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Columbia Security Service & Systems, Inc.

 Officer John Seaman Columbia Security Press Release:


August 29, 2008

Doug Harvey
Columbia Security Service and Systems
P.O. Box 775
Longview, WA 98632


I would like to commend your security officer, John Seaman in his help during our near-miss in a potential bank robbery recently. As you know, on August 1st John was at our Castle Rock branch patrolling the perimeter when he noticed a suspect parked in the lot. After he approached the truck and spoke with the man inside, the suspect left the premises. The suspect had outstanding warrants for previous crimes, including a local store robbery and was later apprehended. We appreciate John's initiative in deterring a robbery at our branch. To take away a would-be robber's anonymity is one of our most important tools, and John did that very well.

Thank you from all of us at Cowlitz Bank!


Sue Rodgers,
Security Officer

Columbia Security Press Release:

July 11, 2008

Beach Party Thwarted

Beginning on July 1, 2008, the Port of Woodland, Washington contracted with Columbia Security to provide daily patrol inspections of its three Columbia River beaches. The purpose was to control nighttime access to the “day use” park as well as to enforce posted regulations.

On the night of July 11th around 10:30 pm, new Officer Carolyn Rickards accompanied by  Sergeant Jason Rapp discovered several vehicles parked near one of the beaches and observed what appeared to be a large bonfire close to the water surrounded by several young adults. Radioing in the information, both officers stood by until Chief Doug Harvey, operating a patrol vehicle nearby, arrived.

Together, they proceeded down to the beach, confronting the group, several of which were holding beer cans. The port rules were carefully explained to the group. As a whole they accepted the consequences of having to disband the party, generally responding diplomatically. “We have been doing this for a long time” was one retort from the crowd, while one or two fairly inebriated young men also began voicing their protest of the interruption. But others, wishing to avoid a confrontation, quickly consoled their boisterous compatriots.

The security team supervised the dismantling the fire and the smothering of flames while obtaining identification information. Afterwards, everyone departed the area.

Note: Photographs were taken at the scene by Webmaster Ron Raines who had travelled to the greater Longview area from California and was accompanying Doug Harvey.

Columbia Security Press Release:

June 12, 2008

Alert Security Officer Interrupts Possible Child Endangerment

 Officer Steve McDonald officer Steve McDonald, a California transplant, working his very first solo shift discovered a very suspicious situation in the parking lot of Kelso High School just before 3:00 am on the morning of June 12, 2008.

A veteran of several years as a security patrolman in San Jose, Steve was quick to recognize that something didn’t add up when he investigated a vehicle he observed drive slowly into and park in a dark area of the school’s parking lot.

According to his report he observed, one older man and two juvenile boys get out and walk to the rear of the Toyota. McDonald drove up and approached them. “What are you up to” he asked and one of the boys replied that they were with their “grandpa”.

“This is not the place to be this time of night” McDonald replied. The two kids turned and started walking away and the man got into the car. “This doesn’t make any sense”, McDonald thought as he approached the man starting the car. “What’s going on here?” he questioned. “I don’t know!” was the man’s reply as he accelerated away.

Steve jotted down the vehicle description and license number and then proceeded to catch up with the two boys. Quickly catching up to them, the security officer asked them the same question. At first they were unresponsive, but finally one said: “Come on, let’s tell the truth.” Steve listened as they told him about being picked up down the street by the man and being offered some beer. They had pulled into the parking lot to get it out of the trunk.

Grabbing his radio, McDonald called for a police officer. Within minutes a Kelso police cruiser pulled up. Steve quickly brought the officer up to speed and an “attempt to locate” call was immediately initiated over the police frequency. The two boys were questioned and then transported to their homes.

Within 15 minutes,  officer McDonald received a radio call to meet a police unit in the parking lot of the Three Rivers Shopping Mall several blocks away from the high school. Pulling into the lot, Steve quickly recognized the man and Toyota and informed the KPD officer of such. The officer informed Steve that there was indeed beer in the trunk and the man was facing arrest for “luring” the two 16 year old youngsters.

Columbia Security Press Release:

June 9, 2008

Two Crimes Connected?

 Officer Gary Dean It's just starting to get light at 4:45 on the morning of June 9, 2008. Security officer Gary Dean is in the final phase of his graveyard watch at a credit union building under construction. He has worked many relatively routine shifts here over the past several months, witnessing the project progress along toward its final stages of completion.

Maintaining a vigil within the confines of a cyclone fence surrounding the site, he is suddenly surprised to see a man coming around the end of the building…inside the compound! Dean immediately calls for assistance on his portable radio and shouts a challenge to the individual. The guy stops in his tracks, and while showing his hands exclaims that he means no harm. He says he’s tired and is just taking a “shortcut” to get to a friend’s house.

Cautiously approaching the man, officer Dean inquires as to how he got inside the fenced area and the man responds: “I just went under it”. He provides a valid Washington state driver’s license when asked for identification.

