Wet Bandits Arrested After Calamitous Rainier Beach Caper

Two burglars were arrested after a calamitous caper Saturday Friday night in Rainier Beach, after the men got their first stolen getaway car stuck in the mud, crashed a second and fled into Lake Washington. Officers quickly found the men: one damp and pants-less at a condo complex where he had pulled a fire alarm to try and cover his escape; the other was discovered soaked and sitting outside a magic shop.

A neighbor in the 8300 block of Wolcott Ave S called police around 10 PM after seeing two suspicious men moving items into a car. The neighbor reported the suspects, who had arrived at the scene in Volkswagen Golf–which later became stuck in the mud–drove off in a Honda Civic.

Officers spotted the suspects driving near Cloverdale and Seward Park Avenue South and began following them. The men began swerving around other vehicles on the road, and refused to pull over when officers activated their red and blue lights.

As the suspects sped away from police, they hit a curb at Seward Park Ave S and Rainier Ave S, crossed through a parking lot and crashed into a fence and mailboxes before dropping down an embankment, where they came to rest on top of a parked BMW.

The two suspects took off running and apparently dove into Lake Washington, as officers quickly found a very damp suspect–a 22-year-old man, believed to be the passenger in the stolen car–sitting on a bench in a locked, fenced area outside a magic shop in the 9400 block of Rainier Ave S.

Police also followed a set of wet footprints into a condo complex in the 9500 block of Rainier Ave S, where they found residents hurrying out into the street as their buildings’ fire alarm blared.

Officers followed the wet footprints up a staircase to the sixth floor of the building, where police found a suspect’s jacket, not far from where the building’s fire alarm had been pulled.

Police eventually found another the second suspect, a 26-year-old man, in the condo complex’s electrical room. He refused to surrender to police, so after some negotiation, officers forced their way in and arrested the damp suspect, who had removed his pants. Police later searched his pants and found he had a knife and set of brass knuckles.

Officers found the suspects’ Volkswagen and Honda were reported stolen outside of Seattle, and booked both men into the King County Jail for a variety of crimes, including burglary, auto theft, eluding, malicious mischief and possession of stolen property.