It seems that no one is exempt from the recent series of burglaries and car prowls plaguing the towns of east Snohomish County, not even the man known as the Highway 2 Freedom Runner.
When Sgt. First Class Dave Sivewright, also known as the Freedom Runner, went out to warm up his truck last Thursday morning, he discovered several items missing.
Among the items stolen were his father’s Vietnam dog tags, along with a silver band-style wedding ring that had also belonged to his father. A cross that had belonged to his grandfather was also taken.
Sivewright, who lives near downtown Sultan with his fiancée, Christina Nelson, was dismayed to find items of such significant sentimental value missing.
“He was devastated,” said Nelson.
His truck, which had been parked in front of their residence, had also been searched. Nelson and Sivewright suspect that the incident likely took place during the wee hours of the morning on Thursday, April 24. According to neighbors, there was an individual out on the street at approximately 3 a.m., not near Sivewright’s vehicle, but in the general vicinity of their homes. To the neighbor, he definitely looked out of place.
“They said he was out there and he was barefoot,” said Nelson. “That he didn’t even have shoes on.”
Unfortunately, Sivewright’s truck was not locked. It was an oversight that Sivewright said he will be careful not to repeat in the future.
“Most of the time I don’t because we’re so tucked away,” said Sivewright.
In addition to the dog tags, ring and cross, all of which had been hanging on his rearview mirror, a black spring-assisted pocketknife was also stolen. Oddly, the thieves didn’t even bother with the small amount of cash that was located in the console.
“They didn’t take the cash that was inside the console, my center console, and you could tell they had gone through that looking for something,” said Sivewright. “I had about five bucks in there plus the change in the front part. None of that was taken. It’s just really weird.”
Nelson and Sivewright fear that the dog tags, which were engraved with his father’s name, Dave Sivewright, Sr., will simply be tossed out by the thief or thieves. While the ring could potentially be taken to a pawnshop, the dog tags don’t have significant monetary value. Nelson is hopeful that, if they get discarded, perhaps someone will find them.
“We probably won’t see the ring again but if he got his dog tags back that would be awesome,” said Nelson.
Many Sultan residents have been negatively impacted by burglaries and car prowls during recent months. One resident, Joseph Stone, has decided to start his own security company called Stone Security Services LLC. Stone became motivated to take some sort of action after a burglar recently snuck into his yard in the middle of the night and stole his son’s bicycle. Stone, who had begun monitoring his property via video surveillance cameras, was able to show police a video recording of the theft.
Wanting to prevent further crime, Stone has, on at least one occasion, gotten up in the middle of the night and taken a quick stroll around his neighborhood.
“It’s extremely frustrating when you move to a small town thinking you are getting away from it all and finding out otherwise,” said Stone.
Stone is the Adjutant for Sultan’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organization and was honored last Thursday at Sultan City Hall when Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick read a proclamation for Loyalty Day. Recently elected as the VFW Junior Vice Commander, Stone will be sworn into that position on May 8. Loyalty Day, which is recognized on May 1, is a legal holiday but not as well-known as Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day due to its lack of federal holiday status.
Sivewright was also in attendance during last week’s Loyalty Day proclamation.
A Sergeant First Class at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Marysville, Sivewright moved to Sultan last summer to live with his girlfriend, Nelson. He has since caused quite a patriotic stir due to his preferred form of exercise; Sivewright regularly runs along U.S. 2 carrying a four-by-six American flag mounted on an eight-foot staff.
Not intending to make a political statement, Sivewright runs with the flag in the name of “pride, duty and honor,” and simply wants to stay in shape and spread a positive message.
Running with the flag keeps him motivated, as does the heartwarming response that he gets from folks driving by. Drivers honk, wave, cheer him on and take photographs; all of which Sivewright acknowledges with a respectful salute as he continues on his way.
Sivewright and Nelson have contributed hours of volunteer time to their community and participate in countless fundraising events, especially events which involve running. Sivewright participated in last year’s Veteran’s Day celebration in Sultan and was honored at Sultan City Hall for his contributions to the event.
The running-themed family also participated in an Oso fundraiser in Arlington on Saturday, in which Nelson’s nephew, Jacob, a junior at Sultan High School, came in first place in the ten kilometer race.
Nearly 1,000 people participated in Saturday’s Oso fundraiser.
Nelson and Sivewright are looking forward to seeking a positive and proactive way to alleviate the troublesome reoccurring theft issue in Sultan. Several different community block watch programs have begun to spring up around the Sultan area, and Nelson stated that it is important to work towards keeping these efforts cohesive.
“This is a nice community,” said Nelson. “We want to keep it that way.”
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office East Precinct officers strongly urge residents to call 911 immediately should they notice anything suspicious in their neighborhoods.
If anyone has any information in regards to the location of Sivewright’s father’s dog tags or any of the other missing items, they are asked to please contact Sivewright via his Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/HWY-2-Freedom-Runner/665996226746058
For more information on Stone’s security company, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/stonesecsvc.
To learn more about Sultan’s existing block watch program, please contact Donna Murphy at Sultan City Hall at (360) 793-2231.