Bellingham Police make arrest in theft from Lightcatcher Museum

Gold recovered in Los Angeles

May 24, 2018 - by Danette Beckley, Public Information

Lightcatcher Museum reported a theft from one of their displays on May 3, 2018.  Based on surveillance photos along with citizen tips, 50 year-old Paul A. Rich of Bellingham was identified as a suspect in the theft.  Rich used a tool to gain access to a display case,  which contained a five piece domino set.  The dominoes were 14K gold and had diamond inlays for each pip.  The value of the domino set was estimated to be $15,000.

Bellingham Police Detectives established probable cause to arrest Rich for Theft in the 1st degree. On May 17, Bellingham Police Neighborhood Anti-Crime Team located and arrested Rich.  A subsequent interview with Rich lead police to Bellingham Gold and Silver Buyers on Kellogg Road.  The owner admitted to buying the melted down gold and selling it to another company.  Detectives were able to contact the company and locate the gold in Los Angeles, California.  The gold has been recovered.

As a result of the investigation a number of violations by the owner of Bellingham Gold and Silver Buyers were discovered.  Today, Roger F. Corliss was arrested and served paperwork from the City of Bellingham outlining a time frame to correct the licensure violations.  Corliss was arrested on probable cause for:

RCW 9A.82.050 Trafficking in stolen property 1st degree
RCW 19.60.025 Duty to record information
RCW 19.60.040 Report to chief law enforcement officer
RCW 19.60.057 Retention of precious metals
RCW 19.60.077 Precious metal dealer-license required.

Media Contact

​Danette Beckley, Public Information
Bellingham Police Department
(360) 778-8648


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