The Stakeout/Columbia City/Tues Nov 6/10:30 pm: Officer S. A. Marks writes: "I contacted a B/F [black female] [who lives 42nd Avenue South and South Brandon Street] regarding a suspicious van that was occupied by a white male, and had been parked in front of her home from about 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., blocking her driveway. The black woman stated she first saw the van, with the same driver, parked in front of her house at about 11:30 a.m. the previous day, 11/05/01. But the van left after a few minutes.

"Tonight, the van was there when she got home at 5:30 p.m. The white male was seated in the front seat, with the dome light on, reading a newspaper. The B/F stated the white male turned off the dome light as soon as she pulled up to her blocked driveway. The B/F stated it was then impossible to see into the van because the windows were so deeply tinted.

"Later in the evening, she approached the van and asked the man what he was doing. The man quickly flashed a gold-colored round badge about the same size as an SPD badge. The white male stated he was waiting for a car to drive by. The B/F noticed another white male, who was reading a newspaper in the rear of the truck. The white male in the front seat did not indicate which agency he worked for. Another B/F who lives next door also complained to me about the mysterious van. There is a developing fear regarding this van and the white male driver. [I gave both B/Fs] SPD business cards with my name and a case number."

"U.S. Customs raids Seattle business in terrorist money probe"/Columbia City/Wed Nov 7/12:00 noon: Seattle Times staff writes: "A money transfer company in Seattle's Rainier Valley was raided by U.S. Customs agents this morning as part of the Bush administration's move to freeze the assets of suspected terrorists and related businesses. Barakat Wire Transfer, located on South Brandon Street... has three employees and estimated annual sales of $140,000.... Those targeted by the raids have suspected ties to Osama bin Laden's financial networks.... The Seattle building [in which Barakat Wire Transfer operated] is a run-down, two-story structure. There is a martial arts and fitness studio upstairs."

Phone Tapping Girlfriends/Columbia City/Tues Nov 6/12:30 pm: A woman reported to Officer M. Goetz that for some time now she's been hearing strange noises (beeps and clicks) on her phone when using it. She is not crazy, but is certain that some person or agency is listening in on her calls. She usually hears the electronic sounds when talking with her girlfriends. She called the phone company, who promptly performed a line check but found nothing unusual.

Our Man in the Land of Enchantment/New Mexico/Fri Nov 9/10:00 pm: Today, King County's Office of Taxation received a letter from an Aragon, New Mexico man, who said he owned a piece of undeveloped property in King County and was upset about the "skyrocketing taxes." "The piece of undeveloped land increased in value [and is now worth] $31,700, although it is vacant!" wrote the angry New Mexican, who is 71 years old and lives on Social Security. "I cannot and will not pay the taxes!" He also said that if the sheriff came to take his empty land he would drive up to King County and physically defend his "rights as a citizen." Though the man from the Land of Enchantment made no direct threats to anyone in the letter, the tax supervisor decided to report the matter to the police.

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