Port Angeles man charged in what police say is ‘burglary ring’

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — A 32-year-old man who grew up on the North Olympic Peninsula has been charged in a drug-related string of 18 burglaries, thefts and forgeries that occurred in August and September in Port Angeles.

The charges against Paul Allen Spoon of Port Angeles were filed Tuesday by Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Troberg in Clallam County Superior Court.

Spoon is scheduled for a motion hearing in Clallam County Superior Court at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The charges include five counts of theft of a firearm from a Port Angeles residence and multiple counts of burglary and theft from mostly government facilities, businesses and schools, including 11 computers from Olympic Christian School in Port Angeles valued at more than $5,000.

“It’s not sensationalizing it to call it a burglary ring,” Sgt. Jesse Winfield said Wednesday.

More arrests are expected, Deputy Chief Brian Smith said Wednesday.

“He’s the principle for all the cases we’ve brought forward so far,” Smith said.

“He’s the guy who involves everyone else to the extent that they are,” he continued.

“These aren’t single-person crimes.

“This case involves more than one person and many instances and varieties of criminal acts from actual burglary and theft to transport and possession of stolen goods.”

“It’s like an octopus growing tentacles, and every time you follow a thread, you find someone else involved,” Smith said.

Winfield added that Spoon had “many co-conspirators” and said the thefts were “closely connected” to drugs and drug dealing, mostly methamphetamine.

Specific charges are five counts of second-degree burglary, five counts of theft of a firearm, two counts of second-degree theft, two counts of forgery, one count of first-degree theft and one count of residential burglary.

The thefts and burglaries were at Olympic Christian School, 43 O’Brien Road; Stevens Middle School, 1139 W. 14th St.; a state Department of Transportation building, 1707 S. C St.; Clallam Transit, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd.; Roosevelt Electric, 107 Monroe Road; Olympic Electric, 4230 Tumwater Truck Route; Delhur Industries, 433 S. Tumwater Truck Route; and a residence in the 600 block of West Seventh Street.

The value of the stolen items is at least $10,000, Smith said.

“My sense is that it will be in five digits, easily.”

Smith said Spoon is unemployed, has no listed address and grew up in Port Angeles.

Winfield said Spoon was “couch surfing” or sleeping at friends’ homes when Spoon was arrested at the home of one of those friends.

Smith said Spoon was arrested while jumping out of a window of the home while Winfield was serving Spoon with outstanding warrants for escaping from community custody and failure to fulfill his pay-or-appear obligations.

Most of the crimes occurred near where Spoon was staying, Winfield said.

Spoon “liked to use bolt cutters to cut fences” and struck mostly at night, Winfield said.

Winfield said he has been tracking down and recovering stolen property by contacting Spoon’s friends.

“I’m going to people who received the property, and they are turning it over to me,” Winfield said.

“People have not been getting arrested.”

Four of the five guns that were stolen from a single residence were recovered, Winfield said.

The stolen guns consisted of three bolt-action rifles, a semiautomatic shotgun and a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun.

Winfield said “a few” Olympic Christian School computers were recovered, but they had been dismantled.

Smith said the Spoon case is not connected to the six burglaries allegedly committed by Andrew William White, 21, of Port Angeles.

White was charged in August with six Port Angeles commercial burglaries that police said are linked to 27 commercial burglaries that were committed in 62 days, including 10 in which power meters were damaged during the crimes.

A status hearing on White, in jail on $10,000 bail, is 1:30 p.m. Sept. 30 in Clallam County Superior Court.

White has pleaded not guilty.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at paul.gottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 22. 2011 12:26PM
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