News

Freeland Shell Shack smoke thieves sought by sheriff’s deputies

Island County Sheriff’s Office released this image of one of three masked burglars who stole cigarettes and chewing tobacco from the Freeland Shell station last month.   - Photo courtesy of the Island County Sheriff
Island County Sheriff’s Office released this image of one of three masked burglars who stole cigarettes and chewing tobacco from the Freeland Shell station last month.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Island County Sheriff's Office

Detectives with the Island County Sheriff’s Office are seeking help identifying three suspects who stole $10,000 worth of tobacco products from a Freeland gas station.

Detective Ed Wallace said the three masked men – or possibly women – entered the Freeland Shell station, commonly known as the Shell Shack, by forcing open the drive-through window at about 3 a.m. Feb. 19.

Wallace released images captured by the store’s surveillance video Monday in hopes someone will be able to help identify the culprits.

A series of photos can be viewed on the Island County Sheriff’s Facebook site.

Anyone with information can contact the sheriff’s office by calling 360-679-9567 or emailing to tips@co.island.wa.us

Wallace said two of the burglars wore bandanas over their faces. The third thief wore a gorilla mask.

The mask was left behind at the scene. Detectives sent it to the state crime lab for DNA analysis.

Wallace said the crime lab normally doesn’t conduct DNA testing in theft cases.

In this case, though, the dollar amount of the theft is so high that the test is warranted, Wallace said.

The burglars got away with 110 cartons of cigarettes and 120 cartons of chewing tobacco, according to Wallace.

Wallace said he suspects they will try to sell the tobacco products on the black market.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 26 edition online now. Browse the archives.