WANTED IN PIERCE COUNTY —
Fall fishing season may be underway on the Puyallup River, but one angler is putting the sport behind him and focusing on the softball team he coaches — after a thief stole his truck while he was trying to catch some Chinook.
The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force is asking for your help to identify a suspect caught on camera in a drug store in Puyallup using the victim’s stolen credit card.
The truck owner says he hopes that when the thief is found, he’s not another ‘catch and release.’
Chris Plumb has been a volunteer fastpitch softball coach off and on for a quarter century, helping kids excel and grow. “That`s my goal, whether you’re a good fastpitch player or not, as long as you turn into a good adult, I did my job,” said Plumb.
So, when a thief in Puyallup stole his truck with all of his gear for practices and games, it hurt. “So, I had Bownets, buckets of balls, buckets of whiffle balls. I had my coaching bag, which has all my lineups, First Aid kits, extra gloves, another catcher`s bag that had an extra catcher’s helmet and extra bats, lots of stuff we use extra for the girls if they forget stuff like that.”
The Puget Sound Auto Theft Task Force found his Ford F-350 all trashed that same day, but the softball gear was gone -- so was a debit card he used to purchase items for an upcoming fundraiser. “I just put the card in my center console, not thinking about the card, because I normally don't carry it, forgot to take it out and put it back in the house,” said Plumb. But, it was that mistake that gave deputies the best clue to catch a suspect – after a suspect started using the card at various stores. "We have video of him coming in and out of the Walgreens,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Gary Sanders. “Whether he was the one that was the one that stole it, or an accomplice of his, sometimes they work in rings and one does the stealing, distributes the credit cards and then someone else, they've got many people working in this team where they go out and get the most ‘bang for their buck’ as I guess you say."
Detectives are hoping somebody recognizes the suspect. “Maybe if people are held responsible, they think twice before doing it, they see that there are consequences for their actions instead of no consequences for their actions."
Plumb says he was able to replace the stolen softball equipment pretty quickly with the help from other teams in the league, so they didn't miss out on any games, but he has a new lesson to pass along now to his players. “In today's society, you can't trust anybody. Don't keep the valuables in your car. You know, I didn't think the stuff in the back of my truck was valuable enough for someone to steal. I was wrong. I was wrong,” said Plumb.
The suspect appears to have a pair of glasses or sunglasses on his Seattle Mariners hat and some facial hair, especially under his chin and neck.
If you know who he is, Crime Stoppers will pay you a cash reward of up to $1,000. Call 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), or use the P3 Tips App on your cell phone.