Couple charged with Sequim auto theft spree

Bail set after each accused of felonies

PORT ANGELES — A pair who Sequim police say went on a crime spree through the city last Thursday were given $50,000 and $100,000 bails in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday.

Joanie L. Squires, 33, of Tacoma, and David Brown, 32, of Lakewood were both charged with multiple felonies, including first-degree robbery, eluding a police officer, multiple counts of theft of a motor vehicle and mail theft. They both face up to life in prison with their arraignment hearings set for 9 a.m. May 20 in Superior Court.

Judge Lauren Erickson appointed Lane Wolfley to defend Brown, who was arrested Sunday in Jefferson County. Harry Gasnick of Clallam Public Defender had been appointed to defend Squires, who was arrested last Thursday.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Michelle Devlin requested Squires’ bail be increased from $10,000 to $50,000 due to additional charges being added this week; Erickson agreed.

Devlin said Brown, who made his first appearance in court on Tuesday, has an outstanding warrant in Kitsap County and seven prior felony charges. Devlin said he could offend again.

She said “crime spree” were the only two words needed to define Brown and Squires’ actions.

“He has no local connection and came here with the sole purpose to steal,” Devlin said.

While addressing the court, Brown asked for (alcohol or drug) treatment so he could be “doing something more productive in society.”

Erickson said she appreciated his request, added it to the conditions of bail, and maintained the state’s requested $100,000 bail amount.

Squires was charged with first-degree robbery, eluding a police vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, two counts of mail theft and driving under the influence.

Brown faces charges of first-degree robbery, eluding a police vehicle with the possibility of another 12 months for endangerment of a police officer, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts of mail theft.

Both remained in the Clallam County jail on Tuesday afternoon.

Incidents

Following multiple incidents and interventions, Brown fled Sequim, police said, adding that a stolen silver GMC truck was found abandoned in Mason County on Friday.

Brown was arrested after a vehicle that had been stolen early Sunday morning from O’Brien Road in Port Angeles was recovered in Jefferson County, according to information from Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office had received several reports on Sunday of mail thefts on O’Brien Road, in the Maletti Heights area and Cedar Park Drive, King said in an email. Some were from locking mailboxes that had been pried open, King said. Residents discovered discarded mail in the area, he added.

After Brown was arrested, he was taken to Jefferson Healthcare hospital in Port Townsend as a precaution, court records said. Sequim Deputy Police Chief Mike Hill said a Sequim officer apprehended Brown when he attempted to flee the hospital.

Squires was arrested after crashing a truck into landscaping on the corner of North Seventh Avenue and West Hendrickson Road.

Sgt. Carolee Edwards reported in her probable cause statement that Squires had broken a tooth on the bottom of her mouth and had a bloody nose due to not wearing a seatbelt.

Squires also admitted to smoking methamphetamine and drinking alcohol, Edwards said.

Squires said she thought someone bad was following her so she didn’t stop, court documents say. She also said she didn’t know she was supposed to stop when she saw police lights.

During the alleged spree, the couple drove their vehicles into the westbound traffic near the Seventh Avenue and Washington Street intersection, Edwards said, adding that they nearly caused multiple wrecks.

Police said Brown struck one vehicle, but no one was injured.

He also attempted to turn near Westside Pizza but became stuck in its landscaping before speeding off, police report.

Squires allegedly told Edwards that she met with Brown in Port Townsend before coming to Sequim and that they were involved in at least three motor vehicle thefts.

Squires said Brown frequently steals vehicles and he uses flathead screwdrivers and pry bars, Edwards reported.

Police report the couple then stole a green pickup from a Sunnyside Avenue apartment building and at about 10:30 a.m., Brown was seen on South Ninth Avenue via surveillance cameras unsuccessfully attempting to steal another vehicle.

A few minutes later, the stolen green truck was abandoned on the 700 block of West Washington Street, and police said Brown stole another vehicle and abandoned it a few blocks away.

A silver GMC pickup was reported stolen at 4:45 p.m. on the 200 block of West Bell Street.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

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