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Robbers Use Ersatz Cab In Latest Ploy Targeting Club Patrons

While stopping by the East Precinct to claim her found purse, a woman recounted to officers how she and a friend had been accosted by a group of men while trying to get home from a bar early Sunday morning.

The woman and her friend were sitting on a curb waiting for a cab in the 1000 block of E. Pike Street after a night of bar-hopping when three men approached them.

One of the men said his brother worked for a taxi company, and offered to get the two women a ride home. The woman told police a grey Honda Civic pulled up in front of them, and the three suspects forced them inside. The woman said the three suspects “boxed” her and her friend in the back seat of the car, sitting on either side of the victims. The women began shouting at the men, catching the attention of several witnesses on the street, who also began yelling at the suspects.

As the suspects and witnesses exchanged words, the women were able to climb out of the car. The suspects and the group of witnesses continued to shout at one another, drawing the attention of police working in the area. The suspects quickly fled, and when officers contacted the woman about the incident she declined to file a report.

However, when she arrived home she realized her purse was missing.

As it turned out, officers had recovered the woman’s purse and contacted one of her family members to let them know they were holding it at the East Precinct.

When the woman came to the precinct to retrieve her purse, she found that her cash, ring, and passport were all missing. She then reported the entire incident to officers, noting that she believed the suspects had stolen her purse, as well as a bracelet she’d been wearing the night before.

Detectives are now investigating the incident.

“Grab Him!”

In another case reported on September 29th, a man told police two suspects chased him down Broadway in the early morning hours. The victim said that he was walking northbound near Broadway and E. Pike Street when two men began following him. One of the suspects shouted “grab him!” and both suspects began to chase after the man. The victim was able to get away from the suspects without being robbed or injured.

Police don’t yet know if either case is connected to a larger series of robberies in the East Precinct, which led police to increase patrols in the neighborhood.

Fugitives Responsible For at Least a Dozen Robberies

Detectives believe a group of teenagers arrested in a stolen car last week in California could be responsible for at least a dozen recent robberies on Capitol Hill.

SPD Robbery detectives say the group of four young men—all between 14 and 17 years old—targeted intoxicated victims on Capitol Hill because they were more likely to have trouble identifying their assailants. Police also recovered cellphones and other electronics in the suspects’ stolen Ford Fusion, and are working to tie the items to any recent robberies. Detectives are now working to extradite three of the suspects to Seattle. The fourth suspect may be facing additional charges for unrelated crimes in California.