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Columbia Security Service & Systems, Inc.


Columbia Security Press Release:

November 3, 2007

The following letter was delivered to COLSEC:
 

Mr. Harvey,

On behalf of the Longview Police Department, I would like to commend your officers for their timely and professional response to a burglary alarm located at Cascade Middle School during the early morning hours of November 2, 2007.

Your officers, Douglas Mclean, Jason Rapp and Kyle Roush responded to the location and observed forced entry to the building. They entered and located two suspects. Your officers took the suspects into custody without further incident.

The suspects were in the process of stealing digital projectors valued at approximately $3000 dollars each, after damaging several building doors. Your officer’s meritorious service is appreciated by the Longview Police Department. Without your officers assistance the suspects may have escaped and this crime would have taken substantial time and police resources to solve.

Sincerely,

LPD Graveyard Patrol


Reported by THE DAILY NEWS Longview, Washington in the “Area News” section:

November 3, 2007

Two Suspected of Breaking into Cascade School

By Leslie Slape
THE DAILY NEWS

An 18-year-old Kelso man and a 17-year-old were arrested early Friday morning on suspicion of breaking into Cascade Middle School in Longview.

 security responded to a school alarm at around 2:30 a.m. The school has been the target of several other recent break-ins, so the security firm alerted police.

Three  officers were holding two males masked with bandanas at gunpoint when police arrived, according to the  report.

 advised police that glass in the main door and in two interior doors had been smashed. Police estimated damage at more than $1,250.

Police seized as evidence a large hammer and a bag containing three Hitachi LCD projectors, each valued at $3,000.  said the items were with the suspects when they were caught.

Police booked Christopher Alan Northam, 18, of Kelso into jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary, first-degree theft and first-degree malicious mischief. Bail: $15,000.

His alleged accomplice, 17, was booked into juvenile detention center on similar allegations. His city of residence was unavailable.

Police said the younger boy had a cut on his hand, there was blood on some of the broken glass and blood was smeared on one of the projectors.

Police said a shotgun was visible through the window of the vehicle allegedly used by the suspects. Additional charges are pending a search of the vehicle.


Columbia Security Press Release:

October 23, 2007

Vehicle Prowlers Pick Wrong Place

According to the Longview Daily News, there were three vehicle prowls around the area during the early morning hours on Monday, October 22nd. However, in one instance, the culprits picked the wrong place at the wrong time.

 Officer Kyle Roush Shortly before 3:00 am,  patrol officer Kyle Roush pulled his patrol vehicle into the yard of Sound Redi-Mix in the Kelso Industrial area. Way in the back, near the Coweeman River dike, he observed two men moving away from a white GMC crew cab truck parked there. Roush quickly approached them. His report continues:

“I exited my vehicle and made contact with them. Before I had a chance to ask them any questions, they stated that their vehicle had run out of gas and they were walking along the dike to get to a gas station.”

That statement didn’t make any sense to Kyle based on where they were, without a gas can and no gas station in proximity. A quick inspection of the truck revealed something else:

“I found the driver’s door unlocked, the ignition punched and the steering column torn apart.”

Holding the two at bay, officer Roush radioed for police assistance and within a few minutes, two Kelso police cruisers came rolling in with lights flashing. Both men were searched and handcuffed. Police found a glass meth pipe, a flashlight, a pair of pliers on one man and a flashlight and a two-way radio on the other. They were each placed in the backseat of separate patrol cars.

Roush’s account of the subsequent interviews by Kelso police:

“The (suspects) stated that they ran out of gas, parking their vehicle at the “park & ride” (lot) near Talley & Tennant Way. They went looking for a vehicle to siphon gas from. Finding it, they were supposed to contact a third subject still at the park & ride by radio and have him bring their vehicle to the scene. They refused to admit to attempting to steal the GMC.”

Loaded in the back of the police car, the two were taken away. The third individual was also contacted by KPD, the results of which were not available.


Columbia Security Press Release:

August 25 - September 2, 2007
 
Special Assignment: ShipWatch 
 
At 10:30 am on August 25, 2007 four Columbia Security officers positioned themselves at berth 2, Port of Longview for the docking of the M/V New Alliance, a cargo ship. Pursuant to directives from the local Department of Homeland Security, 19 of 22 seamen on board were restricted from coming ashore. Specifically, security officers were assigned to provide continuous surveillance at the bow, gangway and stern with the 4th as a rover. Additionally, every six hours, all crew members were mustered for roll call by a COLSEC officer. Security was terminated on August 26th around 11:30 pm after the ship departed for anchorage near Vancouver USA about 40 miles upriver.


