Bainbridge police chief: Last week's burglary reports not linked to spree of break-ins

Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner said the two burglaries reported last week on the island were not connected to the rash of break-ins that began in late March.

Hamner said one burglary report stemmed from young kids playing in a vacant house.

The other incident was a break-in attempt that did not match the characteristics of the earlier burglaries.

Bainbridge police have been trying to solve a string of 30 or so home burglaries that have plagued the island in recent months. Hamner said last week that no new burglaries have been committed that are linked to the culprit in the case.

Local law enforcement officials have been working hard to find the man they believe may have committed many of the burglaries. Bainbridge officials recently released two sketches of persons who may be involved in the home break-ins.

"Since we have released his sketch, we have not had any burglaries that are attributable to him," Hamner said.

Hamner also said he appreciates the information the department has received after the police sketches were released, as well as the calls from islanders who think they have seen something suspicious.

"We appreciate very much the public's vigilance about reporting suspicious activity," Hamner said.

"We've got some good information were following up on," he said. "We have some strong leads and were hoping they come to fruition."

Evidence collected from the burglaries is being analyzed at a state crime lab run by the Washington State Patrol.

Hamner also acknowledged that the stepped-up work of the police may have resulted in innocent people being stopped or questioned, and noted that one woman who drives a vehicle that matches the description of one seen in neighborhoods where burglaries have occurred has been pulled over three times by officers.

"We realize we may have inconvenienced some citizens. We apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused," Hamner said.

Hamner repeated his plea for residents to call 911 if they see any unusual activity in their neighborhood.



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