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Neighbor busts Bellingham burglary in progress, 1 of 2 suspects fled across I-5

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police were dispatched to the 1800 block of 35th Street in south Bellingham about noon on Wednesday, October 27th, due to a report of a residential burglary in progress.

According to an affidavit from Bellingham Police submitted into Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, a neighbor reported having seen a man and woman walking around the property and then the woman returned to a nearby parked car while the man went to the backyard.

According to the affidavit, the woman in the car kept watch while the man burgled the residence. They used a set of walkie-talkies to communicate during the burglary.

Approximate locations of burglary and shed the suspect was located in after fleeing police

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When police officers arrived, the suspect in the house fled on foot and the suspect in the car was arrested. A broken window was located on the house.

A perimeter of law enforcement vehicles and personnel from multiple agencies was set up around an area the suspect was thought to be hiding. According to radio transmissions from the scene, the suspect crossed I-5 from the east to the west near the Old Fairhaven Parkway interchange. A Bellingham Police K-9 unit was brought in the track the suspect.

The suspect was located by the K-9 unit inside a shed on private property southwest of the interchange. He refused to leave the shed when ordered to by officers but did come out after non-lethal PepperBall and K-9 Destro were deployed.

Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Whatcom County Jail. The male was identified as Justin Tyler Hart, age 30, and the female as Cailin Taylor Ann Benes, age 25.

Hart was charged with suspicion of 3rd degree malicious mischief, residential burglary, 2nd degree burglary, 2nd degree theft and resisting arrest. Benes was charged with suspicion of 3rd degree malicious mischief, residential burglary and 2nd degree theft.

Benes was released from custody on her own personal recognizance late Thursday. Hart remained in custody as of Friday, October 29th, pending being able to post a $2,500 bond or $250 in cash.

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