While checking the jail register for an unrelated case, we discovered a suspect had been arrested and charged in two armed robberies last Saturday, one of which happened in West Seattle. 21-year-old Seth C. Tapaka is in the King County Jail in lieu of half a million dollars bail, charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of unlawful gun possession, since he’s a convicted felon who wasn’t supposed to have a gun at all, because of a 2015 robbery conviction for which he cleared probation just a month ago.
He is accused of holding up the South Delridge 7-11 around 5:20 am Saturday, an hour after holding up a Circle K store in South Seattle. At both stores, court documents say, he got away with cigarettes as well as hundreds of dollars in cash. Police reviewing security video from buildings near the 7-11 found that Tapaka’s girlfriend was waiting in his car nearby. Detective Michael Magan noted distinctive features of the green 1997 Honda Accord – particularly a wheel rim that was different from the rest. When the detective returned to the South Delridge area this past Tuesday in hopes of finding more video, he instead spotted that same green Accord, with Tapaka and his girlfriend inside. Det. Magan called for patrol units to stop the car, which they did, at 15th and Roxbury. Subsequent questioning led police to find the handgun used in the holdups, a 9mm semiautomatic Ruger that belonged to a former girlfriend of Tapaka’s, who lives with their child at Tapaka’s mother’s house on Beacon Hill. The report says the former girlfriend also noted, when shown video from the South Seattle holdup, that the gray backpack that Tapaka used was their baby’s diaper bag.