A Whatcom County homeowner woke up to find a man he didn’t know rummaging through his refrigerator Wednesday morning, and law enforcement believe the man was responsible for 10 additional vehicle prowls and another burglary in the neighborhood.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office booked Scott Gary Liles, 27, of Ferndale, into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of two counts of residential burglary, one count of second-degree burglary and 10 counts of second-degree vehicle prowl.
According to information provided by Chief Deputy Kevin Hester to The Bellingham Herald Thursday in an email, a homeowner in the 1000 block of Paradise Road east of Ferndale heard noises coming from his kitchen at approximately 6:05 a.m. With one other adult and five children in the house, the homeowner figured one of the kids was up and making breakfast, but was surprised to find Liles going through his refrigerator.
The homeowner yelled at Liles, who fled the house, Hester said, but a Sheriff’s Office police dog was able to locate Liles hiding in a nearby cemetery, and he was taken into custody. The homeowner reportedly identified Liles as the man who was in his kitchen, and an investigation led deputies to believe Liles had prowled a car in the driveway, entered a detached garage and bagged up some tools that he stacked outside the house to steal, and then removed a screen from the kitchen window to enter the home.
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Further investigation also showed that there were 10 other vehicle prowls in the neighborhood and an additional burglary, Hester said, and in several of the instances, tools were piled up in “stash” locations to be collected later.
Deputies recovered a number of those items and returned them to their rightful owners.