Police chase, apprehend three burglary suspects in La Center




Three burglary suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon in La Center after police pursued and apprehended two on foot and found another lying on a trampoline in a resident’s backyard.

Around 12:30 p.m., residents of a home on Northeast Jenny Creek Road in the La Center area saw a gray sedan pulling away from their house. The homeowners called 911 to report that their home was burglarized and a shotgun was stolen, prompting the La Center Police Department to look for the sedan, said Chief Marc Denney.

Officer Jerry Lester saw the vehicle heading south near Fifth Street and pursued the suspects in his patrol car. After coming to a dead end at the vacant First Independent Bank building, the three suspects ditched the vehicle and took off on foot, heading north across East Fourth Street and the parking lot of the New Phoenix cardroom, 105 W. Fourth St.

Two suspects were apprehended at gunpoint on the backside of Chips Casino, Denney said. A Washougal K-9 unit attempted to track the third suspect.

Soon after, Lester found the suspect lying on a trampoline in the backyard of a residence, 219 E. Fourth St., across the street from the La Center City Hall.

City Hall was temporarily placed on lockdown while police searched for the suspects. Clark and Cowlitz county sheriff’s deputies and police officers from Woodland, Battle Ground and Vancouver assisted with the search.

One of the suspects was allegedly connected with two burglaries that occurred July 11 in Kalama, said Police Chief Randy Gibson. Two handguns were stolen from a residence in one of the burglaries and a front window was shot out in the other, he said.

Gibson describes the suspects as men in their early 20s who are not locals. Their identities were not released Wednesday, pending further investigation by the Kalama Police Department and the sheriff’s office Major Crimes Unit.