Thurston County Watch

Counterfeit Bill Reported at Safeway Starbucks

Yelm Police Department officers were unable to identify a suspect who allegedly attempted to use a fake $100 bill at the Starbucks inside the Yelm Safeway on Tuesday, May 12. 

That’s because the individual was wearing a mask.

Officers were dispatched at about 4 p.m. to reports of the counterfeit bill. Officers arrived at the scene shortly and spoke with a Safeway manager who said a male attempted to purchase coffee with a fake $100 bill. 

Workers were able to verify that the bill was fake, which prompted the subject to leave without the bill. 

The staff was able to retain the bill for inspection and later reviewed video camera footage in an attempt to identify the individual. Assistant Police Chief Rob Carlson said neither the police department nor the staff were able to identify the individual as he was wearing a face mask. 

 

Burglar Takes Toiletries at Nisqually Plaza 

An unidentified suspect allegedly broke into the old Sunbird Shopping Center, located in the Nisqually Plaza business park, and stole roughly $50 worth of toiletries. 

Yelm police were dispatched to a report of a break-in on Thursday, May 14, at about 8:50 a.m., according to police reports. 

A worker with the Tilton Pacfic Construction company out of California explained that workers had come in that morning and noticed the chain link fence to their job site had been compromised. The worker explained they had wrapped up work the night before and locked the chain link fence panel to secure the job site. 

The suspect allegedly stole toilet paper, paper towels, seat covers and soap from the site’s portable toilet, according to police reports. 

Workers estimated the total loss and damage at roughly $300, including the damage to the chain link fence. 

 

Former Walmart Employee Switches Tags, Twice

A former Walmart employee was cited by Yelm police on two counts of third-degree theft on Saturday, May 16, for two separate incidents of swapping price tags.

The store’s theft prevention department claimed that 29-year-old Nathan Dean swapped UPC tags on two separate occasions, first on May 5 and then again on May 6. Dean was on the premises on May 16, and employees were watching him. 

After officers arrived and read Dean his rights, he confirmed what Walmart staff had told the officer, saying that he switched the UPC codes on products to purchase them for a cheaper amount. He stated that he was recently laid off and money was tight. 

Dean attempted to short the store approximately $102. 

 

Yelm Police Seize 14 Grams of Heroin, Brass Knuckles From Driver

Officers seized 14 grams of heroin and two pairs of brass knuckles from a driver in Yelm on Sunday, May 17. 

At around noon, police attempted a traffic stop on a gray Honda vehicle at about the 15200 block of 92nd Avenue after a failed turn signal. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Franklin Swearingen, stopped his vehicle, according to police reports. 

After making contact with Swearingen, police noticed he was nervous. He kept moving around, failed to make eye contact and his hands were shaky. Police then observed a plastic clear baggie with a large piece of black substance, as well as a glass pipe in a shoe that officers immediately recognized was used to smoke narcotics. 

During discussion, Swearingen attempted to hide the paraphernalia but was unsuccessful. Police then asked him to step out of the car, and he was then detained. 

Police asked Swearingen what kind of narcotics were in his boot, and he replied that it was heroin. Officers then found a pair of brass knuckles in his left pocket. 

Officers contacted Thurston County Jail in an attempt to book Swearingen, but the jail advised it would not book him because of the coronavirus outbreak. Further records showed that he had a suspended driver’s license. 

Swearingen was released and advised by the officer that he would be charged on possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of dangerous weapons and second-degree driving without a license. 

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