Tacoma listener tells Legislature to ‘let police do their jobs’ after his camper was stolen

Jan 27, 2022, 11:42 AM
legislature, police, stolen camper...
Washington State Patrol and Washington National Guard personnel keep watch at the state Capitol on Jan. 17, 2021, in Olympia, Washington. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

A listener in Tacoma who emailed Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Newsradio said he had his camper stolen from his yard, but was specifically told by police that he would need to contact the Legislature in order to sort out the state’s new policing laws.

Lawmaker, author of state policing bills admits ‘we have a couple of fixes to do’

“Basically, unless he saw the crime in progress, [the officer] is not allowed to do anything. He can’t forcibly detain anybody if he didn’t see it,” listener Robert explained. “So even though I showed him video evidence — because I got it all on video — I showed him the video of them pulling up to my street, hooking up my trailer, took them about five minutes, and then just dragging it away. And then we showed them the video evidence of them parking it in their property.”

“So I don’t know how much more evidence you need to see that this was a stolen trailer and these people that are in the house — I at least know who did it — and we can’t even knock on the door and ask them a question,” he added. “That’s the frustrating part.”

Robert was told that there is nothing the police can do at this point. He was able to send photo and video evidence to the police, but says he hasn’t heard back since Monday.

“There’s nothing that I can do to get my stuff back,” he said.

That said, his trailer has since been returned to him. Robert says he did see a new trailer in the same spot where his was found two days later that he suspects was stolen. He reported that to police as well.

He also hopes that eventually police can get a warrant, check the house for his stuff, and — if there is probable cause — make an arrest, but he’s not holding out too much hope.

“But unfortunately, in this case, they’re being evicted this morning,” Robert said. “All of that stuff, if it hasn’t been sold by now or moved, it’s probably not going to get back to me.”

He adds that he doesn’t care about the stuff at this point, but his big question is why they can’t even knock on the door of a house that “was clearly involved in the stealing of the trailer.”

Overall, Robert’s message to the state Legislature as they consider reforms to the policing bills this session is: “Let the police do their jobs.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Tacoma listener tells Legislature to ‘let police do their jobs’ after his camper was stolen