A cart track led an amateur investigator to the home of an alleged South Whidbey burglar, court documents indicate.
Island County Sheriff Mark Brown sent out a press release last month, asking for the public’s help in locating Robert Burns.
Burns, 25, was identified as a suspect in a Scatchet Head burglary, the sheriff said.
Burns was taken into custody a few days later.
Prosecutors charged Burns in Island County Superior Court April 30 with possession of stolen property.
If convicted of the charge, Burns could face from two to five months in jail under the standard sentencing range.
A burglary at a Swede Hill Road home was reported on Jan. 15. A shotgun, a .22 rifle, a computer, a TV, an antique spyglass, a rug, beer and a prescription pad were among the items stolen, according to the report by Lt. Evan Tinsgstad with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the deputy’s report, the home was burglarized three times previously. The last time, the burglar used a wooded garden cart to haul the loot away, but the cart was left behind.
Tingstad checked the garage and found that the cart was missing, but didn’t find any cart trails.
A couple of days later, a girl was horseback riding and saw the cart trail in the thick frost. Her mother followed the trail to a Scatchet Head neighborhood and found the stolen cart next to a house.
The sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant for the house and served it Jan. 18. Burns was arrested as he tried to leave through the back door, according to Tingstad’s report.
The deputies allegedly found many of the stolen items inside the home, including the TV and guns.