Detectives Uncover Major Stash of Cellphones and Guns In Pioneer Square, Cuff Car Thieves On Aurora

After arresting a package-stealing grinch, a bike thief, and a cop car-ramming felon earlier this month, SPD’s Major Crimes Taskforce (MCTF) went right back to work, seizing a stash of more than 100 cellphones and guns in Pioneer Square, before chasing down two car thieves on Aurora.

MCTF detectives were prowling Aurora Avenue on November 18th—looking for several wanted car thieves—when they spotted a stolen car parked at North 88th Street and Nesbitt Avenue N. Detectives watched as a wanted car thief and his girlfriend walked away from the stolen car to a nearby Taco Bell.

Police quickly circled back several blocks to check on the stolen car, and were surprised to find a man sitting in the driver’s seat. After officers took the man into custody, he told police the other suspect and his girlfriend had given him permission to drive the stolen car.

Detectives went back to the Taco Bell and took the suspect and his girlfriend into custody. After interviewing the pair, officers were able to confirm the suspects knew they’d been driving around in a stolen car. The male suspect also admitted to stealing 30 to 40 cars in North Seattle over the last four months, and said he’d prowled at least five cars a night, stealing loose change and other items. The suspect then drove around with detectives and pointed out where he had parked a half-dozen stolen cars.

The very same day MCTF detectives received a tip that another wanted man was holed up at a motel on Aurora. Police learned the man had shown up at the motel in a stolen car, which he had left behind the building. Detectives parked outside the motel and waited for the man, who walked out of his motel room and up to his stolen car, where officers took him into custody.

In another case MCTF case six days earlier, on November 12th, detectives and officers from the West and South Precincts had to call for backup from the Arson/Bomb Squad before they could seize a stash of guns, drugs and phones from a Pioneer Square apartment.

While serving a narcotics warrant at the apartment in the 300 block of 4th Avenue S., police unexpectedly encountered the makings of a Molotov cocktail. Arson/Bomb Squad detectives arrived at the apartment and determined the incendiary device was a fake. A resident of the apartment apparently put the Molotov together to frighten a neighbor.

With the fake firebomb out of the way, MCTF detectives got to work recovering 109 suspected stolen phones, two handguns, 8 rifles, 15 bikes, 221 grams of methamphetamine and 500 milliliters of gamma-hydroxybutyrate—well-known as a “date rape drug”—from the apartment. Police also found 15 high-end bicycles, 13 guitars, 11 laptops and assorted computer parts at the scene. Officers arrested a felon inside the apartment and booked him into the King County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm and drug possession.