A Lacey couple faces attempted burglary charges after Centralia police and Lewis County Sheriff’s Office deputies foiled their plot to allegedly burglarize a Chehalis home Friday evening.
Jason Stephens, an active-duty infantryman in the Army, and his 21-year-old wife, Catherine E. Stephens, were arrested after several police officers, including the SWAT team, waited in the area of the Chehalis house Friday night.
Catherine Stephens previously worked for the homeowners of the targeted house, located on the 200 block of Hewitt Road in Chehalis, and believed they would have cash and valuables inside their house, court documents state.
At the time police received the information, said Sgt. Rob Snaza from the sheriff’s office, they believed the suspects would be armed.
"We’ll go after these people if we receive credible information. We will do everything we can to prevent the crime from occurring," Snaza said.
The information came from a confidential informant who told police that Jason Stephens contacted him on Nov. 10 and asked him to assist in the burglary, court documents state. At that time, Stephens was wearing a ski mask and was armed with a 9mm handgun, according to court documents.
The confidential informant talked Jason Stephens out of committing the burglary that day, and agreed to help do it on Nov. 24, according to court documents. The informant contacted police shortly after, and kept in contact with police throughout the month of November.
On Thursday, Stephens called the informant and wanted to move the date of the burglary up because they were getting evicted from their apartment and were desperate, court documents state. The couple then plotted to enter the residence while the informant drove them and acted as the lookout.
At the police’s instructions, the informant agreed to meet the Stephens at their Lacey apartment and drive down to Lewis County together, court documents state. Law enforcement officers pulled the Chevrolet Cobalt over when it was exiting Interstate 5 at Exit 74, and then drove eastbound on Maurin Road.
After the arrest, Catherine Stephens allegedly admitted that she and her husband had plotted to commit a burglary and said originally they planned to be armed with a handgun, but at the last second they decided to leave it at home, court documents state.
Their car has not yet been searched, and if police locate a weapon, the couple may face additional charges.