West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning robbery

Just posted on SPD Blotter:

Two masked men forced their way inside a Seattle marijuana shop owner’s West Seattle home early Friday and tied him up at gunpoint, before making off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, a half-dozen pistols and a high-powered rifle.

The 47-year-old owner was walking up to his home in the 8600 block of 35th Avenue SW around 12:30 AM when two masked men approached him. The suspects grabbed a puppy the victim was carrying, and forced the man inside his home at gunpoint.

The suspects forced the victim to open two safes inside the home and then tied him to a bed while they took a large amount of cash, six different handguns, a rifle, four watches, and the victim’s surveillance system.

About an hour after the incident began, the victim got free and began searching for his puppy. When he found the dog, he called police.

The victim wasn’t able to provide much of a description of the suspects: he told officers both men appeared to be in their 30s, one was white, the other Hispanic.

Robbery detectives are investigating the case, and asking anyone with information to contact police at (206) 684-5535.

44 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning robbery"

  • M April 17, 2015 (11:02 am)

    Interesting that SPD mentioned the victims occupation. I don’t read enough of these to know if that is standard procedure or if it is only mentioned if possibly relevant to the crime.

    • WSB April 17, 2015 (11:13 am)

      M, we were just talking about it. No, they usually don’t.

  • john April 17, 2015 (11:31 am)

    Nice haul.

  • chelle April 17, 2015 (11:40 am)

    How scary for the victim. Hope they find the robbers.

  • 5thfloordweller April 17, 2015 (11:46 am)

    Crime has gone up dramatically in Seattle since they legalized weed. Even the one’s who sell them legally are getting strong armed. Its what you wanted now deal with it. Its too bad the rest of the good community people have to endure this crap also being victims of robbery’s themselves.

  • LarryB April 17, 2015 (11:47 am)

    Well, his profession does explain the cash (it’s hard to find a bank if you’re in the pot business, even though it’s legal) and the guns. Of course, the guns didn’t do him much good.

  • kelly April 17, 2015 (12:01 pm)

    Crime is going up? Stats, please!
    http://www.seattle.gov/police/crime/12_Stats/Crime_1988_2012.pdf

    • WSB April 17, 2015 (12:07 pm)

      Long term, down. Short term, the newest set of stats showed a YTD-YTD increase in several categories for the first quarter (such as robbery, fueled by that spike in Jan.-Feb.); that’ll be in a story we’re working on for this afternoon.

  • AmandaKH April 17, 2015 (12:04 pm)

    It shows that we need to find a solution for people who own marijuana facilities to bank successfully so they don’t need to have large sums of cash in their homes! A municipal bank could help solve that…

  • RSL April 17, 2015 (12:09 pm)

    I don’t know the statistics, so I won’t speak in such absolutes as 5thfloordweller. But conceptually, I find it unlikely that crime has increased because of legalization, considering the illicit drug trade has a long history of perpetuating violence itself.

    These business owners in particular are targets precisely because it’s still illegal under federal law, so as some folks have stated, banking is difficult (if not impossible) and this is fairly common knowledge. People simply target them because of the likelihood that they’ll have large amounts of cash on hand, which is clearly the case.

  • DICK April 17, 2015 (12:10 pm)

    5thfloordweller, How about some proof to back up your claims/assertion?

  • markinthedark April 17, 2015 (12:13 pm)

    The Federal banking laws need to change so that these legal businesses have a place to deposit their earnings. This shouldn’t be a risk of doing business.

  • maplesyrup April 17, 2015 (12:15 pm)

    Perhaps if these guys were allowed to use banks like any other legal business, they would be less vulnerable. All of that cash is what is attracting the criminals, not legal weed.

  • sc April 17, 2015 (12:16 pm)

    What time is “early Friday”?

    • WSB April 17, 2015 (12:34 pm)

      SC, the only time I have is what’s in the quoted SPD Blotter text. Heard not a shred about this overnight. Second paragraph, “12:30 am,” but then it notes that police weren’t called until the victim got free after “about an hour” and then found his dog. So the police response wouldn’t have been before 1:30 am or so.

  • A55 April 17, 2015 (12:16 pm)

    Didn’t know we had to add footnotes or citations to our comments.

  • A55 April 17, 2015 (12:18 pm)

    WS, nice area but everyone has a different definition of nice. 1

    1. My Mom

  • Seattlite April 17, 2015 (12:32 pm)

    This crime doesn’t surprise me. Legalization of weed has increased crime opportunity. The perps seemed to know exactly what they were doing and got away with a lot. Lots of evilness around us waiting for the right opportunities to commit crimes.

  • la isla April 17, 2015 (12:38 pm)

    Was this incident related to the gunshots in upper Admiral this morning? Any updates about that incident?

  • Alan April 17, 2015 (12:57 pm)

    I did not realize how difficult it was for these businesses to bank. I had thought it was just a problem in getting loans, but found an article in the NYT from more than a year ago.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/us/banks-say-no-to-marijuana-money-legal-or-not.html?_r=0

    If everyone knows there are tens of millions of dollars floating around in cash, that makes it a very attractive target. Why rob a bank when you can get more money from a business that the FBI is uninterested in?

  • Be mama April 17, 2015 (1:08 pm)

    La Isla- I heard that too! About 5:30 am? Scary. Sounded close to my house.

    • WSB April 17, 2015 (1:24 pm)

      FWIW to those mentioning it (not related to the subject of the story) here in comments, no confirmed gunfire incidents of any kind on Tweets By Beat. If proof of gunfire is found – bullet hole, casings – the incident categorization reflects that; if not, it gets classified as a noise disturbance because it could have been fireworks or … Hope you guys called police, as the more calls in those cases (like that crazy string last week in which gunfire DID happen, multiple times in a short period), the more they can narrow in.

