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RV stolen from Ferndale storage facility found 130 miles away, man arrested

FERNDALE, Wash. — A Ferndale Police Department (FPD) officer responded to a report of a theft of a motor home from a storage facility in April. Researching the vehicle registration revealed a new registered owner located in Yelm, Washington.

According to an affidavit of probable cause prepared by FPD and submitted in Whatcom County Superior Court by prosecutors, the RV was reported missing from a Ferndale storage facility by a Canadian citizen who arrived to find it missing after he had been unable to visit from Canada for 2 years due to the border-closing COVID-19 mandates.

Investigators contacted the current registered owner who said they had purchased the RV from a dealer in Fife, Washington, in August of 2021.

The RV dealer said they had purchased the RV from a wholesale dealer in Gig Harbor, Washington. The wholesale dealer told investigators he had purchased the RV from Travis Turley in July of 2021. He said Turley had initially tried to sell the RV while it was still registered to the Canadian owner and returned later with it registered in his name.

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Washington Department of Licensing records showed the RV had been registered to Travis Ray Turley, age 37, before being sold to the current registered owner.

The investigating officer noted Turley had been arrested by FPD for breaking into storage units and stealing items from vehicles in storage at the same facility in August of 2021.

Further investigation showed Turley went to a Bellingham licensing agent’s office and provided documentation indicating he had purchased the RV from the Canadian owner. The affidavit said the documents were later confirmed to have been forged.

On May 31st, Lynden Police arrested Turley on outstanding warrants from their and other jurisdictions and booked him into Whatcom County Jail charged with the following (agency from which each charge originates is noted in parenthesis) felony charges according to jail records.

  • 2nd degree malicious mischief (Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office – WCSO)
  • 2nd degree burglary (WCSO)
  • 1st degree vehicle prowl (WCSO)
  • 3rd degree theft (WCSO)
  • theft of a motor vehicle (Bellingham Police Department – BPD)
  • 1st degree possession of stolen property (WCSO)
  • forgery (BPD)
  • 1st degree trafficking stolen property (BPD)

He was also arrested under the following active bench warrants (court from which each warrant originates is noted in parenthesis).

  • failure to appear in court (FTA) on violation of protection order charge (Everson/Nooksack Municipal Court)
  • 3x FTA 3rd degree driving while his license was suspended (Lynden Municipal)
  • FTA 4th degree assault (Whatcom County District Court)
  • FTA 2nd degree criminal trespass (Ferndale Municipal Court)
  • FTA 3rd degree theft (Bellingham Municipal Court)
  • FTA 3rd degree theft (Whatcom County District Court)
  • FTA resisting arrest (Whatcom County District Court)
  • 2nd degree trafficking in stolen property (Whatcom County Superior Court)
  • 3x shoplifting (Lynden Municipal Court)

He made a preliminary appearance in Whatcom County Superior Court on June 6th on the felony charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and 1st degree trafficking in stolen property where bail was set at $50,000.

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As of June 10th, Turley remained in custody at the Whatcom County Jail pending being able to post a $50,000 bond in the most recent case and several bonds requiring thousands and hundreds of dollars in other cases.

Turley has prior felony convictions for crimes that include residential burglary, trafficking stolen property, forgery, possession of stolen property and theft.

One Comment

  1. Lynn Salas June 10, 2022

    Does the Canadian citizen get the RV back? What about the current registered owner, what are his rights?

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