Thieves hit the Bellevue landslide-affected neighborhood but didn’t escape much, thanks to a brave 77-year-old woman.
Residents have been evacuated from seven homes in the neighborhood since Monday’s landslide, and burglars tried to take advantage.
Neighbor Dan Thai said the looters even took a few bags and bolt cutters from the partially collapsed house, which still leans in a precarious position. He said neighbors used the bolt cutters to steal two bikes from his home.
But when criminals targeted the home of George and Judy Olson, they discovered someone was home and ready to defend their property.
Judy Olson was home alone on Thursday morning. She said she was worried someone was trying to break in.
“I think it’s honey bees, with all these empty houses,” Olson said.
And sure enough, around 7:30 a.m. Thursday, she says she heard a noise.
“Somebody was out on the bridge trying out the doorknobs, so I grabbed my gun and my mace,” Olson said.
“Then I heard, ‘Bam, bam, bam!’ And I thought, ‘Did something fall into the bridge?’ And that’s where I came here (up the steps). He came in in 10 seconds,” Olson said.
She says she held a pellet gun tightly by her side and got ready. She couldn’t see the intruder’s face – only his legs, because of the angle.
“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to use my biggest voice, my most aggressive voice. This is happening, the thing that I feared the most is happening, and I can handle it,'” Olson said.
“I said, ‘You’re getting the hell out of my house!’ And he went, ‘Holy shit!’ and I left,” she said.
Olson is 77 and her husband is almost 82.
“We are not young spring chickens. But I’ve been living a long life and I’m not going to let somebody come in and do this to me,” Olson said. “They’re not scared, they’re aggressive – until he sees my gun.”
“I was scared and I was proud. They picked the wrong house because it turned out we were the second house they tried to rob, and they left the area,” his son said. husband, George Olson.
Neighbors checking their homes on Friday say they believe Judy Olson saved the thieves from getting away with more.
“Good lady, my God. Very admirable,” said Jeiling Zhang, a neighbor.
“Just, like, oh wow! She’s our hero now,” Roy Goh, another neighbor, said.
Bellevue Police provide 24/7 security to the neighborhood, which residents say brings great peace of mind.
Crews restored power to the neighborhood on Friday. Bellevue Police said officers would not prevent residents from returning, but the City of Bellevue said until the collapsed house is stabilized, people should definitely avoid the area.
When this work will begin is still being determined.