PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - Artem Roman Bondahousky was charged this week with 41 new criminal counts related to purse snatchings at Pierce County Costco stores, months after he was charged with eight similar counts in King County.
Bondahousky is currently behind bars at the Pierce County Jail with bail set at $95,000.
However, according to court documents obtained by KIRO 7, Bondahousky was released from the King County jail on personal recognizance last November without having to post any bail money. When he failed to appear for a court hearing earlier this year, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
While that warrant was outstanding, Bondahousky allegedly targeted multiple victims in Pierce County.
KIRO 7 has also learned from court documents that Bondahousky was released from jail even though he admitted to Tukwila police “to committing numerous thefts from Costco to support his drug habit.”
Shoppers at the Tacoma Costco on South 37th Street are now greeted with a sign that warns them to not leave belongings unattended, including in their carts or vehicles.
According to the new documents just filed in Pierce County Superior Court, the 24-year-old Bondahousky has snatched the purses of five female shoppers from their unattended cars and carts at the Tacoma Costco since mid-May.
Bondahousky is also charged with stealing purses from the Gig Harbor and Puyallup Costcos -- 41 Pierce County criminal counts in all.
Stella Luna knows how it feels to be victimized.
She believes her purse was stolen from her cart at the Issaquah Costco in May as she was loading her groceries.
So far, Bondahousky has not been identified as an official suspect in Luna’s case.
With the new Pierce County cases, Bondahousky is charged with stealing purses from 17 different women in King and now Pierce Counties, including the purse of 95-year old Lila Maiwald, who didn't know that Bonhdahousky was apparently watching her after she shopped at the Tukwila Costco last October.
Maiwald told KIRO 7 that she set her purse in the front seat of her car while she loaded groceries in the back.
“I went around and found that my purse was gone.”
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