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Car prowler caught in the act by WHS security

Story broke May 15, 2014
Story broke May 15, 2014

Story broke here May 15, 2014.

A car prowler was caught red-handed in the Wenatchee High School main parking lot by WHS Safety and Security Officer Janine Owyen and Wenatchee Police officers this morning.

Dustin Graff, a 21-year-old East Wenatchee man, was booked into jail, facing charges of vehicle prowl, theft in the third degree, and criminal trespass, a Wenatchee Police records staffer said this afternoon.

Owyen spotted a Pontiac Grand Prix on surveillance cameras around 9:30 a.m. Owyen noticed the car because it was the same car that entered the parking lot on May 12 and whose driver ransacked a student’s car near the athletic entrance, stealing small items such as nail polish, Owyen said.

Graff is shown on surveillance recordings from this morning’s incident pulling into the parking lot, parking in a normal stall, waiting for passersby to clear, then putting a black glove on his hand to begin the prowl.

That’s when he noticed someone passing by, and quickly got back in his car to hide. After the students passed, Graff exited his car, had a discussion with his passenger, and approached a car parked in the next row. It was unlocked.

Owyen followed Graff on surveillance cameras while Principal Bob Celebrezze called RiverCom 911.

Nearly 15 minutes after Graff first entered the parking lot, three Wenatchee Police officers arrived and went right to the car Graff was in. Guns drawn, the officers jumped out of the car and began the process of taking Graff into custody.

An unmarked police car then approached the parking stall where the Grand Prix was located, and the officer drew his gun on the 21-year-old female passenger. She received a criminal trespass warning from Wenatchee School District. Her name was withheld from the report. There’s no record of any criminal charges being filed.

Graff is now awaiting an arraignment hearing in Chelan County District Court from the Chelan County Regional Justice Center.

“Cameras were our number one tool that we used to solve this vehicle prowl,” Owyen said. “Be aware of your surroundings, [and] lock your car.”