Elusive burglary suspect nabbed

Christopher Berg appears in court to be arraigned. - Celeste Cornish/Staff Photo
Christopher Berg appears in court to be arraigned.
— image credit: Celeste Cornish/Staff Photo

Elusive burglary suspect Christopher Berg, 23, is finally behind bars. Berg, a suspect in the North End burglaries that plagued the area for months, was arrested Wednesday night on the 16000 block of State Route 305 in Poulsbo, said Scott Wilson, public information officer for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Berg was arraigned in Kitsap County Superior Court on Thursday afternoon.

He faces one count of eluding police officers, two counts of possession of stolen property, one count of knowingly trafficking in stolen property and violation of probation.

His bail is set at $107,500.

Berg is the last of three suspects in what authorities believe was a very active burglary ring concentrating in North Kitsap. The oldest of the suspects, 44-year-old Scott Pugh, is a resident of South Kitsap.

He was arrested in late February and subsequently released on bail pending trial.

Berg, however, managed to stay just out of authorities’ reach for the better part of a month. He was the subject of a two-hour standoff on Hostmark Street in Poulsbo on March 12.

Authorities surrounded the Pen-insula Glen Apartments, which are in close proximity to three North Kitsap School District schools, but Berg had fled the premises just before authorities arrived.

He’s had several other near-arrests since, some of which involved high-speed car chases.

In the most memorable incident, Berg was gassing up his girlfriend’s gold 2004 Chevrolet Malibu Classic on March 24 when a Kitsap County deputy spotted him.

Berg’s girlfriend was walking back toward the car when Berg allegedly jumped in and drove off without removing the gas nozzle from the car.

The nozzle broke off and was dangling from the gas tank during the chase.

The officer involved in the chase “didn’t want to put other motorists at risk,” so he backed off, Wilson said.

Berg allegedly drove the vehicle into Jefferson County, where it was involved in a hit-and-run, according to a lengthy charging statement from the Sheriff’s Office.

Berg has been sighted in and around the county numerous times after the March 12 incident. According to the Sheriff’s Office charging papers, he is suspected of breaking into people’s homes and selling their possessions even after it was widely known there was a warrant for his arrest.

Berg’s eventual arrest was the result of several law enforcement agencies — the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, WESTNET, Poulsbo police and Suquamish police — working together, Wilson said.

Authorities suspect Berg and his accomplices were involved in 75 to 100 residential burglaries in and around the north end of the county and on Bainbridge Island.

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