By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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“Within the last week, we've had four burglaries and a car stolen,” said John Wilson, vice president of the Sun Meadows Homeowners Association.
The neighborhood's entrance signs off West Sequim Bay Road at both Independence Drive and Liberty Way were defaced with the word “Cripz” in a blue graffito written over non-discernible black graffiti.
“They left their calling card,” said Wilson, a retired police officer from Glendale, Calif., who moved to the area in 2008.
But “guys who have burglarized houses, they don't want to leave anything traceable to them.
“It's my guess it's teenagers or young adults.”
The Clallam County Sheriff's Office said the recent burglaries at Sun Meadows might be related to those that occurred in the Mount Pleasant-Monroe Road areas east of Port Angeles last month, and a more recent uptick in burglaries along Woodcock Road north of Sequim.
“Yeah, I think they're related, and we're working on them,” said Clallam County Sheriff Bill Benedict.
This month, he formed a task force from the Sheriff's Office and other jurisdictions to address a
27 percent spike in burglaries in unincorporated Clallam County.
He asked residents to help deter burglaries by using good locks and loud alarms and adding video surveillance systems.
Sheriff's Sgt. John Keegan said there were three reported burglaries in the Sun Meadows community Saturday and a fourth one nearby.
“We had another one reported today,” Keegan said in a Tuesday interview.
“We're really urging people to lock their vehicles, lock their cars and report anything suspicious.”
Wilson said the burglaries and vandalism were highly unusual for the quiet community of 120 homes just east of Sequim.
The Sun Meadows entrance signs were defaced Monday night or Tuesday morning. The graffiti had been removed by Wednesday afternoon.
“The residents were always home,” Wilson said of the burglaries.
“It appears that the ones they went into, they broke into the car first, got the garage door opener, opened the garage and then went into the unlocked garage door to the house and burglarized the house while [the victims] were sleeping.”
Wilson said the burglars may eventually be shot by a property owner.
“One house I went to, I know they stole cash and some drugs, prescription drugs,” he said.
“Very unusual for this neighborhood.”
He added: “Crips are from south-central L.A., and if they knew that somebody was using their logo or anything, they would kick these guys' a--es.”
Keegan said the primary targets have been small electronic devices. He urged the public to remove valuables from vehicles and to lock doors.
“We're looking at another cluster of burglaries that happened in the Woodcock Road areas in Sequim,” Keegan said, adding that the Sheriff's Office has been comparing reports “to start finding common denominators.”
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.