Suddenly,  sergeant Jason Rapp arrives, followed shortly by a Longview police unit. Dean tells them what’s occurred adding that the man also “reeks from the smell of gasoline.” To explain the smell, the man admits to “running out of gas on Tennant Way near I-5” but is evasive when questioned about the identity and location of his “friend”. He is arrested for “criminal trespass” by the police officer and taken away. Officer Dean comments to sergeant Rapp as he watches the police car depart: “this is one morning that I won’t be sleepy when I get home!”.

A few hours later…

Doug Harvey, security chief and company president is in the office reviewing Gary Dean’s report with lieutenant Marcia Wills, when a phone call comes in from a local car dealership: “We’ve had gas siphoned from 3 vehicles here last night” was the report… “The gas doors are still open with the gas caps off” continued the caller. “I’ll be right there” Doug replies and hangs up the phone, grabbing the digital camera. “Here’s one we missed” he comments to Wills as he heads out the door.

It’s almost 9:00 am when Mr. Harvey pulls into the car dealer’s parking lot on Tennant Way. In a matter of seconds, he locates the vehicles in question and begins taking pictures of all three. Observing this, the service manager walks over and the two discuss the situation. Doug Harvey learns that a large gas can, full of gasoline, was found hidden on the lot by one of the dealer’s employees.

“Bingo!” thinks Harvey, as he jumps into his car and headed back to the Columbia Security office. There, he calls the Longview police department and talks with officer Blanchard. Referring to Gary Dean’s earlier confrontation, and the close proximity (three blocks) of the two locations, Harvey theorizes that there was a strong possibility that both incidents might be related. Harvey summarizes it this way:

“I believe that the man arrested at the credit union construction site was also the perpetrator in the gas siphoning. He smelled of gasoline and admitted he needed it for his car. It seems likely that he was spooked after filling his gas can, quickly hid it and ran for cover until things quieted down. The fenced enclosure of the credit union probably looked like a good spot.”

Officer Blanchard concurs that the theory has merit and initiates his own investigation.

Columbia Security Press Release:

May 3, 2008

Criminal Trespass

 Sergeant Doug McLean On Friday afternoon, May 2, 2008, Doug Harvey received a phone call requesting patrol coverage of a vacant and expansive medical building located at 900 Fir Street in Longview. Apparently the owner had concerns about vagrants in the area.

Fast forwarding to 2:30am later that night,  sergeant Doug McLean discovered pry marks on the front door of the building and an unlocked one around on the south side. Checking inside, he soon found some clothes and food items in one of the rooms and immediately backed out to call for backup assistance.

Upon arriving, officers Vitaliy Shcheglyuk and Peter Kraus began an interior search on the north side while McLean continued on where he had left off. His report continues:

“I came to what appeared to be a small storage room. When I attempted to open the door, I met some resistance. After it opened a bit, I observed a portable heater on the floor with a red light on. I could also see a black sleeping bag and what appeared to be a human form under it. I backed out and signaled for officer Kraus to join me. We opened the door all the way, forcing what turned out to be the individual’s feet out of the way.”

The officers woke the man up advising him he was criminally trespassing and he replied: “I was told I could crash here and no one would bother me.” “You’ve been misinformed!” was McLean’s response. The man was brought to his feet by McLean while Kraus radioed for a police unit.

After identifying him, McLean escorted the man to the front lobby while Kraus and Shcheglyuk finished checking out the rest of the building. According to McLean, the guy started looking a little frisky, so he decided to handcuff him. Suddenly, the man bolted out the door with McLean in pursuit…through the bushes, across the parking lot, over a street and into an alley where McLean lost sight of him.

Police units in the area soon found the man and took him into custody. McLean, a veteran police officer himself, admitted his embarrassment in letting the guy get away...“I violated my own principles by not cuffing him immediately.”

Columbia Security Press Release:

February 4, 2008

Early Morning Property Damage

 Officer Kyle Roush Just before 3:00 am on February 4, 2008, officer Kyle Roush was in his patrol cruiser slowly driving through and checking the parking lot of a large apartment complex in west Longview. Suddenly his lights exposed a black pickup truck which appeared to have crashed into a perimeter fence.

Roush exited his vehicle for a closer inspection. It was unoccupied but appeared as if the driver had lost control when attempting a turn. The truck was completely over the curb with ruts in the soggy grass 8-10 inches deep indicating that someone had tried but failed to get it out. The engine was still warm, so Kyle knew it had just happened.

Within seconds, a young man approached with mud on his shoes and pants. He appeared to be heavily intoxicated… “due to his slurred speech and inability to stand steadily.” Initially denying involvement, he changed to being a “passenger” after the mud on his clothes was pointed out. However, he admitted that the truck was his.

After obtaining his driver’s license, Roush requested dispatch to have Longview police notified. Five minutes later, two officers arrived in separate cars. While they believed that the guy was probably the driver, it couldn’t be proven, but because he was under 21, he was charged with consuming alcohol and also cited for not having valid vehicle insurance.

As a resident of the apartment complex, he was advised he would have to deal with the property owners and would be civilly liable for the property damage.

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