On Christmas Eve morning, a maroon Honda parked down the street from Graham Trucking in Milton, the driver watching the business for hours. Satisfied that no one was there, he walked past the front gate and around to the south side of the building, where he was obscured from view. He peeled back the sheet metal exterior and smashed through the sheet rock interior wall to make entry. The suspect loaded what was later determined to be over $10,000 worth of tools, copper wire, and material into two gray totes, backed his car up to the gate for easy loading, retrieved his stolen goods and left.
The crime would not be discovered for several days, when the employees returned after Christmas.
In the pre-dawn hours of Christmas morning, Milton Police Officer Griffin saw a maroon Honda emerge from a closed business with its lights off and turn onto Pacific Highway in Milton. He pulled the vehicle over and contacted the driver, Tyler Locker of Covington, whose driver’s license was suspended and who had a $5,100 arrest warrant for Theft 3rd Degree out of Kent. There were several tools in plain view in the vehicle’s interior, and when asked about them, Locker claimed that he was a mechanic. He was arrested under warrant and his car impounded. After being transferred to Kent, and before the Graham Trucking burglary was reported, Locker was released from custody on bail.
On December 27, employees of Graham Trucking discovered and reported a burglary to Milton Police, and it was again Officer Griffin who responded. At the time, Graham Trucking did not have any type of alarm, and there were no surveillance cameras; there was no evidence, and there were no leads. A little detective work would change that. The owner of the Graham Trucking checked with neighboring businesses and learned that they had a working surveillance camera which covered the area where the thief parked and caught much of the incident. The film was somewhat grainy, but he could clearly see a maroon sedan parked down the street from his business. Upon further review, he watched a Puyallup Tribal Police car roll past the suspect vehicle and pause, as though he was running the plate, so he contacted Puyallup Tribal PD, explained the situation and the date/time of the incident, and learned that it matched the one driven by Tyler Locker, the same one that Officer Griffin stopped and impounded on Christmas morning.
The car was still in the impound yard, and Milton PD obtained a warrant to search the interior of the maroon Honda. They found a majority of the stolen items taken from Graham Trucking and returned them to the happy business owner. Narcotics were also recovered from the trunk of the vehicle during the search. Tyler Locker is again a wanted criminal.
Milton Police Officer Kidwell added this sentiment to the public: “I would say and caution the public to be a little vigilant – when you see anyone sitting outside of a business like that, give us a call. If you see something, say something.”