There’s been a break in a major robbery ring based out of University District and hitting a variety of North Seattle neighborhoods (presumably including Wallingford). Perhaps our long torment is over?
According to SPD Blotter:
Detectives got their first major break in the case on September 11th when Seattle police and Department of Corrections officers went to a University District townhouse near NE 50th Street and 11th Avenue NE to arrest a 26-year-old woman wanted on a felony warrant. After officers took the woman into custody, they discovered a stolen car parked outside the two-bedroom townhome. … Detectives found a trove of around 100 stolen packages when they arrived, containing everything from ceiling fans to strollers, all in their original packaging. “When we left her house,” says MCTF Det. Todd Jakobsen “we had four SUVs and two cars stuffed full of packages she’d stolen off people’s porches.”
Detectives found duffel bags filled with stolen mail, more than 70 IDs, credit cards and passports, $37,000 in fraudulent checks, and mail stolen from at least 180 victims. They also found books and ledgers tracking thefts and tallying sales on online sites, as well as pages and pages of victims’ birthdates, social security numbers and credit card numbers. Detectives say the woman had created “profiles,” compiling personal information from pieces of stolen mail. With that info in hand, she and other thieves had everything they needed to open credit accounts in their victims’ names.
The photo above is a small slice of the recovered loot. It gets better.
Police later learned the townhome, much like the mail and stolen items inside it, did not belong to the woman either. “She never even rented this place,” says Major Crimes Task Force detective Todd Jakobsen. “The people that lived there moved out and she just moved in. She never paid rent.”
Upon questioning the woman and her boyfriend, the police learned that they were part of a four-person operation that has been operating overtime, stealing mail and breaking into homes seven days a week for the past several months.
Following up on information provided by the woman, police found the third member of the crew of thieves, a 31-year-old woman, in a tent at an encampment at I-5 and NE 50th St. In the encampment, police found more stolen mail and about 200 pounds of stolen copper wire.
The fourth member of the crew and alleged ringleader was arrested on September 22nd.
“These arrests should drastically reduce property crimes” in the North Precinct, Coordinated Criminal Investigations Captain Eric Sano says, according to the SPD Blotter.
Detectives are still combing through all of the stolen items recovered during their investigation. Given there were “duffelbags full of mail”, I’d be curious to hear if anyone gets a call from the police, or finds a sudden influx of overdue deliveries arriving.