No break-in, but a breakout at Seattle police complex
Police say two thieves broke out of a vehicle-holding area in a large police complex near Airport Way and S. Holgate Street around March 30.
The complex includes an evidence facility.
The Seattle Police Department said Tuesday that on March 30, an SPD patrol officer found a stolen truck and attached trailer.
The officer checked the truck but the trailer was locked and instead of getting a warrant to search the trailer, the officer allowed a tow truck to transport the truck and trailer to the evidence facility.
What the officer didn’t know was that there were a man and woman inside the locked trailer, and the trailer was left inside the facility. Sometime in the next 38 hours, the two suspects walked out of the facility.
Police say 10 vehicles were inside the holding room and now they are looking into whether any of the other vehicles were opened.
Seattle police only recently confirmed the story on July 9 when a burglar facing charges in an unrelated story provided specific details hoping to bargain with police for a shorter sentence. Police say they did not bargain with the burglar.
A male suspect is already behind bars for an unrelated charge. Police are still looking for the woman.
“Police have not yet found any evidence of tampering, and detectives have confirmed the suspects did not have the ability to access the department’s nearby evidence warehouse, quartermaster offices, or vehicle processing room,” the SPD said.
Police say they officer who did not follow protocol of obtaining the warrant for the trailer is not facing disciplinary action but they say the incident will be a learning experience for the department.
No procedures will change, but the department says they will try to educate their officers more clearly on the existing guidelines.