TACOMA, Wash. — A man has been charged with burglarizing six Tacoma businesses over the course of about six weeks in the Stadium District and Hilltop neighborhoods.
In the most recent case, the 54-year-old man is accused of breaking a glass door at Hilltop store Mr. Mac Ltd. on Sept. 28 and stealing clothing. The break-in at the inconic men’s clothing store was at least the fourth burglary it has suffered in recent months. The store was burglarized three times in less than a week in September.
Detectives do not have enough evidence to recommend the man be charged with the other burglaries at Mr. Mac Ltd., Tacoma Police Department spokesperson Wendy Haddow said. No other arrests have been made in those incidents.
Police took the man into custody at the scene of the burglaries several times, but he was not booked into jail until Sept. 30. Haddow pointed to COVID-19 restrictions in place at Pierce County Jail which dictate who can be booked. The restrictions only allow people arrested on suspicion of violent crimes to be booked into jail. Haddow said the jail granted TPD a booking exception due to the numerous offenses associated with the man.
The News Tribune is not naming the defendant in this case due to the nonviolent nature of his alleged crimes. The man was charged Monday in Pierce County Superior Court with second-degree burglary.
He was arraigned Tuesday and his bail was set at $15,000.
The man also has been charged with second-degree theft, second-degree malicious mischief and an additional six counts of second-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into five other businesses between Aug. 17 and Sept. 28. The value of the damages and items stolen in the burglaries — which each time involved smashed windows or glass doors — amounted to at least $9,000, according to the declarations for determination of probable cause filed in each case. In several cases, the estimated cost of repairs was not included in the court documents.
Charging papers gave this account of each burglary:
Aug. 17, 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way: Police responded to a burglary alarm. A window at the building appeared to be broken out with a rock. No suspects were found at the scene, but a computer monitor and laptop were reported missing with a total value of $4,000. Security footage showed a man walking outside the building at about 5 a.m. with two laptops and a couple boxes filled with items.
Aug. 22, 1113 South I St.: A burglary was reported at a day nursery. A window was broken and police found glass throughout the building. The nursery’s director told police a variety of items were missing valued at about $3,270. Near the scene, officers found a man identified as the defendant based on previous interactions with police and witness descriptions.
Sept. 6, 919 North 2nd St.: Police were called at about 3 a.m. to a report of a burglary at a coffee shop. A store employee watched on video as a man broke a window and leaned inside. At the scene, police saw a man standing near the broken window. Police identified him as the defendant and detained him.
Sept. 16, 801 Division Ave.: A caller reported a man was tearing down a boarded-up window at a convenience store and trying to break it. Police arrived and found a suspect walking away. The man agreed to talk with officers and was identified as the defendant. He denied smashing the window and was released at the scene.
Sept. 18, 1012 Martin Luther King Jr. Way: The owner of a tattoo parlor reported a possible burglary. Police found an empty cash register smashed into pieces outside the business and a broken window on the south side of the building. The owner told police there would have been about $100 inside the register.
Sept. 27, 801 Division Ave.: A caller reported hearing a window break at a convenience store. Officers found a man sticking his hand through a broken window outside the store and identified him as the defendant. Nothing was reported missing from the store.
Sept. 28, 1310 Martin Luther King Jr. Way: Police were called to Mr. Mac Ltd. for a report of vandalism. Officers found the glass front door of the business broken and a piece of concrete inside. Surveillance video showed a man, identified as the defendant, throwing the concrete through the door, then grabbing clothing and fleeing the store.
This story was originally written and published by The News Tribune.
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