Good police work results in shoplifting arrest

On August 11th, an East Precinct officer was dispatched to a grocery store in the 1100 Block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way  for  a shoplifting complaint.  The victim grocer stated that the store had video surveillance of a suspect entering the store empty handed and wandering the store.  The suspect then left camera view briefly and returned with something in his hands that he put into a pocket.  The grocer confronted the suspect at the door, but the suspect denied stealing anything and left.  The grocer stated that this suspect is a chronic shoplifter.  The officer reviewed the video and then wrote a report.

Several hours later, while patrolling his beat, the same officer noticed a subject of similar description and contacted him.  The officer was able to engage the suspect in conversation and the suspect admitted to being in the store, but initally denied stealing anything.  The officer discovered a local warrant in the system for the suspect, so placed him under arrest for that.  During a search incident to arrest, the officer discovered a trace amount of drugs on the suspect.  After advising the suspect of his Miranda warnings, the suspect eventually admitted that he stole a hair clipper, worth about $4.00.  The 48 year old suspect was later booked into the King County Jail.

The following day, at the start of his shift, the officer returned to the store to inform the grocer of the arrest and initiate the trespass admonishment for the suspect.  The grocer stated that they have video of the suspect shoplifting from the store on numerous occasions.  This information may assist precinct detectives solve several of their open theft cases as a result of this incident.  While not a substantial arrest in terms of offense classification or dollar amount, it did go a long way to resolve a local community problem.  The officer’s supervisor spoke to the complainant, who summed it up  when she said  “You guys rock!”