(Added 4:42 pm – iPhone photo; van ready to be towed to impound)
4:15 PM: That is what brought a TV helicopter over. More shortly.
4:25 PM: Sorry for the terse original line – we were over at 16th and Roxbury checking out the situation and then as soon as we saw the chopper, thought we’d better put something out quick. We had heard scanner traffic that police had pulled over a van and were getting witnesses from the incidents – at least one in North Admiral – brought over to look at the suspect(s). More to come.
4:33 PM: Seattle Police spokesperson Det. Jeff Kappel confirms four people are in custody and also mentioned an incident in the 10000 block of 30th SW.
5:17 PM: No additional details yet, but discussion on the WSB Facebook page indicates that alert neighbors helped get the description to police. Photo added above this line is from a texter who says it was from the first moments after the van was stopped on the south (eastbound) side of Roxbury, when police as per standard procedure had weapons drawn (and traffic briefly stopped on that side of the street) until the situation was under control.
6:42 PM UPDATE: Here’s the police narrative on how this unfolded, from Lt. Ron Smith at the Southwest Precinct:
Officer was dispatched early in the shift to a call of a package theft from the porch of a house. The homeowner saw a suspect male take a UPS package from the front porch of her residence. The suspect went to a white van and left the area.
At about 1530, another package theft was reported at a different location. The witness to the theft saw a female and male suspect take the package and enter the white van. The witness was able to get the license plate of the van and it was broadcast over radio.
At 1537, suspect vehicle (the van) was observed at the corner of 16th Ave SW and SW Roxbury. Officers conducted a stop on the vehicle. The victim from the first theft responded to the scene and positively identified three of the occupants of the van. One being the suspect who took the package from her porch.
The witness from the second theft gave a description of the female in the van as well as the third suspect who wore red shorts. All were taken to the SW precinct and booked for theft. The minivan was impounded to the processing room for service of a warrant.
7:39 PM UPDATE: For those wondering about what was found in the van – we talked to Lt. Smith by phone a short time ago and he says four packages – from four separate locations – and two letters were recovered. All had clear addresses, so he says they will be photographed for evidence and then police will get them to their rightful recipients. One, he says, was a Nativity scene whose recipient was waiting for it to be part of a holiday event.