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911 | Life in Mars suffers break-in as Capitol Hill burglaries surge

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East Precinct reported burglaries

  • 2020 East Precinct burglaries have been spread across the area but the SPD beat covering central Pike/Pine and Broadway to I-5 has been the center of break-in activity

    Life on Mars burglary — While overall crime has actually dropped across Capitol Hill through the COVID-19 shutdowns and summer’s CHOP protests, one category of criminal behavior has surged throughout 2020 starting well before the pandemic and ongoing social unrest. With more than 1,300 reported break-ins across the East Precinct, the area has already reported more burglaries in 2020 than it did in all of 2019. One of the latest targets was Pike/Pine bar Life on Mars which suffered a costly break-in early Tuesday morning. “Got word our bar was broken into. They took an electric saw to our lockbox outside for 10 min. 5am. No one noticed,” co-owner and KEXP DJ John Richards wrote. “Then walked in. Trashed the bar and went to town on our audio equipment that we spent a lot of time, love and $ on. Spirit is finally broken. I hate Tuesdays.” According to Richards, the burglary could have been worse but the bar, like many reopened venues, has gone cash only as food and drink businesses struggle to cobble together takeout and delivery programs to help cover expenses. Richards also posted a short clip of the security video with some humorous play by play of the burglar in action. There have been no arrests. SPD is investigating.

  • 15th Ave E ‘armed robbery’ — Three teens trying to illegally buy pot on the street within blocks of Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave pot retailers were robbed at gunpoint. According to the SPD report on the Thursday, October 15th incident, the three underage buyers were held up just before 6 PM at 15th and Harrison. Police say the victims claimed to have met their assailants at a South Seattle business and “asked the suspects to purchase marijuana for them.” The suspects told the victims to follow them to the area of 15th Ave E. When they arrived, one of the victims said they gave the suspects money for the pot. The suspects then got in their car and drove off with the victim’s money. When the ripped-off teens chased after, the suspects stopped their vehicle, got out and pointed guns, “telling the victims to back off or they would kill them.” Police say the victims returned to the 15 Ave E location to make the report. There were no reported arrests.
  • Harvard hold-up: In another reported October 15th street robbery, a victim told police they were robbed at knifepoint in the 700 block of Harvard Ave E just after 9 that night by a male suspect who approached them on the street and demanded their wallet and phone. The victim wasn’t carrying a wallet and handed over their phone. The suspect reportedly fled the scene in a vehicle described only as a dark-colored sedan. There were no reported arrests.
  • Melrose bike path stabbing: Police report a man was found “stumbling down the street with a non-life-threatening stab wound to his back” in a morning incident early Saturday, October 10th. According to police, the man was found along the Melrose bike path around 8:30 AM with the injury. “The victim was unable or unwilling to provide a description or further details to the incident,” the police report reads. The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment, police say.
  • Random Broadway assault charge: A Belmont Ave man has been charged in a brutal street assault on Broadway in September. Aaron Bickham, 28, was charged with second degree assault in the attack which police say happened as the victims were walking near Broadway and Thomas the night of September 9th. Prosecutors say Bickham randomly attacked the two victims with a collapsible baton, sending one to the hospital with a laceration that required stitches. The victims told police one of them dropped their purse during the attack and the assailant picked it up and appeared to be trying to give it back in the aftermath before dropping it and fleeing the area. Nothing was reported stolen during the assault.  Police say the baton had a spring-loaded blade and a metal knuckle. They recovered it from Bickham after finding him near the scene of the attack seemingly trying to push the metal pole into the wall of a building. Bickham remains held in jail and last week was ordered to undergo a psychological examination to assess his competency.

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2 years ago

So very sad about Life on Mars, especially coming so soon after the beautiful, inspiring murals they painted on their boarded-up windows (which they didn’t have to do) were repeatedly, pointlessly vandalized, which is the kind of thing that makes me not want to live in Capitol Hill anymore. There’s a discernibly ugly vibe here nowadays, despite all of the purported social justice activism. I hope Richards and company will someday try again in another neighborhood, where I will gladly visit once it’s safe to go to bars again.

Steven Severin
Steven Severin
2 years ago

Thanks Marcia. I’m one of the owners and yep it sucked but it happens. We’re still open on the patio and soon to have a sheltered patio. We’re going to keep going because I LOVE Capitol Hill even with all it’s changes.

2 years ago

The two pot stores on 15th near Republican definitely add ambiance and utility to the pleasant local shopping/restaurant district. Sure glad we have them. The street is much nicer now.

Said nobody who lives in the area with any brains.