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Resident's photos help capture alleged serial burglar in Federal Way
The recent arrest of two alleged serial burglars in Federal Way has led to a dramatic drop in burglaries in the city, as highlighted by Federal Way Police Chief Brian Wilson's report to the city council on July 3.
One of the alleged serial burglars, Amanda W. Macklin, was put away with the help of watchful resident Carla Ackley, who noted Macklin's presence in her neighborhood one day back in March.
Ackley found Macklin's behavior to be so suspicious that she even posted photos of the alleged burglar at her blog, www.federalwaywa.blogspot.com. Those photos ultimately helped put Macklin behind bars, according to police spokeswoman Cathy Schrock.
Ackley contacted police on March 23, 2012, about suspicious circumstances at her neighbor's house, leading to the identification of two burglary suspects that were wanted on burglary warrants out of Spokane, Schrock said.
One of the two women that Ackley identified back in March was the woman Chief Wilson referred to. After being arrested on the Spokane warrants, one of the suspects returned to the South King County area and continued to commit several burglaries a day, Schrock said.
"This female was taken into custody by the King County Sheriff's Office and the ATF was also involved," Schrock said. "They contacted FWPD to allow us to interview her and clear many of our burglary cases that she was responsible for."
Macklin is alleged to have committed the burglaries in Federal Way, and is also alleged to have committed burglaries throughout South King County. Macklin herself was charged last month in Spokane for stealing a Homeland Security officer's identification in order to pawn two stolen rifles in November 2011.
Ackley described the circumstances of March 23.
"I was working on the computer and noticed a car out front, and I thought it was the mail truck," Ackley said. "When I went and looked, I saw it was a car parked out in front of my home and around the backside of my neighbor's home. It looked suspicious, so that is why I wrote the plate down and took pictures. Also, seeing someone wait at the back of the car with a popped trunk was weird as well."
"I am just glad I was able to notice this and help," she added.
Schrock said that citizen involvement like this helps combat crimes in neighborhoods, and sends a message that Federal Way police try to convey to residents at every opportunity.
"During all our community meetings, we encourage community members to become familiar with their neighbors, to know the vehicles that belong in the neighborhood and report all suspicious activities or behaviors of individuals," Schrock said. "We encourage the community to record suspicious vehicles' license plates and descriptions and share this information with police."
Macklin is set to appear in King County court on July 13.
Click here to read the original report of Federal Way police busting the burglars.