It’s a rare day that goes by without a shoplifting report at 523 Broadway E. Here are the latest Central District News Scanner reports for the area. This week, Seattle Weekly adds another report to the pile from way back in January. But this one comes from a source other than the police scanner or the media reports I dig through to learn about arrests and crime on the Hill.
Here’s what the Weekly reported:
Everyone has the occasional trouble with the law and the cross-town rival news editor (and former SW writer), Erica C. Barnett, had her own run-in earlier this year. According to a police spokesperson, the SPD received a shoplifting call from the northern Broadway QFC on Jan. 28 at 6:50 p.m. Barnett is accused of attempting to steal an $8.99 bottle of wine. The spokesperson says SPD records indicate she wasn’t arrested at the scene, but the city attorney’s office did file a misdemeanor theft charge in Seattle Municipal Court. Barnett is scheduled for a hearing March 17. She declined to comment.
Given the way this kind of information is gathered, it’s likely that the Weekly reporter got a tip on this — either that, or she monitors the hundreds of muni court filings that go through Seattle each week. There’s no (ethical) way to have figured out it was Barnett from the redacted media reports that SPD provides so the only way to get a name is to get the court documents involved with the case. Also note the clever turns of phrase in the write-up — SPD won’t confirm names and the media report they provide is redacted so the SW write-up uses the pronoun ‘she’ when talking about the incident (I initially referred to the incident as an ‘arrest’ when this was first posted but the Weekly notes there was no arrest at the scene). The Weekly reporter is putting two and two together just like any other crime story. But, in this case, seems like she had a good deal of help to get the ball rolling. We’ll see. I have a question out to ask about the reporting.
In the meantime, Barnett joins the long line of QFC accused. She won’t be the first reporter accused of having sticky fingers on Capitol Hill.