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Rash of vehicle thefts resumes

A series of vehicle thefts with the Winslow ferry terminal as their hub has resumed, police say.

Two vehicles were reported stolen from the terminal in a 72-hour period last weekend, according to reports.

One, a customized 1988 Chevrolet Blazer, was later found abandoned in wooded area near Hansville.

The truck had sustained extensive damage, having been repeatedly smashed it into large trees before it was dumped.

“What had been a ‘show’ vehicle was very badly damaged,” said Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson, who said the owner was reduced to tears when he saw the condition in which the truck was recovered.

The thefts continued an earlier pattern in which a vehicle was stolen in Seattle, brought over on the ferry, and “traded in” for another car at the Winslow terminal.

The thieves typically break in through a vehicle window and forcibly dismantle the steering column to gain access to the ignition.

“No finesse,” Anderson said, “just brute force.”

Similar thefts were reported at the Winslow terminal on successive weekends earlier in the summer, incidents in which several mopeds also were loaded up and carted away.

In the most recent incidents, a Dodge Neon stolen from Seattle was dumped at the terminal late Sunday night, and a Dodge Intrepid stolen.

Several suspects were later seen in that vehicle at a Port Orchard-area park and ride, reportedly attempting to break into other vehicles.

The Intrepid was found abandoned at a Gig Harbor parking lot; a van there was stolen, and was later trashed and dumped in a remote area in North Kitsap.

The incidents are to be believed linked to the thefts of two more vehicles in Poulsbo, and an attempted theft of a third, during that same time frame.

One of those vehicles was a Dodge Shadow, leading investigators to believe that that make is targeted because the thieves are familiar with the ignition systems.

“It certainly seems to be a theme with the Dodges,” Anderson said.

Police described as “persons of interest” two clean-cut white males in their 20s, both with short blond hair; a young Native American male with a pock-marked face; and a young female of indeterminate description.

Police ask that anyone witnessing suspicious activity at the ferry terminal call 911.

Anyone with information on the thefts, or who might have seen the suspects aboard the ferry last Sunday night, is asked to Bainbridge Police at 842-5211.

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