SEATTLE — A 24-year-old man from Everett faces 10-years in federal prison for allegedly stealing a loaded high-powered police rifle equipped with a suppressor, from a damaged patrol vehicle during the downtown Seattle riots on May 30th.
Federal court documents indicate Jacob Little — who was wearing all black with a face covering — was identified by comparing police photos to videos and photos posted on social media.
On Facebook, 24-year-old Little is known as a gun enthusiast, often pictured firing shotguns and rifles.
Police tell KIRO-7 that Little is seen in one online photo holding a Colt M4 rifle, which is exactly like the rifles issued to SPD officers.
Using photographic evidence taken by police and posters on social media, detectives were able to connect Little as the masked man seen stealing a zipped bag containing a loaded SPD rifle from a damaged patrol car.
While rioters torched six police cars that day, a video was posted showing a large man looking into vandalized cars, before he was seen reaching into the back of one and stealing a bag that held a loaded rifle.
Nearby, an officer shot photos showing the same man carrying away the bag.
Weeks later, a tipster alerted detectives about a man seen on Snapchat posing in a photo after smashing a window on a patrol car, and police matched that photo to theirs.
The tipster told detectives the Snapchat page belonged to Jacob Little, who the tipster said was known to be a well-armed “gangster.”
According to US attorneys, the investigation revealed electronic messages following the theft indicating that Little appeared to be negotiating the sale of the firearm for $900. He allegedly stated in text messages that he had removed the sling and suppressor and the “red dot” (a type of targeting sight) from the rifle. All those accessories were present on the rifle when stolen from the Seattle Police vehicle.
Detectives tracked Little to an Everett address where a search warrant revealed the exact clothing and boots seen in the riot photos.
Investigators say the stolen rifle has not been recovered, and that possession of a stolen firearm is punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Cox Media Group