LYNNWOOD — It was noon Monday when the U.S. postal truck stopped at a community mailbox east of Lynnwood.
A white Acura braked, reversed and drove to the back of the truck.
Three young men hopped out, and the shortest of them aimed a silver pistol, according to the mail carrier. He demanded the packages. The postal worker tossed out 10 to 15 boxes. Two men scooped them up and threw them into the car. The gunman also swiped the worker’s wallet.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies believe the robbery was part of a crime spree across King and Snohomish counties. The car was stolen in Kent, a ski shop was robbed in Kenmore and the men were plotting a robbery of iPhones at a Verizon store when they saw the postal truck pulled over, according to the arrest report.
All of the men are 18. Two are from Seattle. The third, from Chehalis, remarked that the mail truck looked like “easy money,” according to the report. So they hit the brakes and went into reverse.
After the robbery, the Acura sped off from 10th Avenue W.
A sheriff’s deputy spotted the car miles south, closer to Lake Forest Park. In a brief pursuit, the deputy watched the occupants toss packages and “objects seemingly from packages” out of the moving car, according to the report. Eventually he lost sight of the fleeing vehicle. The car crashed around 1 p.m. in a yard along 186th Street NE in Shoreline. Police saw no one inside. Mail packaging was scattered in the back seat and trunk.
A police dog tracked a scent about four blocks, until three men were caught hiding behind a home.
The postal worker came to the scene. He reported that the shortest man — 5-foot-4, 200 pounds, in a puffy coat — looked like the gunman.
That suspect spoke with police. He reportedly admitted he had a .380-caliber pistol but claimed he didn’t show it during the robbery. He reportedly stated he just sat in the car, and it was the other Seattle man — 6-foot-2, 300 pounds — who used a large Glock in the robbery. Both guns had been thrown out of the car, during a chase where they hit 80 mph, the man said. He claimed the other two men carried out the ski shop robbery, as well. Stolen ski gear was in the car.
The other two men refused to talk with police. The Chehalis man refused to appear in a jail courtroom Tuesday.
Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui found probable cause to hold the other two for first-degree robbery.
Bui set bail at $250,000 for the alleged gunman. The second man’s bail was set at $150,000.
Deputies noted they found two hoodies in Shoreline. Along the way, in a shed, police found a backpack and a neck gaiter, a common piece of ski gear. And they found the postal worker’s wallet.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.