(scroll down for updates added to original report)
ORIGINAL 9:56 AM REPORT: Just in from Seattle Police: A suspect is in custody in the smash-and-grab burglaries that we’ve been reporting on for three weeks. Southwest Precinct Lt. Norm James says that SPD and King County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a 50-year-old man around 2:30 am “in the Burien area.” Lt. James says, “This individual is suspected of committing 40 smash and grab burglaries in the south Seattle and Burien areas. The suspect has been booked into the King County Jail.” A check of the jail register reveals a 50-year-old Burien man booked early this morning on suspicion of multiple burglaries, with status listed as “bail denied”; a crosscheck of court records shows dozens of cases, though many are from municipal courts around the region and therefore not necessarily criminal – we’re taking a look at those for which docket information is available.
10:17 AM UPDATE: The arrest has just appeared on SPD Blotter, with no additional information except to say that the 40 burglaries date back to July 1st; the first West Seattle break-in we covered was the one at the Swinery on July 16th (above, our photo from that morning). The most recent one we covered in West Seattle was at Admiral Shoe Repair on Monday morning. Police confirmed to WSB on August 2nd that the smash-and-grabs were being investigated as an official “pattern.”
11:52 AM UPDATE: King County Prosecuting Attorney Office media liaison Dan Donohoe says the suspect will not appear in court until a bail hearing tomorrow afternoon; after that we should get more background in the case. Further researching the aforementioned suspect, court records show a conviction in the 2006 theft of an ATM from a tavern, a burglary that started with glass broken by a brick; in spring 2007, he was sentenced to 55 months in prison. (The paperwork for the original charges in that case lists a history of convictions going back to at least 1991, as well as “85 warrants.”) We are checking with the state to try to find out when he got out of prison.
2:26 PM UPDATE: The sheriff’s office has added a bit of extra detail regarding where the suspect was arrested. This is from their announcement of the arrest, which we just received:
A team of detectives conducting surveillance in Burien responded to an audible burglar alarm at a motorcycle repair shop located at South 159 and 1st South. The detectives located a suspect in his vehicle and took him into custody.