Alleged theft of Bainbridge restaurant employee's paycheck leads to felony charge

A Poulsbo man has been charged with second-degree possession of stolen property after police found an apparently stolen paycheck from a Bainbridge Island restaurant worker in the man's glove compartment after he was pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving.

Timothy Ric Towne, 31, was charged with a felony count of possession of stolen property on Dec. 26 in Kitsap County District Court.

According to a State Patrol investigation report, Towne was seen driving north on Highway 3 just before 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24 when a state trooper followed him onto the exit for Loxie Eagans Boulevard.

The officer pulled over Towne after he turned without signaling. According to the investigation report, Towne was "extremely fidgety" when approached by the state trooper, and was unable to sit still "while talking extremely fast and mumbled."

When told to step out of the 1997 Toyota Tercel he was driving, Towne stumbled and was then asked to take field sobriety tests.

Towne had trouble taking the sobriety tests, and the officer noticed he appeared to have body tremors.

Towne was arrested after doing poorly on the last of the roadside sobriety tests, and a drug recognition expert was called in to conduct an evaluation. Towne was also given a breath test.

During the drug evaluation, Towne allegedly admitted to injecting methamphetamine at 4 p.m. the day before.

Soon after, during a search of his vehicle, an officer found two signed checks in the Toyota's glove box. One check was made out to a woman that Towne did not know and was later discovered to be a $100 gift from the woman's aunt in New York.

The other check was for $249.52 from the Treehouse Café and was made out to an employee, a man that Towne also said he did not know.

Towne allegedly told the State Patrol the checks came from friends who found them on a pile of mail found behind a Safeway grocery.

Towne said he didn't know his friends' names, and that he had met them while at the food court in the Kitsap Mall when they approached and offered to smoke meth with him.

He later changed his story, and said he met them when he was in his car and they wanted to go smoke meth, but Towne said he couldn't remember "where they went or what happened because he was so high."

When the Treehouse Café employee was contacted by the State Patrol, he said he had been waiting to get his paycheck and had been told on Dec. 10 that it was on the way.

He said he called his boss two weeks later to say he had still not received his check, and his employer said a new one would be sent out Dec. 19.

Towne was booked into the Kitsap County Jail the afternoon of Dec. 24 for suspicion of DUI and bail was set at $7,500. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Second-degree possession of stolen property carries a maximum prison term of five years and a $10,000 fine upon conviction.


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