SEATTLE - Two shops in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood are out thousands of dollars after a string of brazen burglaries. In both, security camera footage shows a white van used to repeatedly smash through the doors of their respective stores, before men in dark clothing raid the register and steal high-priced items.
It happened in the early morning hours of Nov. 17. King’s Deli on Cherry St. was hit just after midnight. Owner Bruck Tewolde believes they used a stolen van to repeatedly ram his heavy gates – by the fourth ramming, the gates gave way.
"This is a family business," Tewolde said. "When I was coming here, I was hurt." As he surveys the massive amount of damage, including to the shop’s foundation.
Tewolde has run this deli for more than four years. He says he’s struggling to keep up with crime in the area.
"Yeah, cops said, yeah usually in Seattle this happen." Tewolde said.
About an hour later, the same scene played out less than a mile away, at Madrona Market and Deli on E. Union. Owner Daniel Abraha just celebrated his first year in business there.
"I thought I was Fort Knox, gated, bordered, you know thinking like man nothing’s going to happen." Abraha said.
Security camera footage again shows a white van used to ram through the gates of the front door, but this time, the van used has no rear windows, unlike the van seen at Tewolde’s shop. The van’s owner confirmed it was stolen the day before. What is the same – the men raiding the store wear identical clothing.
Police have not confirmed yet whether the two incidents are related.
"Never in my wildest dream, I never thought a van was going to come through," Abraha said.
The investigation into both burglaries is ongoing, police have not said whether any arrests have been made.
This is a developing story.