Police Beat

A local woman who grew suspicious in a so-called grant scam saved herself $2,000.

Early Monday afternoon, a local woman contacted police to report that she was the victim of an email scam. The email originated from her friend’s hacked account informing her that she qualified for a “grant.” The woman responded to the email and was contacted by someone claiming to represent the “Cash Grant Initiative and Endowment for Humanities”. To receive payment, the victim was told to purchase four $500 Visa gift cards to cover fees and taxes. The woman complied with the request to purchase gift cards and provide the PIN, however, she was suspicious when the scammer asked for more money so she called the police. She was advised to cease contact with the scammer and given direction on how to avoid future issues. This case could also be reported to the FBI’s online internet crime complaint center, ic3.gov.

Here are some other cases Anacortes Police reported this week.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Just after 1AM on Saturday, an APD Officer on patrol on SR 20 pulled an older model sedan over near the intersection of Reservation Road. The officer told the 33-year-old Bothell driver that he pulled him over for a burnt out license plate light and later took him into custody after discovering that he had a suspended driver’s license. He was cited and released on scene after agreeing to appear in court.

A 56-year-old motorcyclist with no valid operator’s license was ticketed after he crashed his bike on its left side on SR 20 near the intersection of R Avenue. The rider was checked by aid units on scene who determined that his injuries were minor so he remained on scene to arrange for his bike to be towed.

An APD Officer was patrolling in the area of Mount Erie Elementary on Saturday morning when a man approached her and reported a car in the ditch nearby. The officer drove down the street and observed an older model station wagon that was badly stuck in the ditch and its tires were spinning and smoking as the driver attempted to drive out. The officer instructed the driver to turn the car off since there was no possibility that she could pull out. The 77-year-old driver and her dog were uninjured in the incident. The driver told police that she was attempting to put on her seatbelt when she drove into the ditch. The officer noted a flattened fence nearby and further investigation revealed that the woman had struck a boat and trailer as well. The driver was given a ticket for negligent driving and her damaged vehicle was towed from the scene.

A 47-year-old Sammamish man was given a ticket for failure to yield by an APD Officer on Saturday afternoon after he caused a two-car non-injury accident at the Sharpes Corner roundabout. The at-fault driver failed to yield for a late model SUV already in the roundabout attempting to exit towards Oak Harbor. The damage to the victim vehicle was substantial enough that it had to be towed from the scene.

A 77-year-old Anacortes man was arrested on two District Court warrants for driving while license suspended on Saturday afternoon. The man told the officer who performed a traffic stop on him that he generally doesn’t drive, but he was going to buy garbage bags. He was taken into custody on his warrants and an additional charge for driving while license suspended. He was transported to the county jail where he was booked on his warrants and driving charge.

A 26-year-old Camano Island man was given a ticket for unsafe backing after his SUV ran into an unoccupied sedan parked in the lot at Storvik Park. Both vehicles sustained damage to the outside mirrors. No one was injured.

At 11PM on Saturday, APD Officers responded to a local hotel to investigate a report of possible animal abuse. Though it was determined that no crime was committed against a small dog in the room, a 42-year-old woman who lived there had a driving while license suspended warrant, so she was taken into custody and later released after agreeing to appear at the next available court date.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

At 4PM on Sunday, an on-duty officer was in a local grocery store when he was beckoned by an employee to walk outside and confront a man suspected of stealing items from the store. The officer confronted the 29-year-old Eastsound man who initially stated that he forgot to pay for the items. After speaking further with the man, he admitted that he had stolen the $13 worth of groceries because he was hungry. He was arrested for theft and later released from the scene with a copy of his citation and a notice banning him from the store for one year.

Monday, July 22, 2019

A woman involved in a 3-car crash at 29th and Commercial sustained minor injury on Monday afternoon. There were two cars that stopped as they approached the intersection and a third car in the rear failed to stop in time and struck the second car which lurched into the rear of the first car. The driver of the at-fault vehicle was a 23-year-old Anacortes woman. She was ticketed for following too close.  

APD Officers were dispatched to a motel on SR 20 late Monday night after employees contacted them with a request to remove and ban several individuals working on a broken car in the parking lot. Officers spoke with several people in the lot associated with the vehicles described. A routine check on one of the vehicle owners revealed that the 33-year-old Ferndale man had a felony arrest warrant. By the time officers arrived, the man had fled on foot to a wooded area nearby, so officers set up containment. With the help of a K9 Tracking Unit from Mount Vernon PD, the man was found in the woods and taken into custody on his warrant and an investigative hold for violation of the uniform controlled substances act for possible drugs in his vehicle. In addition to the felony arrest, officers also contacted a male and female who stated that they were replacing an alternator in the parking lot. At the staff’s request, an officer served them with a ban notice and their car was impounded to search for drugs after officers noticed drug paraphernalia in plain sight within the vehicle. Both cars were later searched and a small amount of illegal narcotics and paraphernalia was discovered in each of them.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Just after 10PM on Tuesday, APD Officers were notified of two males carrying what they thought were pillowcases and possibly breaking into buildings. An APD Sergeant noticed two men matching that description near 14th and M Avenue and recognized one of them, a local 32-year-old, as having warrants for his arrest, so she contacted him and took him into custody. A search incident to arrest yielded a small container with drug paraphernalia. In addition, the man had other drugs in his backpack and no prescription for them. He was booked in the county jail on his warrant and an investigative hold for violation of the uniform controlled substances act and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

An abandoned house on 18th Street has an exterior shed that served as temporary, albeit illegal, housing for two men from Burlington and Anacortes respectively. Police were notified of their presence on Wednesday morning so they went to the house to investigate and, as reported, two men were inside the shed claiming to have permission to be there. One of the men was a 51-year-old from Anacortes. He was taken into custody on several trespassing warrants and later booked and released after agreeing to appear in court. The 34-year-old Burlington man on premise was also taken into custody on a warrant and taken to APD. He was later booked and released on his warrants as well.

An APD Officer responded to a Commercial Avenue retailer on Wednesday afternoon per the report of a theft in progress. The initial employee report stated that a woman was inside attempting to return merchandise that was previously stolen and had additional stolen items concealed in her purse. A staff member directed the responding officers to the restroom and they waited outside for several minutes, then knocked on the door and asked the woman to come out so they could speak with her. When she opened the door, the woman’s hair was wet and it appeared that the she had taken a makeshift shower in the restroom. She was carrying a bag that contained $40 worth of stolen toiletries and clothing from the store. She was arrested for theft and later released with a copy of her citation and a trespass notice from the store. 

An APD Officer took a stolen vehicle report on Wednesday afternoon from a Field Avenue resident. The vehicle owner told police that her dark green 1996 Honda Civic coupe with Washington license plate AHR3852 was stolen from her driveway sometime between 5:30PM on Tuesday and 4PM on Wednesday. The owner told the investigating officer that she was quite sure the vehicle was locked at the time of the incident, and no one should have access to the keys.

Note: Anacortes Police Department policy is to not include names or addresses of businesses or individuals that call 911 for police assistance, though this information is a matter of public record.

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