A man reportedly entered her consignment store and left behind a bag with a robe, loose rope and other items inside.
Leona Coakley-Spring said she was traumatized after a man entered her Redmond consignment store Wednesday evening and left a bag containing a Ku Klux Klan robe.
“Last night, I hardly slept,” said Coakley-Spring, who is black. “This is just so horrific, it makes me walk around all paranoid.”
Redmond police are searching for the man who reportedly visited the shop, From Rags to Riches at 16648 Redmond Way, shortly before 5:45 p.m., according to police.
Owner Coakley-Spring, 66, said the man first sold clothes to her in what she described as a “nice and normal” interaction before acting suspicious. He then fled the store, leaving behind the bag with the robe, a loose rope and other items inside, police said.
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“The guy was so nice. I thought, ‘Oh, it’s a priest robe. I’m sure he didn’t mean to leave a priest robe,’” she said. “Then I saw the hood, and the hood had two eyes cut out, and then it came to me: He’s from a hate group, and he wanted me to open that bag in front of him.”
The robe has two patches on the back that resemble the blood-drop symbol associated with the KKK, police said. Detectives are working with experts to determine what exactly the symbols mean, police spokeswoman Becky Range said.
Investigators believe the man is white, in his mid-20s, 5 feet 10, with an athletic build and brown hair, according to a news release from the department. The incident remains under investigation.
“We don’t know exactly what’s happening,” Range said. “What we really want to do is interview this man.”
Detectives ask anyone with information on the man’s identity or on the incident to call 425-556-2669 or email email@example.com.
Meanwhile, Coakley-Spring, who is native to the Bahamas, said by drawing attention to the incident, perhaps people in Redmond and elsewhere will notice her community isn’t immune to racism.
“I don’t deserve treatment like this,” she said. “I just happened to be the one they chose.”