A 32-year-old Olympia man accused of robbing someone with a shotgun in west Olympia is being held in Thurston County jail in lieu of $45,000.
Olympia police arrested Harley Kent Pierce last Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree robbery and unlawful possession of dangerous weapons. Officers arrested him at a camp near the 2100 block of Cooper Point Road Southwest.
Court Commissioner Nathan Kortokrax found probable cause for first-degree robbery and set the bail amount on Wednesday during Pierce's preliminary appearance.
In setting the bail amount, Kortokrax cited concerns Pierce may commit a violent crime or seek to intimidate witnesses, according to court documents.
Pierce's criminal history dates to 2007 and includes a second-degree assault conviction from 2019, according to court documents.
Lt. Paul Lower told The Olympian that witnesses reported that Pierce held a shotgun during the robbery. However, officers never found a shotgun at the scene.
Lower said officers were still actively looking for the shotgun as of Friday.
A probable cause statement includes a reporting officer's narrative of the investigation:
The officer responded to the railroad tracks near Cooper Point Road at 4:06 a.m. Tuesday and contacted the alleged victim, according to the statement. The person told the officer that Pierce threatened them with a shotgun as they returned to their tent.
They told the officer Pierce ordered them to empty their pockets, and Pierce allegedly took the person's belongings, including a tablet, and left.
When Pierce left, the person fled to Black Lake Boulevard, where they flagged someone down to report the alleged robbery, according to the statement.
The person described the shotgun to police as a brown hunting shotgun and said they had heard of Pierce using it to rob others in the past, according to court documents.
Officers encountered more people camping further down the railroad tracks and questioned them about the alleged robbery, according to the statement. The officers found Pierce there and detained him.
Others near Pierce said they had not witnessed the robbery, but one told police they had heard a "commotion" between Pierce and the alleged victim, but they did not see a shotgun, according to the statement.
Another person who lived near the alleged victim told the officer they heard Pierce arguing with the alleged victim but could not see them.
When police arrested Pierce, he allegedly admitted to having a brown "pellet" air rifle, but no weapon was found in the area, according to the statement.
The statement indicates the alleged victim recovered their tablet and a few of their belongings. The responding officer notes they believe witnesses did not wish to disclose the location of the weapon out of fear.
Pierce's arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 3.