Alleged hardware heist might lead to hard time

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A local transient man was caught by Tumwater police after a silent alarm notified them of an alleged burglary on Mon., Sept. 6 at approximately 4:30 a.m.

Tumwater police officers report that they chased Andrew William Minford, 28, on foot as he emerged from a wooded area near the retailer. They say he lay down next to a hedge and refused several requests to come out. Getting closer they observed what turned out to be a handgun in his back pocket. “At this point, I drew my duty pistol to the low ready for my safety,” one officer reported. Officers requested back up assistance from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.  Once deputies arrived, Tumwater officers approached Minford and took him into custody.

Minford claimed that the pistol was not illegal and that he has had it since he was 18 years old. Police noted that the weapon had its serial number removed.

After taking Minford into custody Tumwater police discovered three bags of merchandise they say he took from Lincoln Creek Lumber. The items in the bags ranged from cans of spray paint, gorilla tape, garbage bags and masks. One of the bags contained a black crowbar.

On the way to the Thurston County Jail, police say Minford inquired several times how long he would be in jail. The officer reminded Minford that he was being charged with burglary in the first degree, which is the charge made when an accused burglar is armed with a weapon.

According to the police report, Minford said “Well, there goes my life. My girlfriend might die before I am even out.”

The total value of items allegedly stolen from Lincoln Creek Lumber was $373.09.

Tumwater police reported that dispatch advised that Minford was a convicted felon.

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