 


After 3 days at anchor in the Columbia River, the M/V New Alliance was finally cleared to dock at berth 7, Port of Vancouver USA and did so at 4:30 pm on August 30th. Of course, a contingent of COLSEC officers were waiting to re-establish security watch. As soon as the ship was moored, security Chief Doug Harvey boarded the vessel and conducted an immediate photo identification check of all crew-members to ensure everyone was still present. All were accounted for. Afterwards, a routine muster-check was performed four times daily while the ship continued to load cargo. The ship finally departed at around 12:30 pm on the afternoon of September 2nd with all crewmen aboard.


Columbia Security Press Release:

July 28, 2007
 
Burglar Chased, Suspect Apprehended 

 
It was 5:30 in the morning on July 27, 2007, Officer Kyle Roush was in the office writing reports when he was dispatched to a burglar alarm at Coweeman Middle School in Kelso. Knowing he still had reports to write, Kyle called Sergeant Doug McLean, who was still out, to see if he could cover the call. McLean agreed.

 Sergeant Doug McLean Nine minutes later, Sergeant McLean was out of his car checking the building designated by the alarm company. According to his report… "When I walked around the corner, I observed a white male carrying a black case (about 200 feet away). I yelled 'Hey' and without looking around, he ran away from me. I gave chase and requested dispatch to notify Kelso police." Hearing McLean’s radio call, Kyle Roush, still at the office, bolted out to his car.

Doug chased the man through bushes where he dropped the black bag, then ran across Allen Street and up a heavily wooded hill. At the top, McLean couldn’t locate the man, but a Kelso police car and a Longview police K-9 unit arrived and soon took up the search. Meanwhile, Officer Roush began checking the school for evidence of a forced entry, while McLean returned to the area where the black bag had been dropped. It contained a LCD projector and assorted support items plus a 30-pack of music CD’s and a flashlight.

Roush soon discovered a door that had been pried open. McLean joined him and searched the interior finding no one inside. However, when the head custodian arrived to check things out, he confirmed that the projector had been taken from the room.

Several minutes later, Kelso Police Sergeant Mike Dalen requested to have Doug Mclean respond to the Yew Street railroad crossing as a county deputy sheriff had a man in custody fitting the description of the man he had pursued. Though he never saw the man’s face during the chase, Doug indicated that the man’s hair, clothing and general build matched that of the fleeing suspect.

With Doug’s identification, along with physical evidence found at the scene, the man was arrested and transported to jail. Shortly thereafter, it was also learned that Wallace Elementary School nearby had also been entered and was missing a projector as well. According to Kelso police, both crimes were most likely committed by the same perpetrator.

Kyle Roush returned to the office to finish his reports. Sergeant McLean came to the office as well to write his report.


Columbia Security Press Release:

July 24, 2007
 
Teamwork Leads to Arrests 

July 8, 2007

 
Officers Kyle Roush and Vitaliy Shcheglyuk have formed an alliance of sorts in dealing with riff-raff in a portion of Longview’s industrial area recently labeled as the "Devil’s Triangle" by COLSEC boss Doug Harvey.  This triangular area (each side about 6 blocks long), comprised primarily of small businesses with a low-income trailer park in the center has been particularly hard hit by wire and metal thieves and is alive with transients."The situation got so bad that we actually realigned our patrol district boundaries several weeks ago in order to have multiple  patrol cars checking this troubled area each night." Harvey explained.

 Officers Roush and Shcheglyuk On July 8, 2007 around 3:50 am, Officer Roush noticed a black Chevrolet S-10 pickup parked between a heating & air conditioning business and a tire outlet.  The truck’s engine was warm, but there was no-one in sight.  Checking inside the unlocked vehicle, Kyle found a receipt from a metal recycling facility totaling $300 for "scrap metal."  The pickup was otherwise empty and nothing seemed amiss elsewhere on the property.

