MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. — Surveillance cameras captured a group of thieves smashing their way into a Maple Valley pot shop. The owner told us this was the fourth break-in just five months.
They are fed up and they want lawmakers to do something about it.
We met Beth Thomas sweeping up broken glass after a stolen car was used as a battering ram. The thieves broke through the glass wall at the Bud Hut in Maple Valley on Black Diamond Road Southeast. It was at 2:35 a.m. on Sunday.
“Same thing,” said Thomas. “It’s always the same scenario.”
If she sounds weary, she is. This is the fourth smash-and-grab at this location since September.
“Each time it’s been two to four stolen KIAs,” Thomas said. “They then have anywhere from four to six guys.”
She said you can see the crooks in effect casing the joint, deciding how to break in. Then they back the vehicle through the glass wall.
“Then enter, get as much as they possibly can,” she said, describing the thieves’ actions. “This time, thankfully, they didn’t break cases.”
And there may have been a couple of other lucky breaks. The face of one suspect was partially uncovered for a time. Another suspect put on a pretty distinctive, blue mask.
The group of thieves was inside Bud Hut for two minutes and 15 seconds. King County Sheriff’s deputies arrived less than a minute later.
“Police have been responding a lot quicker, number one,” she said. “And number two, they’re being a little bit smarter on how they break in and get inside.”
Still, she said the deputies spotted them and gave chase. But they told her they had to back off because the speeds were getting too high.
“I feel like the state could help us out a little bit more and get in there and at least try to catch the guys and at least prosecute them,” Thomas said. “The law needs to be changed.”
She said this is a really expensive issue. It is costing them thousands of dollars.
So, they say they need help.
King County is holding what they are calling a Maple Valley Business Crime Prevent Forum on February 28.
Thomas is hoping they will have some answers for this.
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