Three arrested in Hoquiam after Olympic NP thefts

Three people suspected of robbing a campsite in the Olympic National Park were arrested by Hoquiam Police Tuesday, according to Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers.

“Campers who had just completed a backcountry trip reported their camping equipment containing credit cards and other valuables was stolen during the night at the end of the trail by suspects who were last seen leaving quickly in a vehicle,” said Myers. “Once the campers made it out of the park and contacted their bank, they discovered the stolen credit cards had been used at several locations.”

U.S. Park Rangers obtained surveillance video and were able to identify a possible suspect. Rangers contacted Hoquiam Police and a search warrant was drafted for a residence in the 2600 block of Aberdeen Avenue.

“As the investigation progressed, Hoquiam detectives also learned this same suspect was possibly involved in thefts from local Washington State Parks in both the South Beach and North Beach areas,” said Myers. “Apparently, the suspect was using a torch to cut into the metal park pay boxes and stealing camping fee payments, resulting in not only theft of the money, but also expensive damage to the drop boxes.”

The search warrant was served by Hoquiam Police, U.S. Park Rangers and a State Parks ranger. Detectives from Aberdeen Police also responded to assist in processing possible evidence, said Myers.

Three persons at the home were taken into custody on either pending charges related to the investigation or outstanding arrest warrants. One of the subjects arrested on an existing warrant will also be submitted to the county prosecutor as he was found to be in possession of felony drugs.

Numerous items of suspected stolen property were recovered and are being processed at the Hoquiam Police Department as the investigation is ongoing at this time.

The location of the arrest was also referred to city Code Enforcement for several nuisance/ code violations outside of the premises.