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SPD Committed to Addressing Criminal Behavior Associated with Car Campers

Earlier this month at a community meeting in Magnolia, concerned residents asked Patrol Operations Bureau Chief Steve Wilske if a ‘stand down’ order had been issued to officers in regards to investigating allegations of criminal behavior by homeless people living in tents, cars or RVs. A number of residents believed this to be the case. Just as Chief Wilske categorically dispelled the rumor during the meeting, we will reiterate the department position here. No such order has been given. Officers continue to investigate reports of criminal behavior and take appropriate enforcement action, regardless of the housing status of those involved.

Recent work by detectives in the SPD Narcotics Section is an illustrative example of relentless follow up into citizen complaints of drug dealing associated with RVs. These detectives have in fact been busy.

Earlier this month, SPD Narcotics conducted an investigation into two individuals for selling large amounts of heroin, methamphetamine and crack cocaine in the area of 6th Avenue S and S Alaska Street. The investigation led to the arrest of the RV owner and an associate for multiple drug sales. Detectives served a search warrant on the RV and seized over two pounds of heroin and methamphetamine as well as cash totaling approximately $65,000. Both subjects admitted that they used the RV as a platform to sell drugs to approximately 15 to 30 people per day.

Detectives also served a search warrant on another RV near 6th Avenue S and S Snoqualmie Street, seizing one ounce of methamphetamine, one ounce of heroin and $3,000 cash.

Detectives investigated two separate RV cases near 4th Avenue S and S Holgate, resulting in various narcotics seizures and the recovery of a stolen firearm.

South Precinct ACT officers served a search warrant on an RV near 6th Avenue S and S Andover. ACT officers arrested one suspect with two ounces of heroin. Further investigation led officers to a second RV located at 5400 Maynard Avenue S. The suspect in this case, a convicted felon and DOC fugitive from Ohio, was armed with a handgun. Detectives arrested him and seized approximately $2600 cash, approximately 54 grams of heroin and the handgun he was carrying. Officers served a search warrant on his RV and seized another eight grams of heroin, 58 prescription pills and a second handgun.

North Precinct bike squad officers have also been hard at work, focusing their efforts to address community concerns of crime and street disorder in Ballard. The bike squad has made numerous arrests since the beginning of the year, with the below cases representing some of the highlights.

16-1542 Recovery of $4000 industrial generator stolen a few days prior in a local burglary. Led to the identification of members of a suspected burglary and drug ring operating in Ballard.

16-5168 Arrest of a suspect for possession of stolen property. This suspect is also believed to be part of the previously mentioned burglary ring. The suspect has a criminal history for trafficking in stolen firearms.

16-13520 Arrest of felony DOC escape warrant suspect.

16-14735 Arrest of an unregistered sex offender camping by the Ballard Locks Park.

16-21920 Arrest of US Marshal’s escape warrant suspect. This person was wanted for drug trafficking.

16-23232 Arrest of felony escape suspect wanted for auto theft.