BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Since January, Belling Police Department (BPD) officers and investigators developed probable cause to arrest Joseph Nathanial Gott, age 25, on suspicion of multiple felony charges including theft of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and vehicle prowling.
According to affidavits of probable cause filed by prospectors in Whatcom County Superior Court, Gott and his girlfriend were seen by an acquaintance walking near the acquaintance’s vehicle in the 4000 block of Eliza Avenue. The vehicle was running while parked. Soon after, it went missing and reported stolen. The vehicle was recovered in Mt Vernon and contained documents with Gott’s girlfriend’s alias. The acquaintance asked Gott in person if he took the vehicle and he admitted to it. This was reported to BPD. A charge of theft of a motor vehicle was filed in the court and a notice to appear mailed to Gott’s last known address.
On March 5th, BPD officers responded to a report that a Ford pickup had been stolen overnight. Just after midnight on March 7th, officers responded to the 4100 block of Stonecrest Court after a witness reported seeing someone enter a Volkswagen Jetta that was parked in a driveway. The person was said to have rummaged around with a flashlight and then entered a Honda CRV parked nearby and drove off in it.
A BPD investigator responding to the call noticed the Honda leaving at a high rate of speed and activated their patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren in an effort to pull the Honda over. Instead, the Honda fled northbound on Meridian Street in a reckless manner and the investigator did not pursue further.
The Honda was soon after located at E Smith Road and Everson Goshen Road. The Ford that had been stolen previously was also located, this time about 2 blocks from where the VW and Honda had been parked.
Fingerprints were lifted from the Ford, Volkswagen and Honda by a BPD investigator and processed by an automated biometric identification system which indicated Gott was the source of all of them.
Gott was arrested March 8th and booked into the Whatcom County Jail. He is now a defendant in 3 active Whatcom County Superior Court cases resulting from the aforementioned incidents. The list of charges he faces are as follows.
- 2 counts felony theft of a motor vehicle
- 2 counts felony possession of stolen vehicle
- Felony 2nd degree vehicle prowl with 3 or more convictions
- Felony attempting to elude police vehicle
Gott appeared at a had a preliminary hearing on March 8th where prosecutors asked for $10,000 bail and defense countered with a request for $5,000. The court granted $5,000. As of March 15th, Gott remained in custody pending being able to post bail and is scheduled to be arraigned March 18th.
Gott was previously arrested in December 2020 after being found inside a stolen vehicle with his girlfriend. Later the same day, the rightful owner returned to recover the vehicle only to find Gott and his girlfriend inside again, attempting to steal it again as evidenced by a damaged ignition. Gott had been released from custody after posting a $300 cash bail.
Gott pled guilty to felony taking a vehicle without permission and felony malicious mischief and charges of motor vehicle theft and felony bail jumping were dropped. He was sentenced to 60 days of partial confinement, such as work release or home detention in July of 2021.