Two of three suspects sought in Port Angeles dragnet arrested

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Two burglary suspects linked to a police chase and massive manhunt southwest of town Sunday are now in jail.

Matthew Tyler Charles, 27, was booked into the Clallam County jail Sunday night for investigation of first-degree burglary, two counts of theft of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Roxanne Rae Venske, 24, was arrested for investigation of first-degree burglary and eluding a police vehicle.

She also was wanted on a pay-or-appear warrant that is apparently unrelated.

Clallam County Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said Charles and Venske were arrested at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday about a half-mile from a law enforcement command post on Dan Kelly Road.

“They were together when they were arrested,” Peregrin said.

A third suspect, described as a “skinny white male,” remained at large Monday morning.

Peregrin said the third suspect likely was outside of the containment area in which Charles and Venske were found.

“The manhunt part of the event was shut down,” he said.

Clallam County Superior Court Judge S. Brooke Taylor set bail at $250,000 for Charles and $15,000 for Venske in their initial court appearances Monday afternoon.

Authorities continue to investigate the burglary of several firearms at a Cherry Street residence, which the property owner interrupted Sunday morning.

Dean Langdon, 39, of Port Angeles, came home at about 9:30 a.m. to find two men who he said looked to be about 20 to 25 years old burglarizing a rental property he owned.

Langdon said he was returning from a morning softball game when he saw the two men in hooded sweatshirts approach a rental house he owns on Cherry Street, then disappear, he said.

As he walked toward the residence, Langdon heard the men talking and phoned 9-1-1.

After being confronted by Langdon, the two suspects ran south on Cherry Street and jumped into a red or burgundy Pontiac Grand Prix driven by a woman came out of an alley between 11th and 12th streets, Langdon said.

The suspects avoided a spike strip laid down to try to stop the fleeing suspects, and abandoned the car near the end of Colville Road before taking to the woods in unincorporated area south of state Highway 112 and west of the Elwha River.

The Port Angeles Police Department, Sequim Police Department, State Patrol, Clallam County Sheriff's Office, Lower Elwha Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol set up a command post at the intersection of Colville and Dan Kelly roads.

Two Border Patrol helicopters searched the area, and at 2:15 p.m. two tracking dogs and several teams of tactical trackers in camouflage uniforms, carrying assault weapons were deployed to the search area.

Clallam County Fire District 2 provided emergency medical services.

No officers were injured, Fire District 2 Chief Sam Phillips said.

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at

Reporter Arwyn Rice contributed to this report.

Last modified: July 22. 2013 6:14PM
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