Man to pay restitution after Olympic National Park thefts

TACOMA — A man who burglarized vehicles and buildings in Olympic National Park has been ordered to pay more than $16,000 in restitution.

Alexander Turney was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on March 30 to pay $16,297.54 after pleading guilty to second-degree burglary, court records say.

He was ordered to pay $10,757.54 to the park and and $5,540 to people who had unknowingly purchased stolen items that were then returned to the park.

In the fall of 2017, Olympic National Park experienced a series of burglaries and thefts of government property. U.S. Park Rangers of the National Park Service, assisted by the U.S. Border Patrol, conducted an extended surveillance operation which led to the arrest and conviction of Turney.

Since late October there had been an increase in vandalized vehicles and burglaries within the Olympic National Park Headquarters Maintenance Compound, which includes a variety of shops for the trail crew, road crew, electricians and others.

After thefts on six different days, rangers began an undercover sting operation in the evening hours, waiting for the burglar to show up, according to court records.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 21, rangers were watching the road crew building when they saw a man, later identified as Turney, enter through the pedestrian gate on the west side of the maintenance yard.

They watched Turney walk to the road crew shop building and climb through a window.

After five minutes rangers watched him exit the building, which is when they approached him.

That’s when Turney told rangers he had stolen chainsaws, a generator and a pull saw with plans to sell them.

The investigation by the Port Angeles Police Department, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Washington and the National Park Service led to multiple federal and state search warrants served in the Port Angeles area.

These warrants resulted in six additional arrests including the federal indictment of Anthony Cannon and Rebecca Doninger on second degree burglary charges. Additionally, the investigation led to the recovery of thousands of dollars of stolen government and personal property from thefts within the park and the local community.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladaily news.com.

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