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Shoplifting suspect found to be a convicted felon with a stolen firearm

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Bellingham Police Department (BPD) officers were reportedly onsite at a retail business due to a report of a theft on Saturday, May 6th, when they encountered a shoplifting suspect attempting to leave the store with about $450 of goods they had not paid for.

According to an affidavit for probable cause to arrest Dillon Lawrence Bass, age 31, a BPD officer attempted to place Bass into custody as he headed toward a store exit. A second officer was outside and ran inside to assist. They collided and fell to the ground.

Bass reportedly grappled with the officers while on the ground and reached for his waistband as they rolled him to his stomach. A firearm magazine was seen nearby and Bass told officers he had a hand on a gun. Officers were able to get and secure the weapon.

Bass was placed into custody and asked his name. He initially provided a false name but that person’s photo and description did not match Bass’. He ultimately conceded to having provided a false name and provided his correct identity.

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Bass was determined to have a prior felony conviction and thus prohibited from legally possessing a firearm. It was also determined the gun in his possession had been stolen.

Bass now faces felony charges of 1st-degree robbery, unlawful firearm possession, possession of a stolen firearm, 3rd-degree assault and 1st-degree criminal impersonation in Whatcom County Superior Court as a result of this incident.

Bass pled guilty to numerous felony property crimes in Skagit County Superior Court in 2019.

Prosecutors asked the court to set bail at $150,000 during a preliminary hearing on March 9th and the court agreed. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 19th.

As of May 12th, Bass remained in custody in the Whatcom County Jail.

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