Police nabbed a trio of culprits suspected of breaking into 11 units at a Blaine, Wash., self-storage facility last week following a high-speed chase. The pursuit from Pantec Mini Storage ended when the burglars’ vehicle became stuck in mud. Stolen goods included multiple firearms, an air-conditioning unit and other items, according a source.
Officers responded to the self-storage facility at 12:27 a.m. on Jan. 13 after an alarm was triggered, according to manager Annie Lagerwey. Security cameras showed two men and a woman inside the perimeter at 943 Boblett St.
Blaine Police Department Officer Tim Richardson observed a black coupe leaving the area, heading southbound toward Interstate 5. He stopped the vehicle near the exit 275 on-ramp. When he approached the car with his flashlight, he determined the three occupants matched the descriptions of the burglary suspects. Moments later, the driver sped away, and a chase ensued involving Richardson and Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputies. The suspects reached a speed of 117 mph, a source reported.
Officers placed spike strips on the highway to stop the vehicle, but the driver avoided them by exiting the freeway at Grandview Road. Investigators later discovered the suspects had a police scanner with them and knew about the spikes.
The perpetrators then turned onto a dead-end road after the driver noticed deputies in front of him. The car came to a stop in front of a residence on Confier Drive when it became stuck in the mud. One man attempted to flee on foot but was captured by a sheriff’s deputy and police dog.
Cory Ira Mezo, 36, Brandi Kristine Sestrom, 36, and Dillon McKinley Wilson, 30, were arrested for suspicion of second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy. Wilson is also suspected of attempting to elude police and resisting arrest, and has outstanding arrest warrants with other agencies. He’s being held on a $50,000 bail.
Mezo was released on a $5,000 bail. Court records show he’s been convicted for numerous crimes including vehicular assault, theft and burglary. Sestrom, who’s still in custody, also has a record of convictions such as theft, possession of a controlled substance and assault.
Lagerwey noted two cameras had recently been added to Pantec Mini. “We’re proud of the measures we’ve taken, which made [the suspects] easy to catch,” she said, adding it’s unclear how the burglars entered the property, as it’s surrounded by barbed-wire fencing. The suspects have no known connection to any of the facility’s tenants or staff.
Pantec Mini is less than a mile from the Canada/U.S. border. It offers more than 600 drive-up self-storage units and outdoor vehicle storage.
The Bellingham Herald, Trio Suspected of Burglarizing Whatcom Storage Facility Get Stuck in The Mud During Chase
The Northern Light, Blaine Burglary Turns Into High-Speed Chase, Suspects Arrested