Haunted house thief materializes

Police say the man who stole the cash box from Boys and Girls Club’s haunted house just before Halloween turned himself in to police last Friday afternoon.

Officers arrested him again the next day in a separate case, according to Oak Harbor Police Sgt. Jerry Baker.

The detective said Michael Wayne Johnson, a 20-year-old Oak Harbor resident, was booked on suspicion of third-degree theft and minor in possession Friday. Investigators believe Johnson grabbed the cash box containing about $250 from the Frightville haunted house at Oak Harbor’s Roller Barn Oct. 26. The event is a fundraiser for the club.

Becky King, a board member of the Boys and Girls Club, was sitting at the front desk and ran after the suspect into an apartment complex, but lost him after he jumped over a fence.

Baker said investigators were able to identify Johnson as the thief by interviewing people he allegedly talked to about the crime. But before police arrested him, he turned himself in Friday afternoon. Baker said Johnson was “highly intoxicated,” so he was also booked on suspicion of minor in possession.

Johnson was released on his own recognizance.

The next day, Baker said police responded to a report of a shoplifting at Kmart and arrested Johnson again. Johnson is accused of stealing Dust-Off, which is a brand of gas duster used to clean dust from computers; Baker said officers found him hiding behind a dumpster, huffing the refrigerant-based propellant.

According to Baker, the product has become a common and dangerous inhalant that teenagers and others abuse because of the drug-like effect caused by a lack of oxygen.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting, minor in possession and resisting arrest, the detective said. This time, he was held in jail.

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