East Grays Harbor County residents asked to report suspicious activity

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department is warning Brady and Satsop residents of an increase in Burglaries, Thefts, and Vehicle Prowls. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells us over the past week and a half, there have been four separate incidents in the area including burglaries on the 18th and 25th in Brady, a burglary in Satsop on the 20th, and aparrently someone stole batteries out of vehicles in the 500 block of the Monte Elma Road East of Montesano on Wednesday. Then just before 7 last night, Shumate reports residents in the 300 block of that road – closer to Brady, watched as a white or lighter colored Jeep Cherokee pull into their driveway and turn off it’s headlights. When asked, the occupants claimed to be lost, but sped away when the residents tried to help.

The driver was described as being a white male in his late 20’s to early 30’s with a skinny build and bald/shaved head. The Jeep was further described as being “beat up looking”. There was a white female passenger of about the same age who was described as having a bigger build than the male.

Anyone seeing a vehicle matching this description in that area is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-249-3711 or the Grays Harbor Dispatch Center at 360-533-8765.

On 02/18/14 the department investigated a burglary that occurred at a residence in the 100 block of Winkleman Road (Brady). Suspect(s) broke into the residence and stole several items that included a large flat screen TV, a DVD player, a computer and a laptop. The victim also noticed metals had been taken from around his shop. Investigators eventually developed a suspect of the metal theft and he was located and arrested. It is unknown at this time if he was responsible for the burglary to the home. That investigation is ongoing.

On 02/20/14 the department investigated a burglary that occurred in the 1000 block of Monte Elma Road (Satsop). Suspect(s) burglarized a shed and stole items from the carport. Items included a 10 speed bike, a drill press, and miscellaneous tools. It was believed this crime occurred at night.

On 02/25/14 our agency investigated a burglary that occurred to a residence in the 500 block of Monte Elma Road (Brady). The home owners had only been gone a few hours mid day when they returned home and discovered that suspect(s) had forcefully entered their residence and shop and stole numerous items. Some of the stolen items included a flat screen TV, food, clothing, jewelry, and tools. Due to the extent of theft, detectives were called to assist deputies with this investigation. The sheriff’s department K-9 unit was also utilized however it was believed the suspect(s) arrived and left in a vehicle.

On 02/26/14 residents in the 500 block of Monte Elma Road (Montesano) discovered that someone had stolen the batteries out of their vehicles.
Anyone with information on the above referenced crimes are asked to call the sheriff’s department at 360-249-3711. We are also requesting residents in that area to report any unusual or suspicious activity.

Westport hosts meeting to discuss contract that would replace police force

The city of Westport will hold a Town Hall meeting next week to discuss a contract for police services with the County Sheriff’s Department.
Tim Hill is a commercial fisherman in Westport, he told the city council Monday night “I am ‘for’ having the Sheriff, and the drug task force come into Westport, and try to do something about this drug problem that we’ve got around town because everybody knows it, and it needs to be addressed.”
Mayor Michael Bruce said the meeting run from 6 to 8 PM Monday night at the Ocosta High School, with Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott on hand to talk about the policing services they could offer the city.

Grays Harbor County Sees Record Low in Traffic Accidents for 2013

Traffic accidents on County roads in Grays Harbor were at a record low last year, according to preliminary data released by the County.

There were 99 reported traffic accidents on County roads during the past year with no deaths, as compared with 109 accidents and three (3) deaths the previous year (2012).

Traffic accidents have declined 70% from a modern day record high of 343 accidents in 1976 to the record low of 99 accidents in 2013.

The reduction in accidents is the result of educational programs that have made people better drivers, DUI laws and more enforcement, improved vehicles and roads.

Injury accidents have declined 85% from 240 in 1976 to 37 reported last year. Seatbelt usage has been the major factor in this reduction, along with airbags and other improvements to vehicles.

The traffic accident rate per mile driven was 4½ times greater in 1976 as compared to 2013.

Accidents involving alcohol/drugs, speeding, granting right of way and driving over centerline have decreased significantly whereas accidents involving inattention, weather and defective equipment have not changed significantly in the past 20 years.

These state programs and legislation are an important part of this decline:

1971 Habitual Traffic Offender Law
1984 Mandatory Child Restraint law for Children Less than Age One
1986 Mandatory Seat Belt Law
1989 DUI youth Lose License for 90 Days or Until Age 19
1990 Mandatory Insurance Required
1993 Enforcement of Pedestrian Crosswalk Law
1995 Law Enforcement Authorized to Take Blood of DUI Suspect
1998 Drivers Arrested with BAC of 0.08 or Above
2000 Graduated Driver Licenses Law for Teens, Booster Seat Law, Target Zero Program
2001 Intermediate Drivers License Guidelines
2002 Click It or Ticket Program
2006 Impaired Driving Program, Night Time Seat Belt Enforcement Program
2007 Occupant Protection Program, Speeding Program “Slow Down or Pay Up”

Even though the Federal Target Zero Program seems unrealistic, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff Department is committed to reducing accidents and saving lives through education, awareness and enforcement programs.