Three Seattle men were arrested for residential burglary and possession of a stolen firearm in Sumner on Jan. 17 after a quick-thinking resident called police to report strange visitors on their doorstep, according to a Sumner police report.
A resident on 63rd St. E. called police at 9 a.m. on Thursday to report that two suspicious men knocked on the door and asked for someone who didn’t reside there. The caller watched the men walk to the neighbor’s house and start to look around the property. There was also a suspicious white van parked nearby.
Officers arrived on scene and spotted the suspects down the street on Valley Avenue. As they approached, one of the suspects dropped an iPad and jewelry box on the sidewalk behind a utility pole. They had just come from a residence nearby and left the front door wide open. The two men told police they were visiting Sumner from Seattle and the items belonged to them. Police detained and searched them, and one was found to be in possession of a stolen handgun.
The homeowner was called and left work to check on his house. Several drawers had been rummaged through and his wife’s iPad was missing from the kitchen counter. He was able to identify the stolen items.
At about the same time, another Sumner officer spotted a suspicious white van on Meade-McCumber Rd. E. and pulled the car over. The 22-year-old driver was on his cell phone, saying he was trying to get directions to a gas station from his girlfriend, a student at Sumner High School. He said he was from Seattle, and that he was lost. There was a bottle of vodka in the backseat. Since the officer didn’t have a reason to arrest the man at that time, he gave him directions and let him go.
Meanwhile, police interrogated the two men at the scene, who eventually admitted the van driver was with them. Police acted quick and searched the area for the van. Luckily, the driver didn’t travel far. He was spotted nearby, standing outside the van on Main Street, talking on his cell phone.
At first he stuck to his story and denied knowing the other men, but once all were behind bars, it was clear they knew each other and started talking back and forth from separate holding cells. Investigations revealed the van was rented and police contacted the company, who sent a representative from Seattle to retrieve it.
The driver was booked at Pierce County Jail for residential burglary and one of the men was also booked for residential burglary, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of stolen property. The third was underage and transported to Remann Hall for residential burglary and possession of stolen property.