ARLINGTON — A man who reportedly boasted to police about his burglary skills in mid-April was unknowingly the target of investigations into dozens of break-ins in least three counties.
He was arrested Thursday in Arlington after someone became suspicious when they saw a man walking around during the daytime in dark clothes with his face hidden.
The Marysville man, 32, was jailed in connection with a fresh string of burglaries in Snohomish County, including six in Arlington. He’s also the suspect in dozens of other burglaries at businesses throughout Snohomish, King and Skagit counties.
The man reportedly has told police that he broke into businesses for the “thrill.”
Police say the man stole cash, lottery tickets and thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes. He also nabbed an over-the-counter medication used to “clean” urine to help the user pass drug tests.
In recent weeks, the man has been questioned by police from Arlington and Lake Stevens and sheriff’s detectives from Snohomish and King counties.
A Snohomish County judge Friday set bail at $300,000.
The burglary methods varied, but at most of the businesses that were hit, telephone wires were sliced and glass doors and windows smashed.
It wasn’t about skill. The burglar reportedly cut any wires he could find as a strategy to avoid setting off alarms, Arlington city spokeswoman Kristin Banfield said.
“He definitely has been very busy, and we’re very happy that he’s in custody now,” she said.
In some of the cases, the burglar used a saw to cut into safes to get at the cash inside.
At one business, he reportedly sawed into the back of an ATM. He got into one of the machine’s compartments, but not the one containing the money.
The business later told police that petty cash and checks also were untouched.
Arlington police detectives this week traced the man to an Arlington motel.
Investigators earlier this month wrote in court papers that during interviews with the man, they asked him if he was upset about not getting any money out of the ATM.
“No, it’s the price of doing business,” he reportedly said. “Sometimes you don’t get anything.”
At the time, the man was arrested for investigation of a Lynnwood burglary, and he admitted to about a dozen more. He reportedly promised police he’d stop because his girlfriend was pregnant and he was going to try to take care of her.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org