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Burglaries linked to home invasion

A pair of burglaries Saturday – at least one of which saw the front door of a home forced open in broad daylight – have police warning islanders to be wary of strangers at the door.

The incidents are believed to be linked to a “home invasion” robbery a week earlier in Bremerton, Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson said.

“The kicking in of front doors is pretty brazen,” Anderson said. “We’re concerned that we’ve got someone out there who’s that bold...There’s a very disturbing, aggressive guy out there.”

The first Bainbridge incident was reported late-morning Aug. 24, on Sportsman Club Road near Bethany Lutheran Church.

A resident there returned from a 90-minute hair appointment to find someone had kicked in the front door and burglarized the house.

Items stolen included two gold Rolex watches valued at $3,000 each, several thousand dollars worth of miscellaneous jewelry, and blank checks.

Several of the checks were subsequently forged for cash in Poulsbo, although one transaction was stopped by a suspicious teller.

At about the same time, an Ericksen Avenue residence was reported broken into, again with the front door booted in.

It was unclear when that burglary took place, as the residents were away at the time. The break-in was discovered by a relative who had come to check on the house.

But checks and a credit card are known to have been stolen, as the checks were later cashed.

Police are particularly concerned, because one of the IDs used in the check-forging was stolen in a mid-day home-invasion robbery reported Aug. 17 in Bremerton.

In that incident, a 55-year-old man was beaten and tied to a chair while the home was looted.

The victim said a man came to his door and inquired about an antique table that he had for sale, and he was set upon when he let the man in.

The suspect spent four hours in the residence before making off.

The suspect using the ID to cash checks was believed to be a man in his 30s, but no detailed description was available at press time.

Two other burglaries were reported on Bainbridge Sunday evening, although police believe they are unrelated to the incidents of a day earlier.

In both cases, homes at the south end of Rockaway Beach were entered while the occupants were inside. Police said suspects entered through windows or unlocked doors on the waterfront side of the homes.

A purse stolen from one residence was later found in the yard outside, its contents gone through. Cash was missing, but checks were left behind.

Anderson said there was also a report of a burglary in the Bill Point area, but further details were not available.

Anderson cautioned islanders to keep doors and windows locked at night, and to be wary of strangers coming to the home on suspicious pretexts.

He noted that suspects in the island’s last two burglary sprees were apprehended because neighbors alerted police to individuals showing up at their door.

“We need anyone to call 911 immediately,” Anderson said, “if they’ve got a stranger knocking at their front door asking an unusual question – appearing to be lost, or not appearing to have business at that door.”

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