WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Have you seen this miniature locomotive?

A miniature steam-powered train locomotive from a Whatcom County amusement park, stolen in West Seattle, hasn’t been found yet. After readers pointed out TV reports about it, we tracked down the surveillance video and police report and contacted the locomotive’s owner at Miniature World Family Fun Center in Birch Bay:

(Photo via Miniature World Facebook page)

The half-ton locomotive was in a Morgan Junction garage, brought here because its boiler needed repairs, to be provided by a local expert. Then came the break-in early Saturday, recorded by security cameras, this one in the garage:

And this view from the alley outside:

The second stolen item is a generator; the cart was left behind. If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 2019-189418.

17 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Have you seen this miniature locomotive?"

  • Connie Wicklund May 30, 2019 (3:31 pm)

    Just watching the videos, it appears that the perps were comfortable with what they were doing and where they were.  They didn’t seem to be looking at, or for,  anything else.  Could it have been an inside job?  Also, the thinner of the two perps has a kind of distinctive gait when he turns and walks.  I hope you find whoever did this.

    • John-Michael H. Bennett III May 31, 2019 (5:07 pm)

      In my opinion, the “thin man” aka suspect #1, knew the surroundings well. The strange motion or turn that he makes, after applying gloves to hand, seems to indicate that he knew exactly where the camera is and what he would have to do in order to minimize direct exposure. Purely speculative, however it almost seems as though he knows the “frame” of the shot from the monitor point of view. Again, speculative at best. Additionally, it’s obvious to me that he is suspect number one, as he seems to be in control and the other guy is just holding the other end, as it were. My 2 cents…

  • Matt May 30, 2019 (3:36 pm)

    They seemed to know the inside of that garage quite well.

  • Beto May 30, 2019 (3:43 pm)

    We’re very sorry to see those lowlifes stealing those things.  How did they manage to get in the building?  Was the door unlocked?  

  • Mok4315 May 30, 2019 (4:11 pm)

    Weird walk guy knew exactly where he was going. And for sure an inside job. What the hell are they going to do with that train anyway? Can’t just list it on offer up or Craigslist without leading cops (or vigilante justice) straight to you. 

  • Jim P. May 30, 2019 (4:18 pm)

    I imagine that if it was insured and valuable, the insurers’ investigators will be asking the very same questions.  Any idea what the value of it is?Pretty clear to me they knew exactly what they were there for.  Half ton steam engines are not the usual common thief’s idea of saleable loot and I don’t imagine all that many fences would touch something so readily identifiable.

    • WSB May 30, 2019 (4:57 pm)

      Regarding the “inside job” speculation and that they “knew where (they) were going”: The police report narrative, scant as it is, notes that the spot where the locomotive was being kept was visible from the alley. Also, that locks were pried open/removed.

      • Connie Wicklund May 31, 2019 (10:03 am)

        But they also went directly into a side room and stole a generator.  How did they know that was there?

    • dsa May 31, 2019 (3:45 pm)

      And they seemed confident that their pickup was exactly the right height to slide it from the cart to the pickup bed.

  • Eric1 May 30, 2019 (5:04 pm)

    Too bad that train didn’t fall on them when it got stuck on the door jamb.  That would have been karma…    911, what is your emergency? 

  • Sarah May 30, 2019 (5:19 pm)

    Seriously, of all things to steal…?  Even if it’s valuable, it’s an awfully specific item to try to re-sell…without getting caught.      

    • The King May 30, 2019 (8:58 pm)

      I thought the same thing as you, the owner of this said they paid around $60,000 for the train 25 years ago. Couldn’t imagine a big resale market for something so big. My theory is it’s already in Canada by now. 

  • MJ May 30, 2019 (5:49 pm)

    Stealing a generator that can unfortunately be readily fenced is one thing, it sucks.  But a mini locomotive seams very odd.  

  • aRF May 31, 2019 (6:47 am)

    Sadly, the locomotive also has scrap value. Metal thieves have gone to greater lengths for less.

    • lenny May 31, 2019 (8:03 am)

      Exactly what I was thinking, sold as scrap metal, hopefully the scrape metal business watches the News.

  • Mj May 31, 2019 (6:07 pm)

    I too thought scrap metal and certainly hope this does not happen!  The train is a beautiful piece of machinery.

  • DB June 1, 2019 (11:33 am)

    What a shame. I hope the owners get this back. And if a scrap metal business was idiotic enough to actually melt this down, well they should be put out of business for stupidity and/or carelessness.

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