Man Charged for Alleged Car Prowls at Bethel Church in Napavine


A Tukwila man is facing theft charges for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 worth of items, including a firearm, from vehicles parked at the Bethel Church in Napavine on Sunday.

Police responded to the church after a security officer reported a possible vehicle prowl on March 7.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the security officer tried to make contact with a man seen taking items from a vehicle, but the man, later identified as Johnny Harrington, got into a truck, picked up a woman from the parking lot and drove off.

Harrington allegedly stole a purse containing debit and credit cards from an unlocked vehicle and allegedly broke the window of a truck and stole $10,000 worth of computer equipment,  along with a suitcase containing a firearm.

Harrington strongly disagrees with the theft charges, said defense attorney Rachael Tiller — particularly the accusation that he took a firearm.

“He says there was no firearm present,” Tiller said at Harrington’s preliminary appearance in court on March 10.

Officers located Harrington at his residence after an investigation. He allegedly admitted to officers that he’d walked up to the truck, saw computer equipment inside and used a rock to break the window, but reportedly denied any knowledge of a firearm.

He told officers that he put the stolen computer and printer into the suitcase, but there was no firearm inside. Most of the stolen items were recovered from Harrington’s residence, according to the affidavit.

The woman that Harrington allegedly picked up in the parking lot, later identified as his wife, denied any involvement and was not charged.

Deputy Prosecutor Paul Masiello requested that Harrington be held on $50,000 secured bail, meaning that Harrington would have to pay the full amount in cash or via a bail bond in order to be released, citing concerns about the involvement of a firearm.

Tiller requested $10,000 unsecured bail, meaning that Harrington would not pay any of the bail amount unless he misses a court date, citing Harrington’s lack of recent Lewis County history.

However, Judge J. Andrew Toynbee decided to set bail at $5,000 secured, echoing Masiello’s concerns about the alleged involvement of a firearm, but agreeing with Tiller’s observance that Harrington’s lack of recent Lewis County history means it’s likely he can be counted on to return to court when summoned.

Harrington's arraignment hearing is scheduled for March 18.