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Four men charged in burglary spree

A loud muffler and liquid soap led to the arrests of four out-of-work Oak Harbor men allegedly involved in a burglary ring on Whidbey Island.

The four men were charged in Island County Superior Court Jan. 24. They are all being held in the Island County jail.

March Lutch, 21, was charged with first-degree trafficking in stolen property, four counts of second-degree burglary and a count of leading organized crime. If convicted of the charges, he could face more than eight years in prison. He’s being held on $25,000 bail.

Richard Williams, 18, was charged with first-degree trafficking in stolen property and second-degree burglary. He’s being held on $25,000 bail. If convicted, he could face between a year and a year and two months in prison.

Roger Foster, 36, was charged with four counts of burglary in the second degree. His bail is set at $10,000. If convicted, he could face a year and ten months to two years and five months in prison.

Gil Kim, 21, was charged with four counts of second-degree burglary. He could face a year and ten months to two years and five months in prison. His bail was also set at $25,000.

Kim pleaded not guilty Jan. 25.

According to the affidavit of probable cause written by Oak Harbor Police Detective Teri Gardner, officers responded to an alarm at Old Town Mall on Pioneer Way early in the morning of Jan. 21. They found fresh pry marks and liquid soap all over the window.

A short while later, Officer Dave Melton saw a car with a loud muffler and headlights out driving back and forth on Pioneer Way. The car parked nearby. Then the officers saw Kim and Foster walking in the area and stopped them.

Kim smelled of soap and the front of his jacket was wet with soap. The officers also found he was carrying glass cutters. The officers then searched the car — Williams was sitting in the back — and found two crow bars, cable cutters, liquid soap, bolt cutters, screwdrivers and Nintendo and Sony video games, according to the police report.

Kim, Foster and Williams were arrested. Williams allegedly told a detective that the men give some of the money they steal to Lutch. They all lived together in Lutch’s travel trailer.

The police searched Lutch’s trailer and recovered stolen property. Lutch confessed that he suggested businesses for the other men to burglarize. He said he bought ski masks and gloves for the burglaries and pawned a guitar stolen from a church, according to Gardner’s report.

Gardner wrote that each of the men eventually admitted to taking part in several burglaries. Kim, for example, said he and Foster burglarized, or attempted to burglarize, the Texaco, Arirang Garden, the American Legion, Pacific Northwest Bank ATM, Whidbey Island Bank ATM, US Bank ATM, an ATM near the base, Dairy Valley, Angie’s, Zorba’s, Living Word Church, Quik n’ Clean and Henderson’s.

Kim said they were on the way to burglarize Deli By the Bay on Pioneer Way when the officers stopped them, Gardner wrote.

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