FERNDALE, Wash. — 2 men were arrested after returning to burglarize a property that had video evidence of a burglary that happened about 6 hours earlier. They arrived to find the property owner waiting and armed. The property owner was struck by the burglars’ van as they fled.
This week the passenger, Samual Paul Belles, age 22 and of Blaine, was sentenced in Whatcom County Superior Court on February 8th after pleading guilty to a charge in this and felony charges in 3 other Superior Court cases.
As a result of the pleading, Belles was found guilty of 2nd-degree burglary related to this incident and sentenced to 36.75 months in prison followed by 36.75 months of community custody as a global resolution across all 4 cases.
The driver, identified as Trenten Dean Pope, age 36 and also of Blaine, was sentenced in December of 2021 to 9 months in custody on the burglary charge and 11 months on the vehicular assault charge.
About 7:15pm on August 28, 2021, deputies were dispatched to a report of a burglary that had occurred earlier in the 1800 block of Birch Bay-Lynden Road. The victim provided deputies with a video showing a light blue van entering the property and a male taking tools from a locked shop.
Later, about 2am the following day, deputies responded to a report of a burglary in progress at the same location and the vehicle matched the description from the earlier incident. The victim, who was hiding nearby, watched as 2 men approached a locked building and tried to remove a padlock to gain entry.
The victim came out of hiding and told the men to get on the ground. Instead, the men returned to the parked van and took off. As they drove away, the victim was reportedly struck by the van’s passenger-side mirror.
The van was located soon after by Blaine Police and WCSO deputies and the 2 men inside were taken into custody and arrested.
Belles was out on bond at the time while awaiting trial in the other cases before Whatcom County Superior Court where he faced felony assault, theft of a vehicle, burglary, malicious mischief and attempting to elude police charges. He has prior felony convictions for malicious mischief, motor vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and trafficking in stolen property.