From the Southwest Precinct Public Safety Newsletter sent out this week. Ever wonder about whether to give a buck to one of those people holding cardboard signs along offramps? Check out the saga of one of them, quoted verbatim from the newsletter (after the click since it’s a bit long). Way to go, Officer Wilson!

On Thursday, April 19, 2007, Community Police Team Officer Ralph Wilson was assigned to work a special emphasis at Cleveland High School in West Seattle. After spending the entire school day at the school keeping students safe, Officer Wilson took the initiative to do some proactive police work. 

On April 17th, a bank robbery had been attempted at 500 S. Michigan Street, Credit Union Northwest. Officer Wilson had responded to the call and checked the area but was unable to locate the suspect. Later that day a photo was distributed of the suspect. 

On April 19th, Officer Wilson set out to try and locate the robbery suspect. At 2:52 pm Officer Wilson observed the suspect standing at the southwest corner of 1st Avenue South/South Spokane Street holding a cardboard sign. Officer Wilson recognized the suspect from the photograph taken at the bank and immediately requested backup. The suspect picked up a plastic bag and began to walk away westbound away from Officer Wilson. Officer Wilson followed the suspect from a safe distance until backup, Officer Larry Longly, arrived. Officers Wilson and Longly arrested the suspect without incident. Officer Wilson then mirandized and transported the suspect to the Robbery office. Officer Wilson reported that the robbery detectives believe the suspect was involved in other bank robberies.

5 Replies to "Best.arrest.ever."

  • Tish May 11, 2007 (12:37 pm)

    I once had a friend who once conducted a class-related experiment where he pretended to be homeless for a week and stood by the side of the road begging for money with a cardboard sign. Do you know how much he made on average? $80.00-120.00 a day. Amazing.

  • Christopher Boffoli May 11, 2007 (5:54 pm)

    I was at the West Seattle Nursery today when I observed a young man approaching customers one by one. When he got to me he told me that his car was out of gas and that the police had given him a gas can but he had no money to fill it up and wondered if I would give him a few dollars to help “me and my little sister.” He was probably 20 years old, tall with short brown hair. I didn’t see any little sister with him. His gaunt appearance, acne, and figeting told me that it had probably been a while since his last fix. Everyone I saw told him ‘no’ as did I. When I went back to load my car I noticed that his “completely out of gas” car was miraculously gone.

  • Lois May 11, 2007 (8:34 pm)

    Kudos to Officer Ralph Wilson! I had heard about the robbery suspect being apprehended, but not about Officer Wilson’s role.

    A) Christopher Boffoli’s description of the young man – “gaunt appearance, acne, and fidgeting” – fits the appearance of a methamphatemine user.

    B) No officer I know would give a motorist an empty gas can; (assistance perhaps, depending on the circumstances, but not a gas can).

  • The House May 11, 2007 (9:19 pm)

    If we could find a way to turn people that beg for money into fossil fuels our gas prices could be potentially lower.

    Deep thoughts by Jack Handy……

  • Chet May 15, 2007 (9:25 am)

    Amen House.

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