Former candidate for Oak Harbor City Council faces felony

A three-time Oak Harbor City Council candidate and a frequent council watcher is accused of stealing a 100-ounce bar of silver from an elderly family friend while the woman was away caring for a dying daughter, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Melvin J. Vance, 49, in Island County Superior Court May 27 with trafficking in stolen property in the first degree, theft in the second degree and possession of stolen property in the second degree.

The incident was initially reported as a burglary by Vance himself, according to the report by Deputy Lane Campbell with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

In February, Vance reported a residential burglary at the victim’s house.

Vance reported that the home belonged to an 87-year-old woman, a longtime family friend who was out of town caring for her daughter.

The woman who owned the home returned a few weeks later and reported that a few pieces of jewelry and a 100-ounce bar of silver were missing from her safe.

There was no sign of forced entry; the woman said only she, Vance and her late husband had the combination to the safe, the report states.

Campbell reported that he learned Vance had allegedly pawned a 100-ounce bar of silver at a North Whidbey pawn shop.

Vance allegedly told the owner that he needed money for medication, Campbell wrote.

The silver was worth about $2,000, the report states.

When he was interviewed by the deputy, Vance allegedly claimed that his father had given him the silver; his mother and brother, however, denied that was true, the report states.

“It should be noted that Melvin, at no point in time, showed any form of remorse whatsoever,” Campbell wrote, “which is found rather disturbing given the long-term relationship and obvious bond of trust with (the victim) and her deceased husband.”


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