SNOHOMISH — A suspected serial burglar has been connected to a break-in at the Star Center Antique Mall on Second Street.
Detectives say genetic evidence left behind at the scene of the crime ties Avery Geyer to the May 13 heist. Prosecutors recently charged the Lynnwood man, 32, with first-degree burglary — his fourth property crime charge since July.
Geyer is a suspect in burglaries from Skagit County to King County, according to charging papers. He is accused of stealing a large amount of scratch lottery tickets from a Snohomish gas station and shoplifting thousands of dollars from Walmart stores in Everett and Tulalip. He was being held on $100,000 bail.
His girlfriend, Kaylie Andrews, also is in trouble for the Snohomish break-in. She allegedly drove the getaway van and threatened to run down the store’s owners. She is charged with second-degree assault.
Geyer reportedly broke a window at the mall around 3:45 a.m. May 13, setting off an alarm. The owners live onsite and heard the commotion. The man went downstairs to investigate while the woman called 911. A burglar was spotted trying to crawl out of a broken window.
He was wearing a bandana over his face. The owner ran to the back of the store, opened the door and yelled inside. He could hear the defendant crashing through a glass door into the neighboring pizza restaurant and then through the front door of the pizzeria, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf wrote.
The owner grabbed the fleeing burglar and held him down. The suspect was bleeding, staining the owner’s sweatshirt. As the two men fought on the ground, the other owner ran out to the street, still on the phone with an emergency dispatcher.
That’s when a white minivan drove up. The driver yelled at the owner to get off Avery. She reportedly threatened to run the owners over if they didn’t free her man. The owner let go of his grip on the burglar, who jumped into the minivan.
A video captured part of the scuffle and also showed the white getaway van. The observant owners were able to provide a partial Illinois license plate number. The number was recorded on the call to 911.
Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives later used that information and Illinois records to determine that only one Chevrolet Venture van could fit the bill. More police work led to the registered owner, who reported transferring custody of the van to a car lot in Lynnwood. Deeper into the investigation, police learned that the vehicle “was not officially transferred in any legal way, and that the vehicle was in the hands of various unidentified criminals in Snohomish County for various uses,” Alsdorf wrote.
He did not identify the car lot or other crimes in court papers.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies put an alert out for the van and it was later found abandoned in Bothell. Evidence, including blood, was collected from the van and the burglary victim’s sweatshirt. Scientists at the Washington State Patrol crime lab linked that blood to Avery, a convicted felon, who was required to submit a DNA sample after being convicted of felony drug crimes. Andrews’ fingerprints also allegedly were found in the van.
She reportedly admitted she was driving but explained that she’d fallen asleep and awoke to screams. She said she thought her boyfriend was being attacked.
Prosecutors allege she and Geyer were involved in a shoplifting scheme last year at Walmart stores. The couple reportedly loaded up carts with merchandise, bellied up to the self-checkout stations, and scanned items as if they were going to pay. After one finished scanning, the other summoned the clerk to their line and the other wheeled the stolen goods outside, according to court papers.
Geyer also is accused of breaking into a construction site in Bothell in February. He allegedly had his sights set on copper wire. Security officers at the site caught Geyer and handcuffed him, according to court papers. He reportedly tried to radio for his accomplice to pick him up.
Bothell police reportedly found used hypodermic needles in his pockets. He also had several pairs of latex gloves in a back pocket.
“When asked if his fingerprints would solve any other crimes, Geyer smirked and said, ‘You saw my gloves,’” Alsdorf wrote.
Two months after the break-in at the antique store, Geyer reportedly busted into a gas station, stealing lottery tickets. He was masked at the time. Lottery officials tracked the winning tickets to a Lynnwood gas station. A video from there showed Geyer, now unmasked, redeeming them for cash less than 30 minutes after the Snohomish burglary.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.