WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Repeat offender charged in $3,111 shoplifting case; building break-in

In West Seattle Crime Watch today:

THEFT CHARGE IN 4-DIGIT SHOPLIFT: A 32-year-old man accused of walking out of the California SW Rite Aid store with a shopping cart full of items is charged with felony second-degree theft – while awaiting trial on other similar charges. The charging documents say Nicholas A. Meinig was arrested last Tuesday evening. A clerk spotted Meinig heading toward the exit and asked, “A whole cart?” The documents say Meinig responded, “Hell yeah!” The store manager tried to follow him and called 911. Police stopped Meinig near California/Edmunds and say he confessed to stealing the items, described as “a variety of printer cartridges, health-care products, and beauty-care products.” The store totaled the items’ value at $3,111; he was also found in possession of a knife and several items that police believe were stolen elsewhere. In the case documents, police describe Meinig as “very active and prolific in committing multiple high-dollar thefts from several victim businesses in the Seattle area over the last few years,” with 29 arrests on his record and a felony-theft conviction. He’s also awaiting trial on two other felony-theft charges from other areas of Seattle – one from a November shoplifting incident involving $1,245 in items taken from a Safeway store, and the other from an April incident involving $1,154 in items taken from a PCC store. Though court documents seldom have photos, the one from that April case included these:

Meinig has been in jail since his arrest last Tuesday, with bail set at $5,000.

APARTMENT BURGLARY: A texter sent this video after a storage-area break-in at a building in the 7000 block of California SW early Sunday:

The intruders are believed to have cased the area at midnight and then returned around 4 am. The SPD report # is 21-025694.

49 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Repeat offender charged in $3,111 shoplifting case; building break-in"

  • Also John February 1, 2021 (2:47 pm)

    Why is Meinig not in Jail?   29 arrest….a prolific thief….felony theft conviction.   He needs to spend his next 20 years in jail.   And don’t give me that “his parents” or “societies fault” or whatever is the new excuse.

    • reasons not excuses February 1, 2021 (3:48 pm)

      Drug issues? I wonder, are criminals with drug issues connected with drug rehab help? Clearly he needs help with something.

      • WSB February 1, 2021 (3:53 pm)

        One of the previous two cases mentions substances believed to be narcotics found on his person, and there is a paraphernalia-possession case among the previous offenses.

      • Mariko Yatsu February 2, 2021 (5:23 pm)

        Please stop it with the excuses! Part of having a functioning society is having EVERYBODY following the rules. It’s not going to work if only half of us work & the other half steal.

        • reasons not excuses February 3, 2021 (6:44 pm)

          Who made any excuses? Part of having a functioning society is coming to understanding of problems so that you can solve them. Discussing the reasons isn’t excusing anything, it’s solution oriented.

  • Mark Schletty February 1, 2021 (3:00 pm)

    Lets see. A felony conviction, 29 previous arrests, two other  felony theft trials pending, and now this felony admission. Police say he is very active in multiple high dollar thefts from businesses. $5000 bail? Why is bail even an option with this criminal. He obviously won’t stop or learn a lesson. Oops, I guess he has learned a lesson— there are few or no consequences for felonious theft in Seattle or King County so no need to stop. A lesson far too many have learned of late.

  • Heartless? February 1, 2021 (3:27 pm)

    29 arrests?  Would someone PLEASE cancel this guy,

  • Sam February 1, 2021 (3:27 pm)

    In seattle, NO ONE commits 29 robberies and gets away with it 

    • WSB February 1, 2021 (3:40 pm)

      None of the cases listed in the documents were robberies. Shoplifting can be reclassified as robbery, as we have reported many times, if violence or the threat of violence is used. That was not the case in any of these – I’ve read all the charging and probable-cause documents. Brazen, yes, but not violent. There is one violent crime listed in the court documents where his record is summarized, 4th-degree domestic-violence assault that was reduced to disorderly conduct, in 2012.

    • John February 1, 2021 (3:54 pm)

      But apparently 28 is okay.

  • Auntie February 1, 2021 (3:39 pm)

    29 arrests, felony-theft conviction, and more – when will the revolving door stop and keep this guy locked up?!? You and I end up paying higher prices at stores because of people like him. And yet the system, such as it is, let’s us down over and over again.

  • justme February 1, 2021 (4:20 pm)

    A person is pretty prolific when the photos are recognizable. I’ve seen him around before.

  • Junction Lady February 1, 2021 (5:41 pm)

    Good job Rite Aid manager!!  

  • Seenthat February 1, 2021 (5:48 pm)

    Many addicts spend close to $500-$1k a day on heroin. Annualized that number. It’s a crazy amount of money being spent on drugs. Most of us don’t make that much money in a year. Yet many individuals without jobs, or homes find a way to meet that daily expense need. We need to find a way to get people off drugs in our community or the crime will never stop. And why should it? There are zero consequences. 

