Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma Police.
Jan. 2: Money was missing from the PTA account, and the treasurer had a bad case of missed-meeting-itis.
Officers picked through the case while the witnesses — three PTA members — walked them through the details.
The PTA group was tied to one of Tacoma’s elementary schools. The members met monthly. The treasurer, a 24-year-old woman, was supposed to report on finances.
The treasurer had missed the November and December meetings, saying she was sick.
Other members checked the group’s bank account and found a $6,000 hole.
More bank records revealed checks written for groceries and to the treasurer’s roommate. PTA checks were supposed to have two signatures. The treasurer’s signature appeared on the checks. So did the name of another member — who told police her signature had been forged repeatedly.
Checks weren’t the only problem. The missing money included cash, which left no traces. Most of it was raised through school-related activities. The treasurer was supposed to deposit the money. The records revealed no sign that she had.
Officers took copies of the bank records from the PTA members and handed them off to a detective to conduct more research. The case remains under investigation.
Jan. 1: Only one item was stolen, but it was priceless: an urn that held the ashes of a lost child.
The urn was adorned with flowers, a chain and a small heart, sealed with gold and a name: “Zoey 2004,” the police report states.
The urn belonged to a 40-year-old Tacoma woman. She told police she’d last seen it Dec. 23, when an estranged family member and his girlfriend stopped by for an unexpected visit.
The couple had car problems and asked to stay the night, the woman explained. They were still there the following morning when she went to work. That night — Christmas Eve — a few more family members stopped by for a small gathering. The couple left before the woman came home.
Some of the party guests were strangers, the woman said. In the days that followed, she noticed the urn was missing. She couldn’t say who had taken it.
Officers asked whether the item could have been pawned, and if so, where. The range was wide, the woman said — anywhere from Pierce County to Skagit County. She gave the officers a list: all the guests she could name. Officers filed a report for further inquiry.
Jan. 1: The Tacoma man said he was worried about being caught driving without insurance, so he decided to hide in a stranger’s yard.
The call came in at 11:54 a.m. as a suspicious person lurking in a yard, spotted by a neighbor. Officers drove to the 3200 block of North 28th Street and found a black pickup, a 1990 Ford R-10, parked in front of a house.
A man inside the truck hurriedly shut the driver’s door. Several neighbors stood in front of the house. When officers arrived, the neighbors pointed to the truck.
The man inside was 26, a Tacoma resident. He wore a gray jean jacket, a black shirt and dark-gray jeans. He handed over his driver’s license. Asked what he was doing in the neighborhood, he said he was trying to find a friend’s house and having trouble. He panicked when he saw a police car, he said; he had no insurance.
Officers patted the man down. He had no weapons or burglary tools.
A neighbor had seen him in the backyard. The man had looked at the windows, carefully opened the gate and moved slowly around the home. The neighbor, out for a walk, asked the man what he was doing. The man had said he was hiding from police because he didn’t want to get a ticket.
Officers ran a background check on the man. He had no record. They asked why he went into the yard. Again, he mentioned his lack of insurance. He said he thought it would be more suspicious to sit in the truck than hide in the yard.
Officers explained that hiding in a stranger’s yard looked more suspicious than sitting in a car. They released the man with a warning and told the neighbor to call again if the man reappeared.
Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486