By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One week ago, a sizable police response at Admiral Chevron caught a few eyes, and brought in a few tips. Getting info on what happened wasn’t easy, even though the topline turned out to be fairly simple: Police spotted a car that turned out to have been stolen, and arrested the man they found at the wheel. But it turns out there’s a lot more to this story, because of who that man is.
You might remember the name Skyelar Hailey (February 2009 mug shot at right), who first made news here for a burglary case two and a half years ago in North Admiral, downgraded to a trespassing conviction, with sentencing in April 2009 that mostly involved community service. That was by no means his first or last brush with the law. He is in jail right now, status “bail denied,” on three issues. Besides the arrest last week, there is a probation hold that traces back to the trespassing case, and a White Center stolen-car case from May that’s still pending. Read on:
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Hailey on Tuesday with possession of a stolen vehicle and making or having vehicle-theft tools, in connection with the arrest last Thursday in West Seattle.
Here’s how court/police documents tell the story: Police passing Admiral Chevron last Thursday afternoon ran the plates on a red 2000 Honda Civic del Sol seen at one of the pumps, and it came up as having been stolen a week earlier from the University District. In the driver’s seat, engine running, was Hailey. Two other people were standing outside the car talking to him, according to a police report, but police determined they were not involved, and weren’t arrested. Police say they found “several shaved vehicle keys of Japanese-make autos” in Hailey’s possession. The car was still running and while police managed to finally turn off the ignition, they couldn’t get the key out, which, their report says, “indicat(es) that the key did not belong to the vehicle. The vehicle was towed from the scene with the key still stuck in the ignition.” Hailey was taken to jail.
The scenario was similar in the most recent case pending against him before last week’s arrest: Hailey was arrested on May 10th in the unincorporated area south of White Center, according to court records. A King County Sheriff’s Deputy had tried to pull him over; he bolted, but was caught. The car he was in belonged to a resident of the Nia Apartments at the Greenbridge development in northern White Center; its owner didn’t even know yet that it had been stolen – she had left it in a “secured” parking garage at her apartment building. The report in this case says he was in possession of the same type of “shaved” keys, for multiple makes of cars.
After his arraignment in the White Center case, online records show, King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts granted his lawyer’s request to allow Hailey out of jail on “personal recognizance.” He had been behind bars 16 days when he got out on May 26th. He was supposed to participate in the CCAP program – but, records show, didn’t show up, so a $10,000 “failure to appear” warrant for his arrest was issued on June 6th. And that was part of what police found in the system when they found Hailey in the stolen Civic at Admiral Chevron a week ago.
Overall, the report in the new West Seattle case summarizes Hailey’s history as “17 arrests on record in Washington State, with additional arrests in Oregon and California. … six felony convictions in Washington, including Burglary 2, Residential Burglary, Theft 1, Theft 2, plus 2 for Harassment/Previous Conviction or Threats to Kill. He also had several gross misdemeanor convictions, including two for Criminal Trespass 1.” Arrest forms for this year’s two cases show him listing a Burien address, though he previously had lived in West Seattle.
Our previous reports would take hours to recap, but here are a few: He spent about half a year in prison after pleading guilty to burglary and theft in October 2009 (WSB coverage here); the case involved the theft of a purse at West Seattle High School and stealing from a nearby acquaintance’s home. After he finished that sentence, he was back in court early this year (WSB coverage here) because he hadn’t shown up for some of the community service he was supposed to do; the judge told him to finish it by June 1st, and released him from jail, where he had spent eight days.
So what next? He is scheduled to answer the newest charge on July 11th.