Forest Grove man staged home burglary, police say
Forest Grove police say a man who claimed his house was burglarized earlier this month made up the report to hide the fact he was stealing money from the Girl Scouts.
Brian Couture, 40, was arrested Monday, March 18, on charges of initiating a false police report and second-degree theft, according to Forest Grove Police Captain Michael Hall.
Couture made headlines on March 6 after Forest Grove police were called to his home in the 1000 block of Willamina Avenue amid reports of a burglary in progress.
Couture had told police an unknown person had entered his home through a sliding glass door. The two had engaged in a struggle, Couture said, and the alleged suspect ran off.
When officers arrived at the scene, Couture was "unresponsive," according to Hall. Couture was taken to an area hospital, where he was listed in fair condition.headlines
Police in the area conducted an extensive K-9 track, Hall said. No suspect was located. The Washington County Sheriff's Office and the North Plains and Beaverton police departments assisted with the investigation.
On Monday, Hall said Couture admitted to officers that he had staged the alleged burglary. Investigators believe Couture staged the incident in order to cover up a second crime.
According to police, Couture allegedly stole $740 from Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Authorities say he had access to the money, which he spent inappropriately.
Sarah Shipe, a spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington said the organization had accepted Couture's burglary claims as legitimate until learning about his arrest.
"One of our regional volunteers let us know on Friday that a family had experienced the theft at home," Shipe said. "And at that time, we understood that it was a regular theft, which unfortunately does happen, particularly around our product sales — there is just so much cash that flows through that theft is unfortunately an inevitable part of that, so we have a pretty clear process for what to do when that happens."
That process quickly changed with the news this week, Shipe said.
"(On Monday) morning we learned of the arrest, which changed our perspective a little bit," she said. "We have been in contact with the Forest Grove Police Department and we are working together with them to resolve it."
Couture was lodged at the Washington County Jail.
By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
Follow Olivia at @oliviasingerr
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