By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
EDMONDS — The garbageman did it.
At least that’s who the Edmonds Police Department believes is responsible for a string of six break-ins in their city.
Police arrested the Monroe man, 44, early Monday morning as he was leaving a home in the 22200 block of 96th Avenue W. The same house, owned by a 97-year-old woman who was not home at the time, had been broken into the week before.
Two large silver candelabras were taken in the first burglary. A small label torn from the base of one of the candle holders indicated which of her heirs the woman wished the items to go to.
Officers suspected that the burglar might come back.
With the owner’s permission, they set up a silent alarm that would alert police if anyone broke in.
That happened shortly before 5:30 a.m. Monday.
Edmonds officers, with assistance from Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace police, surrounded the home and observed a suspicious vehicle parked directly across the street, Edmonds Sgt. Mike Blackburn said.
Moments later a man wearing garden gloves and a dark jacket was spotted leaving the house carrying bags loaded with property, according to court records.
As the investigation developed, Edmonds detectives served three search warrants. Stolen property was recovered from the seized vehicle as well as the suspect’s residence in Monroe.
The recovered property included precious metals, jewelry, silver and china serving sets, televisions, collectable antiques and tools. Some of the property was easily identified by owner-inscribed numbers.
Police said the man was armed with a knife and pepper spray when he was arrested. He did not resist arrest, Blackburn said.
Police learned that the man had a trash route in the neighborhood as a driver for a commercial waste-collection company.
Officers found that other homes had been hit along the suspect’s routes. They believe he committed those break-ins, Blackburn said. Four homes were hit, two of them twice.
Police are continuing to investigate to determine if the suspect might be responsible for other burglaries, Blackburn said.
The suspect allegedly admitted breaking into the woman’s house the first time on April 5 before starting his route, according to court papers.
He told police he has been having financial problems and that his wife has medical bills. He also said he has two children and lost his home.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org.