Sheriff’s Department Releases Community Alert

Local residents recently noted an increase in the numbers of daylight burglaries being reported in our area. A burglary on Oyster Bay Road precipitated a brief email exchange, during which one neighbor wrote that someone had seen “a bearded man walking the road about that time of day of the burglary. Perhaps this perp is walking or bicycling into these breakins and that is why none of us see or hear anything suspicious.” Indeed, a quick review of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department crime mapping system seems to indicate that was an increase, in September, in the number of reported burglaries in our area.

Now we have received the Community Alert below. Although the alert is specific to the Delphi area, and not ours, it is possible the same thieves are in our area. In any case, it does seem as though there’s been an increase in burglaries – particularly burglaries during the day time – and it makes sense for forlks who are at home weekdays to keep an eye on the homes of those neighbors who are not.


Date: October 13, 2011 

Neighborhood/Area: Delphi area 

Nature of alert: Increase in burglary activity 

Details: Since mid September 2011, there were five burglaries between the 7400 block and 10,500 of Delphi Road SW. Additionally, crime mapping appeared to be showing an increasing trend in burglaries and thefts in the NW portion of the county. 

Two vehicles in the area of these burglaries were noted in one or more of the reports. They included a 1990’s greenish / bluish 2 door and a white Ford Ranger or F-150 type pick up– possibly with a rack and or canopy. Additionally, a resident on Delphi Road reported seeing a white 1996 GMC PU in the area during the dates / times of the burglaries. This truck also had tool type racks on it. 

While none of these vehicles can be tied directly to the increased activity in the area, residents should be aware of them if they see them in areas where they don’t belong. Residents are encouraged to contact the dispatch center at (360) 704-2740 to report suspicious persons / vehicles. Anyone with information related to the burglaries are asked to contact the TCSO Investigative Services Division at (360) 786-5530.

Burglaries Reported in September and
October (to-date)

Thurston County Sheriff Warns of Phone Scam

The Thurston County Sheriff’s office is warning area residents about receiving automated bank calls on cell phones.

Bank cardholders are being contacted by cell phone using various spoofed numbers, and are pre recorded messages stating that they are calling from your bank.

As of now, they have used Evergreen Direct Credit Union and Our Community Credit Union. The message states that “their debit card has been deactivated due to a billing error”. It then prompts the cardholders to enter their 16 digit debit card number and pin. After this information is entered it tells the cardholder that their account is now “activated”.

As a result, the cardholder’s account is accessed through ATM activity based in Spain. Banks do not call you on your cell phone numbers or your home number and ask for your account information. Even if you see a local phone number on the caller Id, it could be from any where in the world. Local numbers can be spoofed and some local numbers are being sold by phone companies to other persons around the world. There are web sites that also allow callers to show any number on a caller Id that they want.

For more information on scam prevention, visit the US Federal Trade Commission website.

Recent Vehicle Prowls (Not in Our Neighborhood) Have Lessons for All

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office released today a Community Alert regarding incidents of vehicle prowls, mostly over on the other side of Eld Inlet. Although not in our immediate area, the Community Alert contains some crime prevention tips that are useful to us all.

Date: March 5, 2009
Neighborhood/ Area: Northwest Thurston County
Nature of alert: Vehicle Prowls

Details: Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies responded to three vehicle prowls that occurred in the 2400 block of Cooperfield Dr. NW, 6300 block of Tamoshan Dr. NW, and the 6400 block Tralee Dr. NW. These vehicle prowls occurred between the night of the 4th and early morning hours of the 5th.

Contact info: Report all suspicious activity by calling 911 or the non-emergency dispatch number (360) 704-2740

Crime Prevention Tips:

Make sure your vehicle is secure and all doors and windows are closed.

Remember to ensure that all valuables are hidden and not easily visible.

Do not leave purses, wallets, electronic devices, and valuable information in your vehicle.

Keep a record of all serial and model numbers of electronic devices left in the vehicle.

Often times, Sheriff’s deputies locate items that they suspect may be stolen. They are however not able to confirm this because the victims had not recorded serial and model numbers.

Park your vehicle in a well lit area.

To receive future Community Alerts and/ or to subscribe to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Quarterly Newsletter, log on to

COMMUNITY ALERT: Catalytic Converter Thefts

On November 7th the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has released a Community Alert regarding “a recent rash of thefts of vehicle’s catalytic converters, particularly in residential areas.”

If you have any information which may lead to those perpetrating these thefts, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-786- 5500 or Crime Stoppers 493-2222.

The entire contents of the notice reads:

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has seen a recent rash of thefts of vehicle’s catalytic converters, particularly in residential areas. Due to the fact that these converters are found in exterior locations and that valuable precious metals including platinum, palladium, and rhodium are used in their construction, converters are a target for thieves. With scrap metal being a common avenue for the criminal element to make money, each of these converters are valuable commodities. The problem is especially common among late-model Toyota trucks and SUVs, due to their high ground clearance and easily-removed bolt-on catalytic converters. Welded-in converters are also at risk of theft from SUVs and trucks, as they can be easily removed with a battery powered reciprocating saw. The saw removal of the converter can often inadvertently damage the car’s wiring or fuel line resulting in dangerous consequences.

Thieves can get $40 to $100 for a converter from an unscrupulous scrap metal dealer. Toyota 4Runners are particular targets — not only do their catalytic converters contain plenty of platinum, their high ground clearance makes them particularly easy targets. A thief with a socket wrench can remove a 4Runner’s converter in minutes.

Since thieves crawl under the vehicle to remove the converter, it is easy to hide while the crime is taking place. Most victims report that they didn’t hear anything during the night – leading us to believe that speed wrenches or normal hand tools are used around residences. Each unit weighs less than 8 pounds, and is easily lifted and moved.

