An Enumclaw couple was arrested Sunday following car prowls at Mount Rainier National Park.
Jamie David Spain, 39, and Dawn Marie Gale, 44, are charged with suspicion of theft of government property, theft of personal property and malicious mischief. The two remain in custody pending detention hearings this week.
If convicted the suspects face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint: in August the National Park Service noted an increase in car prowls at Mount Rainier. The park service placed “bait cars,” to see if they could identify suspects. One sedan was loaded with a cell phone, GPS device, satellite phone, digital camera, and camping gear and equipment.
The car was parked at the Crystal Lakes Trailhead Saturday. At about 6 a.m. Sunday, a ranger watched the two suspects as they drove into the parking lot. The ranger watched as one suspect allegedly broke the window on the car. The suspect reportedly removed all the valuables and checked the trunk for more. The couple left the lot, and the ranger radioed for help.
The couple was pulled over a short distance away. Not only did they allegedly have all the materials stolen from the bait car, they also reportedly possessed credit cards, drivers’ licenses, and a cell phone linked to other car prowls, a park service news release says.
Chief Ranger Chuck Young said the arrest of the couple will not necessarily end car thefts in the park. To avoid becoming a victim visitors should not leave valuables in their cars.