Costco Employees Are Heroic, Help Catch Shooting Suspect

Several Costco employees who spotted two men breaking into a car parked near the store’s tire center chased the men toward the main store where an assistant police chief happened to be shopping.

One of the men turned out to be a 24-year-old accused of shooting his girlfriend in the head in front of her two children.

From the Seattle P-I:

That officer happened to be Assistant Police Chief Lori Sutter, who was using her lunch break to return a sweater.

She heard about the incident on her police radio before she went inside. In the store, she saw the men in the bakery and found it odd that they were wearing T-shirts on a cold day.

“I know shopping, and they weren’t shopping,” she said.

After following the men around the store for awhile she eventually used her shopping cart to block their escape. “It’s my first incident of arrest by shopping,” Sutter said.

Costco workers help police catch suspect in shooting [Seattle P-I] (Thanks, Lee!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. MercuryPDX says:

    Hopefully Costco will not go the HD route and fire them.

    Best line in article:
    “I know shopping, and they weren’t shopping,” she said.

  2. phospholipid says:

    costco, is there anything you can’t do?

  3. keith4298 says:

    Thank God that 1) noone got hurt and 2) they didn’t work at Home Depot!

  4. Szin says:

    Lets see. 2 Gallons of Tide, some Honey Nut Cheerios, 48 Rolls of Paper Towel, and a couple criminals. I think that’s everything on the shopping list. Whoops, forgot the Pepsi.

  5. timmus says:

    So if I’m wearing a T-shirt on a cold day, that means I’m not “shopping”? Does not compute.

  6. ninjatales says:

    I’m hoping Costco doesn’t follow Walmart’s example and fire them.

  7. cmdr.sass says:

    I’m sure the assistant police chief “was on her lunch break”.

  8. snoop-blog says:

    who cares enough about their company to take a bullet for them? …….sure as hell not me!

  9. AtOurGates says:

    @mercurypdx: Everything I’ve heard about working at Costco has been positive. I doubt they’ll go the Depot / Walmart route on this one. They seem to act as though they generally care about their employees. Something that Wall Street seems to despise them for.

  10. thepassenger says:

    @timmus: It depends on the context of the situation. Also, I suspect that her comments were probably edited by the newspaper.

    Where I am today it’s about 25 degrees. If I saw you walking around wearing only a T-shirt, even indoors, I would think that was a little unusual, because you had to be outside at some point.

  11. Echomatrix says:

    let’s just hope they dont get fired for it like that other store…

  12. UpsetPanda says:

    @timmus: I think what she meant by that was that because Costco is a bulk warehouse store, if you’re going to Costco you’re not going to pick up a gallon of milk and eggs, you’re probably going to buy bulk items, meaning you’re in there for a long haul, and the average 20-something male is not a typical member of the Costco club. And police officers are trained to notice suspicious behavior, or loitering behavior…like they probably weren’t discussing pastries and were trying to hide from employees until they could slip out the door.

  13. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Szin: GOLD!

  14. trollkiller says:

    “I know shopping, and they weren’t shopping,” That’s some mighty fine police work Lori.

  15. n/a says:

    Well at least she wasnt shopping for donuts.

    (cue canned laughter)

  16. llcooljabe says:

    @timmus: They probably didn’t have jackets.

  17. dgcaste says:

    That’s pretty awesome. This will lead Costco to achieve its mega status like portrayed in “Idiocracy”.

  18. LoLoAGoGo says:

    Ah. Just one more reason to love Costco.

  19. snoop-blog says:
  20. snoop-blog says:
  21. DoctorMD says:

    Costco is a good place for a criminal to flee. No one armed there due to their no weapons policy.

  22. Erskine says:

    “Welcome to Costco – I love you”

  23. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Echomatrix: Those policies were against the employees trying to stop criminals by force and/or chasing them after they left the store.

    The criminals in question weren’t committing a crime against Costco itself so it probably doesn’t count. (They might not be too pleased that they chased the criminals into the store though.)

  24. algormortis says:

    Costco will likely pat them on the back and tell them they’ve done well. Costco doesn’t dispose of its employees. When they screw up, they don’t just fire, they coach. When they do well, they’re rewarded. Let’s be honest here; not every Costco is perfect but the consistent quality is pretty good. Plus, best dog on earth for $1.50. Can’t beat that what with a soda thrown in to boot. Wall Street hates them, but I love Costco and spend much of my precious cash there.

    I don’t like cops much in general, but the Tukwila Police Dep’t. has always been a class act, and Ass’t Chief Sutter befits them well.

  25. BrockBrockman says:

    That’s the thing about Costco, you can only get criminals in two-packs, and never individually. I mean, it’s quite a discount, but what if you only really needed one?

    And it’s a good thing the assistant chief / customer was able to get her own handcuffs too, because Costco doesn’t provide those either. Although I’m sure if she asked, they could have gotten a really big box to fit them into from the back warehouse.

  26. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    Once again, thank the beefs king that these guys dealt with them in the right way. Walmart would probably hire the guys as store managers.

  27. Buran says:

    @thepassenger: Not really. I wear t-shirts all year, but I wear a thin sweater or jacket on top, then a heavy coat on top of that if it’s really cold. I take things on and off as requred.

