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Oak Harbor woman accused in burglary on Zylstra Road
An Oak Harbor woman is accused of burglarizing a home on Zylstra Road, which has been a hotspot for residential burglaries over the past six months or so.
A number of residents and property owners in the Zylstra Road area of North Whidbey contacted the Whidbey News-Times about recurring problems. One woman said she cruises the area at night in search of possible burglars.
The suspect in the criminal case, however, has an unusual explanation.
Kelly C. James, 32, pleaded not guilty in Island County Superior Court Feb. 19 to one count of residential burglary.
Last December, the owner of a home on Zylstra Road reported to police that he drove up and caught a woman leaving the residence with an armful of belongings. The caller said the woman quickly left in a white Volkswagen that had a black racing stripe.
The man reported that a couple of computer printers and other items were missing from his home.
Lt. Mike Hawley with the Island County Sheriff’s Office investigated the complaint. According to his report, another deputy told him a week prior that the driver of a Volkswagen matching the description was being driven around at night on Goldie Road, and that it was suspicious.
Hawley was able to locate the suspicious car on Riepma Avenue.
Following the burglary complaint, Hawley and another deputy went to the Riepma Avenue residence and reported seeing James and two men unloading items from the car.
The deputies contacted the residents and noticed two computer printers sitting next to the car, according to an investigative report.
James allegedly told the deputies that an elderly and “real creepy” guy named Bob was evicted from the house on Zylstra Road and repeatedly asked her to retrieve items for him.
James claimed she finally retrieved the items so “Bob” would leave her and her children alone, Hawley wrote.
Hawley said he was able to locate the man named Bob, who was homeless after being evicted from the house. He admitted that he had asked James to get the property for him; he said the owners threatened to shoot him if he ever returned, the report states.
If convicted of the charge, James could face from three to nine months in jail under the standard sentencing range.