The case of the stolen van

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Northwest School for Hearing-Impaired
Recently we published a story about a much-needed van being stolen from the Shoreline School for the Hearing-Impaired. Staff and police held out little hope for the vehicle's return in usable condition.

The school started a fund for a replacement van, knowing that the insurance would only cover a portion of the replacement cost.

However, the school was delighted when the van was found a few days later and seemed to be in fairly decent shape.

Peggy Mayer, Ed.D., Head of School, shares more of the story. 

The thieves broke into the locked garage by jimmying the lock on the door. They then used bolt cutters to cut through the heavy duty padlock on the key box. I was amazed that they went to the trouble to carefully close the key box and arrange the padlock to disguise that it had been cut; and carefully closed the doors after they'd taken the van out to make it appear like nothing was amiss.

We've taken precautions to increase security around the garage so it's similar to the great security we have on the school buildings, though I'm a little loathe to specify what all so thieves can read through the list! 

The great folks at Bill Pierre Chevy checked out the van for us after we got it back, and there was about $1000 worth of damage to one hub that was done, probably through rough use. We don't yet have it back from repair.

We so appreciate the donations to the van replacement fund. We are contacting everyone who donated and asking if their donation can be used toward the repairs that are needed.

While the van was gone, I got a call from an awesome Shoreline Firefighter who was gathering information about what happened and what help we could use so he could look into what help might be available through the great charity and community work that their firefighters participate in. We have a great relationship with the folks at Shoreline fire: some of the firefighters have relatives who have come to our school. Their community education branch has done some fantastic fire safety training for the kids. The Shoreline Fire Department is awesome.

Luckily, the van was recovered. A maintenance worker at an apartment complex in Lynnwood reported that a vehicle that didn't belong in their parking lot had been there several days. Officer Beers from the Lynnwood Police went to investigate, checked the license plates, and found out that Shoreline Police had reported the van stolen. We got a call and were able to go down and pick it up.  

The floors inside the van were covered with broken glass, our first aid backpack and child car seats were missing. But the thief left behind a toothbrush (with cover), toothpaste, a small sketchbook, and two tiny vials of anti-aging serum. So obviously the person who stole our van is a young looking artist with good teeth!

We're happy the van is back because it is in great shape with relatively low miles and we need it to shuttle our students around. It's terrific that we got to leave for the holiday break with our van back and having experienced the support of the Shoreline and south Snohomish County communities.


2 comments:

Anonymous,  December 20, 2012 at 1:54 AM  

Being hearing-impaired myself, I appreciate the work that the NW School does for its students, and am happy to know that their van was recovered. Kudos to everyone who has helped the school! I hope the perp will be caught eventually and forced to pay restitution - the frequency of these types of crimes, especially involving organizations that serve children, is pretty disheartening.

Tom Jamieson,  December 20, 2012 at 6:28 AM  

Thanks for providing additional details of this story. Dr. Mayer's ability to maintain her sense of humor under such circumstances is admirable. I was equally impressed with her remarks at the September 4 Shoreline City Council meeting. These children are in good hands!

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