Thurston County Watch

Auto Theft Charges Forwarded After Pacific Man Attempts to Steal Car at Safeway

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. 


Green Grand Cherokee Involved in Hit and Run at New Yelm Middle School


The driver of a green SUV, possibly a Jeep Grand Cherokee according to Yelm police, is believed to be responsible for a hit and run with a gate at the Yelm Middle School construction site. 

According to police records, at about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3, officers responded to reports of the incident. The calling party reported a vehicle had struck the entrance gate to the construction site while turning and was leaving. 

Upon arrival, officers noted the gate had been struck open and that one of the chain links appeared to be snapped due to the collision. 

No suspects had been identified at the time of publication.

Burglar Makes Off With Two 14K Rings in House Burglary


An unknown suspect made off with two 14-karat gold rings and some petty cash, combined worth an estimated $9,400, during a home burglary at a house on McKenzie Court in Yelm. 

According to police records, an officer was called out at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 30, to a residence on reports of a cleared burglary. Upon arrival, the victim told Yelm police she had been cleaning out a vehicle that day when she came back inside to find her purse had been rifled through and that the entrance to the dining room from her garage was open. 

She told police an unknown suspect had likely taken her wallet and two 14-karat gold rings with diamonds. 

Police were able to locate the wallet nearby, but it was reported that $200 had been stolen from it. 

When questioned about a possible suspect, the victim told police there was a person she’d invited to do some yard work for her. He later stole a bike from her, she said. 

Assistant Yelm Police Chief Rob Carlson said the case had been forwarded to the city’s detective for more work. Appraisals and ring information were forwarded to nearby jewelry stores. 

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