However, suspecting that something was going on, Roush left the area and radioed what he had found to officer Shcheglyuk.  Several minutes later, both officers converged on the area in their patrol cars.  This time, they spotted a man who eventually admitted to "dumpster diving" but denied any connection to the truck.  After some more questions, the man admitted that it "might" be the one he had "sold" a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Vitaliy re-inspected the pickup and found a "fairly large spool of copper wire in the bed."  At this point, Kyle Roush requested police assistance and two Longview officers arrived a few minutes later.  The truck was indeed registered to the suspect, plus there was a "no bail warrant" charging him with "driving with a suspended license."   Naturally, he was arrested for this pending further investigation on the spool of wire.

July 21, 2007

Several days later on July 21st, officer Shcheglyuk discovered what appeared to be a highly intoxicated man stumbling around on the property of a vacant pizza parlor shortly before 8:00 pm.  Witnessing him fall to ground, Vitaliy went to his side and confirmed that he was drunk.  When asked for identification, the made became somewhat hostile. 

Hearing the situation over the radio, officer Kyle Roush headed towards the scene arriving in time to assist in trying to calm the man down.  The man continued to be uncooperative, so police assistance was requested.  "While we were waiting for the police," Roush reported, (the man) "continued to get angry yelling and cursing at us."  He eventually attempted to get up waiving his arms in a threatening manner.  "So I unholstered my taser and firmly ordered him to sit back down."

Upon arrival, Longview police administered a Portable Breath Test (PBT) to ascertain the man’s blood alcohol content with a reading of 0.142.  They also determined that there was a warrant for "violation of the uniform controlled substances act" from the city of Chehalis (several miles north) and they found a marijuana pipe in his possession.

He was taken to jail and the  officers resumed their patrol duties.


Columbia Security Press Release:

July 1, 2007
 
TROJAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT: 
"A Year After the Cooling Tower Implosion"

 
It has been a little over a year since the cooling tower at the decommissioned Trojan nuclear power plant near Rainier, Oregon was imploded.  The first event of this type in the U.S., the eight second collapse (as documented on this website), drew widespread attention and notoriety.

Columbia Security was there then and continues there today providing special coverage during the cooling tower debris removal initially and now for the turbine building demolition which follows.  However, this is no normal teardown!

Being a nuclear facility, all debris and material being removed must be certified “clear” of any radio activity.  Each vehicle must be electronically “scanned” through a gamma ray detection system when entering or exiting the site.  Additionally, all vehicles entering must also be thoroughly checked for plant safety and contraband while ensuring that only authorized people, drug/alcohol free, are allowed entry.

COLSEC officers Marsha Wills and Sandy Kultala are thoroughly trained to carry out these responsibilities.  Kultala oversees the gamma ray inspection process while Wills monitors access onto the facility.  As senior officer knowledgeable in all aspects of the operation, Marsha coordinates the smooth and accurate completion of all associated activities.


Columbia Security Press Release:

June 25, 2007
 
School Burglary

 
 Officer Kyle Roush "Columbia to Lincoln-3, alarm at Coweeman Middle School…" was the radio call from the dispatch center to  patrol officer Kyle Roush.  It was 30 minutes after midnight on June 24, 2007.  "Glass breakage and motion in 'C' wing" continued the dispatcher.  Roush immediately turned his patrol car around and proceeded towards the school east of I-5 in Kelso.  Within a couple of minutes, Kyle learned that another alarm from the school had also just come in.

Knowing that multiple activations increase the probability that an actual burglary is in progress, Roush, seeing a Kelso police car, flagged him down.  Both cars then rolled to the school.  Finding nothing unusual in front, the officers proceeded on foot, around towards the back stopping two young boys on bicycles.  Meanwhile, another Kelso officer found a broken window on a portable classroom.  When questioned about it, the youths eventually admitted to breaking it with a bowling pin and entering the classroom.  Then, according to Roush’s report:
 

"(KPD) Sergeant Lane searched the two juveniles and found a set of keys in the pocket of one of them.  He was asked what they were to and the juvenile responded that they belonged to the school and were from a desk drawer in the classroom.  The boys admitted that they intended to return to the school later using the keys to gain entry and cause further damage.  They were also in possession of flashlights, a box-cutter and dozens of 'chromies' (chrome wheel valve-stem covers) which they admitted to stealing from unattended vehicles."