    And now I’m a suspect just because I layer my clothes!? I hope this woman never works in a town I live in.

  28. levenhopper says:

    @UpsetPanda: I disagree. I’m 19, and hold a Costco membership I use all the time. And a lot of my college friends do also.

    Then again, I don’t pay for my membership — I just tag along on my dad’s.

    Apparently when you buy a membership, you can add a second member if they are direct family for free.

  29. rewinditback says:

    im sure it was their actions while in costco that tipped her off more than their clothes guys… nit pick the hero of the day some more.

  30. Alias_dznr says:

    I doubt it was just that they weren’t wearing coats. Cops, through their training and experience, get real good at reading body language.

  31. @Buran: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

    Yes, you likely be flagged as suspicious by an Assistant Police Chief who heard over her radio that there were suspects trying to steal a car in the store’s parking lot, and you were (likely; I’m assuming here) walking around a bulk food store without a cart and wearing only a tshirt, no jackets.

    No one is trampling on your rights to wear a tshirt under a coat. Seriously, look at all of the details before incorrectly pulling one detail, twisting it to fit some paranoia of yours, and whining about it, in turn making yourself look foolish.

  32. Javert says:

    @Buran: So what you are saying is that on a really cold day, you take off your coat, sweater jaket, in the car and then go in the store? They were in the store in just tshirts. Did they have a shopping cart?

    C’mon, you are reaching on this one. If you feel this persecutes people in tshirts in the winter then you have real thin skin. Life is tough, wear a helmet.

  33. JPropaganda says:

    @timmus: No, no, you don’t understand. She knows shopping, and they weren’t shopping. They were, like, only browsing and taking samples.

  34. AndyAgent87 says:

    @busydoingnothing: exactly

  35. AndyAgent87 says:

    @timmus: You are now a little bit safer because of this woman.

    “compute”?….was your post just an automated response?

  36. Wait just a second here. The officer was returning a sweater during her lunch break. And she stopped the criminals with her shopping cart. Why was she using a shopping cart to return a sweater? If she was really just returning a sweater then certainly she did not need a cart. The returns area is just inside every Costco I have been in. So did she have to exit the building and then get a cart? Did she grab another shopper’s cart? “Official police business!” I demand an inquiry! Just kidding. I’ll just assume we don’t know the whole story. (Returning a sweater and buying a jumbo pack of…)

  37. Kurtz says:


    “Plus, best dog on earth for $1.50.”

    You bought a dog at Costco for a buck fifty? Or is this a subliminal advertisement for your puppy farm?

  38. rjhiggins says:

    @Buran: I can’t tell if you’re serious here or just trying to stir things up (per usual). She knew there were suspects in the area, they’re in Costco in just t-shirts on a 30-degree day, and they don’t have a shopping cart.

    If you wouldn’t at least keep an eye on them (which is what she did before getting a description of the suspects) I’m glad you’re not a cop where I live.

  39. theblackdog says:

    Costco just went up another 10 points in my book.

    Plus $4 for a dozen fresh bagels… Costco is my God now

  40. algormortis says:

    @Kurtz: A hot dog.

    Hmm. First I’m a shill for Apple and now I have a puppy farm? I must be RAKING it in. (That’s bemused sarcasm, not the nasty kind. I’m not bitter, just amused.)

    But hey, while we’re here…my puppy farm is called the King County ASPCA. I support everyone going there for their pet acquisition needs.

  41. rhombopteryx says:

    screw the earlier gold post – NEW GOLD!

  42. krunk4ever says:

    @timmus: I’m not sure if you realize how cold it is in Seattle right now… we’re talking about below freezing temperatures…

  43. spenc938 says:

    @krunk4ever: It’s been well below freezing for a month here, and I have been wearing the same thing I wear all year round. Shorts and a T-shirt. I don’t even own a pair of long pants. Some people aren’t bothered by the cold.

    Disclaimer: I am not trying to be a jackass or say that the cop was discriminating. I am just making a point.

  44. ahwannabe says:

    @D3Anon: Don’t be too sure. She did see them in the BAKERY.

  45. n/a says:

    Okay who the hell is this Snoop Blog guy that keeps putting in comments that are highlighted and just keep referring back to the original article?

  46. KarmaChameleon says:

    One more reason why Costco is my Lord and Savior.

  47. guevera says:

    @brockbrokman: hillarious

    @alias_dznr: cops get really good at profiling people based on class. That’s if they haven’t already profiled them by race. Ask any black man.

    I covered the cops n’ courts beat for a newspaper for a while. I’ve known lots of cops pretty well, and I’ve never met one that I would trust to accurately make assessments on body language.

    And body language isn’t the same thing as probable cause. Cops can get away with shaking people down because “their professional experience led them to conclude that the subjects’ body language indicated they were likely involved in criminal activity” (direct quote from a police report — my jaw dropped on reading). But they shred the 4th amendment to do it.

    Rant over. As you can probably guess, working that beat didn’t leave me with a great impression of American law enforcement.

  48. thepassenger says:

    @spenc938: “Some people aren’t bothered by the cold.”
    That must be nice.
    You don’t own any long pants? How did that last job interview go?

  49. ctlemonade says:

    Now that’s some Kirkland Signature Justice.