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Details released regarding yesterday’s smash-and-grab gun theft and search for the suspect

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police Department (BPD) Lieutenant Claudia Murphy provided Whatcom News with the following details regarding yesterday’s incident via email. Jimmy Robert Brashears, age 35 and from Lynden, was subsequently arrested.

On 8-24-22 at approximately 5:21 p.m., officers were dispatched to what initially was being reported as an active shooter at Walmart in Bellingham. The male suspect, later identified as BRASHEARS, walked to the firearm department inside Walmart. He attracted the attention of the employees because he had a hard object in his hand and was pacing back and forth. (it does not list what the hard object was in the probable cause summary.) BRASHEARS walked up to the locked and secure shelf containing firearms. He used the hard object he was holding and struck it against the glass, breaking it. He grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun from the display case and used the buttstock to strike the secure shelf holding the ammunition. He used so much force attempting to break the glass, he broke several pieces off the shotgun.

Innocent shoppers and employees were terrified of his intentions and called police. Officers arrived with lights and sirens, which caused BRASHEARS to flee through the emergency exit of Walmart and into the wooded area behind.  He still had the stolen shotgun in his possession.

BPD Officers and WCSO [Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office] Deputies set up a perimeter and a BPD K-9 team started a track for the suspect. WCSO Deputies on perimeter and in the area found BRASHEARS walking on the side of the street in the 4400 block of Hannegan Rd, after residents in the area called it in. BRASHEARS was seen tossing the shotgun into nearby brush right before he was contacted. He was taken into custody and the shotgun was found and recovered.

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Bellingham Police Department Lieutenant Claudia Murphy (August 24. 2022)
Approximate location where arrest occurred approximately 1.75 miles from the store

Murphy said Brashears was booked into the Whatcom County Jail “given his clear and present danger to the community.”

According to jail records, Brashears was charged with suspicion of the following crimes.

  • reckless endangerment
  • 2nd degree malicious mischief
  • 1st degree burglary
  • theft of a firearm
  • obstructing a police officer

At the time of yesterday’s incident, Brashears was out of custody after posting a $75 cash bond on March 29th while awaiting trial in Whatcom County Superior Court where he is charged with the following crimes after being arrested in the 200 block of W Bakerview Road on March 2nd.

  • 3rd degree assault of a law enforcement officer (felony)
  • 2nd degree vehicle prowling (misdemeanor)
  • resisting arrest (misdemeanor)

A bench warrant for Brashear’s arrest was issued on August 1st after he failed to appear at a court hearing in that case. The bail requirement was raised to $2,500 bond or $250 cash.

As of August 25th, Brashears remained in custody at the jail pending a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court where bail will be set for this new court case.


  1. Erlin Zignatovitch August 25, 2022

    He assaulted a police officer and was out on $75 bail. What’s wrong with that picture? This guy belongs on an Alabama chain gang.

  2. Joe August 25, 2022

    Anarchy is what our government wants.

  3. Alicia Grover August 25, 2022

    Why on earth was he released? Then later again on $250.00 bond!!! What did they get after the 1st offense or were they waiting until he did real harm? 🤦‍♀️

  4. Klem Milhaus August 25, 2022

    Seriously? Releasing a felon to roam the streets on $75 is endangerment to our community. Who is running the courthouse?

  5. Jake August 25, 2022

    75$ then 250$. What the hell is wrong with the judges in this county. Sounds like they should be fired and replaced. When this guy hurts someone it will be the judges fault.

  6. Cathy August 26, 2022

    These low bail releases do nothing but enable more crime to escalate.How high would bail be set, if these violent acts were committed on an elected official? Bellingham is anything but Subdued Excitement,which is the city’s motto.

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