Recent spate of crime is troubling | Editorial

The recent rash of burglaries on Vashon feels harsh – in part because those institutions that got hit hold a special place for a lot of people. Small farms. A garden center. The Catholic church.

Why would someone steal plants? Fertilizer? A cross for a processional?

In light of the kinds of crime the rest of the county faces, our problems seem incredibly minor. Still, this is our home and these are our crimes, affecting people we know and care about. It stings.

Kathy Wheaton, owner of Kathy’s Corner, the latest victim in this crime spree, was philosophical about it. She’s lived here long enough to know these burglaries probably don’t represent a tectonic shift in our cultural landscape but, rather, a brief, bad wave triggered by a couple of bad actors.

Still, the impact is hard on a sole-proprietor shop like hers, already struggling because of the lingering recession. And while Leda Langley at Langley Fine Gardens, another place that was hit, said she’s not “freaking out” and doesn’t want others to do so either, we know she and her family operate on the thinnest of margins.

What can we do? We can head to Kathy’s Corner and buy some flowers for our garden, go to Thriftway or the Farmers Market and buy some of the Langleys’ produce for our dinner table and continue to lobby our lawmakers to do what they can to help our state regain its financial footing. Were that to happen, maybe we’d have a few more resources to address the conditions that give rise to this kind of crime. And maybe the Sheriff’s Office wouldn’t have to keep slashing its budget and reducing its presence on the Island.


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