Retired Navy chief offers $5,000 reward for thieves who burglarized his home

A retired Navy chief is so disgusted by his home being burglarized that he’s posting a $5,000 reward for the culprits, and is thinking of leaving the island altogether.

“I’ve worked hard all my life, and now I’m thinking of selling,” John Bryan said Monday.

He was speaking from his second home in Tucson, Ariz. The home on North Whidbey Island where he and his wife, Karen, raised their children was hit by thieves early Friday morning. A friend who watches the house discovered the crime when he noticed the back door was kicked in.

The thieves drove a truck around the back of the house located north of Oak Harbor off Highway 20 and helped themselves. “It was pretty close to $15,000,” Bryan said of the losses.

Among the items taken from the house and garage were a 58-inch TV from the living room, a smaller TV from the bedroom, a stereo system, two Stihl chain saws (one purchased three weeks ago for $1,000), many tools collected over the years, and a work bench that was bolted down in four places. The bedding was even stripped from the beds and hauled away.

The house is located near Soundview Shopper, surrounded on three sides by woods. Bryan was surprised that anyone would know they could drive across the yard and around to the back of the house. Although appalled by the theft, he described the perpetrators as “just a couple of scumbags.”

The feeling of violation people suffer when their home has been burglarized leaves Bryan wondering if he should sell his Whidbey home and live in Tucson full time. But first, he’d like these burglars caught and punished.

“I’d like to save somebody else the heartache,” he said, explaining why he’s offering $5,000 for the arrest and conviction of the thieves who hit his house.

Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said anyone with information about the theft should call ICOM at 679-9567.

Wallace said the incident is similar to one at the fire station on Troxell Road, where someone hauled away a large generator in a truck. “We’re looking at that,” he said. “It might be, but using a truck is not uncommon.”

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