Oak Harbor burglar who traumatized doctor heads to prison
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
May 12, 2012 · Updated 4:41 PM
A suspected burglar who had been on the run from the law last December was sent to prison.
Justin Arnold, a 25-year-old Oak Harbor man, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to trafficking in stolen property.
Under a plea bargain, a burglary charge against Arnold was dismissed, but the prosecution and defense recommended a sentence of one year and one day in prison. Judge Alan Hancock agreed and sent him to prison.
Arnold was convicted of pawning tools that had been stolen last November from a barn on Central Whidbey belonging to a local doctor. Arnold was also a suspect in the burglary, but he wasn’t convicted of the charge.
In court, Arnold’s attorney said his client hopes to earn a GED and get help with his problems. Arnold has a young child and another baby on the way.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said Arnold pawned several tools, including a nailer that had the doctor’s name on it. He said the burglary had a “devastating effect” on the victim.
In his victim impact statement, the doctor wrote that the crime shattered his sense of security and caused him to suffer post traumatic stress disorder. He spend thousands of dollars on security measures and even considered leaving Whidbey Island.
“I couldn’t sleep for weeks fearing the criminals would return or attack my family,” the doctor wrote.
According to doctor’s statement, the burglars “strategically placed” weapons around the barn within easy reach and likely would have shot him if he had walked in on them.
“These criminals terrorized an entire community, violating the most basic of civil behavior rules that should have been learned in kindergarten,” he wrote.
Detectives with the Island County Sheriff’s Office tried to locate Arnold last December and sent out a press release about him to the media. Arnold indicated on his Facebook page that he knew the police were looking for him; he wrote a Dec. 11 comment on the social media site with a derogatory comment about the police and touting “white power,” according to a police report on the case.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.