CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Two robbery-spree suspects arrested; bail for one set at $500,000

(WSB photo, Wednesday afternoon)

10:57 AM: We’ve confirmed that at least two suspects have been arrested in a recent series of armed business robberies, and that at least one remains in jail today, an 18-year-old held in lieu of $500,000 bail. His arrest traces back to last Wednesday’s stop of a stolen car near Roxhill Park (photo above), but he was not one of the four people taken into custody at the time. As a result of that stop, though, detectives developed information that led them to this suspect. Here’s how the preliminary probable-cause documents explain it:

The documents specifically mention a MetroPCS phone-store holdup earlier Wednesday afternoon in Burien, involving four masked robbers, one with a gun. Detectives who responded “were aware of an ongoing robbery series, which included the robbery of another MetroPCS store on November 30th” (this one in White Center) and a stolen gray 2014 Toyota Camry linked to some of the robberies, carjacked in Seatac on November 27th. But something else – not specified in these preliminary documents – led them to pull over the stolen black Toyota Prius at 30th/Cambridge. Not long thereafter, they found the Camry in High Point – we photographed it that night but couldn’t confirm its connection until now.

(WSB photo, Wednesday night)

The documents say police subsequently “found the cash register that was taken from the MetroPCS in Burien in the area …pried open (and) empty.” On Friday, detectives spotted the 18-year-old suspect at 27th/Trenton and followed him to Southwest Athletic Complex, where they arrested him. The court documents say they found an unloaded gun in his pocket, and that he’s a convicted felon so should not have been armed. The report indicates it was a theft conviction and that law enforcement would object to his release (a standard yes/no question on these documents) because “(the suspect) and associates have been on a robbery spree for the past few weeks. The robbery crew has been armed and physically assaulted victims.” Meantime, SPD has just confirmed to WSB that last Friday’s SWAT-involved arrest in High Point involved a juvenile suspect in the spree:

(WSB photo, Friday afternoon)

That unfolded not far from where the Camry was found Wednesday night. SPD says they’ll have more info on all this later today; we’ll update when it’s available.

ADDED 12:14 PM: Here’s what’s now on SPD Blotter. Additional details: The suspect arrested in High Point is 17; the spree involved “approximately a dozen armed robberies in West Seattle, Ballard, Sea-Tac, Burien and White Center over the past several weeks”; and they’re still expecting to arrest others.

ADDED 3:55 PM: We’ve just obtained the probable-cause documents related to the 17-year-old suspect. They say he confessed to eight armed robberies. The ones for which he is being held include the phone-store robberies, a shoplift-turned-robbery at Roxbury Safeway on November 29th, and two robberies we’ve previously reported on – the Lucky 5 holdup at 35th/Henderson on December 1st and an alley holdup in The Junction (which was followed up, police say, by the robbers returning to steal the victim’s car). The documents also say the 17-year-old was found, when arrested, to have a gun, and as was the case with the 18-year-old, that was illegal because he too has a felony record – two robbery convictions. (added) On second reading of the documents, we note the 17-year-old was also reported to have confessed to “various thefts of cash registers, packages from the porch of a residence, as well as liquor from grocery stores.”

29 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Two robbery-spree suspects arrested; bail for one set at $500,000"

  • ktrapp December 9, 2019 (11:12 am)

    Perhaps also related to the Lucky 5 gas station robbery on the 1st?  That also involved a Toyota Camry. Although that one was reportedly an early 2000’s model, not a 2014 model.

    Wonder if it’s also related to the rash of residential burglaries over the past few weeks.  It would be nice if they were all resolved at the same time.

  • Selena December 9, 2019 (12:03 pm)

    Would you happen to know if these are the same guys who robbed Lucky 5?

    • WSB December 9, 2019 (12:18 pm)

      SPD did not specify in their info, nor did the court documents for the 18-year-old, but I’m checking back to see if they can confirm to me.

