Robbery spike in King County; Snoqualmie suspects possibly involved in crime spree
Snoqualmie police say a violent robbery is now impacting the Snoqualmie Ridge community. Investigators believe the suspects are linked to other crimes – an attempted carjacking, and possibly other robberies all over King County.
Police say it shows the crimes are becoming more widespread and criminals are becoming more bold.
“The brazen activities and the violence that was shown in this robbery is very concerning,” said Captain Brian Lynch with Snoqualmie PD.
People say the neighborhood is normally quiet and very safe. Lynch recalled a robbery case last year, but that was in nearby North Bend. Chevron employee Kyu Kim says he last remembers a robbery in Snoqualmie happening about a decade ago.
However, on Monday night, surveillance video shows a man walking into the Chevron with a pistol in hand.
“One guy come in, he had the red mask. Said, ‘Give me the money, give me the money!’” Kim said. He said at first the suspect wasn’t pointing the gun directly at him and he thought the suspect might’ve been joking. But then the suspect fired a shot into the ceiling.
“Then I know it’s serious,” Kim said. He admits he’s still shaken by what happened on Monday. “I’m an old man … Wednesday a little better but when I’m coming home, a little panic again,” he said.
Where the crime happened is right across the street from the Snoqualmie Police Department.
“Times are changing. There is no place that can be considered untouchable anymore by crime,” said Lynch.
Violent robbery in usually quiet Snoqualmie.
Employee told me he’s shaken up. “I am an old man. When I’m coming home, a little panic.” 😔
Snoqualmie PD working w/ other LEO & KCPAO to track down suspects, possibly behind a spree of crimes.
PD asking you to help share. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/xkHupLSbKK
— Deedee Sun (@DeedeeKIRO7) January 27, 2023
Lynch said the robbery could also be linked to other crimes. First of all, investigators say the getaway car – a black Toyota Camry – was involved in a rollover crash in Renton a few hours later. Then, the suspects tried to carjack a Good Samaritan who had pulled over to help. It’s not clear why that carjacking was not successful.
Someone in a red vehicle who appeared to know the suspects picked them up. Investigators say later that night, that same red car was involved in another robbery in Seattle.
Lynch says the suspects could also be behind other crimes.
“We’re finding there are some similarities in other robberies,” Lynch said. Now they are working with police departments from Issaquah to Seattle to Federal Way to share evidence and compare cases. They’re also working with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
“To make sure that these cases can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, go before a judge, and people can be held accountable,” said Casey McNerthney, a spokesperson for the KCPAO.
McNerthney says prosecutors are seeing a winter spike in robbery and attempted robbery charges, which usually peak in summer months. But in December, 37 cases were charged.
“Which is pretty significantly higher than the number in the twenties that we saw for the last three months,” McNerthney said. There were 47 robbery charges in August of 2022.
Snoqualmie police are asking for your help to take a good look at the suspect’s distinct clothing. He is described as a Hispanic or Black male, 5 feet, 7 inches tall, with a slim build. He was wearing white/black shoes with red shoelaces, long denim jean shorts, a black sweatshirt with white lettering on the chest, and a red ski mask.