Port Angeles police probe links among burglaries

PORT ANGELES — Police are investigating links among 27 commercial burglaries in Port Angeles this year.

The burglaries include 10 in which city power meters were damaged, Port Angeles Police Detective Jason Viada said Wednesday.

“Turning off the power in order to commit the burglary appears to be the reason behind why the power meters were targeted,” Viada said.

Two of the 27 burglaries are the focus of a Clallam County Superior Court status hearing at 1:30 p.m. Friday involving Arkansas transient Andrew William White, 21, who is charged with two counts of second-degree burglary.

White also is charged with third-degree theft in Clallam County District Court.

His trial is set for June 20.

White had been living at least since Jan. 15 at the Street Outreach Shelter, also known as S.O.S., operated by Serenity House of Clallam County at 520 E. First St., Viada said.

On that date, he was arrested for criminal trespass at 204 E. Front St. and was identified by his Washington State Identification Card, according to a police report.

According to court records, White is from Arkansas, and he told police that people call him “Arkansas.”

Now in Clallam County jail on $10,000 bail, White is charged with burglarizing Thai Pepper Restaurant at 222 N. Lincoln St. on April 6 by forcing his way through a door.

He also is charged with burglarizing nearby What’s In Store at The Landing mall at 115 E. Railroad Ave. on April 9 by manipulating a gate lock.

White was arrested in early April for investigation of the What’s In Store burglary, was released on his own recognizance and was rearrested for investigation of the Thai Pepper Restaurant burglary April 25, Viada said.

“I am currently investigating an additional 25 burglaries that appear to have similarities to these two burglaries,” Viada said.

Viada said the two commercial burglaries are similar to the 25 others in two respects:

■ The culprit or culprits forcibly entered closed, locked businesses, not residences.

■ The culprit or culprits also went straight for the money, stealing currency that totaled “in the thousands of dollars” but leaving other potential valuables.

Viada said he would not identify the 25 businesses that were burglarized because the case remains under investigation while the state crime lab examines evidence from crime scenes.

But he gave a general area in which they occurred.

All but one were west of DelGuzzi Drive, north of Lauridsen Boulevard and east of the Tumwater Truck Route.

The pattern “draws a box through the business area of Port Angeles,” Viada said.

“East Eighth Street was really heavily hit, as was the downtown corridor.”

He did not have information late Wednesday on the total number of burglaries committed in Port Angeles in 2011.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-417-3536 or at [email protected]

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