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Would-be thieves are busted for meth labs

POULSBO — An attempted theft at Central Market turned into the discovery of a portable meth lab Friday.

In the late afternoon of Feb. 27, Poulsbo Police Department officers received a call from a security guard at Central Market reporting an attempted theft said PPD spokesperson Sgt. Bill Playter. Three men, 34-year-old James Willey of Poulsbo, 31-year-old Nathan Lindquist of Port Orchard and 24-year-old Jeremiah Enderud of Port Orchard, had unsuccessfully attempted to forcibly open the store’s secure antihistamine cupboard near the pharmacy.

When officers arrived, the men left the store in a 1978 Chevrolet van owned by Enderud. Officers followed the van south on State Highway 305 until they pulled into the parking lot of Central’s sister store Poulsbo Market.

Playter said it was Officer Troy Grossman who made the stop and who noticed the tell-tale chemical smell that indicates the presence of methamphetamine, a synthetic stimulant often referred to as meth.

Officer Daniel LaFrance, who often works in drug detection with K-9 Officer Cole and a detective from the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNET) were also called to the scene. Cole was not used in this case, as the scene posed a possible health threat for the canine.

Upon searching the van, officers found items like lithium batteries, a kit with pipes, baggies containing a white powder and several plastic containers containing portable meth labs.

Meth, which can be smoked, snorted, eaten and injected, is typically made from ingredients such as over-the-counter cold and asthma medications, red phosphorous, hydrochloric acid, drain cleaner, battery acid, lye, lantern fuel, and antifreeze. It can be produced in portable labs about the size of a small suitcase. Although such finds are rare for Poulsbo, Playter said they’re becoming a much more frequent sight.

“Further south towards Belfair, it’s getting worse and worse,” he commented.

All three men were arrested on felony charges. The van was impounded and a Rotweiler that was also in the vehicle was turned over to the Kitsap County Humane Society.

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