Bellingham police seek man who broke into chiropractor's office

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDApril 8, 2014 

BELLINGHAM - Security footage caught a good look at a man suspected of taking $15,000 in computers and electronics from Natural Way Chiropractic in Bellingham.

Dr. Eddie Hansen, the owner of the business, said the burglar got past a sophisticated lock by prying open a back door. Someone unplugged seven computers and a scanner-copier from the walls, snatched a new $2,000 Nikon camera with personal photos on it and rummaged through desks for cash.

A time stamp on the video, taken on the second floor, shows a man in a white, long-sleeved sweatshirt or jacket slinking around a corner into a dark hallway at 11:09 p.m. Sunday, March 30. There, he comes face-to-face with the camera lens. Hansen interprets the man's next move - where he turns around, puts on hands on his head, gets down on one knee and tugs on the back of shirt collar - as the man realizing he's been caught on tape. He then hustles off.

Other footage, Hansen said, showed the same man coming in wearing a thick coat, but he removed that layer once inside the building.

Hansen didn't know the business had been burglarized until around 7 a.m. Monday. No patient information was stolen, he added, because medical records are kept on servers and not the local hard drives.

Insurance covered most of the lost property. But by releasing the footage, Hansen said he hopes the public can help police identify the man faster, so businesses don't have to go through the same headache.

Natural Way Chiropractic has branches in Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Mount Vernon. This is the first time an office was broken into since the business was founded in 1995, Hansen said.

"I'm in a brick building, for God's sake, with steel doors," he said. "This guy's good, I'll give him that."

If you recognize the man, or if you saw anything suspicious in that area that night, call the Bellingham Police Department at 360-778-8800. Or, if you have an urgent tip and it's after business 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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