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Clinton burglary, car-theft suspect jailed in Snohomish County

A 28-year-old Tacoma man is in jail in Snohomish County after an apparent wild time on both sides of Saratoga Passage earlier this month.

When Snohomish County is finished with him, Michael Gemar faces two counts of burglary and one count each of auto theft and theft of services in Island County, Det. Ed Wallace of the Island County Sheriff’s Office said this week.

Wallace described this sequence of events that occurred Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10:

Gemar hired a taxi cab in Tacoma, telling the driver to take him to Mukilteo, where his car had been impounded. When they arrived in Mukilteo, Gemar talked the taxi driver into taking him across on the ferry to Clinton.

“He told the driver his rich uncle would pay the fare when they got there,” Wallace said.

When they arrived at Clinton, Gemar allegedly jumped from the taxi and ran, Wallace said. The taxi’s meter showed $248.75 was due for the ride.

Later that night, two houses in Clinton were broken into, Wallace said. No one was home at either residence at the time.

Missing from the first house were a few tools and small household items; at the second house, a screen was damaged during the break-in and some beer taken, Wallace said.

He said Gemar is suspected of stashing the stolen items in his backpack.

The next morning, a Freeland man was driving his 1987 Honda Accord in Clinton when he noticed a man with a backpack aboard a riding lawnmower which the Freeland man recognized as the one he uses to tend a lawn in the area.

Wallace said the Freeland man stopped his car and confronted the man, believed to be Gemar, who leapt from the mower, jumped in the Freeland man’s car and sped away.

Wallace said officials believe Gemar eventually returned with the car to the Clinton ferry dock and boarded the ferry to Mukilteo. Shortly after reaching the other side, Gemar was involved in a hit-and-run collision in Snohomish County, and was later arrested and jailed, Wallace said.

“He’ll face charges on their stuff, then will be back here for trial,” Wallace said.

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