Port Angeles police investigate 2 'smash and grab' burglaries
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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A 10-minute pursuit topped out at 70 mph on Race Street after Saturday's burglary at the EZ Pawn shop at 113 E. First St., said Sgt. Jesse Winfield with the Port Angeles Police Department.
About two hours after the pursuit ended, officers found the Kia Sportage they had been following, Winfield said.
Police are seeking at least two men, Winfield said.
Police also are looking for an early 1990s, dark-colored Honda Accord thought to be involved in an early morning Wednesday burglary at a Radio Shack at 1940 E. First St., said Brian Smith, Port Angeles deputy police chief.
Smith said there is no reason to think the same people were responsible for both burglaries, though police are investigating them as possibly related.
“We always work these cases as if they're connected, if it's the same kind of MO [way of burglarizing],” Smith said.
In both burglaries, entry was made through breaking a window. Both were in the early morning hours.
Pawn shop burglary
The burglars got away with jewelry and firearms from EZ Pawn after breaking in through a window at about 3:30 a.m., Winfield said.
“It looks like they were in and out in less than five minutes,” he said.
Port Angeles officers saw a Kia Sportage speeding past them with its headlights off on First Street after getting a call about broken glass near the pawn shop, Winfield said.
The officers gave chase, Winfield said, and the pursuit took them east on First Street then south onto Race Street to Mount Angeles Road.
From there, the men led police south to Scrivner Road, where they turned east and drove through several front yards after turning north on South Tiller Road, a short residential street, Winfield said.
“[They] went through a couple different yards on that street, then [police] lost [them],” Winfield said.
At about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, officers found the Kia in a parking lot near the intersection of Eighth and Francis streets.
Winfield said police are looking into a few persons of interested but are not ready to release suspect names or descriptions.
In Wednesday's Radio Shack burglary, several iPods and two laptop computers were stolen, Smith said, estimated to be worth at least $2,000.
Entry was made through a broken window, Smith said.
Police arrived at the store at about 4:13 a.m. after a burglar alarm had been set off.
After reviewing video surveillance footage from businesses surrounding the Radio Shack, officers identified a dark-colored Honda Accord, model year between 1990 and 1993, as potentially involved, Smith said.
Smith said investigators were reviewing video footage and following leads.
“There's a strong likelihood we'll be able to pull this together, given the information we have,” Smith said.
“That's a video-surveillance-rich part of town, so to speak.”
Smith referred to the use of video footage from a nearby Wendy's to help catch a Texas man, Garland Lavell Seals, who stole a woman's car, keys, cash, cell phone and other personal items at knifepoint from the restaurant's parking lot in December.
Seals pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree robbery in March and is serving a 75-month sentence at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell.
Police are asking anyone with information on either burglary to call the department at 360-452-4545 or North Olympic Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, a 24-hour toll free
number where anonymous tips can be left.
Crime Stoppers offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and filing of felony charges.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsula
Last modified: May 12. 2013 6:52PM