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Stolen pickup found; break-ins climb -- News Roundup

A pickup stolen from a Point White home during a burglary spree 10 days ago was recovered undamaged in Jefferson County, police say.

The vehicle, a 1996 Ford Ranger, was found abandoned on a golf course in Port Ludlow on Dec. 21, two days after it was stolen, Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson said.

Several glass and framed art works stolen from island homes were recovered in the bushes nearby. A cash drawer recovered there was believed to have been stolen from a Jefferson County credit union branch.

While the pickup was recovered, the burglary spree apparently picked up in the neighborhood where it was found. Several homes there were broken into, and a car stolen near the golf course.

Police now are looking for a black, 1993 Cadillac Seville, Washington license 614EXL, missing since that day.

Since the first reports of five burglaries along Point White on Dec. 19, two more break-ins were discovered and are believed to have occurred that same morning.

Since October, about two dozen residential break-ins have been reported in the Point White, Pleasant Beach and South Beach neighborhoods.

The suspect typically goes door to door in the night looking for unsecured homes, making off with purses, cash and other small items as the residents sleep.

A suspect was seen trying to enter a residence from a deck door at about 2 a.m. Dec. 19, but the homeowner reportedly waited 20 minutes before calling 911.

The suspect then eluded police, apparently spending the rest of the night in an unoccupied home before making off in the pickup.

“People would be doing us a great service if they would lock their doors, and call us about anything suspicious,” Police Chief Bill Cooper said. “Bless their hearts, they’re trying not to ‘inconvenience’ us. It’s not about convenience – it’s about policing.”

– Douglas Crist

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***Man arrested in ID thefts

At least three islanders were victims of identity theft allegedly perpetrated by a Sequim man, Bainbridge Police say.

The 33-year-old suspect was arrested last week at his home, where police acting with a search warrant found credit cards in 40 different names.

Police were alerted to the fraud by several islanders who said they had been contacted by banks about credit card applications submitted in their names. The cards were to be mailed to a Sequim apartment, where postal authorities noticed mail was being delivered in dozens of different names.

Police say the suspect was mining medical records from a Seattle radiology lab for Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other information by which he could fraudulently apply for credit cards. It was not yet known how the suspect obtained the database, and the case remains under investigation, Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson said.

“These are just victims who happened to call us,” Anderson said, and others may yet come forward.

The suspect has prior convictions for forgery, police said. He was jailed in Clallam County, but is expected to face charges in Kitsap County Superior Court.

– Douglas Crist

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***Partial lift of shellfish ban

A ban on harvest of shellfish on the east side of Bainbridge Island has been partially lifted, the Kitsap County Health District announced Thursday.

The closure, for unsafe levels of paralytic shellfish poison (PSP), had affected Agate Passage harvests of all species of clams, mussels and oysters. The ban now applies to butter clams only.

Recent shellfish samples collected from Agate Passage and Blakely Harbor indicate that the concentration of PSP biotoxin has dropped to safe levels in mussels, littleneck clams and oysters.

“Butter Clams typically hold onto the PSP toxin much longer than other species of clams,” said Shawn Ultican, environmental health specialist with the Kitsap County Health District, in a news release. “We’ll be collecting additional samples, and we should know more in the next few weeks.”

To see maps of the closure areas, go to the state Department of Health website at doh.wa.gov, and look for the link to “Recreational Shellfish Beach Closures. Information: (800) 2BE-WELL or www.wa.gov/kitsaphealth.

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