By Meg Olson
There will be no charges laid following the mini crime spree that hit Auntie Pam’s Country Store and adjacent properties in the early morning of July 31.
“Somebody came forward a few days later and that suspect is working with property owners,” said Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Doug Chadwick. “The property owner was willing to work with them rather than press charges so there was no arrest.”
Business owner John Sheppard discovered the damage when he arrived to open the store. The glass windows on the front door had been smashed out in an attempt to gain entry but the intruder or intruders had been stymied by the deadbolt on the interior side of the door.
“They took out every panel on the door that they could take out,” Sheppard said. The thief was able to reach through the door to grab some merchandise off a nearby shelf that was later found strewn on the community center parking lot.
Chadwick said there were reports made of car prowls on the property and adjacent properties two days later, and a report of a disturbance at the location at approximately 2 or 3 a.m. on the night of the incident. Members of the garden club have also reported damage to their watering vehicle and park district staff reported an apparent attempt to set fire to the shed at the community center.
In response to concerns about the amount of time it took a deputy to get to the scene Chadwick said deputy Ian Johnson was on the Point at the time of the incident but was called away to Birch Bay to help in a felony assault investigation just prior to Sheppard’s 911 call.
Chadwick added that if those who heard the disturbance had called in at the time, the response may have come quicker, highlighting the need to call 911 in the case of suspicious circumstances.