Northwest News

Denied entry to Canada as KKK members, that was only the beginning of pair’s trouble

A father and son were reportedly denied entry into Canada after being identified as Ku Klux Klan members before Blaine police found they were hauling a Caterpillar mini excavator reported stolen in Arkansas.

The Blaine Police Department booked David Martin Cater, 48, into Whatcom County Jail on Sunday, Oct. 13, on suspicion of first-degree possession of stolen property. Jail records show he was released on $500 bail on Tuesday.

His father, 69-year-old David Ronny Cater, was booked on suspicion of the same crime Wednesday, Oct. 16.

The Caters were identified as suspected KKK members when they tried to cross into British Columbia at approximately 10 a.m. Oct. 13, according to the information given to The Bellingham Herald by Blaine police spokesperson Tami Mikkelson. The Blaine Police log said the pair also was stopped at the border because of a possible criminal history.

A Blaine police officer went to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office to investigate the two and found they were in possession of a mini excavator that had been reported stolen Oct. 1 in Jacksonville, Arkansas. The excavator was valued at $60,000 according to the police log.

Officers contacted the victim, who told them that the excavator had been stolen off a 40-acre lot where he keeps most of his heavy machinery, but he had not yet determined if anything else was missing.

The younger Cater initially denied knowing about the theft, Mikkelson said, but later admitted to helping his father load the excavator onto a flatbed. The younger Cater also reportedly said the excavator was needed to build a log cabin on property the family owned in Alaska.

Police seized three vehicles, and animal control was called to care for two dogs and one cat, Mikkelson said.

The younger Cater was arrested Sunday, but his father had a medical emergency and was taken to St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham, Mikkelson said. Once the hospital notified police that the elder Cater had stabilized, he was arrested and booked into jail.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.