Raid near Olympia yields drugs, stolen property


OLYMPIA, Wash. - A man is under arrest and police collected stolen property and drugs Tuesday night at a home near Olympia after a SWAT raid on the property, officials said.

  The Centralia Police Department had been investigating a burglary that lead to Thurston County, so they teamed up with the new Thurston County Regional Investigative Team, which includes officers from Tumwater, Lacey, Thurston County and Olympia.

The officers obtained warrants to the search the property and called in the SWAT team for safety.

 The Thurston County SWAT team secured the property near 83rd Southeast on Ayer Street and arrested a man on charges of possession of methamphetamine.

 "They are not good neighbors," Paul Wheaton said of people living at the property.

Wheaton and other neighbors said they have long suspected the residents of the house were running a chop shop.

 "I know there is traffic (at the house) 24 hours a day. They are hauling cars in and you never see them haul one out,” said Wheaton.

 Lt. Greg Elwin said detectives quickly found stolen items connected to the Centralia burglary of an automotive business and a lot more.

"We've also found additional stolen property from Thurston County cases, as well as evidence associated with methamphetamine,” said Elwin.

  When the property owner arrived at the scene, South Sound Reporter Richard Thompson asked her about her son's arrest and police asking if she had any knowledge about stolen property and drugs at the home.

"Of course not," said the property owner, who refused to give her name.

 Several hours into the search, detectives identified a large amount of stolen property including guns, a motorcycle, a four wheeler, laptops and dozens of chain saws, investigators said.

  Investigators said they also recovered heroin and methamphetamine on the property.

 Neighbor Carol Gleaves said she was excited to see police move in on the house and make an arrest. 

"I'm ecstatic, especially if we can make it so they are not our neighbors anymore and we can go back to a nice peaceful neighborhood,” said Gleaves.