Police: poltergeist turns out to be woman on 'meth rampage'

SEATTLE -- Police say a University District couple called 911 Wednesday night after returning to their condo to find remnants of what appeared to be "paranormal activity."

The couple said the condo had been ransacked and someone -- or something -- had torn open their mail, spread clothes throughout the house and smeared lotion on a door handle.

If that wasn't bizarre enough, the couple said the soles of their shoes had been removed and a single screw had been screwed into a piece of scrap wood and crammed into space between a door and and its frame. An upside down can of paint had also mysteriously appeared on their toilet, according to police.

The only clue the couple had to work with was an unknown purse found on their bed. Inside the purse was a 27-year-old woman's ID card.

Officers searched the condo for obvious signs of a break in, but they found none. The only other way to get inside the home would have been to shimmy up a tree and climb through a window, police said.

Baffled, the officer dusted for fingerprints, but once again came up empty. The couple said nothing appeared to have been stolen -- save for $50 in cash -- so the stumped officers returned to the West Precinct to document the spooky case.

But a short time later the couple called police yet again to say they had been hearing noises coming from underneath their bed.

"Now facing the possibility of having to figure out how to arrest a poltergeist, officers dutifully sped back to the University District condo," police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said in a Thursday evening blotter post.

The officers arrived in time to see a 27-year-old woman emerge from the couple's bedroom.

The woman, who turned out to be the owner of the mysterious purse, appeared to be having a panic attack, according to police. Officers called medics to treat the woman, at which point she told them she had been on a "meth rampage" for several days and had broken into several homes in the neighborhood.

Officers arrested the woman and booked her into King County Jail for investigation of burglary.