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Police make arrests in theft of safe

Some items recovered

The Bingen-White Salmon Police Department has made two arrests in a recent high-profile burglary in the White Salmon area.

In early February, thieves stole a safe from the home of Alba Bartholomew in the White Salmon area. Among the items within the safe were two pistols, gold coins, gold nuggets, and a large collection of silver dollars and other coins.

Police Chief Bruce Brending said two White Salmon men were arrested as alleged suspects in the case.

Arrested were Chad Wang, 27, and Kyle Richardson, 29.

According to the Klickitat County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, Wang was facing several allegations, including alleged residential burglary; alleged first degree theft; one count of alleged trafficking of stolen property in the first degree; alleged possession of stolen property in the first degree; three counts of alleged theft of a firearm; and one count of alleged unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree.

Richardson was charged with alleged possession of stolen property in the second degree. He entered a plea of "Not Guilty" in a court appearance last week.

Wang will enter pleas to the allegations against him on March 15.

As part of the investigation, officers put out a notice identifying the stolen property. The notice went to Portland-area pawn shops, coin shops, and other places where stolen goods might be moved. Brending said his officers coordinated with the Portland Police Department, and as a result of that initiative, items that had been stolen turned up.

Following that development, the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department issued search warrants for a vehicle and a residence in White Salmon, and subsequently made the arrests.

"Some of the stolen property specific to this burglary was recovered," Brending said. "We have not recovered all the property, but we are still pursuing other leads."

Brending said the handguns -- a Ruger 9mm semi-automatic and a Glock 17 9mm semi-automatic -- had not yet been recovered.

The Bartholomews were offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime.

After several daytime burglaries in White Salmon and Bingen recently, the Police Department had made solving these crimes one of its top priorities.

"Over the last week, the entire staff has been working a lot of hours in an effort to solve the burglaries," explained Brending.

Brending added that the investigation into the series of burglaries is ongoing.

"The case is not closed," Brending said. "We still have a burglary threat in the area."


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