Police boat scoops up suspected mail thief from Lake Washington

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SEATTLE - A man suspected of mail theft jumped off the Interstate 90 Bridge into Lake Washington where he was later scooped up by a police boat and put into handcuffs.

About 2 a.m. Thursday, officers were called to the Clarice Apartments at 2800 75th PL SE for a report of a man and a woman breaking into locked mailboxes.

The caller said he had blocked in the couple’s car with his own car to prevent them from leaving while officers were on the way.

Police said the couple rammed the caller’s car and then tried to run from the area as Mercer Island officers were arriving.

A woman was taken into custody. 

As officers were trying to take the man into custody, one of the officers was knocked to the ground and received a minor head injury.  She was transported to the hospital and later released.

During the struggle, the man was able to get free of the officers and ran away.

At 4:15 a.m., Washington State Patrol Troopers found the man walking across the I-90 Bridge, about two miles from the apartments.

When the man saw police, he jumped into Lake Washington.  Seattle Harbor Patrol responded, and after a 30-minute search, the man was found and pulled from the water at 4:45 a.m.

He was transported to the hospital to be treated for exposure. The temperature in Lake Washington is about 61 degrees at this time of year.

Police said the man has several felony warrants and he and his woman accomplice will be booked into jail on multiple felony charges.

 Investigators said they are working with the postal service and other local agencies because there has been a recent rash of post office box thefts and other related mail thefts. 

Police said a large amount of stolen mail was found in the couple’s car.  Investigators will contact the owners of the mail shortly.

The man and the woman are in their late 20s or early 30s and do not live Mercer Island, authorities said.