Sheriff: Burglaries increase along SR 4
February 21, 2019
Burglaries along the SR 4 corridor seem to be on the rise, according to Wahkiakum County Sheriff Mark Howie.
One night last week, the Hancock Forest Industries office was burglarized, a specially equipped wheelchair van was stolen from a Skamokawa parking lot, and a car temporarily left on KM was broken into and items stolen.
“We’ve seen a spike in thefts and burglaries up and down our SR 4 corridor in the last three month period,” Howie said. “They seem to know what they want to hit. They know the area. They are taking stuff to the west side and dumping things over there. So they know us and Pacific County. We just don’t have a description of a specific person that has been seen. We have the vehicle descriptions of some suspicious behavior, but again, nothing that actually ties them to the burglary, just more activity happening.”
Storage at Vista Park was burglarized, as was a nursery in Skamokawa, and it was done in a similar manner. Thieves peeled back the siding and gained entry from the back. In one case, a chain saw and expensive cordless drill were stolen and in the other a cash register was taken.
In good news, the specially equipped wheelchair van that had been stolen was located and returned to its owner.
It was found at night at a remote abandoned home on the Pacific/Wahkiakum border after a neighbor called it in.
“I call it the edge of the world because it took forever to get there,” Howie said.
The fuel line that feeds to the tank was cut so the gas could be easily siphoned, Howie said. This meant they could not fill it with gas.
“I followed them home for two reasons,” Howie said. “One, everybody was looking for that vehicle, so if anyone saw it, I wanted them to see me and realize we’d recovered it. Two, there was an eighth of a tank of gas in it. We couldn’t put gas in it because of the cut fuel line and we were praying the whole way coming back that it wasn’t going to sputter on the way up KM and down.”
They may have some fingerprints and they’ve narrowed down the time it was taken to Monday, February 11 between 4:45- 7:45 a.m. after talking to employees at the Duck Inn.
Howie is asking people to keep their eyes open and call the sheriff’s office if they see anything suspicious, at any hour.
“As I talk about this going on in the community, people bring up more stories,” Howie said. “We don’t hear about it. If someone calls, we’re going to check it out, we might catch them.”
If you can, get a license plate, but Howie is emphatic about this: Only if it’s safe to do so.