Copper wire heists and more in the Blaine police blotter

Posted by CALEB HUTTON on October 23, 2013 

A press release from Blaine police.

The Blaine Police Department is investigating a recent series of thefts. Most of these thefts have occurred in open or unlocked spaces such as marinas, storage yards, and constructions sites. The thieves are looking for quick access to items that are easy to pawn, such as tools, and metal, such as copper wire pulled from cords, which can be sold as scrap. From September 1, 2012 to October 21, 2012 there were three incidents of theft reported to the Blaine Police fitting these circumstances. For the same time period this year that number has doubled. In addition, the financial loss to victims has been significantly greater; over $13,000 total for that time frame this year compared to approximately $2,000 the year before. Taking preventative measures can go a long way in keeping you from becoming a victim. Here are some tips on how you might protect yourself and your property; —Secure all tools, equipment, cords and wires on job sites at the end of each day —Make sure your sheds, lockers, boats and storage containers have heavy duty locks that can not be easily cut. —Apply a unique identifier to your tools and equipment (your name, company name, boat name, or driver’s license number), so if an item is stolen it can be returned to you if located. —Install motion activated lighting where practical.

—Help us spread the word and encourage others to take preventative measures.

—Call 9-1-1 immediately if you witness any suspicious activity. Never risk your safety by confronting a suspect individual.

We welcome information from the public, and can be contacted at (360) 332-6769 or by email to police@cityofblaine.com.

The Blaine police blotter shows major thefts were reported on Oct. 16, Oct. 17, Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.

The $5,000 theft from the city could have happened as far back as Aug. 1, said police spokeswoman Lisa Moeller.

The generators — which power a nearby senior center during outages — had been sitting in the storage yard, behind a fence. They hadn't been fired up since this summer. Just as they were going to be put to use for a planned outage, workers noticed the wiring and an expensive connector had been stolen, according to police.

The fence had been cut, said Public Works Director Ravyn Whitewolf. It would take a couple of able-bodied thieves to lift the stolen equipment.

Police have alerted local scrap metal businesses of the thefts.

Here's the full blotter.

Text courtesy of the Blaine Police Department, with minor edits for style.

Wednesday, Oct. 16

11:53 a.m. A man who witnessed a collision on H Street called the police department to have an officer respond. Police responded and determined that no one had been injured. The collision occurred when both vehicles were backing and damage to the vehicles was limited to mostly scrapes and scuffs. Officers helped document the fender-bender and the transfer of insurance information. Both parties determined it would be cheaper to buff out the scrapes instead of going to their insurance carriers.

12:36 p.m. City of Blaine Public Works contacted the police department to report that some copper wire belonging to the city has been stolen from their facility. Officers responded and investigated the theft. Two very large, long and heavy electrical cables used for large generators had been stolen. This made the generators themselves un-useable until the cables are replaced. The loss is estimated at $5,000. The case is under investigation.

1:30 p.m. A store employee called police from H Street when he saw a customer behaving suspiciously, possibly preparing to shoplift merchandise. His suspicions were confirmed when the woman left without paying for the items and was stopped outside by store personnel. The 25-year-old Blaine resident was arrested, cited and released pending her appearance in court. Fifty dollars worth of merchandise was recovered by the business.

3:06 p.m. A gentleman came to the police department to report the side mirror on his car had been hit two days ago, while the car was parked in a business parking lot on H Street. The damages are estimated at $250. He was not in the car at the time the damage occurred and had no suspect vehicle information. A report was completed at his request.

3:45 p.m. A resident called the police department asking for help with teaching her daughter about the seriousness of the child's actions in bullying other kids. An officer visited the mother and daughter, had a conversation with the girl about the immediate and lasting effects which her behavior would have on her and the people around her. He left the family with resource materials to help them work on the problem.

4:05 p.m. Police responded to a call that several kids had gotten onto the roof of a commercial building and were running around up there. Officers arrived and found one of the building's tenants working on a roof fan. He explained that he had allowed his young son to bring a piece of equipment to the roof, and the boy's friend had climbed the ladder with him. The kids and dad were warned about the dangers of kids playing on structures at height.

