Lake Stevens parents of neglected children in trouble again

LAKE STEVENS — Amanda Foley and Mark Dorson haven’t changed their criminal ways.

The Lake Stevens couple lost custody of their children earlier this year after abandoning them without food in a filthy house. They are in trouble again, this time in connection with mail thefts in town.

Foley, 33, already is awaiting sentencing for a fencing charge. She and Dorson were accused of swiping a $4,000 telescope from a garage last year.

She was arrested again late Tuesday night after reportedly being found with stolen packages and a fake gun. Dorson, also 33, allegedly ran off as police arrived.

Tuesday’s troubles started about 11:30 p.m. along 17th Avenue SE in Lake Stevens. A 911 caller reported apparent mail theft involving a white pickup.

Lake Stevens officers recognized Foley near the truck, according to the arrest report. They saw what appeared to be a handgun tucked between the front seats. They began to arrest Foley for investigation of being a felon with a firearm, but it turned out to be a realistic-looking air pistol, officer Kristen Parnell wrote.

Parnell described Foley as homeless, with a history of failing to make court appearances.

The truck was locked, and Foley told officers the key was inside, according to the report. She does not have a driver’s license.

She reportedly gave them permission to use a tool to break into the truck for the search.

She initially said she was looking into people’s mailboxes but hadn’t taken anything, Parnell wrote.

Foley then said there were two stolen packages underneath the seat, but she was going to take them back, officers allege. The key to the truck was actually with Dorson.

Foley was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of mail theft, a felony. She remained there Wednesday. Officers searched the area of her arrest and found at least 12 mailboxes that apparently had been tampered with along 88th Avenue SE and 19th Street SE. Lake Stevens police are recommending additional charges for attempted mail theft.

They also plan to seek charges for Dorson for mail theft.

As for the June fencing charge, Dorson’s mother told detectives the stolen telescope was pawned to bail Dorson out of jail, according to court papers.

Foley and Dorson were charged with second-degree trafficking in stolen property. The charge was reduced to attempted second-degree trafficking, a gross misdemeanor. They are scheduled to be sentenced in February.

They face up to a year in jail. Under the plea agreement, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Michael Boska plans to recommend a 10-day sentence for Dorson and a 5-day sentence for Foley.

Just last week, the pair was charged in connection with a car chase in November. They are accused of stealing a sport utility vehicle in Marysville. The owner was able to track a cellphone left in the stolen SUV.

Marysville police caught up with them on Hilltop Road. A man was standing outside the vehicle and there was a pickup truck parked nearby. An officer aimed his spotlight on the vehicle.

The man walked away from the SUV and jumped in the driver’s seat of the pickup. A woman also hopped into the pickup.

The officer hit the lights and siren on his patrol car but the pickup sped off. The officer gave chase but could not keep up. He estimated that Dorson was driving up to 80 mph.

The officer found the pickup a short distance away. Dorson had crashed into some bushes. Both doors were open and no one was around.

The officer heard branches breaking. He announced that he was bringing out a dog and if the pair didn’t surrender, they’d risk being bitten.

No one replied.

Another officer spotted two people running off. The officer tracked Dorson to a ditch.

“Take it easy on me,” Dorson told the officers. He crawled out of the ditch and was arrested. Foley was arrested a few minutes later.

Police suspect that Dorson and Foley were going to steal the SUV’s tires. The lug nuts were missing. They were found in the crashed pickup.

The couple no longer have their children, one of whom nearly died from hypothermia. The children have been placed in other homes since being taken into state custody in February. Foley and Dorson each were sentenced to six months in jail for misdemeanor abandonment.

Something new has happened in the couple’s lives since, besides their repeated arrests: They were married in August, county records show.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449;

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