Alibi tampering hurts burglar’s cause
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 27, 2010 · Updated 11:41 AM
A 38-year-old Oak Harbor man who was caught red-handed burglarizing a home received the maximum prison sentence after a brief trial.
The jury in Island County Superior Court found Kevin Wais guilty of residential burglary Aug. 4.
Island County Chief Criminal Prosecutor Colleen Kenimond asked Judge Alan Hancock to give Wais the maximum sentence. Hancock agreed and sentenced Wais to seven years in prison.
Kenimond said the evidence against Wais was very strong. Wais’ defense was supposed to be based on an alibi, but the girlfriend who was expected to provide the alibi never testified.
Wais’ conversation with his girlfriend was taped at the jail and used against him at trial. He was taped coaching her on the alibi, Kenimond said.
Wais is being investigated for alleged witness tapering, Kenimond added.
According to the police report, a burglary was reported April 26 at a home on SE Ely Street in Oak Harbor. The homeowner’s son-in-law discovered the break-in while the resident was on vacation.
The police reported that the home had been ransacked. Three guns, including two .22 rifles and an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, were stolen, along with a stereo system, a train set and a laptop computer.
Detective Ron Hofkamp noted that it appeared that the burglars may return since items were stacked into piles and a garbage can was filled with canned food.
Hofkamp returned to the house on the morning of April 28 and saw a man, later identified as Wais, sneaking out of the detached garage. As the detective walked closer, another man bolted out of the house and ran down the street with Wais, the report states.
Oak Harbor police officers caught Wais, but the other man got away.
The police found that the burglars had left a pickup and bags in the house filled with loot, including a TV. The house was completely trashed. A large safe filled with guns had been moved with metal pipes wrenched underneath.
“The biggest hero in the case was the Browning safe that held the guns,” Kenimond said, explaining that the burglars had tried to open it, even hacked off the hinges, but they couldn’t get to the guns.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.