The in basket: A few months ago, Gwen H. of South Kitsap told me of an experience that may provide added incentive to back out of a shopping center parking spot slowly and carefully.
She was at Fred Meyer on Sedgwick Road walking to her car, she said.
“Further up the row of cars, was a white pick-up truck in the center of the area between rows, just waiting.
“I got into my car and looked around and slowly began to back up. When I had moved a foot or two, the white truck quickly drove into place behind me and halted.
” I did have my eyes on the mirror and was able to stop just in time.
“He drove on, slowly. I pulled out and followed him toward the exit.
“But, before the exit, he turned right back into the lot and I saw that he already had a previous
large dent on the side of his truck… right where I would have hit him, if I hadn’t stopped in time.
“I am a 50ish woman, was dressed fairly well (I look like I should have insurance).
“Putting it all together, I think he was stalking the lot, setting up an accident for cash.
“Am I too suspicious, or what do you think was going on here?
“What should someone do if they feel they were set up for an accident?”
The out basket: I told her that parking and reporting the close call to store security would be a good idea. Beyond that, I asked Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department if they had had any complaints about such a tactic, and what advice he’d have for Gwen.
“I’ve checked with our call receivers and none of them recall handling phone call complaints of this nature,” Scott said.
“Now… to the question of what to do?
n Obtain as much description of the suspicious vehicle and driver as possible, ie: color, make and model of vehicle and certainly the vehicle’s license plate.
n Gender and physical description of the driver.
n Attempt to locate any persons nearby who may have witnessed this suspicious action and obtain their name(s) and contact information.
n Call 9-1-1 to report the incident. Request contact at the scene by the jurisdictional law enforcement agency.”