It is that time of year when shoplifters are busy in local stores. While big cities see a huge problem with shoplifters, police in small towns are rampant.
The incident began with a theft from a local grocery store
In Yakima, police attempted to arrest a man for stealing from a local grocery store, but the incident turned into a 14-hour standoff. Leon Searles, 40, is currently being held in Yakima County Jail. Captain Jay Seely says the incident started when Searles stole items from a local grocery store. The store security guard tried to stop Searles, but he started to fight and fled the area. Police found Searles at his Yakima home shortly after, but he refused to leave the house and threatened to shoot a gun.
Members of the SWAT team were called in shortly after the man refused to come out
The Yakima Police Department SWAT team was called as officers continued to speak to the man. A press release states that “Officers made numerous attempts to negotiate with Searles, but he did not comply and instead fired several shots from inside his house. A person familiar with Searles told police he had more than one gun inside the house, including a high powered rifle. “
SWAT team members had to damage the house to reach the man
Members of the SWAT team then used “several break-in techniques to get into the house and get Searles to comply. No police fired any guns during the incident.”
After trying to reach the man, police said the house sustained significant damage.
The police did not say where the house was, however. The situation was resolved without prejudice to the officers or Searles, who was incarcerated in Yakima County Jail on multiple felony charges. This incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit of the Yakima Police Department.