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Break-ins shake Maxwelton Beach residents

A series of residential break-ins in the Maxwelton Beach area in the past month have neighbors concerned.

“It’s very disconcerting for people,” said Judy Workman, who with her husband Lanny lives on the north end of a stretch of cabins and houses along Maxwelton Beach. “We’re all a little nervous.”

There were nine burglaries between Jan. 13 and 30, Island County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Wallace said Thursday.

All the break-ins were at houses or outbuildings when no one was home.

Eight involved residences along Maxwelton Road, with one on Jan. 29 along nearby Swede Hill Road, Wallace said.

Some of the break-ins were at night, others during the day, he said.

“We believe they’re linked together, involving the same person or group,” he said. “We do have some leads that we’re following up.”

Wallace declined to discuss in detail how entries were gained, but said some doors were forced open. He said in some cases the interiors were ransacked, with the intruders apparently searching for money and items that could be sold.

Workman said word around the neighborhood was that the intruders were also targeting electronics, such as flat-screen TVs and computers.

She said the break-ins occurred mostly to homes where residents were away for the winter, or who visit only on weekends.

She said the door of one house was kicked in, and sand was found on the floor. Another house was entered, only to find that there was nothing in it, she added.

“It’s just weird,” Workman said. “They seem to be looking for something, I’m not sure what.”

Meanwhile, neighbors have organized a community meeting later this month to form a Neighborhood Watch committee.

Jill Rodgers, one of the organizers, said the meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday,

Feb. 15 at the Little Brown Church at Maxwelton and French roads.

Island County Sheriff Mark Brown will attend the meeting to offer tips about setting up a watch program for the area, Rodgers said.

She said information following the meeting will be sent out to area residents by the Maxwelton Club (MaxweltonClub@whidbey.com).

“We kind of need something like that along here,” Rodgers said Friday, “We hope maybe the Maxwelton Club will take it over.”

Wallace said formation of a Neighborhood Watch for the area is a good idea.

“They know their neighborhood best, know all the comings and goings of people,” he said. “They would be a great source of information for us.”

Workman said she hopes the situation will be resolved soon.

“We’re hoping by the time of the meeting they will have caught someone,” she said.

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