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Police Blotter | 'Deputy Stephens' phone scam
Tuesday | 21
MAIL THEFT: Police are investigating the theft of several pieces of mail from six victims who live on East Mercer Way and West Mercer Way.
THEFT: A 54-year-old Island resident received a phone call from the Boeing Employees Credit Union about two withdrawals of $500 each made around 7 p.m. on Jan. 21. The withdrawals were made from an ATM at a 711 store in Puyallup.
Thursday | 23
VEHICLE PROWL: A woman called to report that she discovered that her car she had not driven for a week, had been prowled. A set of keys to the car were found in another car that had been prowled earlier. They were returned to the owner.
Friday | 24
FORCED ENTRY BURGLARY: Sometime after 8 a.m., a person or persons forced their way into a home in the 4800 block of Island Crest Way through a garage. Other damage included a broken window in the garage, and the roof of a Subaru Forester damaged and dented by a large rock. A MacBook laptop computer was stolen.
VEHICLE PROWL: Overnight on Jan. 24, a Honda Odyssey Minivan and a Honda CRX/D el Sol were prowled at a home in the 6800 block of East Mercer Way. There were no signs of a forced entry.
Sunday | 26
VEHICLE PROWL: A 58-year-old Island man reported that his car in the 4200 block of 85th Avenue SE was prowled and damaged sometime over a period of three days. Several items were taken including a phone charger, ear buds, sunglasses, cash, a albuterol inhaler, a Seahawks jersey, and a bottle of organic lemonade.
BURGLARY: Eleven aluminum garage doors on storage units and garages were damaged at the Shorewood apartments sometime between Jan 25 and 26. The garage doors had pry marks. It did not appear that entry was made into any of the units.
Monday | 27
SCAM: A 46-year old woman received a phone call at 1 p.m. from a person calling himself, "Major Stephens," with the King County Sheriffs department stating there was a warrant out for her husband for his arrest for a failure to appear for jury duty. She paid the 'fine' placing the amount on a Money Pack card then called him back giving him the serial number of the card. She later thought it was a scam and called police.
ARREST: Police stopped and arrested a Renton man on two outstanding warrants as he was driving in the 6300 block of SE 24th Street.
OVERDOSE: An elderly Island woman took a handful of prescription meds, stating: "Just let me die." The subject was committed to Overlake Hospital for a 72-hour involuntary commitment.
ID THEFT: A woman was advised of suspicious activity on her VISA credit card. There were three charges she did not make. Two of the charges were made on Jan. 27 at Walmart and a sports bar in Bellingham. The women said she has the card in her possession and does not know how her information was compromised. The reported loss is about $2,700.
Tuesday | 28
ACCIDENT: Around 8:20 a.m., Tuesday, near the Mercer Village parking lot, a Metro bus collided with a car parked in its stop, after honking for it to clear out. A witness statement, which did not match that of either driver, said that the vehicle was not stopped, but in motion when struck by the bus.
Wednesday | 29
CAR PROWL: An Islander in the 4200 block of West Mercer Way reported $1,300 in damages due to a broken window and a stolen backpack, which included a laptop, graphing calculator and several textbooks.
Beware of bogus ‘Deputy Stephens’
On January 27, six separate Mercer Island residents reported receiving a phone call from a “Deputy Paul Stephens” of the King County Sheriff’s Office, telephone number (206) 552-1470.
The “Deputy” claimed each resident had a warrant out for their arrest, most often because of failing to appear for jury duty. In most cases, the “Deputy” told the resident that a bail amount of $500 or $1,000 could be paid over the phone using an online payment service called Greendot.com. Unfortunately, some residents fell prey to this scam.
Island police urge residents never to pay over the phone during a call like this, or in comparable situations, and reminds everyone that if something doesn’t sound right, it is most likely a scam. If a call is legitimate, there are other more customary means of making payment. If any resident receives a similar phone call, please call 9-1-1 and report it to the police immediately.