San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log May 22-26: More fraud, ladder stolen from truck, caller hallucinating someone with a gun

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 261 calls from May 20-26, 2020. Deputies on Orcas Island responded to a report of someone being threatened with a weapon. After contacting the complainant, it became evident he/she was suffering from hallucinations. A Deputy investigated a theft complaint. A Lopez Island resident stated that an unidentified person came on to his property and stole a ladder rack that was bolted on to his vehicle. Numerous cases of fraud involving unemployment claims were reported. 

According to the U.S. Secret Service, Washington state has emerged as the primary target in the massive unemployment fraud being perpetuated by a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring. Attacks are also occurring in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming. 

The fraud is being aided by mules in the U.S. who are being used as intermediaries for money laundering after making connections with the fraudsters online. This scheme appears to be fairly sophisticated and the amount of dollars lost in Washington State so far is in the millions. As an example, Western Washington University has had more than 400 out of about 2,500 total employees targeted. $300 million in fraudulent payments has been recovered so far. 

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Message from Sheriff Ron Krebs

Over the last few days we have all witnessed the unfolding events in Minnesota, and around the country, spurred by a tragic death that occurred in Minneapolis involving the police and a black male who was in custody. The actions that resulted in the death of George Floyd are disturbing and saddening. When these events happen, it affects all of us in some way, shape or form. San Juan County may be an isolated set of islands, but we are not immune to the effects of what goes on in the rest of the country.

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Sheriff's Log San Juan Islands May 13-29, 2020: 34 reports of Fraud, weapons charge, noise complaints

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 236 calls from May 13-19, 2020. Almost three dozen reports were filed about fraud. 

According to the U.S. Secret Service, Washington state has emerged as the primary target in the massive unemployment fraud being perpetuated by a well-organized Nigerian fraud ring. Attacks are also occurring in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming. 

According to San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs, the Secret Service is still working to pinpoint who is involved and exactly where they are.

The fraud is being aided by mules in the U.S. who are being used as intermediaries for money laundering after making connections with the fraudsters online. This scheme appears to be fairly sophisticated and the amount of dollars lost in Washington State so far is in the millions. As an example, Western Washington University has had more than 400 out of about 2,500 total employees targeted. 

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San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log May 5-12: Pandemic-related problems

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 220 calls from May 6-12, 2020. Many of the calls were pandemic-related. Multiple fraud cases including  scammers using county residents’ identities and fraudulently applying for unemployment. Domestic violence calls. Intoxicated individuals sleeping outside, stumbling through fields. Boaters questioned about seeking moorage.

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San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log April 29-May 5: Raccoons deterred by gunshots, essential travel explained to illegal campers, injured owl protected by deputy...

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 178 calls from April 29-May 5, 2020 including: A Lopez Island deputy was sent to investigate gunshots heard shortly after dark, and discovered the shots were fired in defense of chickens against marauding raccoons. The property owner reported all the chickens were alive and accounted for. A Lopez Island deputy was called to investigate a suspicious vehicle and discovered an RV that had set up camp along the county road because all of the campgrounds were closed. A discussion of "non essential" travel evolved into plans for an early departure. A Lopez Island deputy was called to an injured owl along Mud Bay Rd. The deputy stood by to protect the owl until representatives of Wolf Hollow could arrive to take the owl for care.

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San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log April 22-28: Bible passages yelled; Power pole hit, Beach access disputed

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 186 calls from April 22-28, 2020 including: Orcas Island a person reported that a woman was walking down the road screaming. She was heard screaming about reading the bible along with other things. n Orcas Island deputy responded to a motor vehicle accident in the Eastsound area. The reporting party advised that a vehicle had stuck a power pole and had power lines on the vehicle with someone trapped inside. On San Juan Island, a deputy stopped a vehicle for unsecured load. The driver was arrested for driving on a suspended driver's license, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. The driver was also issued an infraction for unsecured load. A Lopez Island resident called a deputy regarding a perceived shoreline access issue. A Polaris records check showed the area as private property with no documents supporting the caller’s claim. 

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San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log April 15-22: Disrobed in Eastsound, Caught by K9 on San Juan Island, Harassed on Lopez, Caught shooting animals on Stuart...

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 208 calls from April 16-21, 2020 including: A deputy was contacted in reference to a Fish and Game Violation in the Stuart Island area. The person reported someone shooting at marine mammals. A Deputy on San Juan Island impounded a vehicle for a drug investigation after K9 Sucia alerted to the odor of narcotics. Orcas Island Deputies were dispatched to a disrobed individual in the Eastsound area. The individual was contacted and asked to put some clothes on. They did. Deputies investigated a theft of mail on Decatur Island. Suspects entered an unlocked community mail building and took packages belonging to community members. A Deputy investigated a harassment complaint on Lopez Island. It was believed the suspect was retaliating against the victim after the victim posted an innocuous comment on a social media site.

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San Juan Islands Sheriff's Log April 8-14: Domestic Violence, helicopter landing, littering, non-essential business open

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 215 calls from April 8-15, 2020 including: San Juan Island deputies responded to a report of domestic violence in Friday Harbor. The suspect was arrested for two order violations, burglary 1st degree, unlawful imprisonment, interfering with the reporting of domestic violence and DWLS 3rd degree. On Orcas Island, deputies were dispatched to a report of an unauthorized helicopter landing. The helicopter was located and the pilot was given a copy of the aircraft landing ordinance. On Lopez Island, a deputy investigated a complaint that a resident saw a juvenile go onto an unavailable neighbor's undeveloped property and dump trash. It was determined the juvenile dumped cat box waste and that he believed he was on his property when he dumped the waste. There was insufficient evidence of a crime.

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Sheriff's Log San Juan Islands April 1-7, 2020: Kayaker reported missing, COVID-19 violations, Speeder cited for 92 mph

Deputies in the San Juan Islands responded to 175 calls from April 1-7, 2020 including: A deputy on Orcas Island received information on subjects who were traveling in violation of the Corona Virus travel restriction. The couple was located and provided information on the travel restriction and the need to quarantine for the next 14 days. A San Juan Island deputy responded to a possible COVID-19 order violation. The business was warned about the issue. A Lopez Island deputy was called to assist a homeowner identify five cows that had wandered onto their property. The cows' owner was identified and came to claim the animals.

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