Police adding patrols after series of business break-ins

Bellingham Police Chief Cliff Cook said extra patrols are planned for the holiday season after a recent increase in commercial burglaries that first began last summer, according to a city announcement released Nov. 27.

Seventeen break-ins, all with similar circumstances, have been reported since late August, including eight in November. Cliff said the incidents have occurred mostly between midnight and 5 a.m. on weekend nights and early mornings. He said his department is actively pursuing a number of leads and continues investigating.

The Bellingham Herald’s Dispatcher Blog has covered the streak of break-ins, including one at Etta’s Attic Antiques in downtown Bellingham in late November.

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said the recent series of commercial break-ins underscores the value of the city’s efforts to focus attention and resources on the city center.

“In the past several months, as we prepare to adopt and implement our new Downtown Plan, it has become increasingly clear that innovative solutions need to be found to address some of our most pressing community issues, especially downtown.” Linville said, in a statement from the city. “We are working hard to understand community challenges and solve them.”

Linville said many actions are underway, including funding for new police officers in the 2014 budget. She also recently convened the Community Solutions Workgroup, including community stakeholders and city staff, to provide public health and safety solutions for various challenges, especially downtown.

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