Home invasion case on Orcas labeled ‘inactive’ | Reward money returned

After hundreds of police hours and very few leads, the case involving an Orcas man whose home was allegedly invaded by a masked intruder has been labeled inactive. In October, $23,460 in reward money was returned to businesses and islanders who had donated.

“At this time, the case is inactive pending more information or new leads,” said Sheriff Ron Krebs. “The case will remain open until it is solved. If anyone has any information, the sheriff’s office is asking you to report it so we can follow up on it.”

Josh Mayson, a newly hired Orcas Power and Light Cooperative apprentice lineman, was staying in a vacation rental cabin when a masked, gloved assailant allegedly came into his home around 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 9, 2016. He said the man held a gun to his head, threatened to kill him and his daughter and stated that he “had nothing left to live for” and was “not afraid to die.” Two days after Mayson was allegedly assaulted, death threats were found written on the OPALCO headquarters building in Eastsound. All employees were immediately sent home and both Orcas island and Friday Harbor offices were shut down for two days. The two incidents are believed to be connected.

In the aftermath, a reward fund was set up and received $10,000 from OPALCO and $13,460 in private donations.

All of the OPALCO employees were interviewed, and Krebs says the sheriff’s office put “hundreds of man hours” into the investigation. To date, no arrests have been made. Mayson resigned from OPALCO shortly after the incident.

Dispatch error

The alleged home invasion spawned changes within the sheriff’s office after deputies didn’t respond in a timely manner. At the time of the 911 call, the dispatcher was advised by a sergeant to not wake up the on-call deputy since the gunman had already left the scene. Officers didn’t talk to Mayson until several hours after the incident.

At the time, Krebs said he was “livid” about the oversight and held a town hall meeting on Orcas to answer community questions. He explained that In the past, when deputies are not patrolling (usually between the hours of 3 and 6 a.m.), a dispatcher will call a sergeant to determine whether or not a deputy should be paged. Krebs said that while it had historically been successful, it was time to change procedure. Dispatchers no longer have to ask permission to send out a deputy. Krebs also asked Skagit County Sheriff’s office to conduct an internal investigation of the 911 call to pinpoint other areas of improvement. The report concluded that Krebs’ change was sufficient.

“I have told our dispatchers to err on the side of caution. It is never wrong to send somebody out to a call,” said Krebs at the town hall meeting.