An Olympia man currently serving time for a residential burglary conviction out of Grays Harbor County has been charged for two Chehalis burglaries that allegedly occurred in January and May 2019.
Ryan Daniel Ward, 40, allegedly broke into a house on Middle Fork Road on Jan. 20, 2019, and broke into a house on Meskill Road on May 22, 2019.
Homeowners estimated more than $5,000 worth of items, including “dozens of items of jewelry, a diamond necklace and ring set, pearls and knives,” were stolen from the Middle Fork Road property. More than $1,000 worth of items, including a shotgun, ammunition and coins, were stolen from the Meskill Road property.
Blood observed near a broken window and on the foot of a bedsheet in the Middle Fork residence was tested at the Washington State Crime Laboratory and matched to Ward. Fingerprints pulled from a breached window at the Meskill Road residence were found to match Ward’s.
At the time of the investigation, the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office was investigating two additional burglaries, one from September 2018 and one from June 2019, involving the theft of coins, jewelry and firearms.
Ward was interviewed on June 16, 2020, and “indicated that the thefts in Grays Harbor were committed because he would go to the beach often,” according to Lewis County Superior Court documents.
“He stated that he took the items to Lewis County to trade for drugs and that he didn’t remember each of the burglaries specifically, but that he chose easy houses where he could get back on the road quickly,” according to court documents.
He allegedly called the burglaries “crimes of opportunity” and said “he committed the burglaries to fund his drug addiction,” according to court documents.
Ward has been officially charged with two counts of residential burglary, one count of second-degree theft and one count of theft of a firearm. The most serious charge, residential burglary, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine.
Lewis County Superior Court filed a $10,000 warrant for Ward’s arrest on Oct. 6, 2020, at which time he was being held at Grays Harbor County Jail.
He was convicted for residential burglary in Grays Harbor County on Oct. 26, 2020, and later transferred to Coyote Ridge Corrections Center to carry out his 19-month sentence. He will be transferred to Lewis County for his arraignment and trial setting scheduled for Feb. 25.