Bellingham police: Robber arrested after threatening security guard with syringe

A man who stole jewelry from Macy’s and threatened to stab a security guard with a dirty syringe Monday, May 25, has been arrested, according to police.

Surveillance footage captured Hans R. Eaton, 33, walking out of Macy’s in Bellis Fair mall with jewelry hidden in his pocket around noon Monday, said Lt. Bob Vander Yacht.

A security officer stopped Eaton with another man in the parking lot. There was a confrontation, and at some point Eaton mentioned there was a syringe in his pocket and that he might have Hepatitis C, a threat that gave him enough time to escape into some trees nearby. The other man left as soon as Eaton started resisting, Vander Yacht said.

Several police units, police dogs and a U.S. border helicopter were unable to find the two suspects Monday.

Police posted a picture of the two men the next day on the department’s Facebook page, and the public quickly helped identify Eaton. When officers approached the front door of his house in Blaine around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Eaton tried escaping out the back door. Officers caught him in the backyard and arrested him on suspicion of second-degree robbery and obstructing.

Eaton eventually admitted he went to Macy’s to “lift” some items, though he said he was only warning the security guard of the needle in his pocket, not trying to threaten him, Vander Yacht said. The man who was with Eaton is being treated as a witness.