It wasn’t food or cash — here’s what a man allegedly stole from a Whatcom grocery store

Ferndale Police Department/Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A Des Moines man is suspected of stealing nearly $6,000 in pallets from the loading dock of a Whatcom County grocery store last year and returning to steal even more.

Andy Hoang Ha, 52, was booked by the Ferndale Police Department and released Wednesday, Sept. 28, from Whatcom County Jail, and Whatcom County Superior Court records show he has been charged one count of first-degree theft and one count of attempted first-degree theft.

Police were called at approximately 11:44 p.m. Jan. 14 to the loading dock at the Ferndale Grocery Outlet Bargain Market after Ha was spotted in a flatbed truck that matched one seen during two previous thefts on Dec. 13 and 23, 2021, court documents state. In those two thefts, the store reported $5,900 in pallets had been stolen from the loading dock.

In the Jan. 14 incident, Ha was seen wearing a florescent jacket that resembled one worn by the suspect in the two December thefts, documents state.

Ho voluntarily admitted to police that he had come to the Grocery Outlet on three separate occasions and took approximately 400 to 500 pallets, documents state. Ha reportedly said he then sorted the pallets, selling the good ones and recycling the bad.

Grocery Outlet managers estimated that there were approximately $12,000 in pallets on the store’s property on Jan. 14 when Ha returned.

Court records show charges were brought against Ha on June 22 and he was mailed a summons. Ha was arraigned Sept. 23, and a jury trial is currently scheduled for Dec. 5.