Repo men tackle and hold accused trespasser

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A man claiming that two men had “jumped him” after he had broken through a perimeter fence near Olympia Airport was arrested early last Saturday.

James Delaney, 27, of Tumwater, refused on several attempts to provide Tumwater Police with his identification or birth date when he was detained at approximately 3:17 a.m. on May 8. He allegedly stated, several times, to officers that “I was just walking by when those two guys jumped me and began yelling to get out.”

The two men that Delaney was referring two were Joel Preston, 50, and Shane Lehmkuhl, 46, who called police after Lehmkuhl discovered Delaney had broken through the perimeter fence at their business, Action Auto Recovery at 833 Airport Ct SE, off of Old Highway 99.

Preston had contacted 911 dispatch at approximately 2:45 a.m., stating that Delaney had broken into his facility and that he would “assault the man if law enforcement did not arrive quickly.”

Lehmkuhl had arrived to drop off a vehicle in the lot and noticed a blue car jack under a Mercedes Benz. Both Preston and Lehmkuhl walked the lot until they found Delaney hiding under a Chevy truck. Delaney took off running but Preston and Lehmkuhl tackled him and pinned him down until law enforcement arrived.

When Delaney was asked why he was inside the locked yard, Delaney replied to officers “What does that have to do with anything?”

After a short period, Delaney told officers willingly that he had walked past the car yard, was attracted to a black Chrysler inside the fenced area, and accessed the back gate, and began looking when Preston “jumped on him.”

It was noticed in the police report that the fenced yard had only one entry/exit point and the area that Delaney eluded to “is not a designated entry point.”

During a search of Delaney, Tumwater Police discovered a VISA debit card belonging to another party and was positively identified. Delaney had a Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) warrant for failure to register as a sex offender confirmed and was booked into the Nisqually Jail for trespassing and the DOC warrant.  

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