7th time this year

Tumwater man arrested over alleged theft

Claims he planned giving stolen chicken to fellow homeless


A Tumwater man was arrested after allegedly stealing food from a grocery store.

Mohammed Ali Cobian, 42, was arrested on April 28 after a reported theft at the Safeway on Cleveland Avenue.

The store manager told Tumwater police that Cobian had stolen from them before, and she wanted to press charges.

The manager said that on the day of the alleged incident, she was alerted to a man, later identified as Cobian, loading some items into a reusable shopping bag.

“I located the subject and observed him, with the full red shopping bag, bypass all points of sale and exit the store,” she said.

The manager said Cobian took the stolen goods outside to the fuel station, then later returned to sit at the bench in front of Safeway. The suspect eventually got up and walked away as police arrived.

Officers later located Cobian walking westbound on Custer Way near Boston Street.

One officer wrote that he “recognized the male as Mohammed Cobian, whom we have dealt with for similar issues. He has been arrested six times in the past year by various agencies for theft.” His name has appeared in The JOLT’s Police Blotter only twice before, neither time for theft. The first citation noted was May 10, 2021.

Cobian told police that he took a rotisserie chicken and an espresso drink from the store because he had already used up the funds in his Electronic Benefit Transfer card. The suspect also said he planned to give the chicken to a fellow homeless friend.

Police found the chicken and drink in Cobian’s bag, along with other items that the suspect said he paid for at a different Safeway. Officers found a receipt showing that Cobian paid for some, but not all, of the items in his possession.

Cobian was booked into the Nisqually Jail for third-degree theft. The suspect was also issued a citation and was trespassed from the Safeway on Cleveland Avenue.


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