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Freeland shoplifting case results in prison time

A 21-year-old Coupeville man was recently sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to six charges in three separate cases.

Johnny Arellano was charged in Island County Superior Court in three cases involving shoplifting. In the most serious of the cases, brought before an Island County Superior Court Judge Feb. 21, Arellano pleaded guilty to second-degree malicious mischief, two counts of third-degree assault and third-degree theft.

The pleas stem from a Sept. 9 case in which Arellano was caught shoplifting at Payless Foods in Freeland. The store security person saw Arellano steal a dozen boxes of Sudafed.

The security man and another store employee chased Arellano and cornered him after he climbed up a rock wall above a row of parked cars. Arellano jumped onto a car and shattered the windshield. The two men grabbed him.

Arellano then assaulted the two men while resisting and "verbally threatened them with a knife," according to court documents.

At a March 3 sentencing hearing, Judge Alan Hancock approved the Special Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative program for Arellano. The program cuts sentences for drug-related crimes under the condition that the offender complete drug treatment. The Payless shoplifting fits into that category because Sudafed is one necessary ingredient in making methamphetamines, an illegal narcotic. Hancock sentenced Arellano to a year and three weeks in prison.

In a separate case, Arellano pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in connection with a Jan. 2 incident at Safeway in Oak Harbor. A store employee caught him stuffing $21 worth of merchandise into his backpack.

Hancock also sentenced Arellano to a year and three weeks in prison in that case.

In yet another case, Arellano pleaded guilty Feb. 28 to possession of methamphetamine. An Oak Harbor police officer stopped Arellano last November after he allegedly tried to steal candy from Safeway. The officer searched his backpack and found hypodermic needles and meth.

Hancock sentenced Arellano to a year and a day in prison on that charge.

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