      • Selena December 9, 2019 (12:51 pm)

        Thanks so much! You guys are amazing at keeping the neighborhood up to date with news. Much appreciated!

  • trickycoolj December 9, 2019 (12:45 pm)

    Sounds like the same cars involved in a package theft and dump in High Point over Thanksgiving.  Hopefully SPD can connect it to these creeps, they were caught on camera.

  • Chuck December 9, 2019 (1:04 pm)

    Outstanding police work, SPD. Thank you.  Hums the “Bad Boys Bad Boys” theme song to “Cops” and goes back to work, happy in the knowledge that these punks should be behind bars for a long time (unless the courts screw it up…)

  • old timer December 9, 2019 (1:18 pm)

    Thank you SPD. Thank you WSB.

  • Alex S. December 9, 2019 (1:39 pm)

    Looking through the King County jail records, I couldn’t really tell which individual was picked up on Friday (mostly because there are so many repeat offenders committing similar crimes these days).  But, in looking for the perp mentioned in this story, I came across another guy with an incredible rap sheet who answers the question “why is there so much gun violence in Seattle these days?”  This 30-something male just got picked up for unlawful use of a weapon on 12/7; on 11/1 he got out after spending only two days in jail for unlawful weapons fta; on 10/9 he got out after spending only three days in jail for assault; on 8/23 he got out after spending only two days in jail for criminal trespass; on 7/8 he got out after two weeks in jail on using weapon for intimidation fta;  on 4/3 he got out after a week in jail for use of weapon / felony harassment; and on 1/23 he was released after spending two weeks in jail for assault.  And that was just 2019.  It blows my mind that violent, armed, repeat criminals are let out after a few days in jail – and refusing to show up to any of their hearings.  The system is broke, and its a joke: there are little to no repercussions for violent crimes committed with guns.  And that’s why we are experiencing so much crime and gun violence.   Thanks for your continued reporting on these cases. 

    • BrokenIndeed December 9, 2019 (2:56 pm)

      That’s because we would rather lock up low level drug offenders… Our jails and prisons are full of them. So the rotating door of the criminal justice system keeps on spinning and innocent victims suffer. If people want to kill themselves on drugs , let them . We should stop wasting money on an infective system that detoxes addicts in jail and sends them back to the streets to use. Save room in prisons to keep the violent ones in for life

      • CAM December 9, 2019 (3:48 pm)

        It’s fairly rare in my experience (nowadays) for someone to be in jail for solely a substance use charge. It is typically in addition to something else. They will jail people they think are selling it. There are a lot of people sitting in jail on some very minor nonviolent offenses though. 

      • EJ December 9, 2019 (4:12 pm)

        Huh? You’ve heard that the County has basically de-criminalized any possession under a gram, files a ton more between 1-3 grams as expedited cases where max someone will probably see 10 days of jail before the case is closed, and diverts many more between 3-10 grams, haven’t you? The trend is moving away from prosecuting drug crimes in any meaningful way (unless they’re possession with intent to distribute), which is precisely why SPD feels their hands are tied cleaning up downtown streets. 

      • Alex S. December 10, 2019 (2:16 pm)

        Broken: that makes zero sense on multiple levels.  First off, drugs have been decriminalized and unless you’re selling them as part of the violent drug trade, you don’t go to prison for drugs.  You go to prison for all the violence, abuse and mayhem that comes along with drugs.  Second, 80-90% of all property crimes and the majority of violent crimes are due to drug use and addiction.   Cute theory from yesteryear – ain’t true today. 

    • CAM December 9, 2019 (3:45 pm)

      The jail roster is not a definitive source for a person’s criminal history. It will only show you the charges they are being held on or investigated for. Some of those charges never materialize due to a lack of evidence to support the crime or for other reasons. It is possible in this country to be arrested and jailed for 3 days without going before a judge. I don’t think any of us would be willing to give up the protections the Constitution affords us regarding the assumption of innocence so we shouldn’t throw it away so quickly for others. 

