Dropped backpack leads police to suspected Bellingham bike thief

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 4, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - A man believed to be involved in at least one burglary in the Alabama Hill neighborhood was arrested early Tuesday morning, Feb. 3, after a dropped backpack helped police connect him with the crime, according to Bellingham Police.

Officer Matt Allen saw a man walking at about 4:50 a.m. Monday in an area where a number of burglaries and vehicle prowls had recently occurred, and when Allen tried to speak with him, the man ran.

As he fled, he dropped a backpack that contained items that identified him and notes that included specific bicycle brands that were stolen in a burglary Sunday in the 2500 block of Erie Street, according to police. Five high-end bikes valued at about $8,000 were stolen from a garage.

At about 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Allen was in the 1800 block of Texas Street when he saw the same man, Devyn V. Juvonen. Juvonen ran again, though this time the officer was able to catch him. Once detained, Juvonen admitted his involvement in the Erie Street burglary and was able to provide officers with locations for at least three of the bikes, according to police. They have since been recovered.

Juvonen claimed the crime was motivated by his need to maintain his drug addiction, according to police.

Juvonen, 23, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of burglary.

Police also arrested Jeremy S. Alspaugh, 31, on suspicion of possession of stolen property shortly after Juvonen's arrest. Juvonen allegedly traded at least one bike to Alspaugh, who was able to get drugs for him in exchange, Lt. Bob Vander Yacht said.

Officers are continuing to investigate similar recent crimes in the Roosevelt and Alabama Hill neighborhoods to see whether Juvonen may be connected to them.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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