BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police spent several hours last Thursday, November 4th, to ensure a man suspected of multiple thefts from multiple retail businesses was taken into custody.
According to affidavits provided by the Bellingham Police Department (BPD) and submitted in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, BPD officers were dispatched about 12:50pm to a retail business in the 4200 block of Meridian Street due to a report that 2 males had stolen items and left in a vehicle.
A responding officer observed the pair on surveillance video as they left the store with a $400 security system without attempting to pay for it. The officer was able to identify 1 of the subjects using a Whatcom County Jail booking photo taken when he was booked either for shoplifting on August 24th or for 2nd degree robbery on September 8th.
About 4pm that same Thursday, BPD officers responded to a retail business on Bellis Fair Parkway due to a report of a male running from the store with what was estimated to be more than $400 in stolen merchandise. The suspect description matched the same subject identified as having been involved in the previous theft that day. Store surveillance video confirmed his identity.
The suspect was seen in the 3700 block of Meridian Street and fled officers on foot.
According to witness reports and radio transmissions at the time, the suspect proceeded to cross I-5 east of Meridian Street and was tracked into a wooded area. Law enforcement vehicles were visible along I-5 and on Meridian Street as a perimeter was set up around the area. K-9 units with BPD and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office arrived and started tracking the suspect.
A US Customs and Border Protection helicopter also arrived to assist.
The fleeing suspect was eventually located hiding in a boat in the back yard of a residence south of I-5 and taken into custody.
Identified as Nathaniel Alexander Laststar, age 19, the suspect was booked into Whatcom County Jail about 7pm charged with suspicion of 2nd degree burglary, 2 counts of theft, retail theft and resisting arrest along with a warrant for failing to appear in court on an earlier 2nd degree robbery charge.
As of November 8th, Laststar remained in custody pending being able to post $8,000 bond or $800 cash bail.
At the time of this recent arrest, Laststar was out of custody while awaiting trial on the 2nd degree robbery after posting $250 cash on September 15th. Due to failing to appear in court at a scheduled hearing on October 8th, that bond has been forfeited.