If the shoe fits – arrest her | Ann Oxrieder


Some situations call for appropriate dress. Luckily for me, I don’t often encounter those situations. But working people, pay attention. What you wear may save your career, your life or at least another entry on your rap sheet.

Each occupation has its own dress requirements, but not everyone in the field follows them. Consider the would-be burglar/fashionista who recently tried — unsuccessfully — to break into a Seattle friend’s house.

My friend came home to find a small window broken in her back door. When the police arrived, they searched the surrounding area, including her deck. They spotted one wedge sandal with a four-inch heel suspended from a tree overlooking the deck and the other lodged in a bush below.  Apparently the burglar had climbed the tree so she could jump to the deck and look for an open entry or a window to break.

Can you believe that? Dressing in shoes other than flats for a burglary? The Internet has one jillion image consultants, personal shoppers, fashion consultants and lifestyle consultants at one’s fingertips. I’m willing to bet that if any of them had known this woman’s occupation, none would have suggested high wedge sandals to aid in second-story work or fast getaways.

My own quick research leads me to recommend the latest in running shoes, the kind that have a slot for each toe, which should be a boon for a job that requires feet to grab hold of tree branches.

One drawback is that I found these in magenta, sky blue and verde (green), which surely would aide in eyewitnesses’ descriptions. Ordinary running shoes may be less memorable and, therefore, better for the job.

When my friend told me this story, the first thing that came to mind is that I was hearing a variation on the Cinderella tale. The only change would take place at the end, when the police required one of the ugly stepsisters to try on the shoe only to find that it fit.


Ann Oxrieder has lived in Bellevue for 35 years. She retired after 25 years as an administrator in the Bellevue School District and now blogs about retirement at

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