Orcas man charged with identity theft and trafficking stolen property: An Orcas man has been charged with trafficking in stolen property in the first degree, identity theft in the first degree and identity theft in the second degree. Brian Douglas McClerren, 35, of Orcas Island, has an arraignment date of July 31.
According to court documents, clients of McClerren’s window washing business noticed on June 11 that he had cashed a check from them for $4,722.90. The clients recalled he had washed their windows in May, but that they had paid him $570 for his work. They reported to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Department that McClerren had washed their windows for two years with no issues, and on that particular day, May 30, they had left the house to run some errands while he worked.
McClerren (pictured) admitted to the sheriff’s office that he had taken two checks and a ring, and recounted what happened on May 30. According to the detective’s report, McClerren said he had been washing windows in the client’s office when he saw a checkbook. He stated that he took two checks from two different checkbooks from the middle of the books so that the clients would not notice the missing check right away.
According to the report, McClerren said while he cleaned the mirrors in the client’s bedroom, he took a man’s wedding ring that was in a jewelry box in a cloth bag. The detective wrote: “Brian stated that he did not have a plan to steal the checks and ring going into this job.” According to the detective, McClerren then began crying during the police interview.
On June 8, McClerren went to Burlington, Wash., to sell the ring he had taken and received $600 for it. He cashed the stolen checks, as well as the check for the ring. According to the detective’s report, when McClerren’s wife was interviewed she told them they were having marital problems, and McClerren told her he was leaving her and their 4-year-old daughter and assuming a new identity.
McClerren stated that he was planning on taking the money that he had stolen along with his personal money and was going to “just leave.” He said he had a friend in California who told him he could prospect for gold there.
In the report McClerren said he “feels horrible” and that he sent a letter of apology to the clients he stole from. Trafficking in stolen property in the first degree, identity theft in the first degree and identity theft in the second degree are a Class B felony, Class B felony, and Class C felony, respectively. McClarren had no previous criminal history.
McClerren ran for San Juan County Council in 2013 District 3 on Lopez Island and lost to Jamie Stephens. He has since moved to Orcas Island.
"Former Council Candidate Accused Of Theft" - Two election cycles ago Brian D. McClerren ran for the Lopez County Council seat; and those who came to know him found him to be an earnest, intelligent and articulate young man who had previously attended seminary school. He lost the election to incumbent Jamie Stephens.
Today he is in trouble with the law, and is due to appear in court on Friday to face charges of theft, crimes that he has willingly admitted to. He has been ordered to show up at the Sheriff’s office July 31, 2015 to be photographed, fingerprinted and complete paper work, and then at 9:00 AM show up before the Superior Court to face accusations of “trafficking in stolen property in the 1st degree, identity theft in the 1st degree and identity theft in the 2nd degree.
According to court documents, last May McClerren was hired to clean windows of a home owner, and when the residents left the house he took, filled out, and deposited a check made out to his company in the amount of $4,722.90, and then from a different check book removed, filled out, and again made it out to his company, in the amount of $800.00. The owners of the home discovered the canceled checks and alerted the SJC Sheriff’s office.
How do you plan to balance the county budget? Do you support renewal of Prop. 1, the voter-approved property tax increase that expires at the end of 2015?
BM: I am bothered that the assumption appears to be larger government and increased taxes. A special part of our identity in this place is that we value our independence. I can tell you unequivocally that nothing sacrifices independence like being in debt . This relates to bond debt as well as grant-funded activities.
Last year our council signed a debt obligation which demands repayment through taxation “without a vote of the people.” Worse than that, they are touting it as a demonstration of fiscal responsibility.
The recent Community Conversation meetings are creating a helpful guidance for specific areas where we may be overspending on services. There are many great ideas about restructuring departments and eliminating costly delays. A budget that has increased about $20 million dollars in the last 8 years contains hundreds of places to reduce expenses, we just need leaders with the courage and energy to start digging.
If we move forward in a business-friendly posture I expect no need for a renewal of Prop. 1 and I will work toward that end on the council.