Students’ Cars Broken into Behind WCC


Diagram showing the location of the break-ins in relation to Lakeside’s property. (Zane R. ’24)

Around 10:30 a.m. on February 7, four cars parked on 4th Avenue NE behind the WCC were broken into. All four cars had the windows smashed in, and some had personal belongings taken from inside. Immediately following the break-ins, Ms. Lesoing sent out a brief email to the entire school asking for the owner of one of the cars to meet her behind the WCC.

After seeing Ms. Lesoing’s email, Alban Dennis, an Upper School drama teacher, was one of the first to go and check what had happened. He, like many other Lakeside teachers, parks behind the WCC on 4th Ave. However, most teachers park on Lakeside property which spans from the boathouse to the book depot. The cars broken into were off school property, on the portion of the street just south of the book depot.

When asked about damages to their car and what Lakeside had done to help following the break-ins, one victim said that they hadn’t had anything taken, probably because they didn’t have anything valuable in their car. They also said that “the damage was just one of my windows being smashed and Lakeside said that because I was parked on a city street, technically they can’t do anything.” Lakeside did, however, give them a link to report the break-in and also let them take the rest of the day off. 

Another victim reported that the passenger window of their car had been shattered, leaving glass on the seat and the ground next to the car. Their glove box and console had been rummaged through but nothing had been taken besides some cash. After this student went to talk to the administration, “Mr. Bonar wanted to be helpful; he reached out to maintenance to ask if they could help clear the glass from our cars. Clayton was amazing as he came out with a vacuum and helped us clean our cars and then also brought bags and duct tape to seal the open windows.”

As many students will recall, a similar incident occurred in October 2021 when eight cars were broken into in the Stimson parking lot on the other side of 1st Ave NE. Following these two break-in incidents, many students have wondered what they can do to prevent these thefts from happening. 

When you park, don’t leave things in your car.

Mr. Dawkins, Lakeside’s head of facilities, suggested some measures students can take to protect their belongings. “When you park, don’t leave things in your car,” he said. “Give no one a reason to break a dang window and take whatever it is you have in your car. People will only break into your car if they see something of value.” 

Additionally, Mr. Dawkins advises against students parking on 4th Ave NE, an area prone to crime because of the street’s easy access to NE 145th St. The city of Shoreline is currently working on changes to 145th St, which include making 4th Ave a dead end that does not intersect 145th. Mr. Dawkins hopes that this will decrease crime in that area as robbers will not have an easy way in and out. Lakeside is also planning to revamp their security, and while they are still in the planning phase, Mr. Dawkins is working hard along with Dr. Bynum and Mr. Boccuzzi to deter these kinds of crimes from happening again in the future.