West Seattle Crime Watch: The case of the set-free suspect

A two-part crime case here in West Seattle turns out to be a three-parter — so far. First, you’ll recall the armed robbery at Westside Pharmacy on September 16 – the day after its pharmacy operations officially closed so they could move to the new QFC. Two days later, police arrested the suspect – after he bolted from them and jumped onto the playground at Schmitz Park Elementary. Now, it’s reported that after 23-year-old suspect Tyler Ljubich‘s first hearing, King County District Court Judge Janet Garrow let him out of jail. Police had an arrest warrant for him again on September 24 and went to a relative’s home east of Me-Kwa-Mooks to take him back into custody. (A neighbor e-mailed us that day about a sizable police presence in that area; it’s the same place police went to get him on the 18th, about half a mile south of where he was finally caught at SP Elementary that day.) We checked jail records today to see how long Ljubich was free in the interim: The King County Jail Register shows he was first booked the afternoon of September 18th, the day of the capture on campus, and released the evening of September 19th, so he was out for five days in the interim. This time, he’s being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, and his case is filed in Superior Court. His criminal record includes two guilty pleas in 2007 – one to a drive-by shooting, one to domestic-violence harassment. (Full records aren’t available at the moment so we won’t be able to check till later to get details of those cases and his next court appearance in this one.) 1:53 PM: Photo of Ljubich added (obtained from state Department of Corrections).

ADDED 5:46 PM: The court records are accessible again – first thing we’ve found is one of Ljubich’s convictions from 2007 – he pleaded guilty to a drive-by shooting charge for what was described as a road-rage incident at 38th/Genesee – Ljubich was shooting at another car; bullets hit a parked car, but no one was hurt. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison; we’ll be following up to see when that sentence actually ended, and we’re looking into his other 2007 conviction as well.

44 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: The case of the set-free suspect"

  • Leroniusmonkfish October 1, 2009 (11:59 am)

    I wonder what his status/mood is on his MySpace page? Stupid POS.

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (12:02 pm)

    Looks like he gave it up in 2007 without doing much with it.

  • Catherine October 1, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    Leronius, I always giggle to myself when I think of Skyelar’s poor cellmate.

  • Leroniusmonkfish October 1, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    You must mean “Poto”…his Samoan bunk buddy.

  • mike October 1, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    wait the court just let him go? It sounds like the police consider him pretty dangerous?

  • Mike October 1, 2009 (12:33 pm)

    Is it possible to get a photo of this guy?

  • burglarbustindad October 1, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    This is hard to believe. Ljubich eludes police and hides at an elementary school full of children. He is booked on investigation of armed robbery. His jail entry says bail denied and then he is granted “conditional release”. Law enforcement then has to go find him again 5 days later? I don’t get it.

  • Concerned West Seattler October 1, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    Chalk one up for the pharmaceutical companys as well as the doctors who over prescribe narcotics, thats what makes a junkie a junkie.

  • Heather October 1, 2009 (12:45 pm)

    i actually went to elementary school with this kid… he was a little punk then too if i remember correctly…

  • Concerned West Seattler October 1, 2009 (12:46 pm)

    West Seattle is so ghetto, its getting just as bad as White Center!

  • Michael October 1, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    I think he’s a bad dude myself, but unless we change the Constitution so it says you can keep a guy in jail just because he’s a bad dude, there’s not much to talk about here. They had nothing to hold him on, then they did some detective work so that they could re-arrest him.

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (12:47 pm)

    Mike, the only ways to get photos are: (a) if he served time in state prison, the Corrections Dept. will have a mug shot and (b) if cameras are allowed in the courtroom (as noted above, I’m checking on his next appearance) – oh, almost forgot, also if someone is a registered sex offender their photo’s usually online. N/A here so far as I can tell – TR

  • onceachef October 1, 2009 (12:51 pm)

    Concerned West Seattler-

    Where did you come up with that statement?…a junkie is a junkie because he/she made some bad choices along the way of their life, not because of doctors legally prescribing drugs or pharmaceutical companies making them…it’s like saying car accidents happen because cars are made (rather than the obvious – bad driving decisions)…better rethink that one.

