglary reported in Aberdeen earlier this month. Officers also recovered suspected methamphetamine from the purse as well as cellular phones and drug paraphernalia.

The male suspect remains in custody at the Hoquiam City Jail on the DOC probation warrant. He and the female will be submitted to the Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office on several felony charges, including possession of stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm and drug offenses.

UPDATE: Sorry Chief…. Tips sought after child reports man asking her to get in a vehicle while walking to school

Aberdeen and Hoquiam Police are asking for the public’s help identifying a possible luring suspect who followed a girl with his truck across Myrtle street Wednesday.
Hoquiam Sgt. Jeff Salstrom tells us at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aberdeen Police officers were dispatched to contact a 13 year old girl who advised she was walking to school and had been contacted by a male subject in a vehicle who offered her a ride and then later was seen watching her.

The 13 year old said she was walking to catch her bus at about 7:15 a.m. in the alley near the Washington State Patrol office in Hoquiam. A white male subject in his 30’s, driving what was described as a light brown “smaller” Toyota pick-up with a silver colored rear bumper pulled up alongside of her. She said the male asked her if she wanted a ride and when she declined, became more insistent and asked “are you sure?” When she again said “no” the subject drove towards Simpson Avenue.

The girl missed her bus and was returning home. She then noticed the vehicle and the male subject parked in the lot of Grocery Outlet watching her. She continued home without further incident. Unfortunately it was nearly 11 hours before this incident was reported to police.

The male subject is described as being white, in his 30’s, with short brown hair, clean shaven, with crooked teeth.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Grays Harbor 911 center at (360) 533-8765.


CORRECTION: Sgt. Jeff Salstrom provided the press release, everyone in my head typed Myers (as in Police Chief Jeff Myers) instead of Salstrom this morning. Sorry for the demotion chief, we have resent corrected hard copies to everyone that got this in the “mail” earlier today. Also sorry to Sgt. Salstrom, although you might like to know the chief was harassed all day by people thinking he was demoted.

Distraught Hoquiam teen pulled from roof with new HFD ladder truck

A Hoquiam teen suffered only superficial injuries Friday night after firefighters used their new ladder truck to get Hoquiam Sgt. Brian Dayton to the roof of a in the 400 block of Emerson Avenue. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us E911 Dispatch received several calls that night from worried friends of a 14-year old girl who had apparently posted suicidal comments on her Facebook page.

When officers first checked on her, and spoke with her family, she assured them she wasn’t going to harm herself. Myers said the family was aware of the circumstances and had taken steps to prevent any harm.

About 30-minutes later, police were called back to the home as the girl was reportedly cutting herself with a razor while barricaded in a bathroom.

Upon the arrival of Hoquiam officers, they found the teen at the peak of the roof of the large two-story home. The teen proceeded to cut herself with a small razor blade as she refused to talk with officers or get down off the steep-sloped roof.

A Hoquiam Fire Department ambulance responded to the scene; officers also requested the fire department deploy their ladder truck in an attempt to rescue the teen before she harmed herself further or slipped off the slick roof.

The teen heeded the pleas of the officers on the ground to throw down the razor, but then attempted to strangle herself with a cord from the TV mast at the top of the roof.

The fire department deployed the new ladder truck which was just recently purchased and placed into service. Sgt. Brian Dayton accompanied the firefighters to the roof in the bucket of the ladder. Sgt. Dayton reached the peak and was able to slide down the roof to a brick chimney where the teen had retreated. The teen was escorted to the bucket and transported to the ground on the ladder truck.

The teen was transported to Community Hospital by ambulance for treatment and referral to mental health assistance; she only suffered superficial injuries.
If you suspect that a teenager you know is suicidal, take immediate action! For 24-hour suicide prevention and support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.


On Monday Sgt. Brian Dayton said “Captain Tim Smith, EMT Tyler Newport, and Medic Brandon Ray were key components in helping resolve this situation.City of Hoquiam Government Fire Department has a bunch of Awesome folks working there and to have a great working realtionship with them makes some days a whole lot easier!”



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.