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Burglary rash strikes island

Three island homes were burglarized in less than four hours Monday morning.

More than $31,000 worth of jewelry, silver flatware, digital cameras, about 200 DVDs and other items were stolen from homes on Agatewood Road, Battle Point Drive, and McDonald Road. Personal checks were also taken, along with change jars and loose cash, police said.

“It’s awfully suspicious that the burglaries occurred during the day and in such a short period of time,” said Bainbridge Police Detective Maurine Stich. “I’m looking for commonalities between the victims and I’m concerned about how (the burglars) knew the victims weren’t home.”

One resident had been away from the house for just over one hour. Other residents told police they had been away between two and five hours. All three thefts occurred between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Two of the homes were entered through unlocked doors while a third was breached through an already damaged window.

“They moved fast,” Stich said. “It was rip and go.”

A female suspect attempted to cash one of the checks in Tacoma within one hour of the burglaries. Stich said other clues from the crime scene, including a keen knowledge of women’s jewelry, also hint that a female was involved in the burglaries.

Stich said burglars are in high gear during the winter. Burglars know homes are often loaded with holiday gifts and many residents are away on vacation.

“I really want the community to know that this is a prime time of the year for burglaries to happen because there’s so much to take and people are rushed and not thinking to lock their houses,” she said.

Besides locking doors and setting alarms, Stich advises residents “to keep travel plans to themselves” and to have trusted friends or neighbors keep an eye on their homes while they’re away.

She also urges residents to look out for “strangers who seem out of place” and for people who appear to be casing homes.

“Residents need to watch out for people who seem to to be waiting and watching people’s comings and goings,” she said.

Four nabbed

in meth bust

A drug sting led to an arrest for methamphetamine sales outside Town & Country Market Friday, and three more arrests followed, police said.

A 21-year-old man with no fixed address was arrested inside the market at 11 a.m. Dec. 9, after selling methamphetamine to a police informant outside the store a few minutes earlier, Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Weiss said. A brief altercation ensued with the arrest.

“There was a little bit of a struggle there – he didn’t want to be arrested,” Weiss said. “But there were four cops, so he eventually got with the program.”

Police then got a search warrant for a Shannon Drive residence where the man had been staying, and found methamphetamine, marijuana and related paraphernalia.

Arrested at the scene were a 19-year-old Bainbridge woman and a 17-year-old girl who had been reported as a runaway from a Seattle foster home.

Another resident, a 24-year-old man, was arrested for possession the following day.

All four were slated for court appearances Monday.

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