Special thanks to chieft for the story!
Courtesy of THE KITSAP SUN
The amateur burglar’s backpack wasn’t big enough to fit all the loot he was stealing from the house, so he took out his math and biology notes to make room and then forgot the notebook on the bed at the scene of the crime. But it wasn’t the notebook that led law enforcement agents to the suspects in a Feb. 21 burglary in South Kitsap. There were no names found in the pages.
It was the instincts of a tech-savvy crime victim and her family and friends, plus a series of blunders by the accused burglar, that led Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies to confessions from the suspect and an accomplice, both 18. "We can find anything on MySpace," Leah Davis said. It was the 32-year-old’s laptop, video game console and other electronic devices that were stolen. After the burglary, Davis’ husband went looking for the couple’s Palm Pilot and couldn’t find it. "That’s when I got mad," Leah Davis said. "Not that I wasn’t mad before." Davis put a post on Craigslist, an online classifieds service, explaining the break-in and an inventory of stolen items. She also reported the burglary to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. But, as Sheriff’s Office spokesman Scott Wilson put it, while deputies can’t keep victims from investigating on their own, it’s recommended that they coordinate with officers. Wilson acknowledged that deputies aren’t as familiar with searching the Web for clues. "We’re not quite there yet as far as an every-day event," he said. Someone responded to Davis’ Craigslist inquiry and she was able to track down what she suspected was her Palm Pilot, advertised for sale on Craigslist. She set up a meeting at a Bremerton convenience store with security cameras with the seller. Two young men appeared at the meeting on March 1 and showed Davis the Palm Pilot. She turned it on, shaking with anger, and searched until she found something familiar. "That’s when I kind of lost it," she said. She informed them the Palm Pilot was hers, and that she wanted the rest of her stuff back. The young men ran away. Using the e-mail address provided on the Craigslist ad for the Palm Pilot, Davis and her husband were able to track down — within hours — one of the young men’s MySpace account. Shortly after, using the man’s name, they found his picture, his address, his birthday, where he worked, his grade-point average his senior year in high school and even the estimated value of his parent’s house, which was about one mile away from hers, she said. "You can find anything out online," said Davis, who promptly shared the information with investigators. The result? Gregory Duane "Ory" Packer, 18, was charged Wednesday in Kitsap County Superior Court with residential burglary for breaking into the South Kitsap residence on Pelican Lane SE. Daniel Leo Hollon, also 18, received the same charge. On Tuesday, a deputy arrested Packer at his house on the 8000 block of SE McBreen Lane. He was booked into the Kitsap County jail. When asked why he did it, Packer responded: "Because I’m stupid," and later said he committed the crime because he was bored, a report from the Sheriff’s Office said. Early the next morning, Packer posted bail. But he was arrested again in the afternoon. A Kitsap Sheriff’s detective happened to be driving by Packer on West Belfair Valley Road while he was allegedly stashing other stolen items in a wooded area — which happened to be near the entrance to the Bremerton police firing range. The Sheriff’s Office was conducting training, and the detective happened to be at the firing range that day. "They’re kids," said Wilson. "I’d say their experience is somewhat lacking."