Zip Ties, Cell Phone Dropped At Crime Scene Lead Detectives to Armed Robbers

DNA on zip ties and a cell phone dropped at a crime scene have led detectives to two men suspected of robbing four Vietnamese-owned businesses at gunpoint last year.

Detectives began investigating the two men following a series of increasingly violent robberies at two restaurants and two salons in South Seattle and the International District.

During the robberies, the suspects pulled guns on their victims and stole cash and thousands of dollars in jewelry. In several of the cases, the suspects used zip-ties to tie up their victims.

After detectives sent several zip-ties to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for DNA testing and recovered a cell phone dropped by a suspect during one of the robberies, police were able to identify the two suspects in the case.

Detectives learned one of the suspects—a 37-year-old man—was already in jail in California for three other robbery cases. The second suspect—a 34-year-old man, who may be tied to a robbery in Texas—is now in custody in Arizona, facing possible extradition back to Washington.