11:17 AM: Thanks for the tips. South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) is currently under “shelter in place,” according to an internal alert. Police were dispatched, according to radio exchanges, to a report of a robbery – an employee said someone stole “an air-conditioning nozzle” and when told to stop, implied they had a gun, though none was seen. They then headed out northbound. Police are in the area searching right now. (added) They’ve just given this description to dispatch: Black man, average build, 20-30 years old, red top, capri-type pants, slippers.
11:45 AM: The shelter-in-place has been lifted. No word of an arrest.
12:25 PM: We asked SSC for more info; here’s what we received from college spokesperson Ty Swenson:
Shortly after 11 a.m. on 2/24 a member of the South Seattle College custodial team made contact with an individual in a campus building who appeared to be trying to steal a vacuum hose. The custodial employee asked for the item back at which time the suspect threatened the employee and claimed to have a firearm. A firearm was not brandished.
The individual then left the building toward the Arboretum on the north end of campus. Campus security was contacted, at which time the security team sent out a “shelter in place” emergency message (at 11:11 a.m.), called police for assistance and evacuated individuals from the north end of campus.
Police arrived around 11:17 a.m. and performed a thorough search of the Arboretum area and north end of campus. The suspect was not located and after college security and police conferred, a decision was made to lift the shelter in place order at 11:31 a.m.
ADDED FRIDAY: One update – another change in description of what was stolen: It turned out to be a thermostat.