POLICE BLOTTER | December 14, 2016

The following are selected reports from the Seattle Police Department’s West Precinct. They represent the officers’ accounts of the events described.

Liquor Thief

At approximately 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 1, an employee of a store in the 500 block of Denny Way called 911 to report a man had just shoplifted beer and shoved the employee on his way out the door. Responding police searched the neighborhood for the suspect, who was last seen running southbound on Fifth Avenue, but were unable to locate him. The employee told officers she watched the suspect take several bottles of alcohol and put them inside his coat before walking towards the door. She stopped him at the door and asked if he had a receipt, and he pushed her away while saying he didn’t need a receipt.

Caught Red Handed

Just after 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, staff at a hotel in the 100 block of Sixth Avenue North called 911 to report they’d detained a burglar on the premises. The staff members said they’d found the burglar while they were doing a regular walkthrough of the building. He was in a secure employee maintenance room adjacent to the parking garage. Rather than confronting the suspect, the staff members blocked the door to the maintenance room so he couldn’t get out, waiting for police to arrive. However, police took about an hour to respond, so by the time they did arrive the suspect had gotten away. While he was being detained by staff, the burglar called 911 from his cell phone to report he was being illegally detained. Staff told police they weren’t sure how the burglar got in, and they didn’t think anything was stolen during the incident.

 Busted Window

Just after 6:30 a.m. on Dec. 6, police responded to a building in the 100 block of Roy Street when a passerby called 911 to report a broken window of a business on the ground floor of the building. Officers found a front double pane window was broken out with a hole large enough for a person to climb inside the building. There were no signs of what was used to break the glass. The building owner, who lives in an apartment on the top floor, came down and unlocked the front door for police to go inside the business. There was nobody inside, but a burglary had obviously occurred. Almost every drawer and cabinet in the office was open and it looked like they’d been rummaged through. An employee showed up for work while police were still investigating and said it looked like the burglar took petty cash from the front desk. The only piece of evidence left behind was a knit hat found on the floor in a back office.

Stay In

Just after 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, police responded to a burglary at a restaurant in the 100 block of Denny Way. The owner of the restaurant showed police surveillance video from overnight. A burglar had stayed inside the restaurant after it was closed by hiding himself in the roof rafters above the bathrooms. After the last employees left and locked up he came down and drank a pitcher of punch and a bottle of whiskey. He then gathered up several bottles of liquor to steal. The video showed the burglar attempt to leave through the front door, but because the door has a double dead bolt lock, he couldn’t unlock it. He was locked in the building, also unable to get out the back door. The burglar had to kick open the front door, which is a set of French doors, in order to get out, taking an arm full of liquor bottles with him. Responding police found several fingerprints on items that the burglar touched, including a sidewalk sign, a metal pitcher and a whiskey bottle. The restaurant’s owner reported the cost to fix the French doors would be about $2,500.

Table Thief

At approximately 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 1, the manager of an apartment building in the 400 block of West Republican Street called 911 to report two tables were stolen from the building’s front lobby between 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 30 and 10:30 a.m. that morning. She said a wooden table was missing when she got in at 8 a.m. and the second table, metal with frosted glass, was missing when she came back out at 10:30 a.m. The building is secured entry and there were no signs of forced entry.

Useful Construction Equipment

Just after 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, the owners of a house located in the 2500 block of 31st Avenue West called 911 to report their home was broken into. They’d been away from the house from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. When they got home they found the back door standing open. The house is currently under construction, and at first the owners thought the burglars may have found a hidden key left for construction workers. However, responding police discovered a screen was removed from a kitchen window and it appeared the burglar had utilized some ladders left outside by construction workers to gain access to the window. The burglar rummaged through drawers and cabinets throughout the house, including an office and the master bedroom, but the owners said nothing was stolen.