Deputy’s gun safe stolen from Bonney Lake home
By BRIAN BECKLEY
Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter
January 10, 2011 · Updated 4:04 PM
A Pierce County deputy living in Bonney Lake was the victim of a burglary in December in which a gun vault containing his badge and Glock 27 gun magazines were stolen.
Police have a suspect in the case, but he has not yet been arrested or charged, The case has been forwarded to the city prosecutor for theft charges.
Because he has not yet been formally charged, The Courier-Herald is withholding the suspect’s name.
According to the police report, officers were dispatched to the deputy’s home Dec. 3 after a call from the deputy’s wife. Her brother and a friend arrived at the house earlier that day to help hang Christmas lights.
While the brother was on the roof, he saw the friend walking to his vehicle with “something large” inside his jacket. The friend then “entered his vehicle and fled the scene.”
While Bonney Lake police were interviewing the deputy’s wife and her brother, the wife’s mother left the residence to meet the suspect at the Walgreens store in Lakeland Hills. According to the report, sometime during the conversation the suspect demanded $80 cash for the badge, but then changed his mind and demanded $100.
The mother-in-law drove to Walgreen’s and placed a $100 bill on the seat of the suspect’s car and then waited. She received a call from the suspect informing her that the badge had been placed near the propane canisters at the front of the store. She retrieved the badge, but the safe, handgun magazines and a holster were not recovered.
The mother-in-law provided police with a vehicle description and officers located the vehicle and watched, but during the time, no one occupied the vehicle. A check of the license plate revealed the registered owner to have the same address and last name as the suspect. Police also saw a paper in the front seat bearing the suspect’s name.
The vehicle was impounded for detectives to investigate and for a possible search warrant.
On Dec. 6 detectives spoke with the suspect by phone, who said he wanted to know what he could do to “clear this up.”
Detectives explained that based on witness statements he appeared to be the sole perpetrator of the crime. At that time he admitted he stole the safe, but said he was aided by the brother-in-law and advised “the stuff is gone” but he would try to get it back. Detectives requested a meeting at the Public Safety Building and the suspect agreed, but did not show up for the meeting.
On Dec. 7 detectives again spoke with the suspect who said he was having trouble finding a ride to the station. He also said a third person was present and stole the safe, unseen by anyone else. Police asked why he changed his story and he said “because that’s what happened.”
He again agreed to meet with police but failed to show.
Detectives spoke with the suspect again Dec. 8 and were told a person in Federal Way had the stolen items. The suspect again admitted to stealing the safe, but said the brother-in-law was involved.
The deputy told police he did not believe his brother-in-law would play any part in the theft.
On Dec. 23 the vehicle was impounded by Cascade Towing after several attempts were made to return it to the registered owner.
The case has been forwarded to the prosecutor for charges of third-degree theft.Contact Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald Reporter Brian Beckley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-825-2555 ext. 5058.