What the helicopter was doing on Saturday night: Seeking theft suspects

Sorry it’s taken so long, but that’s the challenge with holiday weekends … We received several questions from White Center and Highland Park about helicopter activity on Saturday night. King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West says today that Guardian One was up while trying to help solve a “beer theft” from the White Center Mini-Mart. No luck catching the suspect/s, though. (We are following up to seek more details about the theft.)

11:25 AM UPDATE: From Sgt. West, more information about the theft case: Deputies were on “random foot patrol” in the WC business district just before 11 pm Saturday when, according to the report, they:

…observed two males, late teen’s in age running diagonally from the SE corner of 16th / Roxbury toward the Tri-Angle Pub. One of the males was carrying what appeared to be a six pack of what I assumed to be alcohol.

Believing the nearby White Center Mini Mart at 1505 Sw Roxbury had been the victim of a beer theft, I ran to the business to check things out. Deputy kept visual contact with the two subjects who were still running north on 16th Sw from Roxbury.

As I approached the front door of the Mini Mart, the owner and clerk approached the door and pointed in the direction I observed the males running. I aske if he’d been a victim of theft, specifically beer and he said yes. Upon obtaining this information, I immediately radioed who was now in foot pursuit of the two subjects.

As the subjects ran, they dropped one 16 oz can of beer at the alley just west of the White Center Mini Mart.

I ran in the general direction of deputy and caught up with him near the 9100 block of 16th Sw; just south of Sw Henderson St within the City of Seattle.

The subjects were last seen just south of Sw Henderson St and had cut back west into several condominiums and apartment units within the block between Sw Barton and Sw Henderson Streets.

An area check for the subjects was conducted utilizing Guardian One and other foot units in the area. The subjects were not located and believed to be in one of several homes in the area.

The two subjects were described as follows:

1-Black male, late teens, 5-10, 140 wearing a black beanie, brow hooded jacket, and jeans.

#2-Unk race male, possibly light skinned black or Hispanic, 5-8/5-10, 135, black baseball cap with gold logo, black or dark colored jacket, jeans and white shoes. This subject was observed with the stolen beer in hand at time of on-view.

The second male suspect was wearing some form of hood up covering his head and face. This was determined via store surveillance system.

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5 Responses to “What the helicopter was doing on Saturday night: Seeking theft suspects”

  1. Wait, they brought out the helicopter to catch beer thieves? Was there a gun invloved in this beer theft? This sounds like not much more than a high school prank, anyone else think the helicopter was a bit over the top? Maybe if we could use the helicopter “Guardian One” a little less we could have more money for more “random foot patrol.” We need cops on the street, not in the sky. How much do you think it costs to fire up that helicopter. I bet its about the same as a cop’s salary for a week. Priorities man!

  2. what he said.

  3. Comet and ET,
    You’re right, this isn’t the highest priority for Guardian One and they would not get called out of the hangar for a beer theft. In this case, Guardian One was already flying and in a position to easily assist the deputies on the ground. We are using the helicopter less and less, due to the budget issues you mentioned, but they are a great force multiplier when they are available.
    Deputy Myers

  4. Actually “Sky Cops” can be very effective tools in catching perpetrators but i do agree with “Comet”, deployment of a police chopper and crew attempting to find beer thieves, is excessive.

  5. Yes, any time I hear that chopper I get nervous that there is something directly related to my health and safety at stake. That said, hopefully those kids had the poo scared out of them and won’t try that again.