LAKEWOOD, Colo. - A woman concerned about an accused stalker said it took days for the Lakewood Police Department to provide her with critical information to keep her safe. The department told CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia it was a case of miscommunication.
-- STRANGE TEXTS --
Police contacted Shaina Wilson after finding her personal information in the suspect's phone. She had received lewd photos from his number, but at the time, she didn't know who it was. And investigators explained she wasn't the only victim.
It started when a laundry company contractor recommended by Wilson's apartment management company came to her apartment to install a washer and dryer while she wasn't home. She assumed the company would provide an escort, but it didn't.
"He provided his driver's license and they gave him a key to the apartment and they allowed him to walk out of the office," she said. "I have no idea how long he was here."
Police believe it was the installer that sent the lewd photos. Wilson started getting strange texts shortly after his visit -- that addressed her by name.
"He was sending inappropriate pictures, lewd pictures," she said. "And text messages that were very weird."
Wilson blocked the number and erased the texts. Then on April 23, she got a call from a Lakewood Police detective.
"She informed me that they had found my contact information in his cell phone," Wilson said. "She said that the manner in which he had been contacting me was similar to the way he had been contacting other victims that they had already identified.”
Wilson said she then spent days trying unsuccessfully to get more information about the man.
"I don't know what this person looks like. I don't know his name. I have no idea who this person is, so he could be anybody that I encounter on a regular basis and I wouldn't know," she said.
Wilson said Lakewood Police told her to call the records department. She was informed the police report would take three to five days to produce. The clerk also recommended she call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for a copy of the mug shot. But that office refused, saying she was not listed as a victim.
In fact, the District Attorney had not yet added her name to the list, as it was reviewing her statement.
Meanwhile, the accused stalker had bonded out of jail, and was back on the street.
"I have no way to protect myself from this person," said Wilson.
-- A LACK OF COMMUNICATION --
Lakewood Police Sergeant Michelle Wagner says procedures are in place to help victims in cases like Wilson's. She said the problem in this case was a lack of communication.
"The detective had given her the procedure for getting a copy of this report and assumed she had done that," Wagner said. "And we were none the wiser that she never did obtain a copy of the report until truly you were calling me."
She said three to five days is the standard timeline for police report requests -- but it doesn't apply to victims.
"She should have been told, 'Absolutely, we'll get you a copy of the report right away, you're a victim so there's no charge,' and hopefully would have facilitated that instead of telling her three to five days."
Police are waiting to release the suspect's mug shot publicly until they have complete a line-up, but have now provided to Wilson after CALL7 Investigators began asking questions..
"Ultimately we want to give her what she needs to feel comfortable, to feel safe," Wagner said. "We can always work on communication and that's the takeaway for us … we truly want to bend over backwards for them and we will."
The CALL7 Investigators have learned that Lakewood police have identified at least four victims besides Wilson. Meanwhile, the owner of the laundry company confirms that his company is cooperating with the investigation and has told police that the suspect completed as many as a thousand service calls, increasing concerns there may be many more victims.
7NEWS has agreed to wait to identify the suspect until other potential victims are contacted and the line-up is complete. A background check by the CALL7 Investigators shows no previous criminal record.