Charged with second degree burglary, the youngsters were taken to the juvenile detention center.  A school district representative was called and subsequently arrived to assume responsibility for securing the building.  Officer Roush returned to his patrol duties.


 

Columbia Security Press Release:

June 3, 2007
 
Two Incidents, Same Night

 
Burglary Due to repeated cases of vandalism, COLSEC  officers were assigned to patrol the former (and currently vacant) juvenile detention facility near I-5 in Kelso, Washington. Around 9:00pm on June 2, 2007, while patrolling the premises, 3 year veteran officer Kyle Roush found a door on the NE corner propped open with a rock. After radioing the information to dispatch, officer Roush initiated a closer inspection:
 

"As I approached the door, I noticed two wet footprints directly outside the door. It was still fairly warm out so I was confident that the prints were fresh. As I entered the doorway, I heard voices coming from inside. I notified dispatch that there was a burglary in progress and requested that Kelso Police be contacted to assist me."

Kyle backed out of the door and assumed a position of containment until the police arrived. Approximately 10 minutes later, a Kelso officer arrived at Kyle’s position and informed him that two suspects were captured just outside the building at the other end. However, the interior of the facility was still thoroughly checked by two other officers just in case someone was still inside.

Finding no one inside, officers began searching for the "point of entry" discovering a broken window on the NW side that had been pushed open. Subsequently, the two male suspects (juveniles in possession of "Airsoft" pistols) admitted to the burglary and to committing some vandalism inside. The two boys were transported to the new juvenile detention center several blocks away.

Kyle Roush and  officer Vitaliy Shcheglyuk (who had arrived shortly after the police), then proceeded to secure the building prior to returning to their patrol duties.

 Officer Ron Johnson Man Found In Ditch  officer Ron Johnson was traveling on Huntington Avenue at the south end of the town of Castle Rock (8 miles north of Kelso) just prior to 2:00am on the morning of June 3rd when his attention was drawn to what appeared to be a man’s body lying in a ditch along the road.

Johnson stopped his patrol car, put a spotlight beam on the object confirming what Ron had thought. Turning on his car’s warning lights and radioing dispatch with the information, the officer jumped out of the car with flashlight in hand and rushed into the ditch.

The man was alive but unconscious. Johnson quickly checked for any signs of obvious injuries. Finding none, he attempted to awaken the man without success. Grabbing his portable radio, he called for backup and for medical assistance and Castle Rock Police officer J. Ganns arrived in a few minutes. Officer Ganns also tried to revive the man without any luck.

Paramedics soon took over, eventually awakening what turned out to be a severely intoxicated man. Still not knowing how the incoherent man, in an apparent drunken stupor, had ended up along the road, it was decided to transport him to St John Medical Center in Longview for observation.

Sometime later, officer Johnson reported that he heard the man had "escaped" wearing only a t-shirt and hospital gown. He was located a short time later by Longview police at a Safeway store several blocks from there and was subsequently returned to hospital security officers.


 

 Officer Surprises Burglar

 Officer Rodney Thomas
It was about 1:30 am on March 26, 2007.  Officer Rodney Thomas was slowly patrolling along the perimeter of Columbia Ford-Lincoln-Mercury in his patrol car when he noticed that a large gate into a rear compound, previously secure, was now standing partially ajar.

Exiting his car, Rodney walked towards the gate, approximately 30 yards inside the blocked off property.  Reaching the gate, Officer Thomas peered through the gate around the back of the building.  Several feet away, in a carwash rack, Thomas could see a young man wearing Camo Pants and a dark hooded sweatshirt moving a portable pressure-washer.

Upon seeing the patrol officer and after hearing the warning to stop, the burglar let go of the washer, grabbed a nearby bicycle and rode away towards the far end of the compound.  Rodney began a foot pursuit while calling the information in on his portable radio.

At the other end, the burglar tried to throw the bike up over the 8’ fence, but it became tangled near the top.  Seeing the officer approaching, he scrambled over the fence and ran off into the darkness leaving the bike behind.

Knowing that police and other  units were nearing the vicinity, officer Thomas proceeded back towards his patrol car, radioing in additional information to the responding officers.

Within a few minutes a police unit discovered a man meeting the burglary suspect's description a few blocks away.  Rodney Thomas drove to the location and identified the man in custody as the burglar he had confronted earlier.  The suspect was taken to jail.


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