Two sentenced in campground burglaries near Cain Lake

Two men from North Vancouver, B.C., have been sentenced in a burglary spree at a campground near the Cain Lake area.

Hunter John Heuring, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary Thursday, March 12. Benjamin R. Michael, 18, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary in January. Heuring was sentenced to one month in Whatcom County Jail, and Michael to 23 days in jail.

The two men have been ordered to pay a total of $13,142 in restitution for breaking into at least nine trailers or small homes last year at Whatcom Meadows Camping Association, a frequent getaway south of Lake Whatcom for Canadian citizens.

Thirteen burglaries were reported in March 2014. Residents recognized Heuring — who frequently visited his dad’s lot at the campground — as a suspect after watching surveillance footage of one burglary, according to charging documents filed in Whatcom Superior Court.

Heuring was arrested a couple weeks later. He told investigators that he and Michael used pry bars to enter nine sheds or small houses. They then stole TVs, alcohol, PlayStation games, drills, a chainsaw and other items. In one residence, they found a fire extinguisher and sprayed the entire can inside until it was empty.

Heuring and Michael both were charged with one count of second-degree burglary and eight counts of residential burglary.

All but one of the victims was a Canadian citizen, according to sentencing documents. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Deen said Michael paid $10,000 at the time of his plea in January, and Heuring was expected to pay the rest by Friday, March 13, or shortly after.

Deen said the original restitution was set at more than $16,000 but was amended after deputies returned some items to victims.

Michael has been serving his 23-day jail sentence intermittently. Heuring will begin serving his month-long sentence in June, Deen said. Neither has a criminal history in the U.S.