‘Skateboard burglar’ charged with burglarizing Kirkland, Federal Way homes
By RAECHEL DAWSON
Kirkland Reporter Reporter
December 27, 2012 · Updated 1:57 PM
The so-called “skateboard burglar” was charged with two counts of residential burglary on Wednesday in King County Superior Court.
Johnny Clayton Wollum, of University Place, was charged with breaking, entering and stealing from a woman’s Kirkland home at the 14100 block of 107th Ave. N.E. in mid-November.
Wollum also faces the same charges of residential burglary after allegedly breaking into a Federal Way home on Dec. 19.
Wollum’s bail is set for $100,000, due to the nature of the crimes and because of his admission to police that he committed 15 to 20 additional burglaries in the last six months, according to the charging documents.
The 42-year-old was arrested on Dec. 20 after viewers that recognized him on Washington’s Most Wanted submitted tips to Crime Stoppers.
On Nov. 13, the Kirkland resident reported jewelry, clothing, cell phones, computers, a flat screen TV and more missing from her property for a total loss of $14,316. That morning, the suspect walked up to the Kirkland home with a long-board skateboard, knocked on the front door and then walked around the residence to the back after no response.
He smashed open a back door, left the residence but returned after he had retrieved a silver Volvo, the documents continue. The suspect backed the car into the driveway and began loading the stolen items into the car before he drove away.
But what the suspect didn’t know was that his every action was captured by a multi-camera video surveillance system strategically located around the victim’s home.
It was this video that was used to create still images of the criminal, which were circulated throughout the region’s law enforcement agencies, news outlets, including the Kirkland Reporter, and Washington’s Most Wanted TV show. Four separate tips were sent to police officers and Crime Stoppers, all indicating the suspect in the photos appeared to be Wollum.
After one of the tipsters said the Volvo used in the crime is owned by Wollum’s girlfriend, detectives searched the 42-year-old woman’s home and discovered she possesses a 2004 Volvo S60 and that she had recently pawned earrings, a butterfly ring, a silver chain and a bracelet, which matched the description of stolen items from the Kirkland home, according to court documents.
Police arrested the woman, and she confessed to pawning the items and dating Wollum.
“She indicated that he had given her some jewelry to pawn about three to four weeks ago, and she had given him all the money from the pawned items,” said charging documents. “She stated that it was ‘probably bad stuff’ and confirmed it was probably stolen.”
Wollum’s girlfriend, who has not been charged, said the two had broken up and Wollum was an unemployed heroin addict, stating “everything he does is in an effort to get more heroin.”
On the day of his arrest, police used a Kent K-9, as they approached Wollum at a Federal Way residence. He apparently fled but was caught after he slipped on wet pavement. Charging documents say he was “irritated and was under the influence of drugs.”
“He cried, yelled, tensed up, and went back to crying within the span of 30 seconds,” the documents continue.
Police found jewelry pieces and 1.1 grams of heroin in his pockets with several unused needles.
Wollum eventually calmed down enough to cooperate in an interview, but before they started questioning, police could hear him mumble, “Why did I look up at that camera?”
During the interview Wollum mentioned that he had been sober earlier this year and that “everything had been going well for him.” Wollum was living in a sober house a few blocks away from where the Kirkland burglary took place and he had been working for a man, cleaning gutters and doing lawn maintenance.
But it was this job that led him to steal from one of his Kirkland customers.
“He became upset at himself at this point in the interview and spoke about how nice the lady was and angrily told himself he shouldn’t have done it,” the documents continue.
When an officer asked what he was talking about, Wollum explained that the burglary caught on camera was his former customer and that the woman had been very nice to him and he felt remorse for stealing her property.
He also told police he broke into a woman’s house north of the his former customer’s home that he allegedly burglarized and over the summer he stole a red Suburban near his “sober house” location, according to charging documents.
Charging documents indicate Wollum has been booked 25 times on 54 warrants since 1990. Some past criminal offenses include unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree assault, malicious mischief, forgery, burglary, car prowling and possession of a switchblade among others.
Wollum’s arraignment is set for Jan. 7.
Contact Kirkland Reporter Reporter Raechel Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 X5052.