Criminal element sucks goodness out of Federal Way

It was just over a year ago that I wrote and complained about someone breaking in the windows of our cars, and taking what only had value to us.

While we are so worried about whether we use plastic bags or cloth, or if we wash our cars in front of our homes or at a commercial place, we have not dealt with the largest pollution we are facing — that of the enormous criminal element that sucks the goodness out of our community.

Of the five homes on my street, we have now all had a car stolen. We were the last victims, and my car was taken this morning. My rolling briefcase was taken, and this is the one that was replaced a year ago when our autos were broken into. My camera, with 300 pictures from last week’s day camp, a friend’s wedding and other pretty important people, my grandkids. Oh, this camera was replaced last year when it was stolen, and replaced three years ago when it was stolen, and replaced in 1999 when it was stolen. I think it was also stolen on vacation in Las Vegas about 12 years ago.

The two bags of groceries I bought for my daughter to consume following oral surgery? They took that too. I hope they like broth.

My Costco Forever stamps are gone as are the ones for international mail. My travel purse from REI is gone, as are the monies in my bank accounts. Yes, I should not have left them in the car. But being the nice person I am, I volunteered all week last week at a local day camp, my 41st year of guiding this community’s children, and I volunteered all day Sunday at Camp Sealth on Vashon. I had every intention of going back to the car to get the valuables out, but darn, I am older now and I fell asleep.

I drove around the area in my husband’s car and found mine. I hope the owners of the other two cars stolen in my neighborhood have been so lucky. I am not sure about the rest of the good people here, but I am tired of dealing with this on an annual basis. We are now talking about leaving the area; 26 years in this house and it is no longer worth the stress and inconvenience. If it is not a banner being stolen, it is a car. If it is not the house being egged, it is windows being broken. We do not live in a troubled neighborhood. Our neighbors assist us when we have such problems and we are there for them when they have problems.

Years ago when we lived in California, briefly, I could not fathom living in a home with bars on the windows and attack dogs in the yard. We left and returned to Washington so we could be free to come and go. Well, we have now reached that level of danger, and it is so incredibly sad.

We have allowed our neighborhoods to be infiltrated with the worst sort of people.

I almost wrote to you on Saturday. I was at a local market waiting in line to check out. A man in front of me was frustrated because the line next to us closed. He made a comment about anger management and how the police made him attend classes because he used a bat to clobber someone breaking into his car. The man behind me announced, “Anger management is too late for him. I just got out of prison for killing someone.” He went on to say that he already had two strikes against him, so he no longer cared if he controlled himself, as he was facing a lifetime in jail.

What kind of a place is this? I feel guilty if I get caught in the intersection and the light turns red. Who may I clobber on the head? Thirty hours later, my husband is waking me asking me where my car has been parked, because it is not in its usual spot. We need super jails where no one gets out before the end of their sentence, not for any reason. If the guilty party is not a citizen, they get a cheap seat out of town. If they became a citizen, they get it annulled. If they were born here, they get a provisional citizenship paper and if they blow it again, they get their USA membership revoked, and they get a bus ticket out of town too.

Just Saturday, I got a catalog in the mail for a snowboard company. The artistic design was fantastic. I loved it until I got to a page that had a woman giving the reader the finger. Then there was the page where the model was wearing rings with a handgun displayed on them. Yet another page had nude women on them. Wouldn’t it be nice to see young skiers sliding down the hill on a snowboard with the picture of a nude young woman on it? Sweet, some people might say — but not me.

We have clothing that depicts violence, and words that should not be spoken. Daily we see bumper stickers that are so raunchy that they turn my stomach. It is not that I have not heard these words, it is that I do not want to be assaulted with it all day long. I even saw a license plate a few months ago, where the driver had a custom plate that said “Yo Mama.” He cleverly wrote an “F” in front of it. It looked like it had made it passed the Department of Licensing, but upon checking, they had not known what the owner had done to his plate.

No one was hurt. The things stolen are losses, and I need to deal with it. Being good is just going to make you a victim, sooner or later. Is there any place to move to that is safer than here?

Lorrie Scott is a Federal Way resident.

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