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Violent theft could mean eight years in prison for South Whidbey homeless man

An attempt to steal a couple of fishing lures led to a violent encounter that could mean as much as eight years in prison for a South Whidbey homeless man, court documents indicate.

Prosecutors charged Travis Loetterle, 23, in Island County Superior Court July 29 with first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, third-degree assault and third-degree theft.

Loetterle was charged earlier in the month for trafficking in stolen property for allegedly trying to sell a Maltese poodle that belonged to someone else.

Lotterle’s criminal history increases his potential sentence in each case. He is so well known to poalice on South Whidbey that Langley Police Chief Dave Marks jokingly refers to him as his “arch-nemesis,” the South Whidbey Record reported.

In the newest case, an employee at Ace Hardware in Freeland reported seeing Loetterle shoplifting on July 26.

Three store employees stood outside the store to confront Loetterle, who tried to run away but was pulled to the ground by the men, according to a deputy’s report on the incident.

Loetterle allegedly pulled a knife from his pocket during the melee, but one of the men knocked it from his hand and grabbed it, the report states.

One of the men claimed that Loetterle kicked him in “the nuts,” the deputy wrote.

Loetterle allegedly admitted to trying to steal a couple of fishing lures because “he needed to go fishing for food” and didn’t have any money, the deputy wrote.

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