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Shelton man arrested after stealing and using front end loader in Hoquiam

A suspect was arrested after stealing and crashing a front end loader.

The Hoquiam Police Department issued a report saying that a 33-year-old Shelton man is in custody on several charges after a front end loader was taken from Willis Enterprises. Hoquiam PD were called to the industrial area of town for a trespass in progress, told that someone was inside the business loading wood chips into trucks. They were also told that a car was stuck in the mud nearby on Moon Island Road who might be associated.

Officers were sent to both locations, finding 2 people stuck in the car, a 44-year-old man from Hoquiam man and a 23-year-old woman from Ocean Shores. HPD says that the 2 people were told to stay on the scene as they investigated the trespass.

As officers entered the mill property, they say they could hear loud noises and found a large orange DL550 front-end loader being used by the suspect. When the officers turned on their lights, the suspect “drove briefly at the patrol cars before turning around and reversing direction”.

Officers pursued the loader at it drove through the yard at a high rate of speed, but HPD says that due to the size of the loader and tires, it was “bouncing around and apparently difficult to control”.

Officers were in pursuit until the suspect drove through a chain link gate and sliding into a ditch and getting stuck. HPD tells KXRO that the suspect and his dog fled, running to the 500 block of Airport Way and behind some unoccupied trailers. The man refused to orders to surrender and a TASER was used.

HPD says that while they were arresting the man, he asked for help.

“As the suspect was directed to a nearby patrol car, he indicated he needed help. When officers asked what help he needed, the suspect said he needed to go to rehab.”

The report states that the suspect told officers he had a severe addiction to methamphetamine and thought he was in Shelton. He felt he should not face charges because he just needed  help with his drug addiction.

Officers say that the woman in the car stuck in the ditch nearby was the suspect’s girlfriend and it appears the suspect stole the loader in an attempt to pull their stuck vehicle from the ditch.

“Although officers of the department have pursued cars, trucks and motorcycles, this is the first front-end loader pursuit in recent memory.”

The man was booked into Grays Harbor County Jail for Burglary, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Malicious Mischief, Obstructing Police, and Resisting Arrest.

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