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Rantz: Prolific offender not charged after waving knife, suspected theft

(KTTH, Jason Rantz)

Another likely homeless, repeat offender suspected of committing crimes is back on the streets, escaping charges. He’s previously been charged over a dozen times.

Study: Seattle failing at stopping ‘prolific’ criminal offenders

Thomas Mcphillips was arrested around 1:13 p.m. on June 3, across the street from the KTTH studio, after waving around a folding knife (though not directly threatening people), and harassing people into buying headphones from him.

According to the police report, he was intoxicated at the time, drinking from a bottle of vodka, and laying on a sleeping bag. He told officers he’s from Kansas.

Police were called because of his “hostile” behavior towards a woman living in the nearby apartments. While he was asking people to purchase a pair of “Beats” headphones from him, the witness told officers she saw him “drink out of one of the liquor bottles several times.”

When officers arrived, they discovered Mcphillips had a $500 Seattle Municipal Court Trespass warrant against him. When they placed him under arrest, he “began cussing at officers on scenes as well as threatening to assault all of us with physical harm.”

When cops searched Mcphillips, they found a check made out to a local real estate company for $1,246.37, along with a blank check. He couldn’t explain why he had the checks, “but did say that the blank check was from a guy who owes him money.”

1 of 5 booked into jail are homeless, mostly nonviolent crimes

Also in his possession? Cracked-open liquor bottles, “several narcotic pipes and marijuana,” numerous “high dollar” electronic items that “he claimed he found in the trash can,” and two legal-length pocket knives.

After some quick investigating, officers learned the real estate check was stolen out of a mailbox. It’s unclear what came of the blank check, though officers contacted its owner.

Despite officers suspecting the items were stolen, they did not pursue charges, which is frustrating for victims and officers. In cases of stolen property possession, it’s exceptionally difficult to prove the suspect personally stole the items. That means, suspected criminals go free and, when they’re prolific, likely recommit.

According to court documents, Mcphillips plead guilty to criminal trespass in the first degree and, after a bench warrant, was given credit for time served (four days).

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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