Ballard Crime Watch: A story of a woman and her estranged housecleaner
A falling out between a woman and a housecleaner turns strange
Oct. 7, 12:19 p.m., 9200 Block of 20th Ave NW -- Fallouts happen. It’s as much part of human nature as liking apple pie. But sometimes, what would appear to be a normal falling out between a woman and her housecleaner, perhaps with a little bit of burglary sprinkled in, turns into something very, very strange.
The woman told police that over the past six weeks or so she’s noticed about 20 pieces of jewelry missing from her home. There were no signs of forced entry burglary during this time period, but she said she recently had a falling out with the aforementioned housecleaner.
She said that twice a month, since January of 2013, she paid the suspect to clean her house. She had found him through a cleaning company, but in May he was fired. She continued to pay for him anyway.
The man seemed fine, but he became increasingly strange, asking personal questions and making her feel uncomfortable.
In addition, the woman’s mom had been at the house on a couple of occasions while he was cleaning. One time, she noticed the man go to his van about five times in a one-hour period with objects wrapped in something. He would return from the van empty-handed. The second time, he did the same thing, only about 10 times in a three-hour period.
At the time, the victim thought nothing of it, but now she suspects that he was stealing jewelry.
Then, about three weeks before the time of this report, the woman called her housecleaner and said she didn’t want his services anymore.
Later on, the man called her, saying her last check had bounced and that he was going hungry and living out of his van because of her.
Over the three weeks up until the time of this report, the man sent over 20 text messages, some of which were angry and harassing. Others were plain bizarre, speaking of the sun’s “plasma rays” and other cosmic events.
In one text, the man asked his former employer if he could park outside her house so he had a safe place to live. (The report does not give the woman’s answer, but judging from the sequence of events, it was a “No.”) She said she believes he lives in a white van with no side windows and usually parks in the University District.
Finally, the woman agreed to meet the man last Tuesday at a café. He never showed up. She left a check at the counter for him to pick up, just in case. She sent a text letting the former housecleaner know.
He responded with more strange texts, saying she was paranoid and schizophrenic.
Later on, the woman found out that the first check didn’t bounce after all, meaning that he had now gotten two payments from her.
The woman, who said she was scared to stay at her house in case he had made a copy of her key, has changed all her locks.
The police officer provided her with followup forms and advised her to call 911 in the event of any suspicious activity.
15th Ave business broken into
Oct. 6, 11:54 a.m., 6200 Block of 15th Ave NW -- A police officer responded to a commercial burglary alarm going off.
When the officer arrived, he found that the suspect had cut the metal security door in the back and were able to unlock it by reaching inside.
Once inside, the officer was unable to locate anyone. It also appeared that the suspect did not take anything. The officer took photos of the damage to the door and submitted the photos into evidence.
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