Caught on camera: Dealership burglarized while police are outside

SEATTLE — A car dealership in North Seattle says a burglar broke into their office early Saturday morning, sawed through a safe, and stole about $100,000 worth of stuff.

In surveillance video from Wild West Cars & Trucks dealership, you can see Seattle police officers outside nearly the whole time the crime is happening.

“Bunch of gold coins, a Sig 229 hand gun, some diamond rings, a watch, some other unknown stuff we’re still assessing,” said Randy Lindquist, owner of Wild West Cars & Trucks.

The dealership, at 8830 Lake City Way NE, was broken into just after 2am early Saturday morning. In surveillance video you can see the burglar walking up to the building. Lindquist said the burglar got in by prying open a corner window.

Inside, multiple office doors are damaged with several rooms ransacked, but it appears the bulk of the crime happened in the room with the large safe.

“Very, very, very frustrating,” Lindquist said. He said the burglar would’ve had to use something like a diamond-tip saw to get into the heavy-duty safe.

The business’s alarms went off, triggering a call to Seattle police. When officers got there, video shows the burglar is still inside.

You can see two officers with flashlights searching the premise, but they seem to focus on the main showroom and never approach the smaller officer building on the other end of the car lot.

About 40 minutes later, while the burglar is still inside and the officers are still at the scene, the burglar flips on the lights in the office building.

You can see the burglar inside moving around about 20-30 yards away from the cops.

“He turns all the lights on in my facility and it does not draw the attention of two officers sitting out there reporting a burglary in progress. The guy did everything but walk out there and tell them, ‘hey can you come catch me?’” Lindquist said.

A couple of minutes later the burglar leaves -- carrying a big bag of stuff.

But the two Seattle police officers don’t appear to see him and both drive away.

“I would like to say it’s comical, but it’s not. Its’ a serious, serious problem,” Lindquist said.

One of the most valuable things to Lindquist that was stolen is a family heirloom ring. He describes the ring as a gold square pinky ring with a large square black alexandrite stone.

He’s offering a $5,000 reward to get that back.

But he also wants answers on what went wrong in the call.

“We have a criminal that’s going to do the same thing to the public over and over again that could’ve been stopped if procedure had been followed properly,” Lindquist said. “There’s definitely a breach of responsibility here, no question,” he said.

A spokesperson from the Seattle Police Department sent this statement:

“Our records show that officers responded to an alarm call at that business in the early morning hours. Later, officers responded to take a burglary report. Detectives will handle the follow-up investigation. We will review the earlier response.”

The spokesperson said if the responding officers had noticed something wrong, like a forced entry, they would’ve taken additional action.

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