Whatcom County homeowner returns to find $20,000 in gold coins and shotgun stolen

A Lynden homeowner returned home after 24 hours away to find that his house had been broken into, his safe cracked, at least $20,000 in gold coins stolen and a 12-gauge shotgun missing.

Lynden police arrested and booked Vasilios Macris, 33, into Whatcom County Jail on Tuesday, Aug. 13, on suspicion of first-degree theft, first-degree possession of stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a firearm, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jail records show Macris is being held in lieu of $10,000 bail.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Lt. Jeremy Bos, police were notified by a homeowner in the 8600 block of Depot Road that he returned home and noticed “something amiss in the house.”

The homeowner also reported that his safe had been accessed and that a collection of gold coins, valued between $20,000 and $30,000, were taken from the safe.

It was those gold coins that led police to suspect Macris, Bos said, as they searched pawnshops to see if any of the coins had been pawned.

“We were able to catch up with a gentleman (Macris) that pawned the coin, and there was evidence linking him to the residence,” Bos said.

Bos said police also have impounded Macris’ truck and are awaiting a search warrant for the vehicle, where they suspect more stolen items are being stored.

Police believe Macris broke a window to gain entrance to the house, and Bos said they are investigating whether Macris has ties to any other burglaries in the area.

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.