File photo

File photo

Toy thief uses pepper spray at Auburn grocery store

Typically, the daily log of police activities the Auburn Police Department forwards to area news agencies like the Auburn Reporter are presented in skeletal form only, requiring amplification before their publication.

Below, the Auburn Reporter offers two such items, both of which occured on Jan. 5, both of which appeared in the Jan. 15 edition of the paper under the Police Blotter, and both of which have here been fleshed out with police assistance.

Jan. 5: Strong-arm robbery

At 12:03 p.m. in the Grocery Outlet at 102 Cross St. SE, a store employee confronted a man who had concealed a number of items on his person. The man reacted by throwing some of the items into a freezer and walked out the front door.

He was still carrying a children’s toy, however, for which he had not paid.

According to witnesses, as the man left, he produced a canister of pepper spray, which he then released into the air to keep a pursuing employee from stopping him and the store from wresting away the toy he was stealing.

The employee later described the stolen item as a white children’s toy worth between $5 and $10.

“The suspect was not located or identified, so there is no explanation for his actions,” said Assistant Chief of Police Mark Caillier. “His age was estimated between 20-25 years. There was a female accompanying the suspect, but she did not take part in the incident.”

Until a viable suspect is located, Caillier said, the case will remain suspended.

Caillier said the police officer who responded to the call experienced some effect from the residual pepper spray in the air.

Assault with injury

At 7:33 p.m. in the 1600 block of 8th Street Northeast, police arrested a guy who allegedly tried to strangle his pregnant girlfriend and then pushed her out of his moving vehicle.

The woman was transported to MultiCare Auburn Medical Center for treatment. Police did not know the extent of her injuries or how fast the car was moving at the time of the incident.

“The subjects were apparently arguing over alleged relationship infidelities,” according to Caillier. “This argument led to the suspect allegedly pushing the victim out of a moving vehicle. The suspect was located, but exercised his right not to answer questions.”

Police booked the man into King County Jail on suspicion of second-degree assault domestic violence and forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor’s Office, which will determine whether to file charges.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

File photo
APD looking for one more member for the Police Advisory Committee

The city of Auburn formed its Police Advisory Committee last fall to… Continue reading

In Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, which was announced Jan. 28, restaurants can reopen at a maximum 25% capacity and a limit of six people per table. Inslee recently announced all counties will be staying in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan for the next several weeks. Pictured: People enjoy outdoor dining last summer in downtown Kent. Courtesy photo
Inslee: All of Washington to stay in Phase 2 for a few weeks

The governor issued a weekslong pause on regions moving backward, but has yet to outline a Phase 3.

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System. File photo
King County libraries will reopen in some cities for in-person services

Fall City, Kent libraries among six selected for partial reopening.

File photo
Men punch women in the face | Police blotter

Auburn Police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Nine adults and one infant were displaced in fire | Fire blotter

Between Feb. 15 and Feb. 22, the Valley Regional Fire Authority responded… Continue reading

File photo
Prosecutor charges two men in severe beating involving croquet mallet

Auburn Police reported that on the afternoon of Feb. 15, Theodore Michael… Continue reading

A South King Fire & Rescue firefighter places a used test swab into a secure COVID test vial on Nov. 18, 2020, at a Federal Way testing site. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Masks are still king in combating new COVID strains

A top UW doctor talks new strains, masks and when normal could return.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democrats look to allow noncitizens to serve on school boards

A Senate bill takes aim at a state law requiring anyone seeking elected office to be a citizen.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State health leader: We have a plan, we don’t have the supply

Two months after the COVID vaccine landed in Washington, many still struggle to secure their shots.

Most Read