Bail has been set at $25,000 for a man accused of a Chehalis burglary in December 2021.
The Chronicle reported on the burglary after a homeowner’s testimony of a “terrifying experience” where Christmas presents and other items were stolen, among a string of other crimes the same night.
Along with alleged involvement in the 2021 burglary at a residence on Southeast Evergreen Drive in Chehalis, the defendant, Nathaniel A. Blough, 30, of Puyallup, is facing felony charges of theft of a motor vehicle, and two counts of second-degree theft. Two of these charges carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, a few days after being released from the Lewis County Jail for a separate incident, Blough allegedly stole credit cards, a computer and presents from the home before taking the homeowners’ 2019 Ford F-150 truck.
The whole time the burglars were in the house in the early morning hours of Dec. 16, 2021, the homeowners were upstairs in their bedroom.
"I was awoken to my bedroom door being open and a light shining in my face and I thought my husband had woken up early and was coming back to bed, but I turned and he was in bed with me, so the arm and the light shining at me obviously wasn't my husband," one of the homeowners, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Chronicle at the time.
The homeowners called 911 and locked themselves in the bedroom, where they stayed until police arrived at approximately 5:15 a.m. Blough allegedly fled the scene in the homeowners’ vehicle before law enforcement arrived.
Because the stolen vehicle was equipped with a GPS tracker, it was reportedly found in the Vancouver area by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
The GPS unit was examined by a detective with the Washington State Patrol, who discovered it had stopped at a gas station in Clark County, according to court documents. A deputy from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to the store and was able to take pictures of security monitors showing the person who stole the truck.
When those pictures were posted to social media, a driver with Twin Transit identified them as being photographs of Blough, who’d been banned from Twin Transit properties, according to court documents.
Lewis County Superior Court issued a $25,000 warrant for Blough’s arrest on Feb. 1, 2022.
He was booked into the Lewis County Jail on March 2, 2023 and had his preliminary hearing in Lewis County Superior Court the next day.
During that hearing, Judge Joely Yeager granted the state’s request to maintain the bail set in the warrant, citing Blough’s long list of previous outstanding warrants “As well as the allegations here being ones that are a significant risk to community safety.”
Blough’s next appearance in court, an arraignment hearing, is scheduled for Thursday, March 9. To read The Chronicle’s original story on the Chehalis burglary, visit https://bit.ly/Chehalis-Burglary-2021.
Chronicle reporter Emily Fitzgerald contributed to this article.