Robbers use pepper spray to steal man's laptop at Bellingham apartments

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 20, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - Robbers assaulted a man with pepper spray so they could steal his laptop Monday night, Aug. 19, outside a Bellingham apartment complex.

A witness called Bellingham police to report three men fighting - two against one - at 9:02 p.m. in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 2000 block of Fraser Street, said police Sgt. Shawn Aiumu.

At the end of the fight, one man sprayed the outnumbered man in the eyes with pepper spray, according to police. Then the two men got back into a maroon car and fled, but not before the victim punched out a passenger window on the driver's side.

The 22-year-old victim spoke with police reluctantly, Aiumu said. He told officers he'd agreed to sell his laptop, through a connection his friend had, and the soon-to-be robbers picked him up at an address on Maplewood Avenue. They attacked him, he said, with a small a knife near the Fraser Street apartment, taking the laptop, his cellphone and some cash.

He told officers the cuts on his arm were from the knife, but officers couldn't verify that, in light of the fact he'd just smashed out a window.

One attacker was described as a thin white man with a dark baseball cap. The other man had a darker complexion and a heavy build. A blond woman in a white shirt drove the car. During the scuffle, another woman ran from the car and may have gone into an apartment.

A police report didn't note the make or model of the laptop.

Anyone with tips should call Bellingham police at 360-778-8800. For urgent tips after hours, call 911.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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