Gang members arrested in connection with off-campus burglaries

Josh Goodman

Walla Walla Police Department officers arrested six juvenile gang members in connection with the wave of burglaries that occurred on and near campus during Winter Break. The juveniles have been charged with residential burglary, second-degree theft and second-degree possession of stolen property: all felony offenses: according to a  police department  press release on Feb. 18.

Police recovered three laptops, a PlayStation and a DVD player from 308 N. 6th Ave., about one mile from campus. Officers returned one of the laptops and the other stolen property to three Whitman students living in a house near Prentiss Hall on the 300 block of Linden Lane. Investigators were able to find the victims based on information on the laptop.

Officers also recovered marijuana paraphernalia which was not returned to the original owners.

The press release states that an initial call to the police about suspicious activity was made on Jan. 15, but does not note when the arrests were made or the items returned. The police started an ongoing investigation, and though they hope to recover more property, the investigation is nearing an end according to Public Information Officer Tim Bennett.

Police recovered two additional laptops but have not yet been able to identify the owners. Students can call 509-527-4434 if they think one of the laptops might be theirs.

“Provide as much information as [you] can about [your] missing computer: brand, model, serial number, any markings made by the owner and damage,” Bennett said in an e-mail.

Bennett urged caution among Whitman students living off-campus.

“All students should make sure their homes are secure, especially when leaving town. If their home cannot be secured, or is easily entered, [they should] make their landlords aware of the problems,” he said. “There are a lot of people outside the Whitman community that know your school calendar.”