As an example of what Hoquiam police officers are trained to look for, Chief Jeff Myers points to the recent recovery of a trailer that had been stolen from Westport in early January and used as a drug house.
“Hoquiam Police Department focus point number one is to target drug dealers and drug locations, and department focus point three is chronic nuisance abatement,” he said. “Due to ongoing neighborhood complaints, officers have been monitoring activity at a home in the 2400 block of Pacific Avenue. Over the course of time, this location has come to the attention of (the department), and numerous contacts and traffic stops have been conducted related to activity at this residence.”
Two officers went to the location May 19 and contacted the homeowner, a 32-year old Hoquiam resident, only to learn he was actually living in a trailer out behind the house because there was no power to the home, said Myers. “In addition to living in the RV being a code violation, he was obtaining power via an extension cord to the neighbor’s house,” added Myers.
As officers talked to the subject, they also noted the yard was overgrown, a trailer was present heaped with raw garbage and several junk vehicles were left in the city right-of-way. The officers found it odd there were no plates or visible vehicle identification numbers on the rather new trailer.
“Hoquiam Code Enforcement was again called to the location to issue additional correction notices,” said Myers. “This same house had already been addressed by Code Enforcement back on May 17, to no avail.”
Officers were able to locate a sticker on the back of the trailer with a vehicle identification number and determined the trailer was stolen from behind a vacation residence in Westport. The trailer had been stolen a few days after New Year’s Day sometime after the homeowners from Seattle had used it once before parking it at their vacation home.
The suspect, who had apparently been living in the stolen trailer since January, was arrested and booked in the county jail for felony possession of stolen property. A photo of the trailer shows the outside appears to be presentable, but Myers said the inside was littered with evidence of drug use and drug abuse. It is not likely the trailer can be restored to its original condition.
The trailer was seized and transported to the police station, where it will be taken into custody by the insurance company.