    • Jethro Marx February 1, 2021 (9:11 pm)

      You are wildly incorrect, and the fact that you think heroin addicts are spending $180-365k/year on their drugs is either comical or incredibly sad, depending on the rest of your situation. Most users do want to enter treatment; the capacity and funding do not exist, and they are put on a waiting list and sent back to the street.  

      • Owlez February 2, 2021 (1:27 am)

        $100-200 a day is pretty typical. The habit has its own economic system for addicts vs dealers. $500-1000 a day can happen but not consistently. But people will use the $ equiv. of more than what’s paid for often. Smh…

      • Sam February 2, 2021 (7:53 am)

        Interesting. What’s your source for “most users want?”

        • Alex S. February 2, 2021 (3:12 pm)

          I think Jethro forgot to insert a “don’t actually” in there.  Truth is, treatments like Suboxone and Bupropion are widely available, widely accessible and free for anybody who wants to get clean in and around Seattle.  The counseling that goes along with those treatments is also free and widely available.  The inpatient psychiatry ward at Harborview provides excellent care and takes new patients 24 X 7. It’s also rarely full: I know these things because I have helped three friends get off pills, meth and heroin in recent years.  None had insurance or jobs – they only thing they needed was the  *actual* will to get clean.  The big problem with these street drugs is they re-wire the brain and don’t allow the host to make rational decisions.  So, yeah – addicts will tell Jethro they want to get clean; but what they are really doing is collecting new enablers to believe and excuse the endless string of lies they tell. 

          • Ktipler February 4, 2021 (5:48 pm)

            Well said, i agree

    • Steve February 3, 2021 (2:46 pm)

      $500-$1k!!?!?! That be some top shelf heroin! 

    • TQ February 3, 2021 (9:49 pm)

      Sorry but no one spends $500-1,000 daily on heroin. You would litterally have to be just using drugs 24/7 and doing nothing else to use that much. And even then I doubt it possible to use $1,000 in a day.

  • Craig February 1, 2021 (7:05 pm)

    If this guy were clean and sober he’d be my #1 pick for a security guard role to stop shoplifting. He’d earn his money many times over knowing were to be and what thieves will target. 

  • Dan February 1, 2021 (8:47 pm)

    What does a shopping cart full of $1200 of stuff from Safeway look like???

    • ttt February 2, 2021 (6:54 am)

      exactly. $600 would be a cartful.

    • Jeff February 2, 2021 (7:12 am)

      If you are going just Supermarket Sweep rules, probably a bunch of meat and expensive spices (saffron?).     When they are hoping to resell though my understanding is that stuff like diapers, formula, and laundry detergent is stolen quite a lot, because there is a robust black market for those items.   

  • 1994 February 1, 2021 (10:16 pm)

    “A clerk spotted Meinig heading toward the exit and asked, “A whole cart?” The documents say Meinig responded, “Hell yeah!” No shame, feels entitled to take what he wants, and an angry face on this guy. Wonder if he can post bail – sounds like he has done a lot of thieving . He only needs $500 – right?

    • Eric1 February 1, 2021 (11:40 pm)

      1994, Meinig would have to get a bail bondsman to put up the other 90% and I don’t think many people would trust this guy to actually show up at court.  So he will probably get released on personal recognizance in 24hours after the customary wrist slap.  Unfortunately in criminal friendly Seattle, we don’t have the Mandalorian to bring in outlaws and bail jumpers (thus most criminals seem to have multiple warrants).  Some of these scofflaws might actually behave if they knew the tag line was: I can bring you in warm, or I can bring you in cold…   

    • bb7 February 2, 2021 (12:05 am)

      And you feel entitled to stop him? Shoplifting isn’t a major crime, I’m sure most kids have done it at least once to try to look cool. Shoplifting from a grocery chain doesn’t hurt anyone in particular either. Its a crime and it should be treated that way, but that doesn’t mean that he is a horrible or even bad person. I’d rather have a bunch of shoplifters than burglars and murderers. 

      • Canton February 2, 2021 (9:10 am)

        ??? Care to share your address with these criminals? I’d rather they steal from you, since you wouldn’t mind, than steal from me where their family would mind. This sounds like a crime of opportunity vs need.

      • SS4 February 2, 2021 (2:47 pm)

        Taking anything that doesn’t belong to the thief away from somebody whom is the rightful/legal owner, qualifies as illegitimate/illegal transaction.  What’s next? Justifying assault of all types, taking away someone’s ability to exists in safety?These transactions/criminal cases should be prosecuted.

      • flimflam February 2, 2021 (4:35 pm)

        BB7, that was ridiculous. this is just one dude – there are many like him, even at $100 a pop, rather than $3000, that adds up and does plenty of harm.