  • AlkiBeach April 17, 2015 (1:16 pm)

    While keeping the cash safe maybe a concern…this can be a teaching point for the feds, state and local governments. Now what happens when the guy can’t pay his taxes (B&O, property taxes and/or personal income taxes)? Who sues who? Talk about a financial tangled web. Doing business with pot shops will have to be done without any kind of credit, just knowing that should have anyone thinking of robbing someone just wait for the ‘pot shops’ vendors to come by. Once this catches on (robbing the owner/managers…even contractors)…who’s going to trust that ‘they’ will have the ability to pay their own bills? Nothing that hasn’t been said before…just thinking out loud.

  • MF April 17, 2015 (1:46 pm)

    I’ve also read about the banking issues within the pot industry, but the wonderful, dream come true, retail shop I frequent accepts ATM cards, which I assume means at least one bank services them. My previous connection was a rat faced little predator named Rocky, who wouldn’t take anything over a twenty and didn’t show up half the time, and always at the wrong time (“Sorry, Man. I thought you said Sunday”). But now, thankfully, my new shop gives me that same feeling of joy and anticipation I had the first time I saw Disneyland, and every time I walk in the door. And the urge to strangle Rocky the next time he said something like ‘oh man, I thought today was Tuesday’ is gone, and that’s very nice as well.

  • Gina April 17, 2015 (2:09 pm)

    People were talking about the gunshots today at Met Market. I had thought I had woken myself up with a loud snore and a cough this morning!

    • WSB April 17, 2015 (10:16 pm)

      Update on the sidetrack about the gunshots: Heard tonight from an Admiral resident who says he and his neighbors discovered tonight that they had bullet holes in their cars. So *now* it’s confirmed. Separate story in the works.

  • ScubaFrog April 17, 2015 (2:45 pm)

    I thought those were gunshots. I could hear one big boom, and I live on Alki.
    .
    Happens a lot these days here – too often to call 911 for every occurrence.
    .
    I hope that the robbers are found – and charged. The shootings and robberies in West Seattle (our own kids are getting robbed now), are out of hand.

  • rcl April 17, 2015 (3:36 pm)

    Was this a medical MJ shop owner or a state store?

  • rcl April 17, 2015 (3:37 pm)

    is it legal for someone to own a MJ store & to have firearms?

  • maplesyrup April 17, 2015 (4:31 pm)

    Legal? I’d think it’s practically a necessity.

    But yeah I’m sure it is legal. Why wouldn’t it be?

  • Jeanie April 17, 2015 (5:02 pm)

    Glad the pup is OK!

  • zark00 April 17, 2015 (5:19 pm)

    Jan – Seattle Doughnut shop owners beaten and robbed.
    http://www.king5.com/story/news/local/seattle/2015/01/03/owners-of-popular-doughnut-shop-beaten-and-robbed/21236643/

    So, we wanted legal doughnuts, now we have them and we just have to deal with the consequences.

    This was clearly the fault of the doughnuts. You can’t hold the criminals responsible for their own actions – there must be a way to blame this on pot – er I mean doughnuts. Evil evil doughnuts – mmmmmmmmm evil doughnut….

  • old ben kenobi April 17, 2015 (5:32 pm)

    Again, give them bank support! Geez!!!

  • joel April 17, 2015 (7:09 pm)

    If its any modern video system it would upload to the internet and be stored to view. This is too why you have an alarm with a panic code to send police asap.

  • Bradley April 17, 2015 (8:39 pm)

    Gee, they said legal weed was supposed to stop weed-related violent crime?

  • Jarvis April 17, 2015 (10:29 pm)

    How does that pro gun argument go? Having guns makes you safer? It didn’t work out too well in this case.
    .
    @scubafrag your response to WSB telling you to call the police when you hear a gun is “Happens a lot these days here – too often to call 911 for every occurrence.”??? Is that a joke? Just call them if you hear a gunshot.

  • cj April 17, 2015 (10:31 pm)

    I think the cause has more to do with ease of getting away with a robbery.

  • heather April 17, 2015 (10:39 pm)

    Wow. They clearly knew who lived there and what they’d be expecting to find in the house. Disturbing.

  • Sue April 18, 2015 (9:07 am)

    I’m amused by the fact that the guy thought it was more important to find the dog first BEFORE calling the cops. Only in Seattle…

  • unknown April 18, 2015 (12:21 pm)

    Sue…clearly you must not own a pet and know how it feels to lose one and anyways the damage was done and the people were already gone so a few minutes wasn’t going to help the police find them at all or any quicker.

    • WSB April 18, 2015 (12:27 pm)

      Also note that people who have just been through a traumatic situation may well be in shock, and what they do might not seem to make sense to someone viewing the situation from the outside.

  • mrsMarty April 18, 2015 (3:28 pm)

    WSB…well said!

    And a family member (which a pet is too) is more important than material things, material things can be replaced family members can’t.

  • 2 Much Whine April 19, 2015 (2:44 pm)

    Keep in mind that before marijuana was legalized none of these incidents would be reported for fear of arrest of the victim. Of course now that it is legal we’ll see an uptick in reports but that doesn’t mean it is happening any more or less than it used to – just means people are no longer afraid to report it.

  • AdmiralGirl April 20, 2015 (3:21 pm)

    Thank goodness he had all those guns to protect his home. /sarcasm

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