A Port Angeles man is accused of breaking into The Landing mall twice over the weekend, stealing upward of $11,000 worth of jewelry and causing damage at multiple businesses. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

A Port Angeles man is accused of breaking into The Landing mall twice over the weekend, stealing upward of $11,000 worth of jewelry and causing damage at multiple businesses. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Accused thief held on $75,000 bail

PORT ANGELES — A man who police said broke into The Landing mall twice over the weekend to steal upward of $11,000 worth of jewelry and briefly escaped from the back of a patrol vehicle, said in court Tuesday his behavior was “atrocious.”

Clallam County Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour ordered Ventsislav D. Hurd, 28, held on $75,000 bail, following the recommendation of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy.

“My behavior was atrocious, I wasn’t myself,” Hurd said in open court after bail was set. “I should have taken advantage of what treatment had to offer me, but dope was better. Sorry.”

Kennedy said in an email he anticipates charging Hurd with three counts of second-degree burglary, four counts of third-degree theft, five counts of second-degree theft and one count of third-degree escape, though charges could change as more information becomes available. Charges are expected to be filed today at 1 p.m.

Kennedy told the court that Hurd had recently been discharged early from drug treatment, which was required after he pleaded guilty to burglarizing Olympic Stained Glass in December.

During that burglary about $10,500 worth of jewelry was taken, according to court records.

“He was discharged from treatment prematurely and did not report to [Department of Corrections],” Kennedy said. “Within 24 hours, he then repeated his modus operandi of smashing windows at a couple of businesses.”

Hurd was previously convicted of first-degree attempted burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and first-degree vehicle theft in Alaska.

Stolen jewelry

Surveillance video shows Hurd entering The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday, said PAPD Deputy Chief Jason Viada.

The first burglary was reported at 4:48 a.m. Sunday, when it was discovered that the window to One of a Kind Art Gallery had been shattered and about $11,000 worth of jewelry was missing.

PAPD posted on Facebook 31 photos of necklaces, rings and other jewelry that was reported missing, asking the public to call the police at 360-452-4545 if they have information about the missing jewelry.

‘Very vague estimate’

Viada said police have valued the jewelry at a “very vague estimate of $11,000.” He estimated there was about $2,600 worth of property damage.

Viada said police received a report at about 3 a.m. Monday — less than 24 hours later — that someone was burglarizing The Landing mall again, this time at Downriggers and Port Angeles Whale Watch Co.

When Port Angeles and Lower Elwha police arrived, they began searching the mall and found Hurd hiding in a closet in the back of the Port Angeles Whale Watch Co., Viada said.

Police put Hurd in the back of a Lower Elwha Tribal Police Department car while they continued to search the building.

Viada said Hurd slipped his handcuffs out from behind his back to in front of him and escaped through the unlocked partition that separates the back of the patrol vehicle.

Hurd then led police on a short foot pursuit that ended with him getting arrested in an alley a few blocks away, Viada said.

Police said they discovered that about $400 cash was missing and that a cellphone had been taken.

“I think my officers did a great job of getting down there and getting through the broken glass and apprehending the suspect,” Viada said. “Obviously they have done a lot of work to document the damage and theft and there’s a lot more work to do, but they’re doing it.

“This represents good, solid police work.”


Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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