crime

Some streets in Tacoma will be in the dark for at least another six weeks, maybe longer. Thieves have been stealing copper wire from street lamps and city workers haven’t been able to keep up with repairs.

The theft of copper wire is nothing new. But this winter, Tacoma has been especially hard hit. Curtis Kingsolver, director of public works for the city of Tacoma, says for the first 10 months of the year, the city had about one copper wire theft-related street light outage a month.

“But, in the last two months of 2013, we had 56 outages, so we just had this huge rash of occurances that it’s been very demanding for us,” he said.

A tribal court on the Umatilla Indian Reservation is one of the first to hand-down a long prison term under new tougher criminal sentencing laws enacted by Congress in 2010.

It used to be that tribes could only sentence a Native American criminal to up to one year of jail time -- no matter the crime. Typically the U.S. Justice Department was called in for everything else -– but many cases were dropped.

Now, tribal courts have the power to sentence native criminals who commit crimes on a reservation up to three years per count, for up to nine years.

A helicopter pilot from Armstrong, British Columbia, who flew loads of marijuana into the United States from Canada has been sentenced in federal court in Seattle to 10 years in prison.

A lawyer says fugitive Seattle real-estate developer Michael Mastro and his wife have been arrested in France.

Recent violence against tourists and residents in downtown Seattle is putting pressure on the city council to put more cops on the street.

The council received a letter from a large coalition of businesses and organizations concerned about public safety downtown.

The letter is signed by nearly 160 organizations and entities in Seattle, including several hotels, restaurants and the downtown Seattle Association. Its president, Kate Joncas, says they kept hearing from people about aggressive panhandling and open air drug dealing.

A King County prosecutor who police began investigating after the arrest of a former University of Washington basketball player has resigned. The Seattle Times reports 33-year-old Leah Altaras resigned Sept. 6.

The former dean of the University of Oregon School of Music was killed Friday along with her boyfriend. Lane County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call at their home south of Eugene and found Anne Dhu McLucas and James Gillette.

Anne Dhu McLucas was an author and semi retired professor of ethnomusicology. She was also an avid hiker and skier. U of O Assistant Professor of Music Marian Smith says McLucas was her colleague and friend.

Prosecutors in Georgia say a group of current and former U.S. soldiers plotted to blow up a dam in Washington and poison the state’s apple crop. The allegations were revealed Monday as one of the group’s members pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a Georgia courtroom.

Despite the seriousness of the allegations, spokespeople with the Washington State Patrol and the Governor’s office say they were not aware of the case

SPOKANE – Former U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker is facing hit-and-run and intoxicated driving charges in Washington state.

According to court papers, a Washington state man accused of threatening to kill President Barack Obama raised a pump-action shotgun at officers who came to his door, but one managed to grab the barrel before any shots were fired.

A Secret Service agent and Federal Way police officer went to 31-year-old Anton Caluori's apartment on Tuesday afternoon, after the FBI received a profanity-laced email threatening to kill the President.

REDMOND, Wash. — Police in Edmonds, Poulsbo, Stanwood and Redmond are teaming up to track a man who has robbed four banks in Western Washington in three months.

EVERETT, Wash. — An Everett man has been arrested for allegedly stabbing his girlfriend's parrot to death with a serving fork.

The latest version of the Seattle Police Department’s blog shows a department striving to build an online audience with catchy headlines and timely posts.

“We’re looking to do even more,” said department spokesman Detective Mark Jamieson. “The blotter was good. If people were interested that was a place they could go, but ... now we need to go to the next level (be) more like a news site.”

niznoz / Flickr

MISSOULA, Mont. — The folks at Hi-Noon Petroleum in Montana have a new way to turn a dinosaur into gasoline.

They're offering a $250 gas card for information leading to the safe return of Dino, a 12-foot-long fiberglass Sinclair dinosaur that disappeared June 21 from the Crossroads Travel Center west of Missoula.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Police say they have accounted for everyone involved in a shootout outside a Federal Way bar that left one man dead and six other people wounded.

