We start with a followup: Last night’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup included a reader report from Ignacio, whose bicycle had been stolen from his Admiral District apartment building’s garage. Shortly after we published the report, he obtained the surveillance video, published it to YouTube, and we added it to the story. Today, we got a message from a Seattle Parks staffer that Ignacio’s bike had turned up at Lincoln Park and was awaiting him in a safe storage place there, and he’s making plans to get it back.
Second, an arrest: Our first word of this bike-theft story came in a tweet from Cheryl, who rides the West Seattle Water Taxi, asking about a big police presence near Seacrest yesterday. Nothing hit our radar at the time; when the call turned up on the police map later, it was labeled as “bicycle theft.” Wondering how that turned into a big response, we sought out the full report today, and here’s what we found out:
The narrative in the police report goes like this:
The bike’s owner had stopped to get something to drink at the Harbor Avenue 7-11 around 5 pm Wednesday, while out for a ride. He left his bike (a BMX-type bike with accessories that made it worth an estimated $800) outside but was keeping a constant eye on it – including at the moment when someone ran up and grabbed it.
The bike owner dropped the soda he was buying and ran out after the thief, calling 911 while noting descriptive factors quickly – including the fact the thief had a large tattoo of the letter “W” on the back of his head.
Shortly thereafter, a Gang Unit detective who happened to be in the area spotted a 21-year-old man who matched the description, walking fast about a block away. The report says the detective asked that person if he had just stolen a bicycle – and the suspect answered “yes,” also telling the detective he had left it a block away.
The bicycle was found there; the suspect was taken to the 7-11 to be identified by the bike’s owner.
Under questioning, the suspect told police he had no particular reason for stealing the bike; he planned to ride it around and then drop it off somewhere in hopes the owner would find it.
He was booked into the King County Jail for theft. We checked the records this afternoon; he got out less than three hours later, on personal recognizance, and has no felony criminal record. It’ll be up to the City Attorney’s Office to decide on charges.