Vigilant local citizen thwarts burglary, deputies make arrest

Just after noon on Friday, July 19, an interrupted burglary was reported at a residence between mile posts 258 and 259 on U.S. Highway 101, according to a release issued July 20 by Detective Sgt. John Keegan of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.


The sheriff’s office reports that a family friend told deputies that he had stopped to check on the currently unoccupied residence and observed the garage door was open about halfway. Next to the garage he saw a yellow mountain bike that was not previously at the residence. Upon entering the residence, the friend heard noises downstairs.


The friend soon discovered a male in the act of putting items into a suitcase and zipping the suitcase closed.


According to the sheriff’s office release, the friend shouted at the intruder, who then pushed past the friend and ran outside to the bicycle. The friend then witnessed the suspect riding westbound on U.S. Highway 101.


Responding deputies saw the suspect in the Agnew area. Containment was set up by deputies, troopers with the Washington State Patrol. officers from the U.S. Border Patrol and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. The bicycle was found at the north end of Lewis Road.


The containment area was adjusted based on reports by citizens who witnessed a male matching the suspect’s description running through yards in the area. Eventually a citizen reported a male walking from the area of an unoccupied trailer to a vehicle that appeared to have arrived just to pick him up.


The vehicle was stopped by deputies a short time later on Highway 101. The passenger, 35-year-old Port Angeles resident William Weems, was taken into custody. According to the sheriff’s office release, Weems’ clothing and physical appearance matched the suspect’s description. During an interview with detectives, Weems admitted to being at the property but denied being inside, the sheriff’s office said.


The items reportedly in the process of being stolen consisted mostly of tools and electronics. The estimated replacement cost of the items by the victim is more than $8,000.


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