3 Battle Ground residents held in Woodland burglaries

Baby with the group turned over to great-grandmother

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

Published:

Updated: May 3, 2012, 9:36 PM

 

— Three Battle Ground residents have been arrested in Woodland on suspicion of a series of residential burglaries after alert neighbors called the police Wednesday evening.

Woodland police were called about 8:30 p.m. after neighbors reported a possible burglary in progress at 1953 Meadowood Loop. A burglary had been reported at the same home on April 29, and the owner told police at that time that she suspected her former tenants.

When the neighbors saw the former tenants again on Wednesday, they confronted them and called the police, according to a news release.

The suspects fled in a Ford Explorer, but officers stopped it nearby and discovered it was full of apparently stolen property including hand and power tools.

Subsequent investigation led police to believe that the property had been stolen not only from the Meadowood home, but from other rural homes in the vicinity of Battle Ground and La Center.

The suspects allegedly told police they had committed the crimes to support their methamphetamine and heroin habits, and had already pawned some stolen property in Vancouver.

Kristopher J. Mann, 22; Sarah K. Qualey, 26; and a 17-year old boy, all of Battle Ground, remained in custody Thursday in Cowlitz County.

In addition to the burglary, theft and resale of stolen items allegations, they are also being held on suspicion of reckless endangerment. Police said the trio admitted to using drugs while they were driving to Woodland, and that an infant daughter of Mann’s and Qualey’s was in the car with them.

The baby, who was in the Ford when police stopped it, was turned over to the care of a great-grandmother.