One victim learned that the hard way and he’s speaking out in hopes of keeping others from being ripped off.
Joe Larsen is a manager at Roxbury Lanes and Casino in White Center and a recent victim of theft, “When it`s time to pay our mortgage, we just drop our mortgage check right here in the mail, with the outgoing mail for the bowling center.”
Now, Larsen pays his mortgage online after King County Sheriff’s detectives say the man above in the gray and black coat walked in at 10:39am and stole it. “He stands at the front counter for a while, he`s kind of looking around, checking the area and then after a short time later, he actually ends up grabbing the check, you can see right before he grabs it, he`s reading it to see what it`s to and when he realizes it`s going to a mortgage company, I`m sure he figured out there`s a check inside of it and that`s when he swiped it, put it in his pocket, kind of looked around a couple more times, checked to make sure no one is watching and then can be seen leaving out of camera view,” said King County Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
Larsen had no idea what happened until his bank called. "They think somebody deposited our mortgage check into their account and it looked real funny, like it had been washed off.” He had go and change all of his accounts and then he took a look at the surveillance video from that day and noticed the suspect seemed to be sick or hungover, he had his head down before spotting the check and then pocketing it.
"I just couldn`t believe the guy was that gutsy to do something like that. It was terrible," said Larsen.
Detectives have been working the case and say there's more than one suspect involved. "We found out that the person who actually tried to cash the check is not the same person that grabbed the victim`s check here, so we`re trying to identify who this suspect is and, you know, if he`s doing this here, in the middle of the morning, on a busy day, in a place of employment, then he`s doing other stuff, as well," said Sgt. Abbott.
Larsen says the thief is not one of their regular customers. He's hoping somebody can help identify him. “Whatever we can do to get him off the streets, to get him caught, that would be great. I would love that. I would really enjoy seeing that happen. That`s why I`m doing this, because I don`t want to see him doing it to anybody, anybody else at all,” said Larsen.
If you can tell King County detectives who this mail thief is, use the P3 Tips App to submit your information to Crime Stoppers, or call the hot line at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).