SPD robbery detectives are searching for a group of men suspected in a series of increasingly brazen armed robberies over the last week in each of Seattle’s five precincts.
The string of 10 cases began just after 9 AM on July 31st, when a group of six male suspects cornered a teen in an alley behind the Beacon Hill library. One of the suspects lifted up his shirt, implying he had a gun, and stole the teen’s backpack, phone and bankcards.
Early the next morning, at 1:40 AM on August 1st, a car full of men a drove up to a woman near 56th and Latona and demanded her purse. When the victims refused and kept walking, the suspects got out of the car, pulled a gun on the victim and stole her purse before fleeing.
That night, around 11 pm, the suspects pulled a knife on a delivery driver in Holly Park and stole four pizzas. A half hour later, the suspects struck again in West Seattle, where they surrounded a man in the 5500 block of 16th Avenue SW, shoved him to the ground, rifled through his pockets and stole his iPhone at gunpoint.
Again, around 3:30 AM on August 2nd, the same suspects grabbed a 28-year-old man near Harvard Avenue and E. Thomas Street, put him in a headlock and stole the man’s iPhone and wallet.
Almost exactly twenty-four hours later, two suspects—accompanied by a lookout— approached two men near 11th Avenue and E Pine Street, across the street from Cal Anderson Park. The suspects pulled a gun on the men, demanded their wallets and phones and then ordered them to walk away.
Half an hour later, around 4 AM, two of the suspects climbed into a victim’s car outside a Central District hookah bar, drew guns, and forced the victim to drive to Renton, where they pistol-whipped the man and stole his wallet before fleeing.
Detectives believe members of the same group snatched a woman’s purse at near Seneca and Broadway at about 3:45 AM on August 4th, and jumped into a waiting getaway car.
The same day, just after noon, one of the suspects ran up to a 13-year-old girl and stole an iPhone out of her hands near 60th Ave SW and Alki Ave SW.
Finally, detectives believe several of the suspects followed two women down the street near 52nd and 15th Ave NE around 1:45 AM on August 5th, demanded their purses at gunpoint and fled.
The suspects in all 10 of the cases are black males between 18 and 25 years old. Following several of the recent incidents, detectives received information that the men may be East African or Somali. In one of the incidents, the suspects were seen fleeing in a green Toyota Camry.
If you have any information about these incidents or any other details that might help detectives track down these suspects, please contact SPD’s robbery unit at (206) 684-5535.
For tips from SPD’s Crime Prevention Coordinators and Robbery Unit on what to do if you think you’re being followed by a robber or are targeted in a robbery, click here.