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Arrest warrant issued for suspect in gun shop burglary

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Patrick Weldon Nelson Jr., 40, of Seattle, is wanted on suspicion of burglarizing a Kitsap County gun shop on April 9 and stealing 14 handguns. A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest. (Photo: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office)

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for a 40-year-old Seattle man suspected of stealing 14 handguns during a burglary at the Boerner Firearms shop in Gorst last week, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday.

The arrest warrant on suspicion of second-degree burglary was issued Tuesday for Patrick Weldon Nelson Jr., who has a listed address in Seattle but who sheriff’s deputies say is known to frequent Clallam and Jefferson counties. A statement by the sheriff’s office said Nelson has family in the Forks area.

He is described as 5-foot-9, 210 pounds, with blue eyes and brown-colored hair.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said Nelson is “a primary suspect” in the April 9 burglary. A sheriff’s statement said none of the handguns has been recovered yet.

According to the sheriff’s office, Nelson is a felon currently under supervision by the state Department of Corrections. His criminal history of eight felonies includes multiple narcotics charges, assault, theft, and eluding a pursing police vehicle.

Persons with information concerning the whereabouts of Nelson are asked to contact:
Detective Aaron Baker at (360) 337-5611, or detective Chad Birkenfeld at (360) 337-5619, or Kitsap County Central Communications (9-1-1 dispatch), at (360) 308-5400.
Reference: case report K14-003440.
Those wishing to remain anonymous may contact Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

PREVIOUS from earlier stories:

After the April 9 burglary — which was caught on camera — detectives located the getaway car used in the crime last Thursday night.  The sheriff’s office said Mason County sheriff’s deputies last Thursday noticed two women abandoning the getaway car in a Belfair shopping center, and Kitsap County sheriff’s detectives found evidence in the car, police said.  On Saturday, sheriff’s detectives searching a mobile home in South Kitsap where one of the two women were living found a suspect — a 24-year-old man — hiding in a wooden shed in back. He was taken into custody without incident.

More arrests are possible, the sheriff’s office said at the time.

The burglar who hit the gun shop helped himself to an unknown number of handguns. It was all caught on surveillance camera.

“Once he entered the store, he went to one of the handgun cabinets, took a couple of shelves of handguns, put everything in a bag, just scooped them off in a bag from the shelves, and exited the door, Boerner Firearms owner Bill Boerner said.

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The suspect in the burglary of a gun shop near Bremerton is caught on camera. (Photo: Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office)

He said he lost thousands of dollars’ worth of handguns but it’s the loss of the guns rather than the loss of the money that will keep him up at night.

“They might be used in a crime. Everybody, I think, that has a gun shop that gets broken into worries about that,” Boerner said.

Kitsap County sheriff’s investigators and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are working to identify the thief and determine how many guns were taken.

They are also looking for a getaway car believed to be an older-model Lexis; two-tone white over gray or silver with aftermarket chrome wheels and a sunroof.

The case is a priority because there is a lot at stake.

“Those guns are not going to be used for legitimate reasons. Those guns will probably be used for criminal enterprise, criminal purposes, either serial numbers altered or even obliterated so the guns can’t be traced. They will either trade them for drugs or sell them for money to buy drugs. One of the two,” Kitsap County sheriff’s deputy Scott Wilson said.

Police say they believe a second person was involved. Because he was not seen on security cameras, the second person was likely driving the getaway car.

Anyone with information about this crime should call 911.

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10 comments

  • Joe

    He wasn't from Tacoma, but still a piece of crap who would not have minded that these guns would be used to raze down innocent people for crime, I hope it rots in jail.

  • NNN

    Everyone prejudging before he has a chance to speak…..that’s exactly what happens in the courtroom also. He has a right to a fair trial but can’t afford one….so he’ll get another public pretender to advise him to take another plee…..no thx. We love you big papa

  • diamond

    to everyone that does not know the true story and are judging pat before he has the chance to defend him self and draw all these conclusions because of his past when in reality if you pulled your heads out of your asses you would realize that all they have for evidence is a video of A CAR driving down the road that you cant even make out the color of the vehicle let alone even get a licence plate number?? how many white-grey-or silver Lexus's are there with after market rims?? THERE'S ALLOT and i think its complete bullshit to accuse him of doing something when there's no proof… so too the next person who wants to talk shit before taking a look at all the evidence that they don't have GO F**** YOUR SELF'S because you and all the police involved are all mentally f***ing retarded …….you got this pat we who know you know your innocent good luck

  • johnboy

    I agree what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty isn’t it our right as Americans to a fair trial be for being accused and everyone is so quick to jump to conclusions and accuse pat because of his past record or go off of hear say from known drug users with pending criminal charges. Of course those type of people would say what ever they could to save their own assess so how is that creditable Information Or even leagle for their testimony to hold up in court while under the influence of meth or heroine or any other drug for that matter

  • Michael Rosche

    I knew Pat before he got into any trouble. He was a young and very sucessfull young man,and worked in Kansas,and came home on a vacation and hooked up with some of his old friends,and ended up doing some Meth. That led to Pat getting into a lot of trouble,just as it did myself and many other people around the world. Pat ended up going to Prison and ended up changing his life around completely, the same happened to me. They say (statistics) that only 3% of people that go to Prison actually change their lives around. Pat,myself and maybe 1or two other people I know (Lance Akin) are a part of that small 3% that have made it. We all payed our debt to society,and believe me,there was nothing simple about it,and we all will carry our backgrounds with us for the rest of our lives no matter what we do. Pat is a very good man that changed his life around completely. He has a beautiful young daughter,and a good life.