Crime

Man suspected in armed robbery arrested after reported standoff with SWAT near Lynden

Here’s what the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office does

The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.
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The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office enforces the law in the unincorporated areas of Whatcom County as well as on the county's waterways.

A man suspected of an armed robbery in Skagit County reportedly barricaded himself, a woman and children in a Lynden-area home Saturday, May 25, before the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office SWAT and Crisis Negotiation Team peacefully resolved the standoff.

“Great job in negotiating the release of the kids and the eventual surrender of the suspect. No one hurt!” Sheriff Bill Elfo said in a post on the department’s Facebook page.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office booked Joshua David Burton, a 34-year-old from Eagle River, Alaska, into Skagit County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.

According to a story by the Skagit Valley Herald, Skagit County Sheriff’s deputies were called at 6:30 a.m. Saturday to the 12000 block of Fir Avenue in Clear Lake, where it was reported that Burton kicked in the door to a residence, hit a 45-year-old man with a gun, held the man at gunpoint, took his cell phone and left.

The victim told Skagit Sheriff’s deputies that Burton was an acquaintance and gave them an address in the Lynden area, according to the Skagit Valley Herald.

Skagit deputies notified the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, chief deputy Kevin Hester told The Bellingham Herald, and gave a description of the vehicle Burton was believed to be driving. Hester said the vehicle was located outside a residence in the 500 block of Beard Road, where deputies saw a man matching Burton’s description.

Burton went back inside, and deputies surrounded the residence.

“Due to the nature of the crime and the likelihood of weapons, as well as the fact that there were three children inside the residence, SWAT and our Crisis Negotiation Team were called out,” Hester said. “Negotiators worked for approximately three hours to get Mr. Burton to surrender.”

Hester said the negotiation team was able to get two of the children released from and turned over to their father, and at approximately 11:30 a.m., Burton agreed to surrender if his girlfriend and son were allowed to exit and be released to the girlfriend’s mother.

Burton was then taken into custody and turned over to Skagit Sheriff’s deputies, Hester said.

The Skagit Valley Herald reported that after the man exited the home, Skagit County detectives were assisted by Whatcom County detectives in serving search warrants on the home and vehicles to gather evidence.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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