‘Prolific pickpocket’ charged with targeting metro commuters released from jail multiple times

VIDEO: Prolific pickpocket suspected of targeting commuters

SEATTLE — A “prolific pickpocket” who has been arrested and released from jail multiple times is again behind bars, suspected of targeting Metro bus commuters.

An incident on board route #49 on Dec. 31, 2019, led to the recent arrest of 57-year-old Edward Maloy.

In King County Metro surveillance video obtained by KIRO 7, investigators say Maloy is the man in an overcoat behind a woman in a dark, hooded jacket. According to documents recently filed in King County Superior Court, Maloy took the woman’s wallet from her purse before he and an accomplice left the bus.

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Sgt. Ryan Abbott, of the King County Sheriff’s Office, said Maloy is suspected of targeting only female commuters by “unzipping backpacks, opening purses, looking for wallets and taking them quickly before they even know what’s going on.”

In the Dec. 31 incident, surveillance video shows that once the victim was seated, she realizes her wallet is missing. According to court documents, “The victim followed the defendant into an alley and confronted him about stealing her purse. Luckily, the victim realized she was putting herself in a dangerous situation and walked away.”

Maloy remains behind bars. His alleged accomplice has been identified but not arrested, according to Abbott.

The King County Sheriff’s Office believes the duo has targeted at least 11 women, mostly on board Metro buses or at bus stops. However, according to Abbott, “there could definitely be more” victims who have not yet come forward.

Maloy has an extensive criminal history in Oregon, California, New York, Georgia and Illinois. In Seattle, he was charged with stealing three women’s wallets while on board Metro buses last July through October.

According to court records, Maloy was arrested and charged with all three of those crimes, then released from jail “on personal recognizance” and told to “commit no crimes.” A warrant was issued when he failed to appear in court, so Maloy was arrested again on Dec. 7, 2019.

The suspect -- who has 30 known aliases -- was released from the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle again December 18th “on the same condition that he commit no crimes.”

This new theft happened just 13 days later.

According to court documents, Maloy's "actions and his prior criminal history show that he will continue to prey on commuters as they get on the bus."

Maloy is scheduled to appear in court next week.