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Steele Barber, theft insurance
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Seattle barbershop owner struggles to find theft insurance after break-in

A photo of the people who broke in to Steele Barber in Ballard in November 2020. (Photos courtesy of Steele Barber)

The owner of Steele Barber, Matthew Humphrey, previously spoke with KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show in November 2020 after his Ballard location was burglarized. Now, adding insult to injury, his insurance company has canceled theft insurance for his business because of the recent claim.

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“It adds insult to the injury because it costs quite a bit more to have that theft insurance in the first place,” he said. “And the unfortunate and frightening thing is my agent told me that literally hundreds of other businesses in the area are losing their theft insurance policies as well, because of the current climate of lack of enforcement for these crimes.”

“So now as I search for more insurance, it’s going to cost us quite a bit more, if we can even get it,” he said. “That’s the fear. It’s like earthquake insurance, trying to find theft insurance now for Seattle.”

Humphrey says his businesses is barely hanging on with 25% capacity limitations. 

“So to have this happen is just another blow. And it’s not a political issue. It’s a moral issue to have crime available without consequence,” he said. “It literally is creating a mini crime spree. Several of my business friends were broken into and some of my neighbors in one night on December 19th here in Seattle. And it’s the same type of crime, the same slingshot bandit, as they call them, out there.”

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Humphrey says he’s been told by the detective that there’s really nothing they can do, in part due to the push from the Seattle City Council to not prosecute most misdemeanor crimes.

“I hope the city of Seattle and our residents will stand up for the little guy because we’re a small business, we’re trying our best to even survive,” he said. “And I think at the end of the day, when you look at not even being able to protect your business now it’s not a victimless crime. I keep throwing that out there every time I can.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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