3 from Snohomish County arrested in trailhead break-ins

Numerous cars were damaged and cash, credit cards and computers were stolen.

Brandon Sutherland (top), Kodi Anderson (center) and Sierra Cotter were arrested in Mazama. (Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office)

Brandon Sutherland (top), Kodi Anderson (center) and Sierra Cotter were arrested in Mazama. (Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office)

By Ann McCreary / Methow Valley News

Three Snohomish County people were arrested in Mazama last week in connection with a spate of vehicle break-ins at local trailheads in which numerous cars were damaged and a variety of items, including cash, credit cards and computers, were stolen.

Since June 11, several vehicle prowls were reported at trailheads off Highway 20 north of Mazama. “The suspects would smash the windows out of the vehicles, grab what they could and leave the area, in some cases disabling the vehicles by puncturing the tires,” said Steve Brown, chief criminal deputy in the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.

“Several similar complaints were reported over a three-week period in which the victims had cash, credit and debit cards stolen from their vehicles, some of which would then be used by the suspects to make purchases,” Brown said.

Two men and a woman were arrested at the Mazama Store on July 3 following investigations by the sheriff’s office and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers.

Brandon Richard Sutherland, 33, Everett, Kodi Orion Anderson, 26, Sultan, and Sierra Lee Cotter, 23, Lake Stevens, were charged with theft in the second and third degree, vehicle prowl in the second degree and malicious mischief in the third degree. Sutherland and Anderson were also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, and Cotter was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drugs. They are being held in the Okanogan County Jail.

After receiving reports of vehicle prowls that began June 11, Forest Service Officer Dave Graves placed game cameras on roads leading to some trailheads, including Cedar Creek trailhead, according to a statement and preliminary finding of probable cause by arresting officer Tait Everett, a deputy in the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.

Following a break-in of two vehicles at the Cedar Creek trailhead on July 1, Everett and Graves viewed photos from the camera on Everett’s laptop. They were able to talk with hikers, including one who saw a red Pontiac come into the trailhead parking lot. Officers determined that a red Pontiac Grand Am was likely the suspect vehicle and from the license plate in the photos, they found the car registered to Brandon Sutherland, according to Everett’s report, filed in Okanogan County Superior Court.

Another break-in occurred the evening of July 1 at the Blue Lake trailhead and the victim of the break-in told officers that his credit card had been used at a Walmart Supercenter in Marysville. Using photos from Walmart security cameras and the Department of Licensing, Everett said he identified Brandon Sutherland as one of the men at the Walmart. The Walmart cameras showed Sutherland and another man going to a red Pontiac Grand Am, Everett said.

Following another vehicle prowl on July 3 on Goat Creek Road, a red Pontiac Grand Am was reported driving on Lost River Road in Mazama, and a short time later was located at the Mazama Store, where the three suspects were taken into custody, Everett said.

Everett said he took photos of the vehicle and some of the contents visible through the window. Two additional vehicle prowls at the Cedar Creek trailhead were reported and one of the victims identified his belongings from the photos, Everett said.

The Pontiac was towed to the sheriff’s impound lot where a drug-sniffing dog later indicated narcotics inside the car. On July 4 Everett was granted a search warrant for the car. He reported finding property belonging to other people including driver’s licenses, checkbooks, credit and debit cards, a laptop computer and clothing. The search also revealed a “large quantity of drug paraphernalia,” according to Everett’s report.

Damage to at least seven vehicles, primarily from broken windows, is estimated at more than $1,500. Brown said he expects the arrests will put an end to the recent rash of vehicle prowls at trailheads, but advised people not to leave anything valuable in their cars when they leave on a hike, such as identifying information or debit and credit cards.

In addition to the sheriff’s office and Forest Service law enforcement, the Twisp Police Department and Winthrop Marshal’s Office participated in the case, Brown said.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

Trainer Marcia Henton feeds Lolita the killer whale, also known as Tokitae and Toki, inside her stadium tank at the Miami Seaquarium on Saturday, July 8, 2023, in Miami, Fla. After officials announced plans to move Lolita from the Seaquarium, trainers and veterinarians are now working to prepare her for the move. (Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/TNS)
Ashes of orca Tokitae finally home after her death last month in Miami

Her ashes will be scattered in a private ceremony by members of the Lummi Nation.

A Coast Guard cutter searches for a crashed chartered floatplane near Mutiny Bay Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on September 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Wife of pilot killed in Whidbey Island floatplane crash files lawsuit

This is the lawsuit filed against companies associated with the aircraft’s operations and manufacturing.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle City Council OKs law to prosecute for having and using drugs such as fentanyl in public

The council voted to approve the measure by a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, aligning the city’s code with a new state law.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
WA Supreme Court says state isn’t responsible for 100% of school construction costs

Wahkiakum School District argued the state’s duty to amply fund education extended to capital projects. One justice scolded the state, saying the current system is unfair to small districts.

An EA-18G Growler taxis down the airstrip on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island during the squadron’s welcome home ceremony in August 2017. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Scott Wood/U.S. Navy)
Judge orders new Growler jet study on Whidbey Island

The Navy must redo an environmental study on the impact of expanded EA-18G Growler operations.

Scott Giard, Coast Guard spokesperson, addresses the media regarding the search for a crashed chartered floatplane Monday afternoon in Freeland, Washington on August 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
NTSB probe of Whidbey floatplane crash points to likely cause, fix

Documents released Friday reveal new details about the deadly floatplane crash that happened a year ago near Whidbey Island.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson arrives on April 27, 2023, at the University of Washington's Hans Rosling Center for Population Health in Seattle. Attorney General Ferguson launched an exploratory campaign for governor on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, one day after incumbent Jay Inslee announced he would not run again. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
State attorney general asks feds to add Everett to Operation Overdrive

Bob Ferguson requested that the federal government include the city to an initiative aimed at identifying and dismantling drug networks.

FILE - Bruce Harrell speaks on Oct. 28, 2021, in Seattle during the second of two debates before the November election for the office of mayor. Harrell, now Seattle's mayor, says the police department's low staffing in its sexual assault unit that has led to a backlog of dozens of stalled cases is "unacceptable." Harrell made his comments following a report by The Seattle Times and KUOW of an internal memo that showed the unit had stopped investigating most new sexual assault cases involving adults this year. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool, File)
Seattle mayor proposes drug measure to align with state law, adding $27M for treatment

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell is offering a proposal that would align the city’s code with new state law.

Murphy’s Lala speaks to a crowd at Arlington’s first-ever Pride celebration telling them to “pay them no mind” in response to the Pride protestors on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
AG’s office presses Arlington for weapons-free zone at Pride event

Event organizers say the precaution is warranted under the terms of a 2021 state law.

U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Nick Brown poses for a photo outside the U.S. Courthouse Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Ex-US attorney to face state senator in Washington AG race

Nick Brown announced Wednesday he’s running to be Washington’s next attorney general.

FILE - Then-Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks on Nov. 6, 2018, at a Republican party election night gathering in Issaquah, Wash. Reichert filed campaign paperwork with the state Public Disclosure Commission on Friday, June 30, 2023, to run as a Republican candidate. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Former sheriff who nabbed ‘Green River Killer’ to run for Washington governor

Former King County Sheriff and U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, 72, is running as a Republican candidate.

Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press via AP)
Presumed human remains found in wreckage of OceanGate submersible

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has likely recovered human remains from the wreckage of the Titan submersible.