STANWOOD — He’s accused of trying to steal from God.
While other people were praying, Harley Davidson Ironwing, 18, slipped away from Sunday services at Cedarhome Baptist Church in Stanwood, police allege. A pastor caught Ironwing in the church basement trying to break into the safe that held thousands of dollars in collections.
“He left in the middle of the service to steal from church, and that’s not cool,” Stanwood police detective Tedd Betts said. “There are people at church that if he would reach out to them, they would help him. He made the decision to during church try to steal from them.”
When police arrived at the church, Ironwing bolted. A church member gave chase.
It’s not the first time police have come looking for Ironwing.
Last year, Island County sheriff’s deputies handed out fliers featuring Ironwing’s photo. Deputies believed he was working with Colton Harris-Moore, the Camano Island teenager who evaded police for months and was accused of breaking into dozens of vacation homes. Harris-Moore in June was sentenced to serve at least a year behind bars.
Ironwing was arrested in February 2007. A month later, he pleaded guilty in Island County to first-degree criminal trespassing and second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission. He was ordered to serve up to 50 weeks in juvenile detention.
On Sunday, Ironwing was arrested again. Now 18, he was booked into the Snohomish County Jail.
Ironwing allegedly confessed to detectives that he tried to steal from the church in addition to breaking into a flower shop and a hair salon, according to court documents.
On March 23, Ironwing allegedly used his elbow to break a window in the flower shop and stole as much as $150. At the salon, the door was kicked in and $20 was taken from the cash register, the documents said.
“It was very upsetting,” the salon owner said, asking that her name not be used because she’s a crime victim. She said she’s glad that Ironwing allegedly admitted his wrongdoing and she hopes that he’ll pay restitution. “And hopefully as a young person, he’ll learn and be able to make changes in his life,” she said.
Ironwing steals to get by, Betts said. He has a place to stay but has made the decision not to live there.
“This isn’t a case where his parents died and he’s got to survive. He made the choice not to go to school. He made the choice to commit the crimes he did,” the detective said. “Without the education and with a criminal history, it’s hard to get a job and to survive.”
Ironwing has a long criminal history, including possession of drug paraphernalia, assault, burglary, possession of stolen property, arson and escape, court records show.
On Monday, a judge ordered Ironwing held on $40,000 bail for investigation of five counts of second-degree burglary and one count of first-degree attempted theft.
Detectives still are investigating whether Ironwing might be connected to additional crimes, Betts said.
“Unless he makes a decision to access the community resources to turn his life around, it’s entirely possible and the statistics show we may be dealing with him again,” Betts said. “The ball is in his court.”
Reporter Jackson Holtz: 425-339-3437 or email@example.com.