One arrested, one sought in car thefts 30 miles apart

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A Port Angeles man remained in the Clallam County jail Thursday after he was arrested for investigation of two car thefts at least 30 miles apart.

Joshua Michael Wilson, 30, was arrested Monday for investigation of the theft of a minivan and a car.

Clallam County sheriff’s deputies suspect that the car, a Honda, was driven to the location of the minivan and then abandoned while the minivan was taken to the Walmart Supercenter at 2411 Kolonels Way, Port Angeles.

Deputies now seek to identify a second man potentially involved whom Detective Sgt. John Keegan called Thursday “a person of interest” in the car theft investigation.

“We are still trying to identify who that individual is,” Keegan said.

“We want to get that person’s statement.”

Wilson was arrested in the Walmart parking lot after he was found with a stolen Ford Windstar and attempted to run on foot, alongside the other man, from a sheriff’s deputy, the Sheriff’s Office said.

In jail on bond

Wilson remained in jail on $20,000 bond as of Thursday.

Wilson was booked for investigation of two counts each of first-degree theft of a motor vehicle and/or motor vehicle parts, second-degree vehicle prowling and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.

He also was booked for investigation of one count each of residential burglary, second-degree theft and first-degree malicious mischief.

According to Clallam County Superior Court minutes from Wilson’s preliminary hearing Tuesday, Wilson did not want an attorney and wanted to plead guilty.

Judge S. Brooke Taylor did not accept Wilson’s guilty plea and appointed him an attorney from Clallam Public Defender, according to the minutes.

An arrest report filed by Deputy Mark Millet gave this account.

At about 2 a.m. Monday, an employee at Graysmarsh Farms in Sequim called 9-1-1 to report a 1999 Ford Windstar minivan used at the farm had been stolen from Graysmarsh Lane, not far from the farm itself.

Two other vehicles the employee owned also had been rummaged through and the employee’s wallet stolen from one of the vehicles.

House illegally entered

A Graysmarsh-owned house also had been entered illegally, with two 5-gallon gas cans and some firewood taken.

At about 3:30 that same morning, Sgt. John Hollis with the Sheriff’s Office found a 1992 red Honda abandoned on Holland Road, about a mile from Graysmarsh Farm.

The Honda, which had been reported stolen Sunday morning from a home on Crescent Beach Road about 37 miles to the west, had been backed into the woods and into a tree, likely totaling the car.

“Due to the proximity of the recovered stolen Honda to my crime scene on Grays­marsh,” Millet wrote in his arrest report, “I believe the stolen Honda was used to transport the culprits to the Graysmarsh farm where they abandoned it and stole the Graysmarsh Ford Windstar and also committed other crimes while on the Graysmarsh property.”

About 20 minutes after the Honda was found, Deputy Laticia Wells found two men and the stolen van at the Port Angeles Walmart.

Both men fled on foot, and Wells arrested one of them, later identified as Wilson.

The other escaped.

Wilson was found with two credit cards stolen from a Graysmarsh employee in his wallet, and the key to the red Honda was found in the van.

Roughly 1 gram of heroin, thought to belong to Wilson, also was found in the van, in addition to a credit card receipt for socks and a cellphone.

The last four digits of the credit card number on the receipt matched one of the credit cards allegedly stolen from the Graysmarsh employee.

________

Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 29. 2013 5:37PM
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