Size-16 feet and coins lead police to burglary suspect

MONROE — The man had big feet and jangling pockets.

Unfortunately for him, that’s just what the police were looking for.

A Monroe man was arrested Thursday morning after police found him walking in a neighborhood where they were investigating a burglary. The man’s size-16 shoes and the Canadian coins in his pockets reportedly were clues.

Benjamin A. Pickrell, 24, was booked into Snohomish County Jail on Thursday for investigation of first-degree burglary, among other allegations.

It was his second trip to jail this week.

The commotion started about 7:30 a.m. Thursday along South Blakely Street. Someone called 911 to report seeing a man climbing over a neighbor’s fence.

Officers arrived in the area, and saw big footprints in the frost, according to the police report.

“Upon closer inspection of the intruder’s footprints in the frozen grass, it was obvious that the footprints were extremely large, measuring nearly 16 inches in length,” an officer wrote in the report. “The only person that came to mind that would have that size of shoe and be committing burglaries in the area was Ben Pickrell.”

The officers also heard a loud crash and yelling.

They found the homeowner, who told them he’d just chased someone from his garage after a struggle. The burglar had threatened him with a knife, he told police. The homeowner also reported a large amount of Canadian coins missing from his vehicle.

Officers searched the area with a police dog without any luck. They started driving around and saw Pickrell, according to court papers. They recognized the 6-foot-9, 230-pound man from arresting him two days before.

When he saw them, Pickrell reportedly started walking in the opposite direction.

Once police got him talking, Pickrell reportedly admitted to having a knife and took it out of his pocket, according to the arrest report.

They asked him if he had any other weapons.

He said, “Nope, just a bunch of change.”

The cops asked if the coins were Canadian.

Pickrell reportedly replied: “Yeah, how did you know!?”

His size-16 shoes also were taken into evidence, Willis said. Police later compared them to the footprints found in the frozen yard.

Pickrell had been released from the county jail just before 2 a.m. Thursday, court papers show. He’d been arrested Tuesday after allegedly stealing a car in Monroe.

In that arrest, when officers checked his pockets, they reportedly found debit and credit cards and checks belonging to a Gold Bar woman. They allegedly also found methamphetamine.

At the time, Pickrell reportedly said: “I know you guys aren’t going to believe me, but I am borrowing these pants from a friend. None of that is mine.”

The cops then asked him where the cards and checks came from. He allegedly told them he couldn’t say or he would be “(expletive)-ing himself.”

Police since have located the Gold Bar woman, court papers show. She told them her car recently had been broken into outside a Monroe grocery store, and her purse taken.

Pickrell also is being held for investigation of possessing meth, possessing stolen property and vehicle theft.

Bail on Friday was set at a combined $125,000.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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