SEATTLE - Surveillance video captured several thieves breaking into a downtown Seattle business and getting away with thousands of dollars in merchandise.
It's not the first time it's happened this year, and if something doesn't change, downtown businesses fear it won't be the last.
On Thursday around 4 a.m., Jamie Munson, owner of Simply Seattle, says he was woken up to notifications that someone broke into his store.
"It’s haunting, you know; it’s a little scary. It’s like getting your car broken into, or your house rifled through, or whatever. We take it personal," said Munson.
Munson says his store has been hit by crooks about a dozen times in the last year. Break-ins downtown are so bad, it is part of the reason he closed his Pioneer Square locations, he says.
But Munson says this most recent break-in is unlike any of the others.
"We hadn’t seen that level of sophistication yet. You know, that felt like this has been in the works for a while; they’ve been planning this for a while," he says.
Surveillance video shows a handful of people breaking through the door and grabbing as much as they can carry. Munson says thieves got away with a total of about $10,000 - $15,000 worth of merchandise.
"How do we exist downtown? How do we love our city and our community and be a part of it, but yet help be a part of the solution that ends unnecessary crime in downtown Seattle?" he says.
The Downtown Seattle Association says persistent shoplifting is a problem for many businesses downtown. They're looking to city leaders for answers.
"Our businesses that have managed to stay open through the pandemic can’t afford the additional burden of the persistent shoplifting. Our city and county leaders need to figure out how to solve what has become a costly and common concern for far too many businesses," the association says in a prepared statement.
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