Sirens: $3,500 in Tools Swiped From Van; Ten Storage Units Broken Into at Downtown Facility; Man Strikes Yelm Ave Pole, Cited With Driving Without Ignition Interlock

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Unknown Suspect Removes Van Door, Steals $3,500 in Tools at Yelm Apartments 

Sometime during either the evening of Monday, Feb. 1, or during the early morning hours the next day, an unknown suspect reportedly broke into a van located at Tustin Apartment Homes and stole roughly $3,500 worth of various tools. 

A string of other car prowls have occurred at the apartment complex in recent months. 

According to a report, Yelm officers were made aware of the incident around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, when a  39-year-old Yelm resident contacted the department. The resident told police that an unknown suspect had cut the bolts off an access window on his van and gained access to the vehicle through that. 

The suspect, or suspects, made off with about $3,500 worth of various power tools, including saws and drills. 

As of press deadline, no further leads had been established. 

Ten Units Broken Into at Downtown Storage Facility

At least 10 units were broken into at a storage facility located in downtown Yelm during the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 3. 

According to police reports, an employee at L&W Safe Storage, located at 301 First Street, was doing their morning facility check when they noticed at about 9 a.m. that multiple storage units had been broken into. The units were reportedly the only ones without “high security locks” on them.

The business has reportedly contacted all customers impacted by the break in. 

According to an investigation of the site, it’s believed the entrance and exit onto the storage facility’s property was made on the west side of First Street in a ditch. An opening in the chain link fence, according to police, creates a 2-foot gap to enter through. 

The business owner reportedly attempted to clip the gap together, though those had been removed. 

Man Strikes Yelm Ave Pole, Cited With Driving Without Ignition Interlock

A 30-year-old Tacoma man fell asleep at the wheel on Yelm Avenue East, hit a pole and received minor injuries. His 4-year-old daughter was also in the Honda Civic but was uninjured.

A Yelm police officer was dispatched to the scene at about 4 a.m. on Feb. 5 to find the suspect leaning into the front seat of his vehicle and noticed damage to the vehicle’s windshield, according to police reports. The officer believed the windshield damage was the result of the driver not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. The impact caused the driver to strike the windshield and suffer minor bleeding, for which subsequent medical aid arrived and cleared him of serious injuries.

The driver subsequently told the Yelm officer he had fallen asleep, left the roadway to the right and struck the light pole.

Upon checking records, the officer discovered the driver was required to have an ignition interlock installed in his vehicle. No ignition interlock was discovered in the Honda, though the driver said the lock was installed in a different vehicle.

The Yelm officer issued the driver an infraction for negligent driving in the second degree and a criminal citation for operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock when required. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the driver was not given a court date but was advised he would receive a date at a later time. 

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