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Sheriff dog runs down fugitive battery thief

Natalie St. John

Published on August 7, 2018 4:50PM

SOUTH BEND — A fugitive battery-thief ran out of juice after the county’s only police dog tracked him for about 90 minutes on July 26.

Kristofer Carey Maurillo Palacios, 25, of Raymond, was first arrested in August 2017, after trying to sell nine stolen car batteries to a Raymond auto parts store. Palacios stole two of the batteries from his mother’s vehicles.

Palacios pleaded guilty to second-degree trafficking in stolen property, a Class C felony, in October. He was fined $1,050 and sentenced to 15 days in Pacific County Jail, according to court records. Initially, the court agreed to let him serve an incremental sentence — an arrangement that lets low-level offenders work off their time without losing their jobs. However, in January, a Pacific County Superior Court judge ordered him to serve the entire sentence.

Palacios allegedly failed to comply with other requirements of his plea deal. On June 15, the court issued a $5,000 warrant for his arrest after he failed to pay his fine and didn’t show up for a court hearing.

Palacios remained free until last Thursday afternoon, when Deputy Jon Ashley was called to handle a dispute on Highway 101 near Elkhorn Creek Road. Ashley learned Palacios had recently fled from the home and called for backup.

Deputy Randy Wiegardt and his tracking dog Ciko followed Palacios through heavy brush and forest into the “very muddy, swampy area” around Elkhorn Creek, according to a July 27 press release. Ciko caught Palacios underneath the Elkhorn Creek Bridge, and deputies Ashley, Wiegardt and Detective Ryan Tully subsequently arrested him. As of July 30, he remained in Pacific County Jail. He is not eligible for bail.

Sheriff Scott Johnson, who was also present for part of the incident, praised his deputies in the press release.

“Yet another successful arrest by our crew. You can run, but you can’t hide from our team,” Johnson said.

Several other wanted people are still on the loose. The Sheriff’s Office is still searching for the person who killed Jeff Beach on July 3, 2015. They are also searching for a woman who robbed the Naselle Bank of the Pacific in 2017. Last week, Tully appeared on a Seattle-area news program to ask the public for help finding a man who shot a Pacific County woman in the arm during a July 12 home invasion. As of July 30, the suspect had not been apprehended.


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