Repeat offender poses as worker, tries to steal fishing vessel from Ballard shipyard

Aug 14, 2019, 2:07 PM
fishing vessel, fishing industry...
The North Sea fishing vessel. (Doug Dixon)
(Doug Dixon)

Car theft has become a common crime in Seattle, but ship theft may be the next trend among offenders; a woman in Ballard attempted to steal a fishing vessel from a shipyard earlier this month.

Doug Dixon, general manager of Pacific Fishermen Shipyard and PFI Marine Electric just off Shilshole Avenue, said the crime was carefully-planned.

He said that a woman who appears to be homeless and spends time around the shipyard took a hardhat from a construction site next door and used it to gain access to the shipyard.

“She looked like a worker coming into the yard, so nobody questioned her,” Dixon said.

Repeat offender attempts to stab woman with pitchfork at Ballard Post Office

With the hardhat disguise, she climbed aboard Pacific Fishermen’s $12 million North Sea — a 123-foot, 400-ton fishing vessel that Dixon described as “a big sister” to the Northwestern on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.”

Soon, work crews in the North Sea’s engine room were shocked to hear the vessel’s 16-cylinder diesel engine turn over. They ran up to the wheelhouse, found the intruder, and chased her off the ship.

Police arrested the attempted boat thief on two felonies, but she was released 24 hours later. Another arrest followed shortly after, but she was once again released.

Dixon fears that the woman will come back to attempt the same crime — and while the loss of a $12 million vessel is devastating, he fears that the consequences could be even worse than just theft.

“She’s got the wherewithal to steal a crab boat — she could have sneaked in at night and done it, because we’re not that secure here,” he said. “I’m concerned she’d use it to ram the Ballard Locks and drain Lake Washington.”

With the 400-ton ship in her hands as a weapon, he has no doubt she could cause major damage to property, people, and the environment.

In a letter to King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, Dixon compared the crime to the theft of the Horizon plane at Sea-Tac Airport last year, or the Victoria Clipper theft in 2013.

“What we’re dealing with here is a major felony crime utilizing heavy machinery as part of the tactic,” he said.

It’s not the only crime that has occurred in the area — Dixon said a homeless person along the railroad tracks near the shipyard recently set the tents along the tracks on fire. Dixon said he identified the alleged arsonist to police, but the person was never arrested.

“The City of Seattle’s policies are just to ignore that,” he said of the crimes.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.


Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

Menacing pitbull...
Dori Monson Show

Woman attacked by pit bulls near homeless camp: ‘These dogs have more rights than me’

With more than 12 vicious dog bites on her legs and “way too many” stitches to count, Amy Craven was released from the hospital this week following an 11-day stay to recover from an attack by two pit bull terriers near North Lake Union.
20 hours ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Former prison cellmate believes triple murderer is `not evil,’ should be freed

The 42-year-old case is back in the news after the Washington state Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board approved a summer release for Pauley.
2 days ago
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Triple killer to be released unless Gov. Inslee overrules parole board

After 42 years behind bars, convicted killer Timothy Pauley, 63, has been approved for release by the Washington Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board.
3 days ago
Marysville School District...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Parent permission for Marysville school clubs becomes `hot button’ over LGTBQ issue

The intent to the proposed policy change, Atchley said, is to assure that parents “have the ability to know where their children are at all times.”
7 days ago
OlyToys, Don Wolph's toy refurbishing business in Olympia....
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Olympia Toy-Restorer ordered by County to kick disabled friend off his property

Wolph told Dori’s listeners, Thurston County officials have told him he and his wife of 47 years must evict their friend because “she cannot live on my property for more than 30 days.”
8 days ago
Sound Transit employee records video of homeless individuals on light rail. (Jason Rantz/KTTH Radio...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: The Sound Transit rolling drug den

Onboard: a series of apparently homeless drug addicts, riding the train while smoking various drugs or passed out across the seats.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Repeat offender poses as worker, tries to steal fishing vessel from Ballard shipyard