It was a scenario many have imagined: Retiring to a lonely beach in Mexico after a few minutes of a heart-pounding crime — like Bonnie and Clyde riding into the sunset with a good stash of money attained through a handful of bank heists.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU

Federal prosecutors say a 21-year-old Dutch national coordinated the theft of about 44,000 credit card numbers worldwide, including some from the Boeing Employees Credit Union, by hacking into the sales system of businesses.

The Associated Press

The only survivor of a shooting at a Seattle cafe where four other people were killed is expected to recover.

Harborview Medical Center reports Leonard Meuse has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he remains in the intensive care unit Thursday.

Seattle police say a man fatally shot as he drove down a Seattle street with his parents and two children was hit by an errant bullet from a stranger's dispute.

Detective Jeff Kappel said the victim had earlier picked up his parents from the airport and was heading out with them and his two children on a weekend vacation late Thursday afternoon.

The Seattle Times identified the victim as 43-year-old Justin Ferrari who had only recently joined the online real estate site Zillow.

TACOMA, Wash. — The voyeurism and child pornography trial of missing Utah mother Susan Powell's father-in-law is under way with jury selection in Washington state, and Powell's parents are hoping the case sheds some light on her disappearance.

Authorities say vandals have destroyed eight recently planted trees in Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum.

LONGVIEW, Wash. — A suspected shoplifter pulled a small sword on a security officer who tried to stop him at the same Fred Meyer store in Longview where a guard's ear was cut with a hatchet in December in another shoplifting confrontation.

A fight over unwanted sexual behavior may have led to the apparent murder of a patient at Washington’s Western State Hospital. Prosecutors have not yet filed charges in connection with the death last Friday.

It was around 3 o’clock last Friday afternoon that staff at Western State found the victim, 28-year-old Paul Montefusco in another patient’s room. Lt. Chris Lawler of the Lakewood Police Department describes the scene.

The former treasurer of a charity affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for embezzlement.

RENTON, Wash. — The Washington State Patrol says a trooper fired a shot at a fleeing car after it ran over his foot during a traffic stop on Interstate 405 Monday morning at Renton.

Trooper Julie Startup says the shot missed. The car crashed nearby and the driver was arrested.

New information has been found in the investigation of Susan Powell, the mom who disappeared from her home in Utah two years ago.

Her father-in-law called in sick to work right after her disappearance.

David Prasad / Flickr

If you  threaten to blow up an airport, you'll  face jail time. According to the Washington State Court of Appeals, that's true even if you're mentally ill and the threat is not considered credible.

Back in 2009, James S. Ballew called 911 and, after asking to speak with a specific officer with the Port of Seattle Police, told the dispatcher he had five friends who had placed bombs in and around Sea-Tac Airport.

The call was traced to Harborview Medical Center’s psychiatric ward. 

A sex offender accused of breaking into a house in Seattle's University District and threatening six women with a knife would face a life sentence if convicted of the latest charges.

Robert D. Hitt is charged with burglary, robbery and kidnapping with sexual motivation, which makes the 34-year-old subject to Washington's "two strikes" law for repeat sexual offenders.

The Seattle Times reports he pleaded not guilty Wednesday at his arraignment.

Drunk drivers who cause deadly accidents in Washington rarely spend more than two years in prison. A bill working its way through the state legislature would increase the maximum sentence to eight years.

Prosecutors and people who've lost loved ones to accidents caused by drunk drivers say it's about time.

The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — A social worker pleaded with a 911 dispatcher throughout a nearly seven-minute call to quickly get police to Josh Powell's house after he locked himself inside with his two sons.

(The un-edited audio of that 911 call is posted above.)

But the dispatcher seemed to have trouble understanding the seriousness of the situation. It took almost two minutes from the start of the call for the dispatcher to learn Powell's address, as the social worker fumbled through paperwork, and more than three minutes to understand that she was there to supervise a child custody visit. Near the end of the call, she asked how long before officers could get there.

The agency that runs the call center said it would review the matter and start a disciplinary investigation if necessary.

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