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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Idiot 'Loss-Prevention Officer' Offers Freedom for Naked Show

Teens: Security took topless photos
The Olympian by Jeremy Pawloski - March 5, 2009

Olympia, Washington - A loss-prevention officer at the J.C. Penney store at the Capital Mall was in jail Wednesday after two girls, ages 17 and 18, accused him of coercing them into exposing their breasts and soliciting them for sex after they were caught shoplifting. The girls said Michael Anthony Olivas, 35, told them that if they took off their clothes, he wouldn't call police about the shoplifting. They said he then took their photos with his cell-phone camera while they were undressed. Olympia Police Lt. Jim Costa said Olivas' cell phone is being processed for evidence at the State Patrol Crime Lab. Olivas was being held Wednesday at the Thurston County Jail with bail set at $10,000 after Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor found probable cause to order him held on suspicion of one count of unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation. Costa said that Olympia police have no record of Olivas taking the girls into custody after the alleged shoplifting of clothing at the J.C. Penney around Feb. 22. "We do not have a record that he notified our police department that he had people in custody," Costa said. Olivas did generate internal reports about the alleged shoplifting. OPD has seized computer equipment from the home in Shelton where Olivas lives with his wife and child. Olivas said in court Wednesday that he is unemployed. A J.C. Penney store manager could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

According to court records:

The girls initially reported to Shelton police that Olivas took them into custody for shoplifting and "threatened and pretended to call the police." "Olivas took their cell phones and looked through them for 'dirty pictures' and asked them questions about their boyfriends," court papers state. "Olivas coerced them into exposing their nude breasts and semi-clothed groin/buttocks areas to him so he could take pictures with his cell phone to avoid going to jail." The girls said "they were held by Olivas from 4 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. when they were released." The girls reported the incident to Shelton police Feb. 24, after the 18-year-old told her boyfriend about the incident. The boyfriend "happens to be" a cousin of Olivas', and he confronted Olivas about the incident. The boyfriend alleges "Olivas admitted to talking (the girl) into exposing her breasts and had solicited her for sex to keep her out of trouble."

When Olympia Police detective Jeff Herbig arrested Olivas at work at J.C. Penney on Tuesday, "Olivas admitted to apprehending the victims for shoplifting and admitted to holding them in the security office for over three hours." He also admitted to looking through the girls' cell phones and asking them questions about their private lives. "Olivas admitted that he led the victims to believe they were going to jail and that the incident was serious. Olivas admitted to taking clothed photos of the victims with his cell phone for his loss-prevention report but denied taking any nude or semi-nude photos of the victims." Olivas told Herbig that "both victims exposed their breasts to him and that they did so voluntarily to avoid getting in trouble." Olivas also said "he might have joked with the victims about taking their pictures when they exposed their breast." Olivas told officers he was formerly a law enforcement officer in El Paso, Texas. Costa said that it appears that the victims shoplifted clothing items from the J.C. Penney on the date that they were detained by Olivas. Unlawful imprisonment is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If an unlawful imprisonment is found to be sexually motivated, a defendant can face additional prison time. Jeremy Pawloski covers public safety for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5465 or

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