A 25-year-old woman who stole backpacks, laptop computers, purses and wallets in more than a dozen car prowls at Mount Rainier National Park was sentenced this morning in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to two years in prison and ordered to pay $7,034 in restitution.
Pamela N. Williams, of Tacoma, and co-defendant Matthew Mortinson broke into vehicles at Paul Peak trailhead, Comet Falls trailhead, Crystal Lakes trailhead, White River Campground and the Carbon River entrance to the park, according to court records. Some victims had been away from their cars for only an hour when the break-ins occurred, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The pair used the credit cards to make unauthorized purchases, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Williams pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said she was linked to 16 car prowls from May to July 2010.
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At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle ordered that Williams be banned from Mount Rainer National Park during her three years of supervised release.
“This is a serious offense,” Settle said, according to a news release. “Unless you have been the victim of this type of offense, you don’t have an appreciation of how disruptive these crimes are on the lives of victims.”
Mortinson was arrested following a traffic stop because of a warrant for his arrest out of the state of Oregon. After he was jailed in Pierce County, further investigation linked the two to the break-ins.
Mortinson is scheduled for trial in June.