  • Mike October 1, 2009 (12:57 pm)

    Ah, thank you TR. Hopefully they’ll keep this guy locked up a bit longer this time.

  • MargL October 1, 2009 (1:01 pm)

    The KOMO story has a picture that I have to assume is the guy http://www.komonews.com/news/problemsolvers/62989837.html

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (1:16 pm)

    Wasn’t there when I looked last night but things evolve. That looks like Corrections Dept. so will pursue to get for our page – TR

  • AceMotel October 1, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    They have photos on that page, without any captions? One has to assume the guy standing against the measuring stick-type background is the bad guy.

    and ITO onceachef, the route to becoming a junkie is NOT through legal prescriptions, although it is often cited as an excuse, such as: I got hooked on opiods after I was in a car accident. If anything, ethical doctors under-prescribe for pain. Becoming a junkie involves complex set of circumstances that may include a genetic component.

  • Aaron October 1, 2009 (1:53 pm)

    At least Skyelar is still in jail, 43 days & counting!

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (1:56 pm)

    Department of Corrections answers quickly! Photo obtained and added. Aaron, also still in jail FWIW is Kenneth Shouting, the guy from the “burglarbustindad” case – aka “caught at the Coinstar machine” – TR

  • Scott October 1, 2009 (2:05 pm)

    I’m sure his Mother is proud of him!

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (2:12 pm)

    As a parent, I cannot imagine what a heartache it would be to have a child (of any age) in trouble. I hope to never find out. Mine is a young teen but there are many already doing bad things at this age. So many of these repeat offenders that I’ve looked into first wound up in the justice system at a very young age … at his recent WS appearance, county prosecutor Dan Satterberg talked about his disagreement with how juvenile justice is usually meted – he thinks that if more were sent to “juvenile hall” for a while it might work better in a variety of ways than the current slap-on-wrist … TR

  • Genessee resident October 1, 2009 (3:46 pm)

    So very sad…I remember him when he was a student at Schmitz Park when my kids were there. His mom was the ultimate volunteer and one of the kindest people I’ve met. My heart goes out to the family and I hope they lock Tyler up for a long time.

  • West Seattle October 1, 2009 (4:07 pm)

    ” Chalk one up for the pharmaceutical companys as well as the doctors who over prescribe narcotics, thats what makes a junkie a junkie.”

    Wow, no personal choice involved. It’s almost like he’s not human.

  • beachdrivegirl October 1, 2009 (5:01 pm)

    might be a dumb question but is it safe too assume that this guy just lives across teh street from teh water aka Me-Kwa-Mooks park??

  • WSB October 1, 2009 (5:09 pm)

    Me-Kwa-Mooks is on the inland side of the street. East means uphill. I don’t know that he lives there but from records, it’s clearly a family member’s house, and it is just uphill from part of the park.

  • beachdrivegirl October 1, 2009 (5:51 pm)


  • Jose October 1, 2009 (7:15 pm)

    What the hell are these judges in Seattle thinking?!

  • Kim October 1, 2009 (8:36 pm)

    I went to school with this guy… and hes always been a trouble maker. It’s amazing the difference in his appearance though, which I’m assuming is from substance abuse. Maybe this is the one last offense he needed to get him off the streets.

  • wseye October 1, 2009 (8:58 pm)

    Looks like Dorsol Plants!

  • shihtzu October 2, 2009 (8:02 am)

    Thanks for the update. He, well, his family is my neighbor and I was interested in hearing more details.

  • Wseat October 2, 2009 (8:51 am)

    His mother was one of the nicest people I’ve ever known. It is possible to come from a good family, and years later find yourself addicted to drugs and out of control, especially oxy. That drug has an amazing hold on people. What will it take for this kid to learn his lesson? I know he has a good soul, but it’s definately lost.

  • dawsonct October 2, 2009 (10:06 am)

    WAY off subject, but something I’ve been noticing a lot lately: when did “teh” become a word, what does it mean? I have seen people using it quite frequently lately and at first dismissed it as a typo, but the recent ubiquity has me thinking I missed a memo.
    Information please, B.D.Girl.

