2013 saw a considerable shift in crime in South Lewis County. While having been plagued by sharp rise in drug-related offences, the efforts of the South Lewis County Task Force led to the convictions of several key players, reducing significantly the number of burglaries and drug arrests in the area.
But the criminal element did not leave our area completely, and the following is a list of crime reports from our blotter which stood out in 2013.
Vader man charged for stolen handgun
Published Jan. 30, 2013
A Vader man was charged with possession of a stolen firearm after a fight in Vader Jan. 22, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony L. Davis, 43, had been in a dispute with the residents at a house on the 700 block of C St. and was refusing to leave. When deputies arrived, witnesses stated Davis, a convicted felon, had been in possession of a firearm and had attempted to hide it outside. Deputies located a .45 Springfield 1911 and an investigation revealed it had been stolen several years ago from Lincoln County, Mo.
Davis was booked for possession of a stolen firearm and felon in possession of a firearm.
It was also learned Winlock resident Kyle E. Rogers, 31, had attacked Davis during the dispute but had left prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Rogers was referred to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office for assault, fourth degree.
School burglary loss estimated at $16,000
Published Feb. 27, 2013
The extent of items lost during a break-in at the Toledo School District’s maintenance shed was itemized during the District Board meeting Thursday night.
Roughly $16,000 in tools and equipment are estimated to have been stolen the weekend of Jan. 19, varying between two pickups and $3,780 in copper pipe; to wire snips, engine oil, leather gloves and Ruf Duck rain gear.
“It was not raining, but they took the rain gear,” said Superintendent Sharon Bower to the board, stating officials were able to compile an accurate list due to the diligent organization of maintenance staff prior to the break-in.
The only item recovered so far has been a 1994 Ford F150, valued at $3,100, found stuck in the mud on a nearby logging road, which Bower reported will start but will not drive at this time. The other pickup, a 1988 Chevrolet valued at $500, has been written off as a loss.
Bower said the theft of the vehicles and equipment, though a considerable setback for district operations, will not pose a large financial hindrance, as their deductible for the entire loss will be $1,000. It was also reported Lincoln Creek Lumber, based in Centralia, has offered to provide donations and discounts to the district after hearing about the burglary, and has been in touch with maintenance staff to determine what equipment and materials need to be replaced.
In the mean time, the district has taken extra security measures at the shed to prevent future break-ins, and local law enforcement are following up on a “very strong lead,” stated Bower.
Vader man injured during gun maintenance
Published March 6, 2013
Improper firearm handling led to the injury of a Vader area man Friday, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The 53-year-old victim was injured on the 200 block of Telegraph Rd., east of Vader, while reportedly attempting to disassemble a loaded Ruger P94. He stated he was having difficulty removing the slide and the barrel, which investigators attributed to improper gun assembly.
While holding the gun with his left hand, the firearm discharged into his palm, leading to a significant injury requiring that he be airlifted to Vancouver. He is expected to survive, but responders who treated him at the scene stated they were concerned with the level of blood loss.
Also treated was the victim’s 12-year-old’s son, who was in the room at the time of the incident. He suffered minor cuts to his arms and abdomen from shrapnel either from bone fragments from his father’s injury or wood particles from the bullet’s point of impact. The son was treated and released into the care of his mother.
$8,000 Gee Cee’s deposit goes missing
Published April 17, 2013
Deputies are seeking a man who may have made off with an $8,000 bank deposit from Gee Cee’s April 9, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
An employee of the Vader-area truck stop told deputies he had accidentally left the deposit bag, filled with cash and checks, on the counter in the men’s restroom at around 1:15 p.m. and did not return to retrieve it until 1:50 p.m. While the heavy exterior bag was recovered, the smaller bag inside containing the deposit was found missing when the employee reached the bank, he stated.
Investigators said they are currently reviewing security footage to determine a suspect and noted numerous men entered and left the restroom during the time in question.
Explosives discovered in woods near Toledo
Published April 24, 2013
A cache of explosives has been removed after being discovered by a resident near Toledo April 15, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
A man called deputies at around 10 p.m. from the 100 block of Spotted Doe Dr., north of Toledo, to report he had found a partially-buried crate containing bricks of TNT in the woods near his house. The crate was marked “U.S. Military” and contained roughly 300 bricks, 8 of which the reporting party took back to his house to examine before calling 911.
After responding to the scene, deputies contacted the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad and a technician later said the TNT was stable enough to be transported to a safe location for detonation. The explosives were reportedly removed by troopers April 16.
Deputies believe the TNT may have been buried by a 56-year-old Toledo man who was killed during an explosion in 1998 on the 200 block of Classe Rd. (up the block from Spotted Doe Dr.). The decedent had worked in the explosives industry and was killed while transporting TNT, with which he would blow up tree stumps, across his property in a tractor/trailer. Upon his death, deputies searched his large farm and located several boxes of explosives and disposed of them, but were not certain if all caches had been discovered.
“This incident could have turned out much differently, had the dynamite been unstable,” stated Lewis County Sheriff Steve Mansfield. “This is a good reminder to everyone that, if you find something suspected to be an explosive, to call 911 immediately and not touch or transport it.”
Toledo woman arrested for burglary plot
Published May 15, 2013
A Toledo-area woman is in jail after allegedly enacting a plot to steal from her employer, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Rachel A. Deckert, 22, was arrested for her alleged role in the theft of cash and cigarettes early Sunday morning from Ethel Market & Sports on the 1400 block of US Hwy. 12, in Ethel. The establishment had been burglarized around 4:40 a.m. by a man who entered with a key and managed to cover his face while passing in front of the video cameras in the midst of stealing $792 and four cartons of cigarettes.
Deputies began their investigation by speaking with all employees who had keys and eventually contacted Deckert, through whom they learned the burglar may have been Jerimy J. Trudeau, 30, of Centralia. Trudeau was subsequently contacted and admitted to the theft, stating Deckert had given him the key and told him how to break in with the agreement they would split the cash and cigarettes. Deckert was again contacted and she opted to obtain an attorney instead of speak with investigators.
Both were booked into the Lewis County Jail for burglary, second degree, and theft, second degree. $700 and all but a few packs of cigarettes were recovered.
Imaginary bomb threat lands two in jail
Published June 19, 2013
Two men have been arrested following the investigation of a possible bomb threat in Winlock June 12, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies and Winlock police responded to the 500 block of SW First St. at around 2:40 a.m. after a man had called to report his roommate believed men armed with explosives were coming to get him. The subject, Michael S. Dziubak, 32, of Pacific Beach, was found barricaded in his bedroom and speaking nonsensically and it was determined he was likely hallucinating the threat. He was later taken into custody and booked into the Lewis County Jail on an outstanding warrant.
The reporting party, Monty E. Hall, 58, of Winlock, was also arrested after a bag believing to contain methamphetamine was observed in plain view in his bedroom and he was booked for violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
Former Toledo cashiers arrested for theft
Published Sept. 18, 2013
Two Toledo residents have been arrested following an alleged attempt to scam their old employer, according to the Toledo Police Department.
Marisa R. Frost, 20, and Lacey L. Martin, 27, were arrested Sept. 9 after an investigation into unapproved charges on the account of a co-owner of Toledo Red Apple Market. It appears the pair had made roughly $6,200 in unapproved purchases of Visa prepaid gift cards between April and August, taking turns as one rang up the other and charged the cards to the victim’s account.
Police reported both had voluntarily terminated their employment at the market shortly the investigation began, and both were booked into the Lewis County Jail for first-degree theft and possession of stolen property.