Man Arrested For Trying To Cash In On Online Survey Craze

Police arrested a 30-year-old man Tuesday morning in Madison Park following a spate of thefts of pricey surveying equipment in the South Precinct.

Over the last two months, construction crews have reported at least a half-dozen instances of a suspect—sometimes dressed in a high-visibility neon safety vest—snatching up surveyors from worksites as crews are occupied taking measurements. Surveyors, which can take a 3D scan of an area, retail for tens of thousands of dollars each.

On March 25th, a crew working in Rainier Beach reported such a theft, and police tracked down video footage of the suspect. Officers recognized him from a traffic stop days earlier, and soon found the man was attempting to sell surveyors through an online site at a fraction of their value.

Investigators were able to track the suspect to a home in the 600 block of 28th Avenue East, where South Precinct’s Anti-Crime Team, detectives, and SWAT arrested him early Tuesday.

Police booked the man into the King County Jail for theft and trafficking stolen property.