  • dawsonct October 2, 2009 (10:14 am)

    Well, I guess I just exposed myself as not being a “leet.” If bad spelling and grammar are the new paradigm, I’ll be happy to watch the devolution from the sidelines.

  • WSB October 2, 2009 (10:21 am)

    “Teh” is just a goofy way to say something a little slyly/snarkily/mock-pompously in my experience. Such as, co-publisher Patrick is back from a conference in the Bay Area where he got to tour … Teh Googleplex! (Also sort of an implied eye-roll, as if someone says something clueless about the Web and you say, “Yeah, life’s rough on Teh Interwebs” …) Disclaimer, other interpretations may vary … TR

  • B October 2, 2009 (10:50 am)

    He is not a bad person, and he didn’t do this. I know him personally and you people are so judgemental. He did not have a gun when police caught him at Schmitz park and you guys should stop spreading rumors. When I worked at Charlestown Cafe I always used to hear people spreading rumors, and then coming back a week later changing their stories. Why don’t you guys just chill and wait to see the evidence. When you find out he didn’t rob the store you all should be a shamed. Somebody in an earlier post talked about his mom, well I know the whole family and Tyler only wants to be there for his mom. Nobody knows how long she will be with us, and he learned his lesson in prison. Give him a break until he is proven guilt.

  • laurie October 2, 2009 (12:59 pm)

    B – you are delusionsal – this guy is a dirtball junkie who has not learned his lesson. You are naive and maybe a bit stupid.

  • Leroniusmonkfish October 2, 2009 (1:25 pm)

    Didn’t we hear the same BS from Skyelar’s ex?

  • Wseat October 2, 2009 (1:30 pm)

    He’s not a dirtball, but definately hard headed. When I was 23 I thought I was invincible too. Addict or no addict, there’s no excuse for pulling a gun on someone. However, I know the kid personally and in my opinion, he’s not worth giving up on. Prime candidate for the military. He’s in a wad… just needs some ironing out.

  • B October 2, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    I know Skyler too and have no comment about that. Lol. But the Ljubich family need prayers not a bunch of pre-judgment comments. I don’t think anybody should have a gun pulled on them, I just don’t think Tyler is that stupid.

  • andrea October 2, 2009 (3:28 pm)

    My jaw almost hit the floor when I saw this posting, as I used to babysit the Ljubich boys when they were younger. The boy I remember Tyler as being was energetic and highly spirited with his own mind about things even at a young age, and who had the very best upbringing at the hands of his very loving parents. I know that his mother has had to endure medical hardships that no one person should ever had to go through, let alone a family that includes impressionable children, and I think that somehow in the fray of all that Tyler lost his way. I believe though, that unlike other individuals that have been discussed here on the WSB, that this is one young man who does have a chance to make something of his life if he chooses to make hard changes in his life with the help and support of his family and friends. My thoughts are with that entertaining and inquisitive child I once knew, and with his family.

  • Sissy October 12, 2009 (5:50 pm)

    Thank you to those people-the compassionate human beings that aren’t supposed to pass judgement nor decide when someone is guilty without being proven so-thank you for adding a few comments with at least some sort of hope for poor Tyler. There are those that want to plague Tyler with being a violent criminal when in truth he is a normal young man that has been going thru family turmoil for a very long time. His whole family has dealt with a very unfortunate illness since he was a boy and all of them have spent MANY years watching his mom deteriate and caring for her at home. Violent? No. Emotional! yes. He did his time for a very bad mistake that he made during a very traumatic moment in his life. It’s not like he shot at someone, he shot at a tire. Domestic violence offenses in the state of Washington aren’t exactly hard to come by. All that has to happen is that you call the police because you are having a shoving match. If the police are called someone has to go to jail, period. That’s the law and a really dumb one. This doesn’t make Tyler a drug addict nor does it make him a dirtball. Dirtballs are those that pass judgment before it’s due and should be really checking themselves. And if you know bad stuff about him from personal experience, doesn’t that make you a dirtball too?
    Don’t give up on Tyler! He has a family and lots of friends that love him and are on his side. He’s not a repeat offender and should not be in jail. The pharmacy folks described their assailant as having hair over his ears, that alone doesn’t describe Tyler.

