Yelm Police Department

Yelm Police Department

A 38-year-old man from Pacific, Washington, is expected to be charged with one count of theft of motor vehicle on Wednesday, Dec. 30, after allegedly attempting to steal a 1993 Toyota Camry parked at the Yelm Safeway. 

According to police records, Ricky Gillespie, 38, of Pacific, faces a possible single charge of auto theft for the incident. 

Yelm officers were dispatched around 6:30 p.m. to calls of a theft in progress at Yelm Safeway, located at 1109 Yelm Ave. The calling party told dispatch a man had climbed into a nearby car through the back window and was climbing around the seats with a screwdriver in his hands. 

Police made contact shortly after with a man who was seen sitting in the driver’s side of the alleged vehicle. He was later identified as Gillespie, who was reportedly wearing purple latex gloves. 

Gillespie was detained shortly after contact, according to police reports, and admitted to attempting to steal the vehicle. 

The driver’s side door had reportedly been removed during the incident. The lock was also broken and the passenger-side rear door had been broken out. Photos from the incident showed glass shards all over the vehicle’s interior. 

The ignition had also been damaged with the flathead screwdriver found with Gillespie, according to police. 

While being detained, Gillespie told officers he had multiple felony convictions and that he was a heroin user, adding that he would prefer to go to treatment instead of jail. 

Thurston County Jail said they would take him, though he later admitted to officers he was recovering from COVID-19, so he would have to be screened at a hospital before being booked. 

Due to there only being two officers on shift, they determined it was best to refer charges to the county prosecutor’s office. Gillespie was released at the McKenna Shell station. 

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