Highlights from the weekly report (May 1) from City of Lakewood Manager, Andrew Neiditz to the Mayor and Council Members:
- PROAC conducts stolen DVDs investigation: In September 2007, the Police Department’s Proactive Property Crimes Unit (PROAC) started an investigation into a subject that was paying boosters to steal DVDs from area retailers so that she could resell them at the Starlite Swap Meet. The subject was eventually identified and located. Several boosters were arrested during the past year who confirmed they were stealing DVDs for this subject but would not cooperate further with the investigation. In March 2009, PROAC was able to identify a person that was willing to sell DVDs to the suspect, presenting them as stolen. The 150 plus DVDs needed for this operation were provided to us by Target Stores Investigation Division, who also assisted with video surveillance during the controlled exchanges. The PROAC unit secured a court order for body wires and audio surveillance was conducted as well. The suspect was recorded ordering DVDs, telling them what stores to avoid and reminding the boosters to not get caught. The investigation netted 3 search warrants, a residence, a vehicle and the swap meet location. The search warrants brought the recovery of over 1,500 DVDs still in the factory wrappers, and the suspect was arrested at the swap meet. This investigation revealed that the subject had cost area retailers between $800,000 to $1,200,000 in product loss and lost sales. The investigation is continuing into other subjects engaged in the same criminal activity based out of other retail locations in Lakewood. The arrested subject was charged with Organized Retail Theft, Possession of Stolen Property and Trafficking in Stolen Property. The Prosecutor’s Office is also exploring the charge of Leading Organized Crime.
- City Probation Officer honored: Jeanette Matthews was named Probation Officer of the Year by the WA State Misdemeanant Corrections Association.
- Military base school facilities tour: The mayor and city manager joined representatives from Congressmen Norm Dicks and Adam Smith’s offices, the Clover Park School District, and BCRA on a tour of military base schools on April 30th. The tour included visits to Hillside Elementary and Greenwood Elementary on Fort Lewis, as well as the proposed site of a new middle school on base. A comprehensive review of facilities needs for the growing military population will be a part of the OEA (Office of Economic Adjustment) grant from DoD, in which the City and the School District are participating.
- National Urban League CEO presents “The State of Black America”: On April 28, the city manager attended the Tacoma Urban League’s annual business meeting in Tacoma at which former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, the CEO of the National Urban League, was the speaker. Dorothy Anderson, the local urban league president, discussed with the city manager that Lakewood is in the area served by the Tacoma Urban League, and she requested to meet with us in Lakewood to discuss opportunities.
- Tillicum Neighborhood Plan: Following its introduction at last Monday’s City Council meeting, the draft Tillicum Neighborhood Plan is now available for public review online. The draft plan focuses on Tillicum’s future in light of the development potential that new sewer service will bring to the community. It suggests a series of actions and general time frames intended to further improvements, both “on the ground” and to the overall quality of life, in the Tillicum neighborhood. The Planning Advisory Board will review the draft plan on May 6, and additional public meetings will be scheduled. Reference copies of the plan are available during regular business hours at the Tillicum and Lakewood Library reference desks and the second-floor lobby at City Hall. Individual copies may be obtained for the cost of reproduction.
- Tillicum/Woodbrook Sewer Project Construction Management Team introduction to public: Public Works will be attending the Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association meeting on Thursday, May 7 as the first of two such meetings geared towards introducing to the community the city’s construction management team for the Tillicum/Woodbrook Sanitary Sewer project, giving them some insight as to how the construction work is to be carried out and to answer any questions they may have. The second meeting will be held later in the month and the department will be specifically inviting those property owners and tenants whose property fronts on the project.
- Officers in “Tunnel of Hope” at Oakwood: Neighborhood police team members (two CSOs and three officers) participated in the “Tunnel of Hope” at Oakwood Elementary School on April 14th, in which they greeted the students as they arrived at school and encouraged them to do their best on the upcoming WASL test. The event was sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club Hope Center.
- Officers at Southgate talk about bullying and gangs: Neighborhood police team officers went out to Southgate Elementary to present a power-point to a classroom of students on bullying and gangs. In addition to the presentation, pamphlets with crosswords and word finds as well as coloring books on how NOT to be a Bully were handed out to the students and teacher. The children were given information to take home to parents on the serious problem of bullying at school. Your browser may not support display of this image.