Shopper: Danger in the parking lot at Fred Meyer in Burien
By Ken Robinson
Managing Editor, Westside Seattle
A friend, a local businessman. called today to ask if there was a news story in the fact that his friend and client at his hair dressing salon was the victim of a crime in the Fred Meyer parking lot in Burien.
The friend, he told us, had done some shopping at Fred’s and came back to her car and placed her purchase in it on the passenger seat. In her words, “I thought I had locked the door as I always do. Possibly hit the wrong button on my fob. I went to the back to load my groceries. It was very early with very few people and few cars around. A car pulled in nose to nose with mine. Man got out, ran to my car, opened the door and grabbed my bag. He had obviously been tracking me from the store. I ran after him, screaming and causing a loud disturbance and about three people stopped and were watching. I was about to key the guy’s car when common sense took over and I backed off. Car left and one of the witnesses approached asking if he should call 911. I thought why haven’t you already? Cop was with me in about 20 minutes so I have no complaints about that. One of the witnesses told someone in Fred Meyer but no one from the store came out to see me. I thought that was interesting. Not one of those witnesses pulled a cell and started getting video or pics. I hope I would do better if I saw something happening. Found out on Monday that the Burien police were in Fred Meyer Saturday afternoon to look at the video Fred Meyers had.”
Is it a news story?
Sure, but a very common petty crime, especially at this time of year. We are sympathetic with the plight of the victim.
My guess is that the Burien cops will not spend a lot of time trying to find the perpetrator. Why not? Too many small crimes and not enough cops.
I know this parking lot. It is a relatively tight space if you want to park close to the store. Most people look for a spot that is close. And the lot is often crowded with shoppers at this busy store. In some ways, it is a prime place for a petty crime to unfold.
The victim told my friend she wanted to air her story in hopes others would be cautious in shopping during this very busy time of year. This is good advice.
Here is what you should do:
1. Always make sure your car is locked when you are away from it.
2. If you have packages, put them in a part of the vehicle where they are less likely to be seen (I.e. the trunk or wayback) and use a security cover or other to shield it from view.
3. When you first park, look around you. Notice who is sitting in a vehicle close by.. Make a mental note of the vehicle and physical description.
4. The minute you get back in your vehicle, lock your doors. Really. Lock yourself in.
In all, you must be alert and aware of the possibility that you could be the victim of such a crime. The weekly police reports contain far more incident of petty crime than can be reported in any newspaper. The big crimes—gun crimes and car chases and robberies get the most attention.