Burglary, Bias Crime Investigation at Africatown Center, Arrest Made

A suspect has been arrested after police investigated a burglary and bias crime earlier this week. Police are investigating a burglary and vandalism, which included racial slurs and hate graffiti, left inside the Africatown  Center for Education and Innovation in South Seattle.

Officers responded  to the Africatown  Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Alaska Street twice this past week.  Officers took reports documenting the burglary and vandalism that reportedly occurred earlier this week. The center reported that equipment had been taken during the burglary.

The  initial incident was on Sunday, March 20th, and involved a known East African male who volunteers at the center writing an insufficient funds check to the center, and also the theft of some computers and electronics.  The center personnel  suspected this volunteer for the theft but couldn’t prove it.  He arrived there while the officers were on scene and was interviewed and his father offered to pay for the bad check, and also to pay for the stolen items if he in fact had stolen anything, and the center personnel agreed to this.  Officers did not make an arrest due to lack of probable cause for burglary/theft and restitution agreement on the check.

Later in the week the center was burglarized again, but this time there was graffiti targeted at African Americans.  The center personnel again suspected the same East African male who was not present.  He was located about four hours later, and after being interviewed was arrested for burglary.  The racist graffiti was documented in the report and photographed.

The suspect was arrested for the burglary and is a suspect in the bias crime. This remains an active investigation.