EDMONDS — As parishioners sat through Sunday services, someone in the church parking lot was breaking into their cars.
Then the thieves hit their victims’ homes.
Edmonds detectives say it happened to at least two people who attended the Korean Presbyterian Church in the 8500 block of 238th St. SW, on Sunday.
“We certainly suspect that there are going to be more,” Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh said.
Police on Tuesday recovered hundreds of stolen items at an Edmonds motel. The goods are believed to have been taken during a rash of recent car break-ins and burglaries in south Snohomish and north King counties, Marsh said.
When they confronted a suspect at Andy’s Motel on Tuesday morning, he barricaded himself in a bathroom and allegedly told the officers he had a gun and would kill anyone who tried to come in, according to court papers. The 22-minute standoff ended when the man surrendered. The Everett man, 30, was unarmed.
Now detectives are trying to reunite the burglary victims with their belongings.
It could be a daunting task, Marsh said.
The Edmonds Police Department has set up a page on a photo-sharing website. Most of the more than 100 photos include several items, including jewelry, cellphones, power tools, watches, sunglasses and baseball and basketball cards of Hall of Fame players. Some items were unusual, including a hand-made cigar box from Honduras and a volunteer firefighter badge.
Officers were called to the church around 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
They soon realized that the car break-ins could be tied to burglaries when a witness reported seeing a stranger leaving one of the churchgoers’ homes. A man with the shaved head and wearing a Seahawks jersey was reported to be carrying something from the home.
An officer soon spotted the suspect, who ran off. Using a dog, police searched for him, but couldn’t track him down. Somewhere along the way, he dumped a backpack containing the victim’s belongings.
Edmonds police officers and detectives were able to develop information that led them to Andy’s Motel in the 22200 block of Highway 99. There, they arrested the man whose street name is “Roach.” He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for threatening police.
Victims of recent burglaries and thefts can view photos of the stolen items at http://tinyurl.com/puyhl46.
Anyone recognizing any of the property is asked to call Detective Andy Mehl at 425-771-1780.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org