FERNDALE - A man suspected of 14 burglaries in downtown Ferndale was arrested over the weekend by undercover police.
Ryan Scott Cockerel, aka Ryan Scott Ludwigsen, 25, was caught busting into a Main Street business at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, said Detective Melanie Campos.
In more than a dozen break-ins since early November, a burglar has shattered glass windows and ransacked cash registers, plundering up to $200 cash per heist, according to police.
The latest hit was no different - except for the undercover officer who witnessed the whole thing.
Cockerel was confronted, cuffed and booked into jail. After his arrest he admitted to all of the burglaries, Campos said. Most of crimes were concentrated in the 2000 block of Main Street and the surrounding area. Police are still tallying up how much money was taken.
Floralescents Flowers & Gifts, 2058 Main St., fell victim to three burglaries in four nights. The holiday season is one of the worst times of year for a flower shop to go through a string of bad luck, second only to Valentine's Day, said shop owner Ginger Burress. It almost drove her to shut down the store.
"We're all little businesses," said Burress, who opened her doors earlier this year. "We don't have a lot of money."
Burress blamed herself for leaving the register unlocked the first time, when the burglar broke her glass door and made off with $150.
The burglar was back again two days later, shattering more glass and getting away with a $10 roll of quarters. Burress countered the attack by installing stronger window panes.
Surely, she thought, that would be the last of it. But the next night, the burglar was back again.
"I know he used a hammer (to get in) because he was dumb enough to leave it behind," Burress said.
She's since taken extra steps to make sure her laptop and a Canon Rebel camera - both of which were passed over in the first burglary - are safely stowed away. And she installed even stronger glass.
In all, her repair bill has totaled about $750. Like many Ferndale business, the broken glass will cost more to replace than the cash that was stolen.
"Some educations are more expensive than others," Burress said. "This was a pricey education."
Cockerel lives in the 2300 block of Main Street, a few hundred feet from the scene of all 14 crimes. He has a history of burglary.
In February 2008, he stole a 12-string guitar from Mojo Music in Bellingham, smashing the front glass door to gain entry. Cockerel was in the store earlier that day and seemed "very interested in that guitar," according to charging documents. Employees noted guitars worth thousands of dollars were passed over during the burglary.
Cockerel pleaded guilty to theft, was sentenced to 20 days of house arrest and ordered to repay $740 to the music shop.
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