One suspect caught, another at large in two Blaine area burglaries

Published on Fri, Sep 16, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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A Blaine resident has been arrested in connection with a burglary that occurred last week while another individual, who was shot after an alleged break-in at a home east of Blaine, remains at large.

Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies arrested 33-year-old Concepcion Ortiz on September 13 after responding to burglary call in the 7700 block of Hamm Road in Custer.

A Custer resident had called 911 after seeing Ortiz allegedly enter a house and walk out with a large television. Sheriff's deputies found the door to the home had been kicked in.

The eyewitness told police Ortiz had left the area in a silver Honda. After sheriff's deputies obtained a license plate number for the suspect's vehicle, they went to the address in Blaine under which the car was registered and took Ortiz into custody.
In an unrelated series of events, sheriff's deputies responded to an interrupted burglary in the 2100 Block of Burk Road just east of Delta Line Road at about 2 p.m. on September 13.

According to the county sheriff's office, the homeowner on Burk Road 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 suspicion 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 . Upon seeing the man trying to force his way past her husband, the woman fired shots, and the man fled.

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.

Detectives with the sheriff's department interviewed the suspect at the hospital about the Burk burglary, but felt more interviews were needed before any arrests could be made, Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said. Hospital staff later notified the sheriff's office that the suspect had left the hospital against doctors' orders, Parks explained.

The sheriff's office is still investigating the incident.