Police catch three alleged school burglars
June 25, 2008 · Updated 12:07 PM
"Three young South Whidbey burglars almost pulled off the perfect crime earlier this month but for the local rumor mill.Last Saturday, Langley Police arrested a 14-year-old boy, a 14-year-old girl, and an 18-year-old man in connection with July 6 burglaries at the Langley Middle School, the South Whidbey Youth Center, and the South Whidbey School District office building. The arrests came after investigating officer Ryan Raulerson tracked the suspects through rumors circulating among local youths.The case started when an employee at the middle school reported that someone had stolen the school's master keys, a $200 two-way radio, and $150 in pop machine change. When he investigated the crime scene, Raulerson could find only minimal signs of forced entry and no vandalism. Over the next few days, employees at the school district's bus garage heard the suspects talking over the two-way radio, but did not get any clues as to their identity. Informal interviews with local youths proved more successful, producing the names of two of the alleged burglars. Raulerson interviewed the 14-year-old suspects, who confessed last Saturday to the LMS burglary and break-ins at the Youth Center and the school district offices. Until the confession, neither agency had been aware of a break-in. The initial two suspects also fingered their alleged adult accomplice, Terry Riggle, who was also arrested Saturday.The youth center lost a camera and a set of keys in the burglary spree, while district office employees reported that the alleged burglars took keys and a a second two-way radio. Langley Police Chief Bob Herzberg said the suspects arrested for the burglaries returned all the items they had stolen. Recovering the LMS master keys saved the district thousands of dollars in re-keying costs, Herzberg said.None of the burglarized locations were found to be vandalized in any way."