Sequim police arrest one, search for another in auto theft spree


SEQUM — One of the two suspects is in custody after several alleged incidents in Sequim, including several vehicle thefts.

Joanie Squires, 33, of Tacoma was arrested around 5 p.m. Thursday after crashing a vehicle into landscaping in front of Hurricane Ridge Veterinary Hospital at the corner of North Seventh Avenue and West Hendrickson Road.

On Friday, Judge Brent Basden took Squires into custody for 72 hours with bail set at $10,000.

Deputy Police Chief Mike Hill said in a phone interview that police plan to recommend up to 12 charges to the Clallam County District Attorney’s Office, including crimes of attempted escape of a police vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Squires will be arraigned on Tuesday in Clallam County Superior Court with Harry Gasnick, director of Clallam’s public defender, named as her defense attorney.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Woolman said in court Friday that Squires allegedly said he used methamphetamine and drank alcohol for an hour to 90 minutes before driving a stolen truck.

A 32-year-old male accomplice, unidentified by authorities, remained at large after allegedly fleeing in another stolen vehicle outside the area, police report.

The silver GMC truck was found abandoned in Mason County on Friday, police said.

Sequim police are continuing to investigate the man’s whereabouts, and if he is not located, they will issue an arrest warrant and then name him, Hill said.

He added that the pair’s connection to Sequim was unknown as of the end of last week.

Thefts reported

Sequim police report the woman and man came to Sequim, allegedly in a stolen orange truck from Fife; he was seen around 9.30am Thursday near South Rhodefer Road – when the couple allegedly stole power tools from a parked vehicle, law enforcement officials said.

Police report the couple then allegedly stole a green van from an apartment building on Sunnyside Avenue and at around 10:30 a.m. the man was seen on South Ninth Avenue via CCTV cameras trying unsuccessfully to steal another vehicle.

Minutes later, the stolen green truck was abandoned on the 700 block of West Washington Street and the man reportedly stole a second vehicle and dumped it a few blocks away.

Another vehicle, a silver GMC pickup truck, was reported stolen at 4:45 p.m. in the 200 block of West Bell Street.

Shortly after, Squires was reportedly seen driving the orange truck in the 1100 block of West Washington Street, and officers attempted to arrest her.

She allegedly fled, officers said, as did the man, who was spotted in the nearby silver truck.

Hill said the state’s updated law barred them from pursuing vehicles due to the nonviolent severity of their crimes, so officers stopped pursuing them.

Police said the couple allegedly fled east on Washington Street in oncoming traffic.

The man allegedly hit another vehicle with the driver uninjured on the 700 block of West Washington Street, police report. He turned to Westside Pizza and was cornered in his landscaping with police demanding he get out, but he got away again, police say.

Squires drove the orange truck down North Seventh Avenue, where she hit landscaping and a large rock in front of a veterinary hospital, where she was arrested.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter for the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is made up of the Sound Publishing Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum newspapers. Join it at [email protected].

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