by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:
Kirkland, Wash. - Kirkland police are looking for the man they say stole five luxury cars from a dealership even as guards watched the security cameras. Police chased the man, who was in a stolen Mercedes, to Woodinville around midnight on Thursday.
Hal Larsen, who owns McCorry's on the Slough, got a call from his bartender. "She said they're looking for somebody," Larsen said. "They have the K-9 Unit out, they don't want other people walking in the area that they might be looking for the fugitive." He said his bartender locked down the business with about 15 customers inside until police gave her the all-clear around 2 a.m.
The trail went cold, police said, when the man jumped into the slough and swam toward Redmond. It was a trail that started early Wednesday morning at Infiniti of Kirkland. Police said the thief forced his way in through a door, tried to take some iPads that were anchored to a counter, and smashed them when he couldn't. Then he grabbed car keys off the counter. The owner said he had guards watching security cameras, but a cleaning crew was at the business at the same time. The owners told KIRO 7 that the guards told him they thought the thief was one of the workers and so did not call police, even as he drove five cars, one by one, off the property.
The suspect took three Infiniti sedans, an Infiniti SUV, and a Mercedes Benz, worth a total of $116,000. Police recovered four of them at an industrial complex just down the street after the thief tried to break into one of the businesses, set off the alarm, and started the police chase. The Mercedes was the fourth and officers are still looking for the fifth vehicle.
"Do you think you know who this is?" KIRO 7 asked Lt. Mike Murray. "A couple of our detectives are fairly certain they know who it is," he said. Murray said they have plenty of surveillance video and believe they'll find him soon. They said he may also be responsible for several other car thefts in the area over the past few months.