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2 suspected of separate prolific burgling arrested by Bellingham Police

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police Department (BPD) report arresting 2 men recently who are suspected in multiple separate burglaries and thefts.

Samuel Thomas Schuetze, age 30, was booked into the Whatcom County Jail late Sunday, January 30th, suspected of burglarizing 3 Bellingham businesses over a 2-week period.

According to the BPD activity log, Schuetze was arrested in the 100 block of E Holly Street about 8:30pm. According to the affidavit of probable cause for the arrest, filed by prosecutors in Whatcom Superior Court, a business’ reported a locker in an employee-only area had been ransacked. Security video showed a suspect head toward the area and then return into view of the cameras 40 minutes later. Employees called 911 an hour later after seeing the suspect outside the business wearing the same clothes, a red jacket and red pajama pants, as in the security video.

BPD officers responded and contacted the suspect who was reportedly holding point-of-sale equipment at the time. After viewing the security images and confirming the point-of-sale equipment belonged to the business, officers arrested Schuetze.

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Other affidavits of probable cause for arrest were also submitted detailing the following 2 other burglaries and thefts.

About 10pm on January 20th, officers responded to a front door alarm at a business in the 4300 block of Meridian Street. Finding no signs of a break-in, they located and spoke with Schuetze in the alley behind the business. He told officers he had no knowledge of the alarm nor of a cash drawer found later nearby. No one from the business was available to check inside.

The next day, officers received a burglary report from the business along with security video showing a suspect dressed as Schuetze was when spoken with in the alley. The suspect is seen entering the business and then returning 2 more times. 2 cash drawers were taken in the process.

About 1:30pm on January 30th, Schuetze is seen by witnesses and security video entering a business in the 200 block of 36th Street where he had been previous trespassed in 2018. He was seen entering an employee-only area and leaving with an employee’s backpack under his jacket. A BPD officer arrived shortly after and located Schuetze again in the employee-only area of the business.

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Schuetze eventually admitted to the theft of the backpack and directed the office to where it had been stashed. The contents, including credit cards, were still inside.


The second man, identified as Craig Allen Holleman, age 54, was arrested Tuesday, February 1st, suspected of several crimes. He was booked and released from the Whatcom County Jail.

Holleman was arrested for burglarizing a Bellingham business in the 1300 block of Commercial Street. According to the BPD activity log, “It was his fourth burglary in the last 3 months and he also multiple outstanding burglary warrants.”

According to an affidavit of probable cause for his arrest filed by prosecutors in Whatcom County Superior Court, BPD officers had responded to a report of a man prying open the front doors of the business and walking inside about 4:45am. The description of the man matched suspect descriptions from previous burglaries.

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Upon arriving, officers saw someone inside the business with a flashlight walking around with his arms full of items. Officers contacted the man inside the business. He was found with flashlights and knives on his person and was carrying several electronic items that belonged to the business. A pry bar and a backpack containing knives and tools were later located inside the business.

The affidavit noted Holleman is a suspect in 3 other burglaries including 2 at the same business and 1 at a nearby business. At the time of this arrest, Holleman had 3 outstanding arrest warrants for failing to appear in court on burglary charges. “It is clear that […] Holleman’s behavior and prolific burgling makes him a danger to the community and property owners in the community,” the affidavit said.

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4 Comments

  1. W. Petras February 3, 2022

    ‘He was booked and released from the Whatcom County Jail.’ ‘“It was his fourth burglary in the last 3 months and he also multiple outstanding burglary warrants.” What gives? Does everybody caught in the act walk out of jail? I’m new to Bellingham and read about this catch and release policy frequently. I’m confused.

  2. J. Hendricks February 3, 2022

    Its too bad we didn’t have a system in place to evaluate these people and maybe a place where we could put them so they don’t do this multiple times. Like maybe a secure building with bars on the windows or something like that. I don’t know, It’s just an idea. Maybe A little punishment for their crimes. Something to persuade them that stealing isn’t worth it… Then we could come up with little catch phrases like “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime”.

  3. Steve Walter February 3, 2022

    It’s time to elect new people to represent the general public. The ones now in office cannot or will not protect the average citizen or local businesses.

    Enough is enough. Time to push back and push back hard.

  4. C O'Neill February 3, 2022

    LOL that’s so funny “a secure building with maybe bard on the windows ”
    I cant even believe the police talk to this guy 3 times, knowing he is a criminal, finally arrest him, then they just let him go?? Guess Bellingham has turned woke. What a shame

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