Poulsbo Police track down burglary suspect

Thieves cut holes, including this one in Kenneth L. Salon & Spa, into the walls of five Poulsbo businesses  late last week in order to steal cash. - Courtesy Photo
Thieves cut holes, including this one in Kenneth L. Salon & Spa, into the walls of five Poulsbo businesses late last week in order to steal cash.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

POULSBO — Authorities have nabbed a 27-year-old Bremerton man they suspect robbed Liberty Bay Auto. Poulsbo Police units responded to the business' alarm early Wednesday morning. When they arrived, the suspect was standing near the roadway, and was immediately uncooperative with officers. The man, carrying a crowbar, assaulted the officers and fled on foot, said Poulsbo Deputy Police Chief Shawn Delaney.

A canine unit from the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office was able to catch the suspect near The Diner on Viking Way, where the man forced an employee to give him his jacket to evade detection. Keys to the auto store were found in the man's possession. The suspect was transported to Harrison Medical Center, then booked into Kitsap County jail on charges of robbery, assault, burglary, possession of burglary tools and possession of stolen property. One assaulted officer sustained only minor injuries.

Delaney said police are now examining whether the suspect has any involvement in a string of commercial burglaries that occurred in Poulsbo late last week, when a thieves broke into a handful of Poulsbo businesses, taking cash and leaving structural damage behind.

In those instances, the burglar or burglars entered five businesses by cutting through the walls.

Peter Crabtree, owner of CBC Chocolates on Seventh Avenue, said on the morning of Jan. 23 one of his employees entered the shop to find the cash register broken, cash missing and a two-by-two foot hole in the wall. Ryan Chiropractic and Kenneth L. Salon & Spa, which both share a building with CBC Chocolates, were also victimized.

Similar break-ins occurred across State Route 305 at Stella's Pizza & Pasta and Poulsbo Running. The two businesses are located in the same building and share an inner hallway. The thieves cut through drywall into both, stealing cash.

Delaney said crimes of such high volume and within such close proximity aren't common, nor are they growing in number, even with the poor economy.

"Fortunately this is out of the ordinary," he said. "There's not been any upswing in commercial burglaries."

The crimes are likely tied to drugs, he added.

Crabtree said his storage shelves were "busted up" and drawers were rifled through. His digital camera was also gone.

"The biggest damage is, of course, the hole they came through in the wall to get in," Crabtree said. And in this economy, "it was certainly the last thing we needed."

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