Police: Safeway employee stabbed suspected shoplifter in self defense

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BELLEVUE – Police believe a Safeway employee who chased, and then stabbed a man suspected of shoplifting from the Safeway store on Bellevue Way NE acted in self defense.

Police responded to a reported stabbing near the intersection of NE 4th Street and 106th Ave NE around 10:30 pm Wednesday, police said.

At the same time, someone called 911 from the Safeway store to report that an employee was covered with blood at that location.

Police believe that a 37-year-old man was attempting to shoplift items when a Safeway employee confronted the man inside the store. An altercation between the two men started, with the alleged shoplifter running outside, with the employee following, police said.

The two men ended up in a parking lot across from the Bank of America where another altercation occurred. The shoplifter then struck the man in the head with a bottle, police said. Police said that the Safeway employee — who was scared after being struck in the head — stabbed the suspected shoplifter multiple times.

Medics transported the stabbed man to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with life-threatening injuries.

They detained the Safeway employee for some time, and then released him after it was determined he acted in self defense.

Police are still investigating the incident.

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22 comments

  • Jim Higgins

    I don’t think this is a protocol for loss prevention from Safeway Inc. I’m sure something called “theft insurance” usually covers loss costs from thefts from stores. I’d like to know what the Safeway protocol for store shoplifting is if anyone know. I’m sure it’s not chasing the suspect and stabbing them. This would append to something like second degree assault with a deadly weapon.

    • fsilber

      “I’m sure something called `theft insurance’ usually covers loss costs from thefts from stores.”

      Nope, that would merely finance the losses. All payouts are covered by premiums — and more. No store would pay an insurance company just to return part of their premium to them.

      “I’d like to know what the Safeway protocol for store shoplifting is if anyone know. I’m sure it’s not chasing the suspect and stabbing them.”

      No, protocol is only to chase them. The stabbing had nothing to do with the shop-lifting. It was related more to the attempted murder by clubbing.

  • Jim Higgins

    From what I could tell at the scene of the crime, the incident occurred in the middle of NE 4th St in between Bank Of America and Bellevue Rare Coins. My bus had to be re-routed around the scene of the incident and I missed my connection. Thanks for Metro transit for NOT advising connecting busses at the Bellevue Transit Station incoming busses would need to detour on the incoming route through NE 4th ST, many passengers had to wait for the next bus.

  • Jenn loop

    How u going to chase someone then stab and scream self defense safeway dont pay that much to put your life at risk… Wow enjoy those free. Fresh baked cookies for your hard work!

  • tucker

    Finally someone thought these thieves should be held accountable, sorry the jerk decided to attack the employee and got injured The cost of all this( as Jim Higgins puts it) theft insurance is passed on to the law abiding consumer. I worked for a grocery retail chain here and was amazed at how theft is tolerated here, which just opens the door to more crimes and cost to the consumer. Kudos to that employee, good job

    • demoman

      Unfortunately it came out that it really was not self defense as strongly suggested. Also the checker whom stabbed the would be thief killed himself because he was looking at jail time. I new the parties envolved. The story came out that the safeway employee had been to jail before for a similar situation and because in this case he was found to be the aggressor he was looking at a considerable amount of prison time. Very sad case. True the theft all in it self was wrong but me personally I would have left it up the police. The cops new who the person of interest was. So he would not have been hard to track down. Bellvue has alot of wine thefts committed both by the well off and thugs alike. This is something that has been going on for a many years. They steal the wine and then sell online. Most of the time when the locals whom steal thousands of dollars in wine from the local grocers it is kept out of the news. I have a lot of friends that work at the local grocers and they have plenty of stories about whom is doing alot of the big time stealing of wine in Bellvue. They have a very sneaky cunning way of doing it. Lots of money is being made by them pulling these scams along with the insurance scams committe by many locals. True there are legit crimes that occurr every where. But obviously depending whom does it there may be little or nor coverage or light hearted coverage at best. This is just fyi to all whom is reading this message board. There has been alot of fraud going on in Bellvue for a long time and the FBI has been collecting data on this for many years. Insurance fraud is a big time crime all over but very much so in places like Bellvue because of the image that has been kept up. In time you guys are going to start seeing and hearing more about things like this. Take care all and always try to do the right thing because it is very easy to ruine your life in many ways.

  • Ben

    Tucker, are you kidding me? Safeway has a long history of pursuing and attempting to physically retrain shoplifters. One of their employees even killed guy a few years back in a choke hold over a pack of cigarettes. I hate thieves too, but Safeway’s tactics and irresponsibility is abhorrent.

    • ST

      Ya That incident happened in 1993-1994 in Federal Way if I’m not mistaken. That’s the reason why Safeway made it a policy that employees are not allowed to chase shoplifters once they step foot out the door. I work at that store once in a while as a meat floater but I didn’t think that, that store would have shoplift problems cause of it’s location. it’s crazy!

  • Craig

    I’m guessing that the shoplifter was white……if he was Black, the media would be describing him as “unarmed”…..as in “safeway employee stabs unarmed man”

    • Craig

      Fabian, your stupid comment and your inability to form proper sentences speak volumes about your lack of intelligence. Go screw yourself.

      • Fabian

        Funny how you result to just insulting me, instead of responding to any of my valid points because you know they’re true and if you truly believe there’s no racism in this world you are an ignorant piece of shit. Open your eyes!

  • Sorkin

    The suspect had it coming. This coutry’s weak justice system wreaks havoc on the law abiding. Bellevue’s a nice place to live. Riff-raff have no reason to be there. People in this town don’t need this BS from those types. The homeless and gangs do nothing productive for society.

  • warren

    doesn’t warrant getting stabbed. how can you really not see anyones point. no shit stealing is stupid. but so is angrily chasing someone down and stabbing them multiple times. how can you dance around that? well?

    • Sorkin

      Good God I wrote this comment last week. You need a hobby, a date, or more psych. meds.

      Get over yourself. This is an opinion column. No right or wrong answers.

  • John Doe

    I saw the man run up behind him and stab him then grab the kids bags and left there was no altetrcation the safeway employee had murder in his eyes akd was skilled enough with a knife to go for a major artery

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