5:19 AM: As day breaks, police are following the trail of a stolen ATM. The cash machine was taken from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge a few hours ago.
5:29 AM: The investigation has led police to a north Arbor Heights neighborhood where they have just recovered it.
5:45 AM: Police have pointed us to the backyard of a house at 39th SW and SW 97th, regarding where it was recovered – they say it’s the large white item in the background of our photo. And if you’re in AH, that’s a TV helicopter. No arrest(s) reported so far.
6:09 AM: Just talked to SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson, who says officers are waiting on a search warrant before going in and actually taking possession of the stolen ATM. He says he can’t yet confirm what led police to the house; discussion we’d been monitoring for hours via scanner indicated it was a satellite tracking device, relatively new technology developed as ATM theft started to spike.
6:53 AM: Apparently at least one TV helicopter also has been over the theft scene on Puget Ridge, too. We expect a bit more information from police later this morning and will update when that’s in.
11:38 AM: And here’s that information! Just posted to SPD Blotter by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
Police recovered a stolen ATM from the backyard of a West Seattle home Tuesday after a thief in a pickup truck smashed his way into a college building and made off with a safe filled with cash.
Officers responded to South Seattle College in the 6000 block of 16th Avenue Southwest just before 2 AM after receiving reports of a break-in. At the scene, they found someone had broken through locked gate and driven a pickup truck through a glass door on campus to get to an ATM. After dismantling the cash machine, the thief loaded the ATM’s heavy-duty cash safe into their truck and fled.
Police found the unopened safe in the yard of a home in the 3900 block of Southwest 97th Street, where robbery detectives later detained and interviewed one male resident. Detectives released the man and continue to investigate the case.
Detectives are still looking for a white Chevrolet pickup truck with a crew cab, believed to have been used in the break-in at the college.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the SPD Southwest Precinct Burglary Unit at 206-233-2623.
Here’s a closer look at the item in the yard that we now know was the ATM’s safe: