A woman will be arraigned next week on felony charges of identity theft and possession of stolen property related to break-ins of vehicles parked at local trailheads, Whatcom County Sheriff’s officials said Thursday.
Kailee Owen, 25, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on Monday, said WCSO Chief Criminal Deputy Doug Chadwick. Chadwick said Owen was identified from surveillance footage taken in early November when she attempted to use a debit card and prepaid cash cards taken in the burglary of a car at the Teddy Bear Cove trailhead in the 1300 block of Chuckanut Drive.
“The victim reported that an unknown suspect broke out the window of the vehicle and stole her wallet from inside,” Chadwick said. “Later that day, a female suspect attempted to use the victim’s debit card at the Sehome Haggen store for approximately $718.”
Chadwick said the sale was declined and Owen left. He said Owen was identified from the Haggen video and questioned Dec. 1 by a detective who also asked about a similar incident at the North Lake Whatcom Trail parking lot, 3300 North Shore Road.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
“The victim reported that an unknown subject broken out one of her car’s widows and stole her purse and wallet from inside,” Chadwick said. “The victim canceled all her credit cards, but a successful purchase was made prior to cancellation. Owen was captured on security footage at the Dairy Queen and admitted that she had used the stolen credit card to purchase approximately $32 worth of food.”
Owen also was booked for failure to appear on previous theft and criminal trespassing charges. Jail officials said she was transferred to Skagit County Jail, where authorities said she faced unspecified minor charges.
She was released Wednesday on her own recognizance. Court documents show that charges haven’t been filed. Arraignment is set for Dec. 15 in Whatcom County Superior Court.
Meanwhile, Chadwick urged residents not leave valuables in an unattended car, such as at a trailhead.
“Criminals regularly prowl vehicles left at area trailheads, as they know the victims will be away for several hours,” he said. “They then attempt to quickly use the credit cards before they are canceled.”