  • Neighbor October 25, 2009 (1:05 pm)

    I also have known the entire family since before Tyler was even born. I am sad to hear what they are going through. I would like to see some followup information. Did Tyler go into withdrawals when he went to jail? I know from experience with percocet after I had surgery that you can’t just stop taking them without withdrawal symptoms. Did they do a drug test on Tyler? Did they find a gun? Did they do a lie detector (sp?) test on him? I spoke with him on the phone last night and he was so nice and asked how I was doing after having breast cancer and said he was praying for me. Did the pharmacy have a camera? It does not even sound like the people at the pharmacy described the same person. Tyler does not have hair over his ears. I am now praying for him and his family that they find the person who did do this so Tyler can be set free.

  • Andrew November 5, 2009 (11:53 am)

    Look, West Seattlites, I’ve known Tyler since I moved to Seattle in 1990. Most of you people don’t even know him, yet judge him. His prior conviction was somebody tried to run him off the road on the West Seattle Bridge and he shot at their tire. Next, the domestic violence was for breaking a cordless phone. I have watched his poor mother, who was the best person anybody will ever know, wither away from MS. It pains me and its not even my mother, so imagine what Tyler is going through. And you people have no clue about Oxycontin. Its a scam. Purdue Pharma padded every influential person’s pockets to get it past the FDA knowing it was super addictive and would likely become a street drug. They knew about the laws in Florida and how they would be exploited to get this on to the streets. And it doesn’t help that the media is helping fan the flames by acting like its harmless. Oxycontin is twice as addictive as heroin, did you know that? The current Oxycontin crisis is worse then the crack cocaine epic of the 80’s. So don’t act like Tyler is some dirtball. One 80mg oxycontin is 16 times stronger than a percoset and it only takes about 4 doses for somebody to be so addicted that to stop involves weeks of painful withdrawals, imagine the worst flu you’ve ever had and multiply it by 10. Thats oxycontin “dope sickness”. And did you know that currently, oxycontin is the most popular drug in our High Schools, moreso than alcohol and marijuana combined. So look at your own kids before you judge my friend. And though I haven’t seen Tyler in about 6 months, I can guarantee he did not do this. I know Tyler, I know what he is capable of because I’ve talked with him about what he does, and he wouldn’t do this. Nobody does this in their own backyard, so to speak. The person who did this robbery is not from West Seattle. I’ve seen the evidence on this case and the pharmacy owner isn’t even sure its Tyler. Would you run if undercover police pointed guns at you? I would. So read the evidence, the actual evidence, not the BS media stories, before you judge anybody.

  • Andrew November 6, 2009 (1:54 am)

    And to add a few more things. Tyler can be a very valuable member of society. We used to work summer jobs together the summer after I graduated from high school. I was working to save some money for college in the fall. I literally saw Tyler work himself to near death. We were working so hard on a hot day that Tyler started staggering and then nearly collapsed from heat stroke. Currently, for work, he has been taking care of his mother who has lost control of every bodily function from MS. And to “Leroniusmonkfish”, he doesn’t keep a Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking website account because nobody in that family has time to waste on it. The main floor of their home is; imagine a normal house combined with an intensive care unit of a hospital, thats the Ljubich house. And for all you people who are judging without any factual basis, here is the case against Tyler. The police thought that the getaway car used in the robbery was similar enough and possibly that of a Ljubich neighbor and close friend of Tyler’s. So the cops decide to pay this neighbor a visit, at which time Tyler was with his neighbor. When the cops pulled up, they immediately drew their guns down on Tyler, who was unarmed. This scared Tyler and he ran, not the smartest thing to do but it was his instinctual reaction. That is it. No charges were filed against the neighbor, who’s car was the reason the police came to the neighborhood that day anyways. So if the neighbors car wasn’t the getaway car, then how exactly was Tyler the gunman? Exactly. All you judgmental pieces of garbage need to pick up a bible, “judge not lest ye be judged”.

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