Man broke into Bellingham home, punched homeowner, tried to steal backpack, police say

A man was arrested after breaking into a home Tuesday, assaulting the homeowner and trying to steal a backpack filled with personal items, according to Bellingham Police.

Micheal Alexander Jones, 18, of Bellingham, was booked into Whatcom County Jail at around midnight Tuesday, according to jail records. Jones faces charges of third-degree theft, second-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

Police were dispatched at about 11:40 p.m. to a home in the 3500 block of Northwest Avenue, Lt. Danette Beckley said in an email. When officers arrived, they found a man detaining Jones, who is transient, outside in the driveway.

Jones apparently entered the home uninvited while the man was inside and awake, Beckley said. The man saw Jones grab a backpack filled with “personal items.”

When the homeowner confronted Jones, Jones punched him in the chest, Beckley said. It was a “minor assault,” she added, but rose to a second-degree assault charge because it happened during the commission of a felony.

Jones was arrested without further incident.

There is no indication he committed other burglaries in the area, Beckley said. Jones does not have any prior felonies in Washington state, according to court records.

He made his first appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon. Court Commissioner Pamela Englett set bail at $5,000, court records say.

Kyle Mittan: 360-756-2803, @KyleMittan