Charges: Couple stole dozens of tires from local transit agencies

TACOMA, Wash. -- A Pierce County couple could be responsible for stealing more than 1,000 spare tires, including dozens from local transit agencies, over the past six months, according to charges filed last week in Pierce County Superior Court.

The Pierce County Sheriff's Office has been investigating the theft of 29 spare tires from Pierce Transit Vanpool vans, and the King County Sheriff's Office has been investigating similar thefts.

On June 17, deputies became aware of a series of Craigslist ads for tires and replied to the seller, 34-year-old Jacob Alvarez, who claimed to be a wholesaler working with numerous distributors, according to the charging documents.

Undercover deputies reportedly arranged to meet Alvarez at a Pierce Transit Park and Ride to buy the tires.

According to the charging documents, Alvarez showed up in a black Escalade, and deputies recognized them as the suspect and vehicle security cameras showed stealing spare tires from under multiple Dodge pickup trucks that same day in a parking garage at the Lakewood Sound Transit Station.

Deputies interviewed Alverez's girlfriend, Jamille Ahlgren, whose phone number was on the Craigslist ads. She reportedly told deputies they have no other source of income other than stealing spare tires and selling them online.

According to the charging documents, she said they have stolen anywhere from four to eight tires every day since January, including more than 40 from the Pierce Transit Vanpool and a similar amount from King County transit vehicles.

Ahlgren reportedly told deputies they would collect a full set of similar tires then sell it online for between $550 and $650, selling approximately seven sets every week.

According to the charging documents, deputies found 17 stolen tires inside the couple's residence.

Both Alvarez and Ahlgren were already due back in court June 30 on charges stemming from the theft of spare tires from a dealership in Fife two months ago.

Alvarez has now been charged with trafficking in stolen property and theft. It appears no additional charges have been filed against Ahlgren at this time.