MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Prolific Aurora Home Depot shoplifter charged with felonies under new crime initiative

Jun 16, 2022, 2:01 AM | Updated: 6:37 am

home depot...

(Mike Mozart via Flickr)

(Mike Mozart via Flickr)

The Seattle City Attorney is packaging multiple misdemeanor charges into single felony counts to expedite the prosecution of “high utilizers” of the criminal justice system.

Seattle City Attorney launches partnership to address prolific offenders

The case of one prolific shoplifter at Aurora Ave’s Home Depot shows the program in practice as the attorney looks to prosecute 118 such high utilizers.

Every person on their initial list has been referred by police to the City Attorney’s Office 12 or more times in the past five years and at least once in the past eight months, most often for theft or trespassing.

Late in 2021, the Home Depot on Aurora Ave. called Seattle Police over a reported retail theft and court order violation. Witnesses reported the suspect, Dylan Jackman, concealing tools under his jacket. The detective assigned to the case discovered that Jackman had been reported for theft at the same location eight times since 2020. Jackman had trespassed from the property three separate times within a similar time frame. Employees at the store recognized him on sight, according to King County Prosecution charging documents.

“Even more concerning is his failure to abide by terms of the valid Anti-Harassment order … that prohibited him from returning to this Home Depot … The defendant’s behavior demonstrates that he is likely to commit a violent offense,” the charging documents continue.

“He threatened to kill [one employee,] pulled a sharpened spearhead on another and had to be talked into dropping a shovel that he was wielding as a weapon in a separate instance. It is clear that, if released, the defendant will return to this location and commit yet another violent offense.”

Individually, the 18 misdemeanor cases sent to the Office of the Seattle City Attorney in a 15-month period against Jackman were not sufficient to hold him in custody. Upon his latest trespass from Home Depot, the city attorney was able to package his case under three felony counts: Burglary In The Second Degree, Felony Harassment, Burglary In The Second Degree, and Burglary In The Second Degree.

Ann Davison, elected to the city attorney’s office this year, has previously couched the high utilizer initiative as an attempt to improve the level of treatment options available to repeat offenders.

“What I’m anticipating is there’s going to be some treatment options that are just not available at the misdemeanor level that are available at the felony level,” Davison told KTTH’s The Jason Rantz Show in March.

As of June 2022, it is not clear exactly what those treatment options entail.

“As of the date of your request, our office does not have records that demonstrate that individuals on the HUI list accessed resources not available to them if they had been convicted of a misdemeanor,” a public disclosure representative with the city attorney’s office wrote to MyNorthwest.

Seattle’s Public Defender Association has previously signaled its concern that the idea of expanded treatment options at the felony level is a mischaracterization of competency restoration: wherein suspects are deemed legally competent to stand trial with the ability to recall basic facts.

“This has little or nothing to do with someone being stabilized, treated, and equipped to manage independently in the community and to reduce problematic future behavior,” Lisa Daugaard, director with the PDA, wrote to MyNorthwest.

“Creating greater obstacles for someone in order for them to get help is one of the central distortions that the legal system interposes into the realm of health care and recovery,” Daugaard said. “This is not to say that people who commit harmful felonies should not be charged with felonies to achieve temporary interruption/incapacitation, or accountability. But this should not be rationalized in terms of access to different or better ‘treatment.’”

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Prolific Aurora Home Depot shoplifter charged with felonies under new crime initiative