West Seattle Crime Watch: Police arrest 3 in stolen-bike sting

2:14 PM: Police say they arrested three people at Westwood Village last night in connection with a bicycle stolen downtown and listed for sale online. Here’s what Jonah Spangenthal-Lee posted on SPD Blotter this afternoon:

Officers arrested a trio of suspects at a West Seattle shopping center Monday after they tried to sell police a pricey bike stolen days earlier from REI’s flagship store.

On May 21st, a masked suspect made their way into a fenced, gated area at REI’s flagship store in the 200 block of Yale Avenue and made off with a $2,700 black and neon green Ghost Kato bike.

A few days later, REI staff found an ad for a Ghost Kato bike on Craigslist. The ad listed the bike at $1,500, describing it as “brand new” and “ready to be picked up.” “Serious inquiries only!!!,” the seller wrote.

REI staff sent the ad to police, and Southwest Precinct Anti-Crime Team Officer Ernie Debella got in touch with the seller and set up a Monday night meeting.

Around 6 PM, police were waiting at the Westwood Village shopping center when the suspects – a 29-year-old woman and two men, 28 and 40 years old – arrived in a cab. The trio pulled the bike out of the cab’s trunk and began scouring the lot, as if they were looking for police.

Officers contacted the group, confirmed the bike was the same one stolen days earlier, and booked the men and woman into the King County Jail for trafficking stolen property.

We’re checking to see if we can find out more about the suspects’ status.

ADDED 4 PM: According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the three were released from today’s bail-hearing calendar – the 28-year-old man is getting out of jail, but the other two suspects are still being held on unrelated warrants, the 40-year-old man for failure to appear in a theft case – a $10,000 warrant – and the 29-year-old woman, for a $2,500 warrant related to failing to appear in a “false reporting” case.

21 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Police arrest 3 in stolen-bike sting"

  • John May 24, 2016 (3:04 pm)

    Great news!

  • John May 24, 2016 (3:20 pm)

    Good that they caught them. Now if only a judge would give them more of a sentence than “time served” and release them to steal more bikes or cars or stuff in cars and homes. 

    • Mr. X May 24, 2016 (4:38 pm)

      I believe in Saudi Arabia and other countries in that region, thieves found guilty have a hand amputated. This serves both to deter future thefts (e.g. Stumpy could steal ONE more bike, but pretty difficult with no hands) AND to allow law-abiding citizens to more easily identify criminals for extra supervision. I would support this same penalty here. Thanks.

  • Seattlite May 24, 2016 (3:26 pm)

    Great sting operation.  But sad it was taking place at Westwood Village.

  • Chuck May 24, 2016 (3:27 pm)

    LOVE this!!!! And yeah, in that a prominent downtown business was involved, I understand the excellent police follow-through. I only wish I believed that this level of effort could/would be the same if it was Average Joe You or Me who’d been wronged. Still, kudos for this excellent police work. 

    • smokeycretin9 May 24, 2016 (3:51 pm)

      Yeah, totally a case of SPD saying  “How dare you steal from REI!!!”

  • Wendell May 24, 2016 (4:42 pm)

    Pieces of filth taken off the streets, and still people are complaining.

  • MJ May 24, 2016 (5:42 pm)

    How about some mugshots of the ‘perps? 

  • sbre May 24, 2016 (5:44 pm)

    I feel for the bike having to ‘live’ with them for a few days, and then being thrown into a cars’ trunk!!!

  • Double Dub Resident May 24, 2016 (6:45 pm)

    Chuck, I just saw on the news that the cops helped a Burien man get his bike back this way

    • Chuck May 25, 2016 (11:52 am)

      That’s really good to hear!

  • Haha lung May 24, 2016 (7:38 pm)


    this makes my day!

    Thank you for reporting this great news about these criminals getting arrested…may they ponder their lives in jail these next few days, repent and set about paying back the debt they owe society:)

  • Haha lung May 24, 2016 (7:39 pm)

    And ….great work SPD working with the public!

  • smokeycretin9 May 24, 2016 (7:46 pm)

    aaaaaand one is out.

  • B-Check May 24, 2016 (8:27 pm)

    Book em, Dano!!!

    Wish the thieves that stole my bike from in front of the West Seattle True Value a year and a half ago were that stupid. I scoured Craigslist for a good 4-6 months before giving up. Apparently, there is a more sophisticated ring working along California Avenue. Though they aren’t that smart – True Value has the thief on their security camera cutting the lock with bolt cutters – even though I included that info and all other details in the police report, I still never heard a word since. Wish they would do more stings like this – including leaving nice bikes parked in neighborhoods with reoccurring thefts to catch these knuckleheads in the act! Regardless, nice work, glad REI got their bike back!

  • Dan May 24, 2016 (8:29 pm)

    Just wow….wonder why the 28 yr old was released.

    • WSB May 24, 2016 (8:44 pm)

      He didn’t have an outstanding warrant. Sorry if I wasn’t clear … all three would have been released if not for the warrants on the other two (and I haven’t checked yet tonight on whether either posted bail). The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson, who is the most helpful source of information at this point in the process after someone’s been arrested and booked, was going to check on that. – TR

      • bolo May 24, 2016 (10:34 pm)

        Wait… so somebody who already has an outstanding warrant gets arrested and is able to post bail and get out again?

        • WSB May 24, 2016 (10:39 pm)

          If they post the bail/bond attached to the warrant, yes. (These are both misdemeanor warrants, not felonies, fwiw.) However, so far, the only one of the three who is out is the one who did NOT have a warrant out for his arrest. (I just checked on the other two, still on the register.) – TR

  • KT May 25, 2016 (8:31 am)

    Would be wonderful if someone actually actively and seriously worked on serving outstanding warrants.    

    • WSB May 25, 2016 (8:54 am)

      The Anti-Crime Team does that, in fact, among other things, and we’ve reported it before when it’s a situation that attracts attention. (A situation near The Triangle last night may have been another such case, still trying to confirm that.) I haven’t yet figured out if either of these actually had West Seattle ties; the most prominent past case involving the man who’s still in jail was related to a series of Capitol Hill property crimes a few years back. – TR

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