Stolen iPad leads SPD to alleged ‘major stolen property trafficking operation’ in Capitol Hill home

Last Friday, police officers and detectives spent the day and most of the night emptying a 12th Ave home of computers and hardware. Today, SPD has released a preliminary report on the investigation detailing what police call a “major stolen property trafficking operation” that was unearthed, the report says, when a burglary victim tracked a stolen iPad to the Capitol Hill home:

Police have uncovered an major stolen property trafficking operation after a burglary victim and police tracked a stolen iPad to a Capitol Hill home filled with computers, bikes, and drugs.

On Friday November 2nd, at about 7:45 am, a North Precinct officer responded to a business in the 1100 Block of North Northlake Way to investigate an overnight burglary.  The victim arrived at work and discovered his iPad was taken in the burglary.


After speaking with officers, the victim decided to use an “app” on his cellphone to track his stolen iPad.  Later that same morning, the victim was able to track his stolen iPad to a house near 12th Avenue East and East Mercer Street, and called 911 to report it.  East Precinct officers arrived and accompanied the victim as he knocked on the door of the house, which apparently served as both a residence and a computer repair shop.

While the victim was knocking on the door, officers could see a number of computers inside the shop.

Once police were able to contact several people inside the home, the victim activated  the program on his “app” that caused his iPad to emit a sound.  The officers and the victim heard the iPad inside the repair shop, and the victim was able to positively identify his stolen property.  The suspect claimed he had purchased the iPad from someone online, but could not provide any details or records of that transaction.

Detectives from the East Precinct responded to the scene and immediately recognized the suspect and location as being involved in the trafficking of stolen property.  Officers arrested the 41-year-old suspect and filed for a warrant to search the home.

Detectives served a warrant at the home and recovered numerous computers and computer parts in the basement, shed, and garage. They also found high-end bicycles, liquor bottles, Rolex watches and methamphetamines inside the home.

Police arrested the suspect and booked him into the King County Jail for Investigation of Possession of Stolen Property. There appears to be quite a number of items from recent area burglaries at this location.   This remains an active and on-going investigation, and detectives have quite a bit of evidence to sift through.

As of Tuesday, a spokesperson for the King County Prosecutor told CHS that charges had not yet been filed against the 41-year-old suspect. He was conditionally released from jail over the weekend though bail was denied, according to county records.

Neighbors told CHS the house serves as a sometimes Apple repair shop.

12 thoughts on “Stolen iPad leads SPD to alleged ‘major stolen property trafficking operation’ in Capitol Hill home

  1. It’s nice to hear that the police will work with victims who have device tracking software set up. It would be nice if there was an official department policy around this — and it would probably go a long way to improve public perception of the police department in general.

  2. We just got broken into last week and the thief only targeted our electronics, stealing two laptops and an iPod but not credit cards, gaming systems, or jewelry. We haven’t seen anything come up on Craigslist and the Pawn shops haven’t alerted us about anything, so we’re really curious about whether or not our stuff was in this house.

  3. So they ‘conditionally released’ a tweaker who traffics stolen goods and think that’s a good idea. Because that always ends with the criminal’s complete cooperation.

  4. Three people in my building, including myself, have had bikes stolen in the last couple of months. Wonder if this guy was involved….

  5. I just posted a comment about the eBay account linked to the missing Mudhoney bike frame but if for some reason the comment cannot stay up since I listed the eBay seller’s name, just do an advanced search for Mudhoney bike and you’ll find the listing and then the seller name. Then, sadly scan the list of the INSANE amount of property they’ve been selling…

  6. we also live just a few blocks away and have known about these people since september….we’ve just been waiting for the SPD to pounce. we found my stolen bike on their ebay site months ago and our friend ‘bought’ back his stolen bike from them as well. i’m so happy to see their shady operation shut down and our neighborhood a little safer.

    This jerkoff and his wife were running this illegal business for YEARS. The part that really gets me is, when we originally contacted them he was a total jerk…super cocky and arrogant. I can’t wait to find out when the hearing is so I can see his stupid face in front of the judge.

  7. Katherine,

    It’s crazy, they’ve had this illegal ‘business’ for YEARS on ebay. They tried to pay off the buyer of my stolen bike so he wouldn’t leave negative comments or feedback about them on ebay! Thankfully ebay shut them down anyway, but clearly that didn’t stop them, they just created a new site. I’m so happy the SPD finally took action!

    -Niemcziek

  8. I’m a little confused. Bail was denied, yet he was “released conditionally”? How does this happen? If bail is denied, doesn’t a person have to remain in jail?

  9. Just double-checked and this guy has no business license with State so he’s been evading taxes on his sale as well – reported it to DOR – because that just irks me as an honest ebay seller. Interesting to know re: the money laundering w/gift cards. Hopefully something good will come from this!

  10. Police already knew the guy was involved in selling stolen property, but I guess they decided to let him keep doing it? And bail is denied, but he is released anyway??