Man who broke into cars at national parks gets prison

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — A man who broke into dozens of vehicles at Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks has been sentenced to two years in federal prison after he serves a more than two-year state prison term.

Michael Pickering, 41, broke into at least four dozen cars belonging to hikers and campers at more than a half dozen different trailheads and parking lots in the two parks, according to Olympic National Park officials.

For about a month starting in late March 2019, Pickering smashed windows and stole from parked vehicles, court documents said. He used stolen credit and debit cards to make over $50,000 in purchases at various stores, according to documents. Pickering was arrested after walking out of a store where he used victims’ bank cards.

“The victims in this case didn’t just suffer a financial loss, they were emotionally damaged as well,” US Attorney Brian Moran, Western District of Washington, said in a statement.

“Some returned from what was supposed to be a relaxing time in nature, to find themselves stranded with a damaged vehicle, their electronics, clothes and money stolen, marooned in the national park.”

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