A Daylight Restaurant Robbery in the Heart of Amazon Country

by on April 16, 2012


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At 9:22 a.m. Friday morning, on the 300 block of Terry Avenue North, armed robbers entered a restaurant–police aren’t specifying which, but since the block includes the Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, and Portage Bay Cafe, the odds are good that Tom Douglas took a loss.

A robbery in itself–even an armed robbery–isn’t big news in a big city, or even Seattle, but it is a little incongruous to imagine the thousands of Amazonians streaming thither and yon while (as I hear it) robbers were pointing guns at threatening restaurant employees while they tied them up.

The initial, terse police report gives merely the time of the incident (9:22 a.m.), the time of the report (10:37 a.m.), a summary (ROBBERY-BUSINESS-BODYFORCE) and the kind of business (RESTAURANT).

As you can see from Spotcrime.com’s map, South Lake Union isn’t exactly crime-free, but the bulk of the incidents are car prowls, with a few assaults thrown in. Robbery of a business during daylight hours requires a different kind of criminal than an opportunist or hooligan.

For all that, the crime seems to have gone uncovered by local media, even though the Seattle Times is just blocks away. I have a call in to the Seattle Police Department to see if there’s an update, or more details they can divulge.

UPDATE: SPD PIO Mark Jamieson says the incident has not yet been assigned to robbery detectives, but will be soon, and that a public (redacted) version of the report will be available online in a few days. (The usual promise is three business days to get reports up.)

UPDATE UPDATE: Here is the redacted narrative from the police report–I’ve tried to fill in aliases for the blanked out names to keep it readable. I had initially heard the robbers were armed, but the statement indicates they relied on bodily force, so the post has been updated to reflect that:

PER VICTIM [A], HE WAS IN HIS OFFICE GETTING THE DAILY RESTAURANT CASH READY FOR THE DAY. THE LISTED SUSPECTS ENTERED THE OFFICE, SUSP. #1 STATED [HE HAD A] C.O.D. DELIVERY. SUSP. #2 WAS CARRYING TWO CARDBOARD BOXES. WHEN THEY WERE BOTH IN THE OFFICE SUSP. #2 THREW THE BOXES AT VICTIM .

BOTH THE SUSPECTS THEN GRABBED VICTIM [A] AND FORCED HIM DOWN TO THE FLOOR, THE SUSPECTS USED A ZIP TIE TO TIE WRISTS BEHIND HIS BACK. SUSP. #1 THEN ASKED FOR THE COMBINATION TO THE SAFE. [A] WAS AFRAID THAT HE WOULD BE INJURED SO HE GAVE THE COMBINATION. SUSP. # 2 STAYED ON BACK TO KEEP HIM ON THE FLOOR. AT ABOUT THIS TIME VICTIM [B], WALKED INTO THE OFFICE AND SAW [VICTIM A] BEING HELD DOWN ON THE FLOOR. SUSP. #1 STATED “WALK AWAY”.

SUSP. #1 THEN GRABBED VICTIM [B] BY THE BACK OF THE HAIR AND PUT HER FACE DOWN ON THE FLOOR AND USED A ZIP TIE TO TIE HER WRISTS ABOVE HER HEAD. SUSP. #1 THEN GOT THE COMBINATION FROM [A] AND OPENED THE SAFE. HE TOOK APPROX. $5,000.0 AND SEVERAL BUSINESS CHECKS FROM THE SAFE. SUSPECT #1 THEN ASKED [A] WHERE THE REST OF THE MONEY WAS AND [A] TOLD HIM THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL BAGS ON THE DESK. SUSPECT #1 GRABBED ALL OF THE BAGS WHICH CONTAINED APPROX $1,000.00 IN CASH. SUSP. #1 THEN STATED ” WE ARE GOING TO LEAVE NOW, IF YOU MOVE IN FIVE MINUTES WE ARE GOING TO KNOW AND WE’RE GOING TO HURT YOU.”

BOTH VICTIMS STATED THAT THEY WERE NOT INJURED DURING THIS INCIDENT. THERE WERE SEVERAL OTHER EMPLOYEES IN OTHER PARTS OF THE RESTAURANT. NONE WERE IN A POSITION TO WITNESS THIS INCIDENT.

R/O BAGGED THE ONE REMAINING CARDBOARD BOX AND THE TWO ZIP TIES AND LOGGED INTO SPD EVIDENCE TO BE CHECKED FOR FINGERPRINTS. THERE IS POSSIBLE VIDEO EVIDENCE BUT WAS NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME.

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One thought on “A Daylight Restaurant Robbery in the Heart of Amazon Country

  1. Cactus is also on that block. But the only one open for business (and thus likely to have much in the way of cash, as well as having the doors unlocked) at that time would have been Portage Bay.