Update: West Seattle package/mail-theft suspects arrested; stolen items to be returned

(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.

7:58 PM UPDATE: SPD Blotter has just published its version of the story.

39 Replies to "Update: West Seattle package/mail-theft suspects arrested; stolen items to be returned"

  • pfeller December 7, 2012 (4:22 pm)

    I appreciate how you guys know (and report) what is happening around the area.
    we happen to be directly under where the helicopter was hovering, we looked around, didn’t hear any serious sirens, didn’t see any smoke…
    Didn’t look like a police copter and didn’t know why a news copter would be here.

    thanks for the timely headline that answered our questions.

  • Chris December 7, 2012 (4:49 pm)

    I was at the intersection of Roxbury and Delridge when this all occurred, driving home. Now I wish I had taken a picture… The entire scene was very intense. Several cops arrived and were pulling guns on suspects as I arrived at the light. Their white van door was open, but it was hard to tell what they had guns on them from.

    • WSB December 7, 2012 (4:53 pm)

      Chris – pulling guns is SOP if it’s a “felony stop” – stopping a car for a suspected felony, including even stolen car. Before heading out to check on it, we also heard the “air held” on the scanner – SOP in a situation like this – there’s a beep every few seconds, and all other traffic has to hold off on the air till the situation is deemed under control.

  • WSmom December 7, 2012 (5:07 pm)

    Any idea how we can find out if a package I had stolen was recovered with this arrest? I had one lifted last week in that area and would love to get it back.

    • WSB December 7, 2012 (5:20 pm)

      WSMom – if you have filed a police report, you should check with either the officer you spoke with or (if you filed via e-mail) use whatever means was advised to get info re your specific case #.

  • Flickertail December 7, 2012 (5:23 pm)

    Thank you vigilant neighbors and the Police Department. Have fun in jail thieves.

  • a December 7, 2012 (5:35 pm)

    Hell yes!!! Had a couple packages stolen from us last week so feels good to know there are alert people out there and the police are pursuing these pieces of chit. Hopefully these guys will stay locked up for more than a couple of days so we don’t have to worry about them getting back on the streets and stealing more Christmas presents. WSB thanks for the good news and please keep us updated if you here of these scum getting released. Would love to know who these people are so we know who to keep an eye out for.

  • Alki Resident December 7, 2012 (5:53 pm)

    This is awesome news,I wonder what the sentence will be. Great job SPD and neighbors.

  • Leticia December 7, 2012 (6:07 pm)

    Yes I was there and that is what I saw all the cop cars and there light. Way to go!
    Thank you for makeing us safe.

  • A December 7, 2012 (6:44 pm)

    Are these the guys that were just spotted in the Seaview neighborhood with car that has Virginia plates?

  • AY December 7, 2012 (7:08 pm)

    I had a medical device stolen from my porch today. They left the outer boxes and dumped the inner box with my info 6 blocks away. The non-emergency phone was chalked up with 911 calls so I filed a report online. If there is any other way those of us with things stolen today could make contact or be contacted please let us know.

  • Jackson December 7, 2012 (7:12 pm)

    Awesome job SPD and both victims for calling in the theft right away. Yeah git em!

  • Flickertail December 7, 2012 (7:29 pm)

    I was waiting for my “Bride of Chucky” doll. I think those hoods stole it from my doorstep. Bummer.

    Chucky left me a note on his bedroom door tonight and is on his way to the King County Jail. May those poor souls rest in peace after Chucky gets a hold of them.

    • WSB December 7, 2012 (7:38 pm)

      Hey – I will add this to the main story too but while we were out covering the OLG tree lighting a few minutes ago, Lt. Smith called with info on what was recovered and what happens to it. Short version- four packages and two letters were in the vehicle – they will be photographed for evidence and returned to the people who were supposed to get them, since all had addresses. Not sure how soon but as soon as they possibly can! – TR

  • Swiss miss December 7, 2012 (7:38 pm)

    Great job every one!! So happy some of these creeps have been busted!!

  • I Wonder December 7, 2012 (8:05 pm)

    You would hope they can get a warrant to check their own “homes” too.

  • SageK December 7, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    Way to go alert homeowners and SPD.

    Sadly the holidays seem to bring out the thieves.

  • alkigirl December 7, 2012 (8:47 pm)

    Thank you SPD, West Seattle neighbors, and WS Blog. So blessed to live in this community.

  • WS parent December 7, 2012 (9:53 pm)

    So I was the one that recovered AY’s packaging of one of their items. For neighborhood info– it was found on 46th and Alaska area and we brought the box back to the owner 6 blocks NE of us near West Seattle Nursery… please watch out for your neighbor’s packages! I wish I would have seen them ditch the package so I could have called the cops on them!!!

    I can’t mail packages to my work, so I always notify my close neighbor’s when I expect a package so they can look out for it– my close neighbors are usually home since a few of them work odd hours or work from home…

  • Jill G. December 7, 2012 (10:36 pm)

    I am one of the victims. The police informed me, if you believe you had any package(s)or mail stolen today, you should contact them ASAP. Have all your info ready; your name, name and address on package, where package was ordered from(ie, Amazon, Nordstrom, etc)what the contents were, tracking numbers. I wasn’t given any other info as to when exactly the packages will be returned. Chances are, if you had something stolen before today, it was not in the van. Like the above article said, they only recovered four packages and a few pieces of mail. I was not even informed if one of them was mine(they were waiting for search warrant). For future reference: ALWAYS report package and mail theft to the police. Couriers can only help so much. Plus, you may be helping others, who could have also been stolen from. I’m just so incredibly thankful that I went to and opened the door as they were running away with the package…. and, so awesome that the other victim got the plates! And, so happy that it doesn’t appear that they stole much else. Sad that a lot of people could have had a very ruined holiday. I hate thieves. I don’t feel bad for them at all. I was more than happy to identify them.

