After a review of 10 pending criminal cases, detectives have determined that no evidence was compromised during the March breach at the department’s evidence garage, Seattle police said today.
Detectives determined that evidence from vehicles in the holding area had already been processed and documented before two inadvertent stowaways entered the facility in a stolen trailer. Police say they have notified the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office about the findings.
On March 30, a police officer spotted a stolen truck and 20-foot trailer and had it towed to department’s sprawling Airport Way South complex, where SPD’s training facility, evidence complex and garage, and SWAT team headquarters are located.
The officer left the trailer inside the facility on a Saturday night, where it sat for about 38 hours before an auto theft detective went to the facility the following Monday morning to examine the trailer.
Sometime in that 38-hour period, two men, who had apparently been living inside the trailer, ventured out into the vehicle holding area and sprayed down the inside of the trailer with a fire extinguisher taken from the wall of the evidence facility, in an apparent attempt to cover their tracks. After fleeing the facility, the suspects apparently shared details of their exploits with other criminals.
Police believe they have identified the two suspects — one of whom is already in jail on an unrelated case. Police do not believe the men had planned to intentionally sneak into the SPD evidence facility via Trojan trailer, but rather had been living inside the trailer when it was towed.
Had evidence stored in the garage been compromised by the men, it could have impacted prosecutions.