The nature of this crime makes repeat occurrences attractive, since the converter needs to be replaced for the vehicle to be operated. The only real way to protect against the crime is to make sure that the vehicle is stored inside.

Since many of us don’t have the option of storing our vehicles inside, it is important to remember that lighting is a thief’s enemy. Make sure that you have adequate outdoor lighting illuminating your driveway or vehicle storage area. Report any suspicious activity by calling 911 immediately. Know who your neighbors are and consider forming a Neighborhood Watch program.

For information on forming a Neighborhood Watch, contact the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Division at (360) 786-5855.

Contact info: If you have any information, please call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-786- 5500 or Crime Stoppers 493-2222.

Cougar Sighting Near Maple Shores

From local residents John & Stephanie Holttum, we received this notice and a photo about a cougar sighted near Maple Shores. This development is near Frye Cove Park.

August 14

Dear Neighbors,

In recent weeks we have suspected the presence of wild animals in our neighborhood, but assumed they were the usual deer and raccoons.

Today we photographed a cougar in our front yard. This is highly unusual behavior for a wild cat, both because of the daytime appearance, the proximity to our dogs (within 30 feet), and presence of construction workers next door (within 20 feet). The animal is equal in size to our dogs.

We have notified the Department of Wildlife. They advise the neighborhood to make sure that no pet food or other potential food sources are left out, and that small children and small pets are not left unattended outside. They are reviewing the pictures we took and may provide further information or action.

We would also like to take this opportunity to request your patience on our behalf and on behalf of all the dog owners in Maple Shores. Some have noticed more barking this summer than usual, and more than could be explained by construction workers or the normal visits from deer and raccoons. This is undoubtedly the reason. Living in the country, our neighborhood dogs are our allies and deserve our thanks for alerting us to this potential threat.

With Thanks,
John & Stephanie Holttum

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Releases Video of Gravelly Beach Break-In

The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office has released more information which neighbors may be able to use to help nab the perpetrators of one or more of what’s developing to be a string of daytime burglaries in the area of Gravelly Beach Loop.

As was written previously here, a home was broken in to, on January 22, in the 4800 block of Gravelly Beach Loop. The incident occurred between 11:00 AM and 4:55 PM.

Since January 22nd, two more break-ins have occurred, in the same area. The Sheriff’s Office has now released new information which may help us to capture those responsible.

From the Sheriff’s Office release:

Sheriff seeks identity of teenage burglars

Three residential burglaries have occurred in the last 2 weeks in the Gravelly Beach Rd. N.W. off Steamboat Island Rd. N.W. area. They occurred on 1/22/08, 2/5/08, and 2/6/08. The suspects appear to be operating during the daytime hours. They have taken over $25,000 worth of guns, jewelry, electronic items, and a 1992 Toyota Camry, taupe in color, WA. License 467 RLS. In one burglary, on Wednesday 02/06/08, the suspects were seen by a surveillance camera and captured on video. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying these suspects before they can commit any more crimes.

We believe that there are probably at least two suspects. Both appear to be white males in their late teens to early twenties. The video shows that they are driving a van that is probably blue or gray in color. In the video the suspects changed hats several times which gives the appearance of several suspects.

A video is available here.

Here are some stills from the video. Do you recognize any of these people?

If you have any information which might advance this investigation, please contact Chief Criminal Deputy Jim Chamberlain, 360-786-5659 or Detective Lt. Chris Mealy, 360-786-5508.

UPDATED: The Olympian is reporting that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Mitchell E. Coxwell, 23, living on Steamboat Island Road. According to the news article, “Detectives think he is driving a stolen blue Volkswagen Passat with Washington license plate 642RMC.”

Thurston County Sheriff Needs Your Help to Solve Jan 22 Burglary on Gravelly Beach Loop

On January 22, 2008 Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a residential burglary complaint at the 4800 block of Gravelly Beach Loop. The victim discovered that the rear glass door had been broken and this is believed to be where entry was gained. The incident occurred between 11:00 AM and 4:55 PM.

Neighbors observed a black mid 1990’s Ford Ranger with silver colored tool box leaving the area at a high rate of speed around 3:45 PM.

If you have any information that could help solve this crime please contact the Thurston County Sheriffs Office.

Contact Info: Any information should be called in to the Sheriff’s Office at 360-786-5500 or Crime Stoppers 493-2222.

Tips and Hints:

  • Report all suspicious persons/vehicles.
  • Make sure all doors and windows secured.
  • Leave blinds open.
  • If you have an alarm system, make sure that it is activated and operational.
  • Have an inventory of all valuables, record serial/model numbers

Most residential burglaries occur in late morning to early afternoon hours, while we are at work.

UPDATE: The Sheriff’s Office now has video and more details, following two more daytime burglaries in the same area. Click here to read the update.

Thieves Break In to Steamboat Island Espresso – Information Sought

The Olympian is reporting that thieves broke into the Steamboat Coffee Shop this last Wednesday night. They broke a window and, after all that damage, came away with $5 in change.

This is a local business, run by our neighbors. If you know anything about this break-in, please contact the Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.

And, if you’re in the mood for a beverage, please stop by Steamboat Island Coffee Shop. They do a fine job and we’ve every reason to want to see this local business thrive.

Here’s how the incident was reported in The Olympian:

Thieves broke a $75 window to gain access to an espresso stand on Steamboat Island Road near Sexton Drive N.W. Wednesday [June 27] morning and made off with about $5 in change from the stand’s money box, Lt. Chris Mealy of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said today.

The burglary took place sometime between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesday at Steamboat Espresso located at 3403 Steamboat Island Road N.W.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Thurston County Crime Stoppers at 360-493-2222.