Scooter-driving senior citizen calls neighbor to report crime

TACOMA, Wash. -- It turns out there's no age limit to fighting crime.

An 85-year old Tacoma woman is being praised for stepping in to alert her neighbor to what may have been an attempted break-in at a small day spa Saturday morning.

Surveillance cameras captured a man at the Three Cedars Day Spa, located at 3317 Pacific Avenue, hurling rocks at the business just after 4 a.m. on Saturday. The man breaks a large window at the front of the spa, and then hurls a few more rocks at the business before running off.

"It was just pretty blatant vandalism. It wasn't an accident," said spa owner Carmen Lane. "At first you just see the window kind of shatter. He just hurls a rock again and you see the window break even further."

The spa's alarm never went off, so Lane wasn't initially alerted to what happened. As the sun rose that morning, a number of people walked by the spa and saw the window, according to video of the area. It wasn't until five hours after the crime that an 85-year old neighbor called the business to alert them to what happened.

"(Everyone else) just kept walking. This is a lady I've never met before and she is a complete stranger," added Lane. "I called her back and thanked her, and then I headed in (to work) to check it out myself."

When she arrived at the spa, Lane also saw how her neighbor stumbled upon the damage in the first place. Video shows the woman, on a scooter, walking her dog. The woman then drives her scooter back in the other direction, stops, and digs out a cell phone to call the spa and warn them.

After scoping out the damage, Lane went to Pacific Towers - a tall condo building next to the spa - in search of the good Samaritan. It was at that moment that neighbors became friends.

"I think we need more people like you and more people that think like you!" Lane said on Tuesday as she hugged Shirley 'Kay' Lancaster, the woman who made the phone call. "I think you're a good person."

Lancaster said she was walking her Shih Tzu, Rudy, Saturday morning, when she noticed the vandalism.

"I just did what I would do under normal circumstances," Lancaster said. "It was nothing."

Lane offered Lancaster some spa treatments Tuesday as a way of saying thanks.

"I was so appreciative," added Lane. "Even if she had called and I had already known about it, I know I would've been grateful."