By Caleb Hutton
Update at the bottom of this post.
Despite a flurry of rumors to the contrary, Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies haven’t found any credible evidence pointing to an attempted abduction this week on Zell Road in the Custer area.
Apparently, rumors of two child abduction attempts — one on Zell Road, another on Sunrise Road west of Lynden — have been making the rounds on Facebook for the past couple of days.
Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the sheriff’s office response to the Custer case:
— Bellingham Crime (@bhamcrime) January 30, 2013
And here’s what Undersheriff Jeff Parks posted in reply to a query on Facebook:
There was a report made to our office regarding a possible suspicious vehicle in the area. We have no information nor report that an actual attempt was made to abduct a child. If posting further information on the circumstances or a vehicle description is warranted, we will get that information out to the public immediately. If someone has information regarding this situation that should be reported we encourage them to call our office or 911.
Still, deputies are taking the report seriously, going door to door asking if anyone saw anything suspicious. But so far, the investigation hasn’t turned up much to substantiate the claims, and as the above note suggests, if no crime occurred there’s no reason to release a description of the vehicle.
“We have nothing to put out to the public,” Parks said Wednesday, Jan. 30.
As for the Lynden case, Parks first heard about it about an hour ago, when I called him up to ask about it. It’s possible it was never reported to law enforcement.
If anyone has information about either incident, contact the sheriff’s office at 360-650-6650. After hours, call 911.
Update at noon Thursday. Here’s some more info from the sheriff’s office.
We have received several requests to put out information regarding the continuing Facebook Posts about reports of an attempted child abduction recently in Whatcom County.
The Details that we can release:
On Tuesday 1/29/13 at 0830 hours, a Deputy was dispatched to the 2100 Block of Zell Road. The Deputy contacted the reporting party, an area resident, who was with a child who became scared when a car drove by slowly as the child was waiting for the school bus. Upon talking with the reporting party and the child the deputy determined that the driver of the car did stop nearby, but he did not get out of the vehicle, nor did he say anything to the child. The description of the car and the driver are vague as the young child was the only witness. School officials came to the location after learning that a report was being made. The Deputy did a neighborhood canvass and has contacted a number of people to determine if there were any other witnesses, or if the car or driver might be identified.
As of this time we have no identifying information on either the vehicle or driver who was only described as being “a really old male subject with a dog in the back of the car”. The car has been described as a silver compact sedan. We take these reports seriously, and in an abundance of caution we are still investigating.
No assumptions should be made from this information that anyone attempted to abduct or harm a child. We value the information and feedback from our social media followers, however we urge people to carefully evaluate information that is posted outside official channels or releases. We welcome your questions and thank our Facebook fans for their continued support and words of encouragement received daily for the men and women dedicated to keeping our community safe from criminals and predators.
As always, we recommend that residents be aware of people in their neighborhoods, watch out for each other and report suspicious activity, and in particular keep an eye on unattended young children near roadways or waiting for the school bus. It is always recommended that a parent or responsible adult accompany young children who are outside waiting for a ride or the bus.
Should a situation occur or information be received by the Sheriff’s Office that a suspect or known offender is at large, or has attempted any crime that puts the public at risk we will broadcast the appropriate information via the news media, emergency notification systems and our social media resources.
And another update.
Information regarding a suspicious circumstances report in the Lynden area. Student approached by suspicious driver.
On Tuesday evening (1/29) the Sheriff’s Office received a report that a teenage male was approached several hours earlier when he departed the school bus in the area of Sunrise and Badger roads. A white male in his 30′s, driving a black Honda Civic hatchback offered to give him a ride home in his car. The boy refused to get into the car and went to a neighbor’s house. The driver of the car looked unkempt and it appeared that he might be living out of his car. The man drove off and the boy was not able to get the license plate information. School officials have sent out notifications on this incident. This incident does not appear to have any connection to the Zell Road incident. Anyone with information as to the driver’s identity, location or vehicle should contact 911.
By Caleb Hutton
Two Whatcom County men have been charged with stealing 11 guns from a safe at a Custer home out of spite.
Richard “David” Bonkoski, 21, and Darcy James Glenman, 19, stand accused of stealing the following guns from a house on Custer School Road:
- A Craig .303-caliber carbine;
- A Winchester bolt action rifle;
- A .45-caliber muzzleloader;
- A .40-caliber muzzleloader;
- A Mossberg shotgun;
- A Remington shotgun;
- A Rossi shotgun;
- A Wichester .30-06;
- A Ruger 10-.22;
- A British carbine;
- And a .22-caliber single-shot rifle.
The gun owner suspected his son, Bonkoski, had swiped a key to the house just before the Dec. 28 heist. Deputies spoke with Glenman, one of Bonkoski’s friends, who denied everything. But they found the carbine in his house after a brief search, according to charging documents.
When deputies confronted Bonkoski, he had a key to his father’s home on him. (It’s worth noting, however, his last listed address was his father’s home on Custer School Road.)
Deeper investigation led deputies to a crawl space at an acquaintance’s house in Blaine, where they found a stash of nine more guns and some ammo. That’s when Glenman allegedly fessed up, saying he and Bonkoski planned the burglary because his friend was “upset with his father,” according to the charges.
Glenman and Bonkoski were each charged last week with one count of first-degree burglary and 11 counts of theft of a firearm. Bonkoski was accused of 11 counts of unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree; Glenman was accused of 11 counts of the same crime, but in the second degree. (The disparity has to do with their past convictions.)
I’ve written about Glenman on this blog before. Here’s the link. In July, he was convicted of felony assault for swinging a hunting knife at a boy before poking him in the chest with the blade. He was ordered to serve a year in jail, but 296 days of the sentence was suspended.
Bonkoski, on the other hand, has felonies on his record for burglary, taking a car without permission and drug crimes.
Edited at 5:30 p.m. Glenman’s last known address — as listed in court records filed last week — has been edited out until it can be confirmed.
By Caleb Hutton
A toxicology report confirmed Joel T. Crowley, 72, had been drinking alcohol before he rolled through the intersection of Custer School and Birch Bay-Lynden roads last month.
Crowley was killed in the crash Sept. 3. Here’s the story we ran when it happened.
Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel confirmed the results of the toxicology report Monday morning, Oct. 1.
By Caleb Hutton
A Custer man started serving a 60-day jail sentence Tuesday, Aug. 14, for stealing his ex-girlfriend’s purse and telling her, over text message, to “please” kill herself.
Troy Lane Judge, 42, was convicted of cyber stalking and third-degree theft in June.
The defendant confronted his 43-year-old ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of the Silver Reef Casino on a night in September 2011, about 10 months after they broke up. He yelled expletives at her, according to charging documents.
She went inside the casino and tried to ignore him. But Judge followed her, called her a few more names, and “yelled out that she was a drug dealer,” wrote Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dona Bracke.
Judge then went outside to his ex’s car. Security cameras caught him opening the front door. From there, he opened the car’s trunk and took the woman’s purse, containing about $250, a curling iron, a credit card and makeup inside.
Judge sent 52 text messages to his ex the next day. In one of the messages he wrote, “I want you to end your own life please” (sic), according to the charges.
Later, he showed up at her home, threw her purse at her and left. When deputies arrested him, he said he knew it was about the night at the casino. But he insisted “he just needed to get his own stuff from her car,” according to Bracke.
Court records don’t mention what angered Judge in the first place.
A judge sentenced Judge to a two-year prison term, with all but 60 days of the sentence suspended. So if he violates the terms of his probation, he could end up with a lot more time behind bars. He’s not allowed to be within 500 feet of the victim until June 14, 2013.