KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Seattle restaurant owner ‘lost all faith’ in city after 23rd break-in

Feb 15, 2024, 5:50 PM | Updated: 6:20 pm

Seattle crime...

Local restaurant a victim of Seattle crime being hit 23 times. (Security camera image obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH)

(Security camera image obtained by the Jason Rantz Show on AM 770 KTTH)

A popular Seattle restaurant suffered it’s 23rd break-in since the defund movement three years ago that created the city’s crime crisis. And the would-be burglar didn’t even end up stealing anything.

The Seattle restauranteur asked not to be named fearing activists would target him for speaking out. The last time he tried to bring attention to the crime crisis, he said he suffered an avalanche of negative Yelp reviews. But when you say you’ve been burglarized 23 times in just three years, it’s hard to stay silent, even in Seattle.

“I have lost all faith in the city of Seattle, SPD, Council members, and state elected officials,” he explained to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

Seattle crime crisis claims restaurant again

The latest robbery occurred early February 3rd.

Surveillance footage shared with the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH show a thief using what looks like a crowbar to break through the glass of the front door. The owner said the man was attempting to enter for roughly ten minutes before successfully making it in at 6:47 am. At one point, he used his body to break through. In an incident report, the responding officer said the “door lock and frame were violently dismantled and dangling against the door.”

Something appears to have gone wrong with the alarm (or the suspect knew how to avoid triggering it). The alarm didn’t sound when the burglar broke in, but started blaring when officers arrived at 7:14 am after a passerby reported the break-in.

When officers arrived, they checked the building but the burglar was long gone.

“That lone suspect dressed in a heavy black hooded jacket, with black balaclava covering his face was wearing gloves and quickly started to check at the front of the bar then around the counter where myself, and officers had set the alarm off, only his presence had never set the alarm off (for unknown reasons),” the officer said in the incident report.

The burglar didn’t touch any bottles of liquor at the restaurant’s bar. Previously, alcohol was stolen during one of the break-ins. The burglar also didn’t touch any of the electronic equipment.

Instead, the officer says it appeared that “he was looking for a safe as he was out the same door taking absolutely nothing.” It’s unclear if this was a random break-in or, perhaps, targeted by someone who is familiar with the restaurant.

Part of a troubling trend Seattle crime trend

It’s easy to dismiss this alleged 23rd break-in as the owner not doing enough to secure the building. The door seems flimsy, despite knowing he’s been targeted 22 times before this latest incident. But restauranteurs aren’t exactly flush with cash to pour into security measures. And they shouldn’t have to be.

While 23 break-ins is obviously unique, Seattle businesses suffering multiple crimes is not.

After dealing with $14,000 in losses from one burglary, an International District gaming store was robbed at gunpoint. The offices for the Seattle Men’s and Women’s Chorus suffered four break-ins over the course of just four days. Before putting merchandise behind lock and key, the downtown Seattle Target would see shoplifting almost daily. A Seattle smoke shop was hit seven times in one month. West Seattle Autoworks dealt with two break-ins in the same night. A gas station in West Seattle experienced three break-ins in just six hours. Some downtown and Belltown-area businesses have been hit so often they don’t even ask an officer to respond anymore.

And these are just a small sampling of Seattle-based crimes.

More from Jason Rantz: DEI training suspended for compromising King County firefighters’ beliefs

Seattle (and Democrats at the state level) created the crime crisis

Seattle has never been immune to crime. But it’s foolish to pretend this level of crime is part of “big city life,” and as foolish to believe the city didn’t bring the crisis on itself.

Democrat leadership has meant police departments were defunded, dismantled, and demoralized. The Seattle Police Department lost over 600 officers since the defund movement took over the city. The new year didn’t start off on a positive note, with the department losing another five officers (while hiring five new ones).

Prosecutors and the city’s previous City Attorney refused to charge criminals, including prolific offenders, because they didn’t think jail served as a disincentive to a life in crime — as if doing what they did made things any better. They prefer so-called “restorative justice programs” that just don’t work.

State lawmakers passed a series of criminal justice reforms that hamstrung cops, and favored criminals. Less restrictive sentences, fewer years served for serious crimes, and a message that told them that short of murder, they probably won’t see any jailtime at all — especially if they’re minors — has created a culture of lawlessness.

This isn’t merely a public safety issue. It’s a political issue. Dangerously partisan political decisions created the crisis and the only way out of it is to replace the lawmakers responsible.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow Jason on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram, and  Facebook.

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Rantz: Seattle restaurant owner ‘lost all faith’ in city after 23rd break-in