Police arrest suspect in theft of $4,000 worth of meat, other items from Auburn store

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AUBURN, Wash. — Police said on Wednesday they had arrested a suspect who is believed to have stolen thousands of dollars’ worth of fresh meat and health and beauty items from a grocery store in Auburn.

The arrest was made Wednesday afternoon at the suspect’s residence in Kent, an Auburn police spokeswoman said.

She added that the police department got a handful of tips on the suspect from the surveillance video that was aired on Q13 FOX News Tuesday night.

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TEXT AND VIDEO FROM EARLIER STORY:

When Sonja Noski’s husband came to work Friday morning, he found the back door to their warehouse open halfway.

“We looked at the surveillance video from overnight and figured out someone was here,” she says. “Then we had to figure out what he took.”

The thief took about $4,000 worth of high-value groceries, including over-the-counter medication, chicken, steak, and ground beef. He spent close to 30 minutes in the warehouse. Noski says it’s frustrating to watch him on the surveillance video.

“He shopped, he spent his time, he looked, he was picky. There was so much back there for him to take, and he only took what he wanted.”

Noski and her husband just bought Grocery Outlet and moved home to Washington state a few months ago. They say they’re trying to build their business, and can’t afford a theft like this.

“We’re a small business. We’re not some big corporation that he stole from, that we can just write off. This is personal, this is stealing from myself, my husband, my family, my daughter.”

She is glad that they invested in a new surveillance system. The thief ducked down whenever he passed by the doors to the front of the store, but didn’t realize cameras were watching his every move. She’s hoping he’ll be caught before he tries something like this again.

“I hope someone recognizes him; he’s got to be a native to the area and somebody’s got to know who he is.”

Noski thinks the thief broke in through the air duct system, but she’s still not exactly sure how. She says they’ve upgraded their security since the break-in, and have asked their employees to be on alert.

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