Burglary string ends with four arrests

Four Oak Harbor men were arrested Monday, ending, perhaps, a string of burglaries that dates back to early fall.

The arrests were made after police investigated a burglar alarm that sounded at 2:30 a.m. in Old Town Mall in downtown Oak Harbor. “There were signs of an attempted break-in, but no one was there,” said Police Captain Rick Wallace.

Shortly after the initial response, an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle driving past the mall. Wallace said the car had no muffler and its lights were out, so a traffic stop was made. Questioning led officers to believe the driver was involved in the attempted burglary, and three other suspects were identified.

The four men all lived on the 700 Block of North Crosby Ave. A search warrant was obtained. Wallace said evidence gathered linked the men to “multiple commercial burglaries in town, and additional burglaries in the county.” The Island County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the burglaries in the county.

Oak Harbor police arrested Kim S. Gil, 21; Roger S. Foster, 36; Richard J. Williams, 18; and Mark A. Lutch, an adult whose age was not immediately available. As of Tuesday afternoon they were in the Island County Jail awaiting arraignment on burglary charges.

Wallace said the men are suspects in at least two thefts from ATM machines and “better than a dozen burglaries in town.” The burglars were usually after cash, he said, but some stolen goods were recovered. “There’s a lot of property being inventoried now,” he said.

Wallace said an increase in burglaries began early last fall and continued through the months. “It was almost like a graph starting in the fall, and it peaked in the last month or so,” he said. “We’re hoping this is going to slow it down.”

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