CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUPS: Charges filed in mail theft, store robbery, ID theft cases

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed charges today in three cases we’ve covered this past week:

MAIL THEFT: One day after 37-year-old Jason A. Turner‘s seventh arrest this year, he is charged with possession of stolen mail. Court documents say a 911 call brought officers to the 6500 block of 25th SW, where they saw Turner “carrying a large pile of mail” – until police arrived, when they saw him dumping it into a trash can, as well as pulling more mail out of his pants and throwing that away too. They found yet more in his pockets, as well as items of clothing that had been removed from packages, plus a folding knife. In all, the police report says they believe he was in possession of 70 pieces of mail that wasn’t his. (What they recovered, they took to the Westwood Village post office, the documents say.) This is the second felony case filed against Turner in two months; court documents say he has no felony convictions. Prosecutors asked for $5,000 bail, and that’s what a judge set.

Suspects are also now charged in two incidents we reported last Wednesday night:

STORE ROBBERY: 34-year-old Charles P. Lotaki is charged with first-degree robbery for a shoplift-turned-holdup incident at the Walgreens in South Delridge. Employees say they were familiar with him from previous incidents and he had been “trespassed” – ordered not to return to the store – previously. When they confronted him Wednesday night, the charging documents say, he pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot them. The store manager evacuated her employees; when Lotaki walked out of the store, police were there, and a 15-minute standoff ensued before they took him into custody. His weapon turned out to be a “realistic-looking” Airsoft gun. This is his fourth arrest in two months, with other felony and misdemeanor charges pending, including a non-West Seattle case filed today, in which he is accused of breaking into a downtown drugstore. His bail is at $76,000.

ID THEFT: The woman arrested after showing up Wednesday at the Westwood Village Bank of America and allegedly trying to use stolen cards is now charged with two counts of identity theft. 36-year-old Lidia Gutierrez-Vega is accused of trying to use cards, checks, and ID belonging to someone who was the victim of a burglary in Kent. After her arrest, the charging documents say, she claimed another person offered her $100 to impersonate the victim and try to make changes to her account. Gutierrez-Vega has.a felony theft conviction on her record as well as pending cases including two counts of being in possession of a stolen car; jail records show she was booked and released five days before this arrest for investigation of auto theft. Her bail is set at $2,500.

8 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUPS: Charges filed in mail theft, store robbery, ID theft cases"

  • 1994 April 19, 2021 (8:36 pm)

    What a sad group of people who prey on other people and cost us all in many ways. I don’t see them changing their behaviors, just further repeats of behaviors described above. 

  • Nwe April 19, 2021 (9:15 pm)

    Has the guy who steals mail given any reason for it? What’s he doing with the mail besides stuffing it in his pants?

    • WSB April 19, 2021 (9:29 pm)

      The documents from the February charges are more comprehensive than this one (which was a rush filing, as he was arrested just yesterday). He told detectives he’s looking for cash and cards, as a source of income. In one case, it appeared he was also trying to cash a check he found in someone’s mail.

    • momosmom April 20, 2021 (11:21 am)


  • sgs April 19, 2021 (10:02 pm)

    Well, if our representatives, city council, and state supreme court don’t feel it’s necessary to hold anyone accountable for anything, this kind of thing will become even more part of life than it already is.   We reap what we sow; not only with losing accountability and civility, but the lack of economic and social justice.  

    • Lagartija Nick April 20, 2021 (9:36 am)

      Um, charging these individuals for the crimes they’ve committed IS holding them responsible for their actions.

  • Joel April 19, 2021 (11:15 pm)

    safe to say that catch and release is not working?

  • Dan April 20, 2021 (12:05 am)

    $5000 bail? Is he out and stealing mail again yet? What a huge slap in the face to our police and community from the judge

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