WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Grocery-store robbery

When shoplifting turns violent, it legally becomes robbery – and police say that’s what happened this morning at Admiral Safeway. Here’s their initial summary:

At approximately 0730, the suspect was inside the Safeway with a basket full of store items. The suspect walked past all points of sale. A store employee confronted the suspect by the front doors, and the suspect brandished a bladed instrument (box cutter) from an unknown pocket to threaten him. The suspect swung the box cutter at the victim twice, and he backed off for his safety and fear of being cut. The suspect left the area in a Honda Accord.

No further description, and no arrest reported so far.

22 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Grocery-store robbery"

  • West Seattle Lukrer January 26, 2021 (11:15 am)

    The area is clustered with security cameras. Did they get a license plate number? 

  • Friend O'Dinghus January 26, 2021 (12:00 pm)

    Is it just me, or does anyone else really want to know what items were in that shopping basket?

    • WSB January 26, 2021 (12:04 pm)

      That was what my co-publisher asked. Sorry, this is all I have. Will try to get the full report later, although there’s no guarantee it addresses that.

      • Friend O'Dinghus January 26, 2021 (12:52 pm)

        I was asking rhetorically, and yet also sincerely curious if my own desire to know was weird. Thank you as always for your amazing work for our community. It’s also great to know your co-publisher is like me. Is it merely a weird judgmental urge masquerading as empathy? I can’t quite place it, but I admit that I would love to know. Big price to pay after all whatever it was.

  • cjboffoli January 26, 2021 (12:06 pm)

    I wondered what was going on when I heard the parade of police cars scream past this morning. The scanner apps seemed to be offline when I checked. Thanks for your reliable coverage.

  • newbie January 26, 2021 (12:50 pm)

    Sounds like an act of desperation. Glad the employee is safe. 

  • J January 26, 2021 (12:54 pm)

    How is there no description of the suspect when an employee was up close and personal with him?

  • just wondering January 26, 2021 (12:58 pm)

    How awful.  Hope they catch the thief!

  • Sarge January 26, 2021 (1:13 pm)

    I’ve always been kinda shocked by how frequently you see people just walk out of grocery stores without paying around here.  Never saw this before living in Seattle.  I’m sure it contributes to the higher food prices we all pay here.  

  • waikikigirl January 26, 2021 (3:04 pm)

    We were at the Roxbury Safeway a few weeks ago and while checking out I see this woman with an infant in the cart seat heading for the door and I think to myself she’s going out without paying for the stuff in her cart! The cart locked up and an employee went after her but let her go I’m assuming because she had an infant but as we walk by the cart I looked at what was in it and see it had milk, cereal, pop, pizza, and bread…it made me so sad because it looked as though she was desperate enough to steal to feed her family. Not all thieves are drug addicts some are just desperate…

    • WSMom January 26, 2021 (5:20 pm)

      You could well be right that the individual you saw didn’t have the money to pay and so stole stuff. But you could also be wrong – maybe she has the money but doesn’t want to pay because the price (free) is better if you steal. Maybe she gets SNAP benefits but traded them away for something else. Why not go to a food bank instead of stealing? I guess my point is, we don’t know why she did what she did. All we know is what you saw, which is shoplifting.

    • Peter January 26, 2021 (6:28 pm)

      I too am empathetic to those truly in need and I donate regularly to several charities, so I’m absolutely NOT judging the situation you describe since I wasn’t there.  But, please keep in mind that using an infant is a common ploy used by scammers to garner either sympathy and/or protection.   I suffer from food insecurity myself, and there are resources other than theft for those who are truly in need of food.

  • Craig January 26, 2021 (3:58 pm)

    Jeez I feel sorry for someone that steals food. That’s a low point in a life. 

    • StopCuttingDownTrees January 26, 2021 (5:06 pm)

      This wasn’t a theft. It was a theft-turned  violent armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

  • Frog January 26, 2021 (4:20 pm)

    Interesting that grocery workers get hazard pay for COVID, but not for working in an increasingly lawless community where protecting the business could get them attacked.  I noticed that QFC has a security guard by the door most of the time now.

  • WSMom January 26, 2021 (4:24 pm)

    How terrible!  I hope the poor employee is doing okay. At work at 7:30 in the morning & threatened by a criminal with a box cutter…. that is not good

  • Sandy January 26, 2021 (6:09 pm)

    In talking with employees over the past few years at that Safeway, it’s unfortunately a common thing. Stealing a cart of groceries I mean, not weapon wielding. I’ve witnessed theft. Totally unnecessary. If someone needs food, there are local resources, some of which have been highlighted on WSB in the past.

  • alajaponaise January 26, 2021 (6:27 pm)

    We regularly shop at the Admiral Way Safeway and we see theft there every trip.  I have mentioned it to fellow customers standing in the check-out lanes and even to the cashiers.  I believe the Safeway policy is to be non-confrontational, however, word gets around.  So, if the Safeway employees allow individuals to just walk out of the store with “stuff” and not pay, it becomes a continuious threat to staff and loyal customers.  If it is not curtailed, we will no longer shop the Admiral Safeway Store.

  • Nachobeaver January 26, 2021 (9:17 pm)

    Ha..This is every night at the Roxbury Safeway 

  • Seaguy January 27, 2021 (12:09 am)

    None of these people are stealing food out of necessity. This city has numerous food banks, meal services, and then there are food stamps. But it all means you can get fed daily for free and not break any laws in the process. Instead they choose to steal and who be pays in the end we all do with higher prices. The politicians never mention that part though.

  • Seabruce January 27, 2021 (1:05 am)

    It would be neat if grocery stores created charitable foundations that would pay for people who can’t afford their groceries or partner with food banks to create a pay what you can grocery store concept

  • 1994 January 27, 2021 (5:56 pm)

    Why is this person stealing when they can visit a food bank?

Sorry, comment time is over.