      • LTMI February 2, 2021 (7:01 pm)

        @BB7 – It hurts ME when I have to pay more to buy things because some miscreant wants to steal them. Check your privilege. I don’t make much money.

        • bb7 February 2, 2021 (8:53 pm)

          Arguably I make less, I spend most of what i make just to live in a bad apartment in a nicer area like west seattle. Its sad to see crime but if you didn’t have to pay for things that would be communism. You have to pay for things because people need to make money, from businessmen to the store’s workers to the farmers who make the  food in the first place. 

          • Auntie February 2, 2021 (9:32 pm)

            But it has been shown time and again that we all pay more to cover the cost of successful shoplifters. So, basically, we are paying for shoplifters to take what they want and get off scot-free. Might as well stand in the check-out line with them and just pay for their cartload.

      • seaguy February 3, 2021 (12:39 pm)

        Shoplifting from a grocery store does hurt us all in the form of higher prices and stores being closed permanently if the store is losing money due to shoplifting.  So while that might not be “anyone in particular” it is still not a victimless crime and higher prices hurt the poor the most, and closed stores lead to food deserts hurting the poor and minorities the hardest.

  • Ws February 2, 2021 (6:20 am)

    Sad. This man needs treatment!! Hope he gets help. 

  • Mj February 2, 2021 (10:14 am)

    Ws – How many chances does a person deserve?  After 29 crimes a jail cell is where he belongs.

  • Rr February 2, 2021 (10:26 am)

    I’d be willing to wager the printer cartridges however small a percentage of the sum total of the contents of that cart, comprised the largest share of its cost. I’m not bitter.

    • Wavy David February 2, 2021 (11:08 am)

      The outrageous cost of disposable printer cartridges should be a crime. $40-80 per tablespoon of ink! It’s no wonder there’s a healthy black market for shoplifting entrepreneurs like him to exploit.

    • Seaguy February 3, 2021 (12:46 pm)

      I have done secret shops for HP at that Rite Aid location they sell maybe 6 -8 different cartridges with the most expensive one being a multipack around $50.00 and they usually only have 4 maybe 6 at the most of each cartridge stocked so he would have had to clear the fully stocked peg hooks of all cartridges and he still would have been several hundred dollars short.  Maybe Rite Aid needs to put those locks on where an associate has to unlock them for the customers?  Regardless of how one feels about HP and their ink cartridge pricing this guy has a sense of entitlement in regards to shoplifting and he needs to face some consequences other than what he has received as punishment thus far because it has done nothing to curb his appetite for shoplifting carts of stuff from area stores.

  • Mj February 2, 2021 (10:44 am)

    bb7 – shoplifting adversely affects everyone via higher prices to cover the cost of stolen products!

  • Heartless? February 2, 2021 (1:14 pm)

    bb7, your opinion only contributes to the problem!

    • Alex S. February 2, 2021 (2:55 pm)

      Indeed.  Not only that, but as enabled addicts inevitably become more desperate they shift from property crimes more serious, violent offenses.  Also, I wonder what bb7 thinks Meinig was going to do with those knives.  Butter bread with them?

      • bb7 February 3, 2021 (12:47 pm)

        As someone who carries a knife with me, he’d most likely use it for opening things. Or whatever normal people use a knife for? Also after 28 times of shoplifting I’m sure his logical next step would be to go around stabbing people, that makes perfect sense right? He will most likely shoplift again, which is an issue that doesn’t affect me at all so why would I be concerned. 

    • bb7 February 2, 2021 (9:20 pm)

      Shoplifting is a problem, I never said that what he did was okay. I was simply giving a valid reason why he has gotten away with it for so long and will still get away with it. 

  • TQ February 3, 2021 (9:46 pm)

    Locking someone up costs the tax payer far more then anything else. It costs thousands of dollars every single month. We need to focus on solutions to people problems (drugs) as opposed to putting people in a jail cell. It should be clear as day incarceration isn’t a solution.

    • waitingforsolutions February 4, 2021 (5:47 pm)

      Well, until we have the solutions I would suggest we lock him up. 

  • Terremoto February 7, 2021 (7:15 am)

    Blatant shoplifters in Safeway stealing dry goods for resale. I challenged one guy clearing a shelf of shampoo + other items into the ubiquitous black backpack. I get that they don’t want to upset other shoppers with a potentially violent interaction, but it sure seems like a security guard at front door could reduce loss.  So blatant, and the cost will be reflected in higher prices. Constant occurrence, sometimes 2-3 guys at a time.  Shoplifters at Target also SO obvious. C’mon.

  • widenwsroads February 12, 2021 (5:59 pm)

    Flipping POTUS can incite insurrection and very likely get away with it, as his co conspirators in the senate. Why should Rite Aid guy get 20 years lol. Fully agree he’s a delight for society but let’s put the noose away

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