      • Alex S. December 10, 2019 (2:22 pm)

        Yeah, in theory not every arrest is the result of a crime.  But in reality, 98% of them are.   If you want to hang your hat on the 2% who are at least partially innocent, knock yourself out.  The reality is that it’s a great time to be a serial criminal in Seattle: law enforcement has its hands tied, cops are under-funded and don’t want to work here, criminal culture is becoming mainstream, and the publicly funded defense lawyers come from some of the best law schools in the country.  If you’re the victim or potential victim of these free-range criminals (and the people who hug and enable them) it’s not a great time to be in Seattle. 

  • WSB December 9, 2019 (4:02 pm)

    Just obtained and added more info. The Lucky 5 holdup IS tied to this case. Also – in court documents related to the arrested 17-year-old – the recent Junction alley robbery (woman who had just used the Chase ATM) and a shoplift-turned-robbery at Roxbury Safeway.

  • WTF December 9, 2019 (4:53 pm)

    When they charge these PsOS as adults I wanna see their faces.

  • flimflam December 9, 2019 (5:28 pm)

    well all of those charges should keep ’em locked up for AT LEAST a few days.

  • HS December 9, 2019 (5:39 pm)

    I’m so glad to read this. Really excellent work for all the police / detectives involved.

  • High Point Neighbor December 9, 2019 (6:52 pm)

    Imagine being 17 and already being a felon. Your life is pretty much set for you at that point, right?

    • Yes&No December 10, 2019 (4:49 am)

      I would say yes and no.  State felony convictions can often be used expunged after ten years of good behavior with zero police contact. At least in Alaska this is the case.  But federal offense felony convictions in Federal court can never be forgotten. 

  • Jackie December 9, 2019 (8:19 pm)

    I wonder if these little punks were responsible for the armed robbery at the smoke shop on 35th and Roxbury

    • WSB December 9, 2019 (8:54 pm)

      I’ll be following this case – assuming at least one suspect is charged by the Wednesday “rush-charging” deadline, those documents would have more details on the full scope of the suspected “spree.”

  • Selena December 9, 2019 (8:59 pm)

    So both the 17 AND 18 year old are tied to the Lucky 5 robbery? I know there were 4 guys total who robbed my brother. I’ll be relieved once I find out all 4 are locked away!

    • WSB December 9, 2019 (9:46 pm)

      The documentation I have for the 17-year-old’s case has far more details than the 18-year-old’s, and that’s the only document – of those I’ve received so far from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office – but it’s clear it’s the same “spree.” So we’ll see what’s in the charging documents later this week.

      • Selena December 9, 2019 (10:07 pm)

        Thanks for the clarification! 

  • 1994 December 9, 2019 (9:49 pm)

    WSB – thanks for the follow up coverage and look forward to further follow ups on the proceedings.  I am curious to learn if the 17 year old will be charged as an adult. Are there other’s involved that are younger? What a shame these kids are ruining their lives at the same time they are terrifying others who are just trying to earn a living.

    • WSB December 9, 2019 (11:14 pm)

      While the documents mention two other suspects’ names, they don’t mention ages. One has an uncommon surname and matches the name of a West Seattle 19-year-old with a significant record. The other one’s name is too common for me to find a match.

  • Alex S. December 10, 2019 (2:26 pm)

    No surprise one may have a significant record. In fact, it’s highly common. Had the police not caught on to these criminals, I am sure some teller or store owner would have been shot and killed at some point.  The big question is, will these punks continue to be enabled by friends and family when they get out?  Or, will serious jail time and rehab help them change their ways?  The carrot of rehabilitation, counseling, etc will not work without the big stick of serious jail time looming over them. 

  • andy December 11, 2019 (5:56 am)

    Thank you, Seattle Police Department. Hopefully, these miscreants will be held fully accountable for their actions, rather than a mere slap on the wrists.

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