Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies have arrested five suspects, three from Blaine, who were allegedly involved in a countywide stolen property trafficking ring.
Following an investigation into an alleged burglary in east Blaine on September 13, sheriff’s deputies arrested 34-year-old Guy H. Hovander, of Ferndale, and his cousin, 22-year-old Bellingham resident Navarone G.B. Randmel on September 20.
Deputies suspect Randmel was the individual who was shot by a homeowner in the 2900 block of Behme Road on September 13 after Randmel allegedly tried to force his way into the homeowner’s house.
Hovander was arrested on suspicion of residential burglary, first-degree theft, theft of a motor vehicle, first-degree possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Randmel, after attempting to discard heroin during his arrest, was arrested on suspicion of the same charges as Hovander in addition to a pair of drug charges.
The investigation also took sheriff’s deputies to a residence in the 1800 block of H Street, where deputies found trailers packed with stolen property. At the home, police arrested 45-year-old Lawrence M. Wasisco on suspicion of second-degree possession of stolen property, trafficking in stolen property and obstructing law enforcement.
Deputies also arrested 36-year-old Blaine resident Austin Markusen on suspicion of second-degree possession of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property and 24-year-old Krista J. Wieandt, who was found at a home in the 3900 block of Bay Road with Markusen, on suspicion of second-degree possession of stolen property. Sheriff’s deputies found stolen jewelry, electronics and other items at Markusen’s home.
All five suspects have been booked into Whatcom County Jail. Sheriff’s deputies suspect most of the recovered stolen property was originally taken in a burglary at the 2100 block of Burk Road.
In the September 13 Burk Road burglary, the homeowner came home to find a white Ford Ranger pickup truck parked at his residence and a man running from the front of the house. The man joined another individual in the truck and sped off through the homeowner’s acreage with the homeowner in pursuit in his truck.
Both trucks crashed through two fences and onto the roadway, but the homeowner lost sight of the truck at the intersection of Haynie and Valleyview roads.
The homeowner returned to his house to find the suspects had taken many of his possessions, including a number of firearms. Many of the items had been packed into boxes because the homeowner was in the process of moving. A fully enclosed grey car transport trailer was also taken from the home.
Soon after the suspects fled, a resident in the 3000 block of Behme Road, north of Birch Bay-Lynden Road and east of I-5, reported seeing the abandoned white truck behind his home. Sheriff’s deputies used police dogs to track the suspects into a wooded area at about 4 p.m.
Six hours later, officers responded to the 2900 block of Behme Road after a husband and wife called 911 about a suspicious person at their home. The man had first asked to use the couple’s phone but refused to leave after the residents asked him why he was in the area. The couple later told police they were aware of the nearby burglary.
The woman at the residence went into her home to call 911 and retrieve a handgun. Seeing the man trying to force his way past her husband, the woman fired shots, and the man fled. Sheriff’s deputies are still investigating the shooting incident.
The suspect was later found lying on Behme Road near the couple’s home. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham with a gunshot wound to his back. Deputies said this man was Randmel.