Police are seeking a Toledo burglary suspect after his cohort was arrested in Kelso with a large amount of suspected stolen merchandise, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect has been described as a skinny, white male last seen wearing a hat and backpack while fleeing from the scene of a burglary on the 200 block of Schmit Rd., east of Toledo, on Saturday.
The victim, a 52-year-old woman, had reportedly been returning from a walk when she found two unknown men (the suspect and 40-year-old Todd E. Fears, of Kelso) exiting her residence and entering a white Mitzubishi before leaving at a high rate of speed.
The victim then discovered a number of items, including a wedding band, an engagement ring, miscellaneous jewelry and a small safe, were missing, and she contacted authorities.
The two men were seen by deputies traveling on SR 505 and contact was attempted, though the suspects continued to flee toward I-5, and at one point threw the safe out of their car, causing it to shatter upon impact and release numerous personal documents onto the ground, which were later retrieved.
Once entering I-5 from Exit 57, the suspects fled at a high rate of speed into Cowlitz County and, though assisted by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol, deputies lost sight of the suspects and ended their pursuit.
The owner of the vehicle the two were driving was subsequently contacted and she informed investigators Fears told her the car had been stolen. The Kelso Police Department contacted Fears at his residence and, following an hour-long standoff, took Fears into custody and detained him on an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant prior to booking him into the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office for second-degree theft, residential burglary and attempt to elude, where he remains on $50,000 bail.
It was reported numerous bags of stolen items were found his in house, including jewelry, silverware, watches and coins. The Kelso Police Department is expected to attempt to contact potential owners of the items in the coming days, and additional arrests ad charges are expected to come about as a result.
However, the second suspect remained at large as of the time of the report, and those with information are encouraged to contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 740-1266 or, to leave an anonymous tip for possible cash reward, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-748-6422.
Those who believe they may have been victimized by Fears, who has been known to burglarize residences in South Lewis County regularly in recent years, may contact the Sheriff’s Office.