Seven people were busted after a two-hour standoff with Kennewick police that started after a shoplifting incident at Walmart.
“It was a misdemeanor theft but it rolled into something a lot more complicated,” said Kennewick Sgt. Jason Kiel.
At 1:30 p.m., a Walmart loss prevention officers called police after a male shoplifter ran off with some stolen merchandise.
The suspect’s license plate number led police to 2121 W. 19th Ave., where they spotted the car with two men inside, said police.
The men ran into the house when they saw the officers.
Kiel said the officers recognized one of the men, 32-year-old Shane Gillespie, and knew there was a warrant for his arrest.
The next couple hours were spent trying to coax seven people out of the house as they waited for a search warrant to be signed by a judge.
One after the other, the suspects gradually walked out the front door, except for one who decided to hole up in the attic.
Jacob Baumgartner, 29, was wanted for a felony Department of Corrections warrant. Officers from Kennewick and Benton County and a Pasco police dog team went inside and found Baumgartner buried in the insulation.
Kiel said the uncooperative Baumgartner then fell through the ceiling and had to be dragged out by officers. He was not hurt, just covered in fiberglass.
“The message is, ‘If you want to commit a crime, the fiberglass won’t help you,’” Kiel said.
Of the seven in the house, five men were taken into custody, and two women without warrants were released.
Shane Gillespie, Jedidiah Guilliam, Brandin Chafin, Cooper Bricker and Baumgartner were all arrested on warrants.
Kiel also said the stolen items were recovered and returned to Walmart.
It was the first time the Kennewick paddy wagon was used to take a group of suspects to the Benton County jail.
The van is not new, said Kiel, but they wanted to free up some of the officers and patrol cars rather than use them to transport people individually.