Elma man wanted for numerous local crimes

The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man they believe is connected to a series of recent crimes.

According to Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate, their investigation began with 2 crimes reported in Central Park late last week. In the first case, a resident reported that a loaded pistol was stolen from inside of their vehicle. Along with the gun, a phone charger and a Disabled Parking pass were also taken. There were no suspects.

Approximately an hour later and less than a mile down the same road, police were told that there was a man with long hair on the roof of a home trying to break in. They were told that he was around 30 years old, and “soaking wet”. Despite a search of the area with a K9 team, no suspect was found.

Over the weekend, residents came home from days of clam digging to find their home ransacked. Taken from the home was some jewelry, as well as 2 pickup trucks. When the GHSO filed them as stolen, they found that one had already been impounded days prior. According to the report, a 46 year old Elma man was pulled over for speeding, and since the vehicle had not been reported stolen it was impounded and the man was released.

When the residents got their pickup back, the stories connect even more. Inside the impounded truck, the owner found their jewelry and the stolen loaded pistol.

Deputies learned that following that traffic stop, a man came to the impound in another truck, looking to possibly retrieve those items. That same day, in Pacific County on the Brooklyn Road, Pacific County Sheriff’s Deputies were called when a man was seen prowling a logging site. When they pulled up, the suspect ran and was not found. At the scene was the 2nd stolen truck.

Police believe that the suspect in all of these cases is John C. Latch, a 46 year old transient from Elma.

Latch has an extensive history with law enforcement.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call 911.


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