Over the weekend, we published an update from Byron, the dad who wrote an “open letter” after his 8-year-old daughter’s bicycle was stolen – he reported a suspect had been arrested and the bicycle returned. Wanting to track the case through the system to see what happens along the way, we requested and obtained the police-report narrative today, and it tells a complicated story.
For those wondering how Byron found the bicycle, the report says he spotted it on Craigslist, made initial contact with the person who listed it, and went to the Southwest Precinct, where the Saturday day shift was in the morning briefing. Officers came up with a plan. (This isn’t the first time SPD has done this – we’ve seen past reports, like this one in West Seattle last year, and this one elsewhere the year before.) The report described it in part as:
Our approach was to set a predetermined meeting location and when the bicycle was determined to be Lhe one in question and a specific suspecL was found to be in possession of this bicycle we would move in, affecting a stop, at which time we would verify the serial number and combination to the lock on the bicycle as given to us by (the dad). The combination on the bícycle lock was given as (xxxx) and the serial number was given as (xxxx).
They originally agreed on a meeting place near Roxbury Safeway but they eventually found the suspect near 15th and Roxbury, with the bicycle, and took him into custody.
The bicycle was taken to the Southwest Precinct, as was the suspect, who was eventually released, as explained in the report, after a lieutenant who had stayed back at the scene showed up at the precinct with three children. The circumstances of their discovery was not described in the report, but it did say this:
.(They) were identified as (the suspect’s) children. All were … found to be in acceptable health but it should be noted that their clothes were dirty and the children themselves were unbathed to a point of being unsanitary. … (N)oting that the children’s mother had a no-contact order against her from being in contact with the children, it was collectively determined that in the best interest of the children, that (the suspect) be released to tend to the children’s needs. It was expressed by the children that (he) is the only parent that feeds them (and he) stated after he had invoked his right to remain silent that he wanted to change his mind, and stated that his girlfriend, who is the mother of (the children), had given him possession of the bicycle. (He) knew that the bicycle was not hers, but that he was trying to sell the bicycle to feed his children.
His release does *not* mean he isn’t facing charges; he was arrested on suspicion of trafficking in stolen property, which is a felony, and the report says the case has been forwarded to the Major Crimes Unit for investigation. We don’t know the suspect’s name, so we don’t know if he has a record.