Thursday, Oct. 17

9:11 a.m. A construction worker arrived to work this morning at a building site in a residential neighborhood to find that many of tools belonging to he and other employees had been stolen some time overnight. Police responded to investigate the scene and contact the victims, and are now working to identify suspects. Almost $5,000 worth of tools and accessories were stolen.

12:36 p.m. Police were dispatched to look for a loose dog reported to be loose in the neighborhood. Officers located the dog. The dog was uncooperative and eventually lead the officers to an address that is believed to be his home. Officers made animal control aware of the dogs current location. Case closed.

12:54 p.m. A woman found a Washington state driver's license and bank card outside on the sidewalk across from the police department. The owner was contacted and came in to retrieve his belongings.

1:28 p.m. Blaine police were dispatched to the Peace Arch Port of Entry when Customs Officers discovered a dangerous weapon in the possession of a traveler applying to enter the United States from Canada. A police officer investigated and arrested the British Columbia resident for possession of the black weighted club with wrist lanyard which he was carrying in his car. The man was cited and released with a mandatory court date. The weapon was impounded as evidence.

1:51 p.m. Police were called to a store on H Street by employees there who had apprehended a man shoplifting. An officer arrived to investigate, and arrested the 25-year-old Birch Bay resident. He was issued a mandatory court appear citation and the store recovered $12 worth of food and drink items.

3:45 p.m. A concerned passerby called to report that a family with small children might be living in a tent in a residential neighborhood. Officers contacted the family and determined the kids and mom are living in the nice warm home next to the tent. It is actually dad who occasionally retreats to the canvas shelter, and he is not complaining about the arrangement.

Saturday, Oct. 19

5:31 p.m. A motorcycle rider contacted police for help when he became stranded at Customs. He explained that he couldn't get his engine started after having waited in line for a while. An officer contacted the man, examined the bike, and moved its engine "kill" switch back to the "on" position. The bike then started, allowing the thankful rider to depart in embarrassed haste.

5:47 p.m. Police responded to a 911 hang up at a residence and found a man who had cut his wrist with a razor blade. Medical aid responded to patch the wound and an officer transported him to hospital for a mental health evaluation.

8:54 p.m. Officers responded to the Blaine Peace Arch Point of Entry for a report of a no-contact order violation. Officers arrived and established probable cause to arrest the respondent in a no-contact order out of Bellevue. The man was arrested, cited and booked into Whatcom County Jail without incident.

Sunday, Oct. 20

1:15 a.m. While on patrol on Peace Portal Drive and H Street police came upon a black SUV motoring along, dragging what appeared to be part of a city street light behind it. Officers stopped the auto and determined the driver appeared to under the influence of alcohol. A Washington State Patrol trooper processed the DUI arrest while Blaine officers investigated the hit and run collision between the SUV and the light pole. A city electrical crew had to respond to secure their wiring. Repair costs to the pole and its connection box are estimated at over $5,000.

2 p.m. A victim called police to report that a large extension cord had been stolen from the site of a house he is building on E Street. A section of a second large cord had been cut off and taken as well. Police are investigating.

Monday, Oct. 21

8:52 a.m. A crew arriving for work at a residential building site on Adelia Street discovered that over the weekend thieves had entered two homes under construction and stripped over 600 feet of copper electrical wiring from the buildings. Police are investigating.

11:02 a.m. A business owner arrived at work to discover that some time between Saturday evening and Monday morning a thief had entered the premises on Peace Portal Drive and stole a quantity of cash. Police responded to the scene and the burglary/theft is under investigation.

Tuesday, Oct. 22

2 p.m. A person called Blaine High School to report that a man dropped a red backpack in the bushes near the high school and walked away. Between police and school staff investigation, the suspect was determined to be a high school student skipping out of school early for the day. A campus security member and a police officer recovered the backpack and returned the truant student to school.

7:27 p.m. An officer on patrol found graffiti vandalism on a fence adjacent to a residence on Eighth Street. The damage was documented and the home owner will be advised to remove the graffiti. The damage is estimated at about $20.

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