Pierce County deputies arrest man accused of stealing multiple cars

UPDATE 11-22-21: James Johnson was arrested on Nov. 19 and booked into the Pierce County Jail on several warrants. 

He is facing a variety of charges, including vehicle theft and illegal firearms possession. 

Bail was set at $125,000. 

Previous story 11-11-21

Pierce County Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help in locating a man they say has stolen multiple cars and has been found previously with several weapons and spent shell casings. 

27-year-old James Johnson is wanted for first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle and making or making motor vehicle theft tools.  

August 2020: 

  • Tacoma Police found Johnson in a stolen box truck, pretending to be sleepy. He had a single black latex glove on his hand covered in grease and grime.  Officers contacted the owner of the truck, who said it should be still at his restaurant since it was his work truck.
  • Johnson was arrested with heroin on him and a shotgun shell in his pocket.

Feb. 24, 2021:

  • Officers found a stolen Nissan Pathfinder in Tacoma parked at S. 80th and "I" Streets and witnessed Johnson quickly exiting the driver's seat. It was missing the front bumper and had damage underneath. Officers found a hole underneath the handle of the driver's door and found a dozen 'shaved' keys on the driver's side.
  • There was also a catalytic converter strapped down to the roof with bungee cords. There were multiple 30-06 spent shell casings on the dashboard and eight .357 shell casings in the front left door pocket.
  • He was released from jail for this incident due to COVID booking limitations.

March 5

He was again found by police in a stolen vehicle with shaved keys and .22 caliber rounds in the vehicle and on him. He had to be released again because of COVID jail booking restrictions.

July 27 

Johnson was spotted in a stolen 1991 Toyota Camry at the Western Inn in Lakewood.  He tried to dump his jacket but it was found with a shaved key in it, police said. 


Pierce County Sheriff's detectives say he will be booked into jail this time when he is caught.  

Johnson is considered to be armed and dangerous. He frequents homeless camps near 62nd Avenue and 8th Street E. in Fife and 69th Street and Madison Street in Tacoma. 

He is described as 5'11" and weighs 210 pounds. Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to his arrest.

You can submit an anonymous tip here or call 1-800-222-TIPS.

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