Two Blaine High School youths are suspected of breaking into dormitories at a Birch Bay non-profit summer camp that provides experiences for disabled teens and adults, discharging fire extinguishers and causing more than $15,000 worth of damage last month.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, in a press release Monday, announced that it had arrested unnamed 16- and 17-year-old males and booked them into Juvenile Detention on suspicion of second-degree burglary and first-degree malicious mischief. Additional second-degree malicious mischief charges also have been referred to the prosecutor.
The damage occurred the afternoon of Jan. 29, when the pair allegedly illegally entered dormitories B, C and D at the camp and caused extensive damage with the extinguishers.
According to the release, a video camera at the camp also was pulled down by the youths, but it captured some photos and videos before it was disabled. Staff members at the Public Recreation Building in Blaine and at Blaine High School recognized and identified the youths to the investigating deputies.
The youths were later located together in front of one of their homes, and one admitted to discharging at least two fire extinguishers in the Camp Horizon dorms, according to the release. One of the youths also allegedly was wearing the same hat that was seen on the surveillance photos and videos, and shoes that were collected from both also matched evidence found at the scene.
In addition to the burglary and damage to the dorms, it was later reported that the camp caretaker’s truck, which was parked at the camp, was vandalized, with windows and mirrors broken out, both doors caved in, a tail light broken and the tailgate removed and thrown in the bed. According to the release, evidence also linked the youths to that damage.
Though the camp is insured, Lions Camp Horizon Foundation president Don Webster told The Bellingham Herald last week that it must meet a $2,500 deductible.
“We operate on a very lean budget,” Webster told The Herald. “Spending $2,500 as our deductible to get this mess cleaned up takes money directly away from assets that could be used for camperships for those who cannot afford our camp fees, camper activities, facility improvements and maintenance.”
Those wishing to help the camp were asked to make donations online at lionscamphorizon.org/support/donate-now/ or by mail at: Lions Camp Horizon, 7506 Gemini Street, Blaine, WA 98230.