  • Mo December 7, 2012 (10:49 pm)

    We just found out this week that a package we were expecting was delivered during Thanksgiving week. We can only assume it was stolen. The joke is on the thieves though! It was full of garlic for our garden rather than xmas gifts.

  • KD December 7, 2012 (10:56 pm)

    Hey all; for years I used Pony Express in White Center until she closed down. Now, even though I’m in the SE part of WSeattle, the only mail center I can find that will hold your deliveries for you safely until you pick them up is Alki Mail &
    Dispatch. It is worth the small fee to pay for piece of mind to have professionals hold it for you.. not professional losers that spend all day shadowing the delivery trucks while you are off working hard at your own job! Check them out. It’s the only way I do deliveries due to porch rat-thieves!

  • Mike December 8, 2012 (12:52 am)

    Hope they like federal prison.

  • NAdmiral December 8, 2012 (4:53 am)

    Glad SPD had the time to go after these lowlifes. A few years ago I witnessed 2 women in a red Blazer carrying a UPS package off my porch (near Met Mkt), called SPD w license and phys descriptions, got a case number, and heard nothing until I called to follow up after a few days. Officer said with a laugh that they didn’t have staff in WS to “investigate” nonviolent complaints so no action had been taken, plus “we couldnt prove the car’s registered owners did it anyway”. Since then I have NOTHING delivered to my home.

  • WD December 8, 2012 (7:49 am)

    Alert neighbors and SPD… awesome job!!!

  • Lachlan December 8, 2012 (7:58 am)

    Another option for those who may not have heard of it:


    Glad these folks were apprehended; perhaps it will lead to other recoveries, arrests, etc..

  • DBP December 8, 2012 (9:39 am)

    Don’t assume that this was the only mail theft ring operating in the area. Odds are it was people trying to support a dope habit. As long as there people like that around, there will be mail theft.

  • marty December 8, 2012 (10:36 am)

    I find it disgusting that a search warrant is required to search the van! Seems like there was plenty of probable cause to allow a search. Looks like the crooks have more rights than the victims.

  • faceless December 8, 2012 (10:45 am)

    good job w.seattle residents and police team. I had packages stolen from my porch including my groceries from amazon fresh on 34th sw. maybe the police should get a search warrant for their homes- perhaps my packages will show up?

  • Kravitz December 8, 2012 (4:24 pm)

    Nice work, neighbors and SPD. I hope the vermin will be locked up for a while; at least long enough to have a Happy Holiday behind bars where they belong.

  • RMP December 8, 2012 (4:26 pm)

    Thanks WS Blog, you are always looking out for us! thanks Seattle Police! At least that’s four package crooks off the street! Hopefully for a long, long time. Hope the rest of them get caught also!

  • Woodsman December 8, 2012 (6:53 pm)

    Caught on Friday. Out of jail on Sat. The cycle continues. It’s not Christmas time, it’s criminal time.

    • WSB December 8, 2012 (7:49 pm)

      Woodsman, if you have any specific names which are your basis for saying that – I’d love to hear them (will keep confidential) at editor@westseattleblog.com – theft is unfortunately too common of a crime for me to make an educated guess off the jail register, though I’m looking again now to see if there’s any way to figure out who’s who (no names in the info I got from police last night) – TR

  • Lisa December 8, 2012 (11:39 pm)

    Package of xmas toys stolen from my porch this evening. USPS verified delivery at 4:19. We were out from 4:10 to 6:00. Like the police give a crap….

  • Lisa December 8, 2012 (11:40 pm)

    Sorry! I’m at 32nd & Othello

  • Robert December 9, 2012 (10:16 am)

    thank your local bleeding hearts for tiying the police’s hands common sense doesn’t count for anything with them.as for the feds they wont do anything unless the prosecuter can get television time for it…

  • Kay December 11, 2012 (12:44 pm)

    My items were also taken directly from my mailbox (within 30 mintues of being delivered), removed from the packages and the packaging scattered nearby. A kind neighbor picked up the packing and delivered it to our doorstep. I filed a police report. My packages were stolen in Burien. I would like to know if there is any known correlation between the thieves caught in White Center/West Seattle and the additional thefts in Burien neighborhoods. Also – I WAS AT MY HOME WHEN THE PACKAGES WERE STOLEN. Based on the tracking information for the shipment they were taken from the box almost immediately after delivery, because I checked my mail within 30 minutes of the carrier scanning the delivered package.

    • WSB December 11, 2012 (12:56 pm)

      We got a UPS package a short time ago and interestingly, the driver knocked, didn’t just drop package on doorstep (he knocked and left, but that was still progress). Since we work from home, someone is almost always here, lucky that way.

  • alki_me2 December 21, 2012 (12:01 pm)

    Thanks for WSB & great readers! I just discovered that a package with a tracking # was verified to have been felivered to my address several days ago. I did not receive it. This seems to be a widespread problem.

    Thanks to all of you, now I know what I need to do–report to police with all the info, including tracking #.

    Hopefully, I’ll get it back. Ironically, it was one of the few times I didn’t use Alki Mail & Dispatch. My mistake!

Sorry, comment time is over.