Police: Man had gun, woman's underwear after break-in

A man had a handgun, a bag full of women’s underwear and four pit bulls in his vehicle when he was pulled over after breaking into a female former co-worker’s home near Tumwater, court papers state.

The woman’s husband told sheriff’s deputies that Royce Lynn Baxter used to work with his wife at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in South Bend. He said he and his and wife were friends with Baxter about 10 years ago, court papers state.

The husband said “Royce was infatuated with her,” papers state.

Baxter, 59, of Long Beach, was charged Monday in Thurston County Superior Court with first-degree burglary and stalking. His arraignment is set for Jan. 4. He was being held Thursday at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

Baxter was arrested Dec. 15, after the woman’s husband interrupted Baxter’s burglary in his home on Fairview Road Southwest, court papers state.

According to court papers:

The husband told police he was awakened by sounds in his living room, and he found an intruder “wiping down the threshold of the door.” They fought, and the husband said he tried to grab a white bag belonging to the suspect, but the suspect snatched it out of his hands and called him by his name.

After the suspect tried to leave through the front door, the two wrestled on the lawn. The suspect said “he had a weapon in his pocket and that he did not want to hurt him,” and the husband recognized him as Baxter.

The husband told deputies he and his wife “did not keep in contact with Royce or let him know their new address.” He said that about seven years ago, “Royce showed up at their house unannounced and (they) subsequently learned that he had been in their house and stole an item.” The couple obtained an anti-harassment order; it since has expired.

A deputy pulled Baxter’s GMC Yukon over at 66th Avenue and Black Lake Belmore Road. Baxter said he had a handgun in the glove compartment. A white bag consistent with the husband’s description contained “multiple pairs of women’s underwear.” It also contained notes indicating that Baxter had been watching the victims’ house.

A deputy also found a camera. After obtaining a search warrant, he found photos of both the outside and the inside of the victims’ residence on the camera. Baxter had also “photographed women’s underwear and personal items” belonging to the victims.

Baxter also had a copy of a key to the residence.

In a pretrial services interview, Baxter told court officials he is retired and lives in Long Beach, which is about 20 miles northwest of Astoria, Ore. He has no prior criminal record.

Jeremy Pawloski: