Blaine man arrested in alleged burglary, arson

Published on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 by By Jeremy Schwartz

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Bellingham police arrested a 21-year-old Blaine man on Tuesday after an alleged crime spree in downtown Bellingham that included attempted burglary and setting a van on fire.

A witness first called police at about 3 in the morning when the suspect, later identified as Jacob D. Webster, approached him on the street and allegedly made threats against himself and the witness, Bellingham police spokesman Mark Young said. The witness said Webster mentioned leaving his car parked in the 1800 block of Roeder Avenue, Young said. Police found the car parked on the railroad tracks at a train crossing, he noted.

As officers ran the license plate of the car parked on the train tracks, they received another call of a van on fire at Wilson Engineering on Dupont Street, Young said. Officers arrived at the business and noticed one of the windows of a building in the same complex had been broken, he explained.

While investigating the attempted break-in and arson, officers received another call a block or so away from a man who was awakened by a loud crash and someone trying to break into his apartment, Young said.

The witness said the crash must have been a nearby car window breaking, Young added.

Officers combed the area looking for the suspect behind the attempted burglary and found Webster at F and Gerard streets, Young said.

Based on descriptions from the first witness and evidence left at the scene of the van fire, officers arrested Webster on suspicion of second degree burglary and second degree arson, Young said.

Webster was taken to St. Joseph hospital for a physical and mental examination and then booked into Whatcom County jail. Young said the Washington State Patrol was also seeking Webster in connection with drug charges.