Checking on a court appearance scheduled today for Stephen Hayes Kirk, the suspect who’s been in jail since his arrest a month ago after a wave of so-called “smash-and-grab” burglaries, we discovered prosecutors have now charged him in two of the West Seattle cases: Uptown Espresso (Delridge) on July 29th, and Luciano’s Pizza on August 8th (photo at right). Though Seattle Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office had been investigating more than two dozen of the smash-and-grabs, mostly in West Seattle and points south, he initially was charged only with three Burien cases (prosecutors have added a fourth Burien case now too). According to the additional court documentation, a man believed to be Kirk (photo left) was caught on surveillance video in both of the West Seattle break-ins; detectives already had him under GPS surveillance (detailed here) by the time of the Luciano’s burglary, which netted loot described as a tip jar with about $20 cash/coins. At Uptown, which was hit twice, the cash register was taken, and then dumped in a bank parking lot 21 minutes later – where surveillance video also caught what authorities believe was Kirk’s distinctive red truck – one in which he also was known as a customer of West Seattle Recycling, which the court papers note also was hit by a smash-and-grab during the spree. Kirk pleaded not guilty two weeks ago to the first three charges filed against him, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he’s being arraigned on the new charges this morning. (We started reporting on the smash-and-grabs July 16th, when we got word of this one at The Swinery; police first confirmed to us August 2nd that eight West Seattle smash-grabs were all believed linked.)
1:58 PM UPDATE: KCPAO spokesperson Dan Donohoe says Kirk pleaded NOT guilty to the new charges, with his bail increased to $150,000 (what it was for a short time after his arrest, before being cut to $25,000), and is due back in court October 4th.
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