Northwest NEWS

October 12, 1998

Local News

Night of vandalism hits Canterbury

   by Andrew Walgamott
   Staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--It's puzzling and dismaying. Why would anybody enter a half-dozen vehicles, break off turn-signals, destroy some yard decorations but not others, and yet steal hardly a thing from seven different residents of a peaceful, enclosed downtown Woodinville community?
   It's a mystery residents of Canterbury Square have been confronted with following the events of the night of Oct. 5.
   Called "vicious vandalism" by one, the incident has some Canterbury residents scared and others realizing it's time to lock their doors.
   The word "why" was on the tip of many tongues. The word "bizarre" is just as apt.
   Lee Willson, 70, said the rear windshield wiper blade on her Ford Explorer was bent out of shape and had to be replaced.
   "Right now, I can't use it," Willson said Tuesday. Later in the week, the rains returned to Puget Sound.
   Across the street, Rod Olzendam, 77, said he found the turn signal, wheel tilt and cruise control levers broken off or dangling from wires inside his Ford Thunderbird. A repair shop told him it would be $220 in parts and labor to replace.
   Shirley Van Noy said it will cost her $250 to replace the broken windshield wiper apparatus on her Chevrolet Celebrity. Two others also had turn indicators broken off, according to George Scrimshaw, homeowner's association president.
   Olzendam's neighbor, Rusty Garr, says someone got into his 1978 Chevy Luv pickup and scattered the contents of the glove compartment across the seat.
   And near the entrance to Canterbury, Barbara Dines said inexpensive speakers were stolen out of the cab of her son's truck.
   Van Noy's, Garr's, Olzendam's and Dine's vehicles were unlocked while Willson's was locked.
   Whoever rifled through Garr's truck apparently didn't bother with his and his wife's new Chrysler which was parked in front of the Chevy. The Chrysler was also locked and equipped with an alarm.
   The incident goes beyond vandalism to cars.
   Willson said she heard a bang at her back window and later found her thermometer broken and a bird feeder down on the ground. But Olzendam said there was no damage to a ceramic Halloween scene set up near his vehicle.
   Though he himself wasn't bothered by the vandalism, Olzendam added it was frightening for others at Canterbury.
   "Life as we know it in the world is sneaking into Canterbury Square. It's too bad," Olzendam said.
   Canterbury is home to many elderly residents; the average age is 78, according to Scrimshaw.
   "We've always felt so safe, but now I don't know," Willson said.
   Woodinville Police Chief Ken Wardstrom says there will be increased patrols in the area.
   Dines, a 20-year resident this November, said there have been isolated break-ins and vandalism in the past, but nothing to this extent.
   Scrimshaw says the peace and quiet is a selling point. "One of the assets for folks buying here [is] there's never been any crime."
   He said he is prepared to offer a $500 reward for the apprehension of the individual or individuals involved.
   "I don't see how they can look in the mirror without disgust," Scrimshaw said.
   Ironically, this month's Canterbury newsletter, which was distributed the afternoon before the vandalisms occurred, warns "We may be reaching the 'lock your door' stage, where once integrity made that unnecessary."
   That's just what Olzendam said he's going to do.
   "I don't lock my doors, but I will now," he said.