EVERETT — Police arrested a woman suspected of using box cutters to slash deep gouges into dozens of random vehicles this week in north Everett.
Laura Stalder was getting ready to go to bed around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday when she heard loud noises outside in the 1700 block of Lombard Avenue. At first she assumed it was kids, because fireworks were going off. When she looked out the window, Stalder saw a woman beside her pickup and asked her to move away from the truck.
That’s when she realized it was the woman, not kids, who’d been making all the noise. The woman didn’t respond coherently. Stalder stayed inside, called 911 and watched from her safe spot. The damage to the pickup was extensive — gouged paint in lines and circles from hood to bumper, a broken mirror and a blade left embedded in a tire.
“She just really went to town,” Stalder said.
Police noted the “entire truck” was covered in knife marks.
“The scratches were so deep that it was obvious whoever had caused the damage to the vehicle took their time,” an Everett police officer wrote in a report.
The vandal left south on Lombard, in a gray sweatshirt, with dark blocks printed under the sleeves.
A police dog handler helped to search for the saboteur. A man flagged down the handler, saying the woman had been damaging cars all through the neighborhood. He pointed out a suspect walking south from 19th Street. Police shouted three times that the woman, 33, needed to stop. She told officers to get away. She walked off, then broke into a run, according to the reports. An officer chased her down and grabbed her by her gray sweatshirt. She collapsed to the ground and gave up. She would not talk to police.
Officers counted at least 30 vehicles with damage. The total loss estimate hasn’t been released. The woman was arrested for investigation of first-degree malicious mischief, a felony, suggesting repair costs will exceed $5,000. Everett police left business cards with the case number on damaged vehicles, parked over a stretch of two blocks.
Brian Maione walked out of his home on Lombard around 7:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July to find the cards tucked under the windshield wipers of his vehicles, a dark 2018 Honda Fit and a white Nissan NV200 van. Both were new. The van still had temporary tags.
The Honda got the worst of it — deep white parallel gouges along the doors, the hood and even the roof. An American flag decal in the shape of the United States had been slashed apart on a back window. Maione bought the car six months ago, he said, and it had been driven less than 2,000 miles. His insurance company told him it would cost a $250 deductible per vehicle, and repairs for the Honda could take up to five weeks. An officer told him in an email the woman appeared to be either on drugs, in the midst of a mental crisis, or both.
“So what is she doing on the street?” Maione said. “I think that’s the big question. … It isn’t how it happened, but why it happened.”
An Everett District Court judge set bail Thursday at $2,500 for the woman, who is a resident of the Lake Goodwin area. Police had asked for her to be held in jail because she had shown “blatant disregard for the property of others with no signs of remorse.”
Police were still investigating the incident Thursday. Tips and information can be directed to Capt. Jeraud Irving at 425-754-2130.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.