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Home looted, suspects caught -- News Roundup

A Bremerton day laborer and his roommate are suspected in the looting of a Wing Point home last weekend, Bainbridge Police say.

No arrests were made, but the case was referred to Kitsap County prosecutors after the suspects helped police recover all of the stolen items – including “some we didn’t even know were missing,” Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Anderson said – at various homes in the Bremerton area.

One of the suspects, age 19, had been working on the grounds as part of a remodel crew while the homeowners were away on vacation.

A contractor returning to the job Monday morning found the home had been broken into and looted during the weekend.

Items stolen included an 8-foot-long couch, a 32-inch television and DVD player, stereo equipment, bedding, kitchen appliances, porcelain statuary, a George Foreman grill, and several fifths of fine single-malt Scotch.

The laborer was among several workers interviewed by police, and was said to be “extremely nervous” when questioned.

The man was identified as a suspect when police learned that his roommate, a 20-year-old Bremerton man, drives a red Acura. The car matched a suspicious vehicle neighbors said had come and gone from the driveway with its lights off several nights earlier.

Police believe the suspects cased the premises, then returned in a pickup and broke a window to gain entry after the house was secured for the weekend.

Police contacted the men at their home Monday afternoon, and noticed that some of the furnishings matched those that had been reported stolen.

While not admitting involvement in the theft, the suspects relinquished the property and led police to other Bremerton homes where more missing items were recovered.

The items, liquor and all, were loaded into a truck and the victims’ home was refurnished Monday. More housewares were recovered later in the week, police said.

The laborer reportedly was not back on the job Tuesday morning.

“(He is) probably seeking suitable employment elsewhere,” Anderson said.

– Douglas Crist

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***Council tweaks ethics rules

Responding to reactions from the Police Guild, the city council has modified a proposed ethics ordinance to exempt unionized employees.

With that change, the proposed rules would apply only to elected officials and supervisors.

The proposed ordinance is generally designed to prevent conflicts of interest, and prohibit employees and elected officials from taking action on matters in which they have a personal financial interest.

According to a memo from City Attorney Rod Kaseguma, the police union argued that the proposal changed the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the city and guild. Similar complaints were leveled by the regular employees’ union.

While Kaseguma said that argument was debatable, he suggested that the city exempt its unionized employees from operation of the ordinance, and take the matter up when the contracts are next up for negotiation.

The ordinance was proposed last year by Councilman Bill Knobloch. The council’s finance committee approved the recent changes, and will send the proposal back to the full counsel for consideration.

“I want to emphasize that this is simply a housekeeping matter, and is not a reaction to any specific incident or problem,” said committee chair Lois Curtis.

– John Waldo

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