Woman pepper sprayed while trying to confront package thief near Green Lake


    Woman pepper sprayed while trying to confront package thief near Green Lake (PHOTO: KOMO News)<p>{/p}

    SEATTLE -- A woman says she was pepper sprayed in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood when she recently confronted someone who was trying to snatch a package from a neighbor's porch.

    "She walked by and she was ducking and weaving," Laura Grace told KOMO News.

    The woman’s odd behavior caught Grace's eye as she looked out the front window of a Green Lake area home on New Years Eve, she said.

    She watched as the woman poked a package that had just been delivered to a neighbor’s porch next door, Grace said.

    Something just didn’t seem right.

    "I said ‘She’s stealing that package!’" Grace told KOMO News. "So, I ran out there and yelled at her and said ‘Hey, leave that package alone. It’s not yours.’"

    A nearby surveillance camera captured what happened next.

    Grace said she walked over to grab the package when the woman turned around and confronted her.

    "She got kinda bowed up and said ‘Yeah, I know it’s not my package,’" Grace said. "And as she was coming toward me, I was like ‘What’s going on? What do I do?’ And she picked some pepper spray out of her pocket and she just sprayed me."

    Grace said the intense burning in her eyes lasted for 30-45 minutes even after she took a shower.

    Police were called along with the woman her family was staying with.

    "Just thinking about the fact that not only are they stealing, but they’re potentially armed and dangerous. And that part was really quite a shake-up, I think, for us," said homeowner Sam Lamb.

    A series of thefts prompted Lamb and her husband to install a surveillance camera on their home about a year ago, she said.

    What happened to Grace on New Year's Eve took things to a whole new level, Lamb said.

    "Just seeing some action and also making sure that people are safe - I think that’s the most important thing," Lamb said.

    Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and the package was never taken from Lamb's neighbor.

    Grace said she’d likely act again if confronted with the same situation.

    For her, it’s important for neighbors to look out for each other.

    "Have a community group on Facebook or a Nextdoor.com page and be in contact with each other,” Grace said. “When this kind of stuff happens, we can mobilize as a community.

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