Jay Boone has been the owner of Emerald City Guitars for 23 years. A few days ago, years of frustration with what has become of the city led him to do something he knows probably wasn’t smart: He tackled a gun-wielding thief an attempt to hold him until police arrived. It was actually this particular thief’s 2nd visit to his store. From MyNorthwest:
Boone said a man stole a $3,400 guitar from the store last week and returned to the shop a few days ago. His staff checked the surveillance footage last week and spotted a man carrying in a guitar bag. No one was in the room at the time, so he took a guitar off the wall, shoved it in the bag, and walked out the front door. Most recently, the same man returned to the store with a guitar bag. A staff member asked to hold it behind the counter. The man sat down to play a guitar and a staff member called over to Boone.
“This is the same case, he’s wearing the same coat, we pull up the video, and it’s exactly the same guy.”
When Boone confronted the man, he tried to run. Boone grabbed his jacket and dragged him back into the store while employees called 911. It wasn’t the first time he’s called 911 over problems in the neighborhood. “We talked about how many times we’ve called 911 in the last year, a hundred; we feel like fools calling them up so many times,” Boone told Q13 Fox. But this is the first time a thief has pulled out a gun in his shop. The thief waved the gun at Boone and other employees and then ran for the door again. One of the employees sprayed the man with mace on the way out and Pat Boone followed him into an alley and tackled him:
“I am on top of the guy, he’s faced down, he’s got the gun in his right hand and he`s trying to bring it up to his body, I have this hand in his face and he bites the finger here,” Boone said.
Seconds later the guns goes off during the scuffle.
“He brings the gun up around my head around here and fires a shot that`s where they think the bullet went through the window right here,” Boone said.
Boone says the bullet appears to have shattered a window of a store next door.
“At that point I went away,” Boone said.
Why would someone risk their life to stop a thief? Boone says it was about built up frustration: “I am appalled, I am angry, I am frustrated over what’s going on down here and in our city in general.” He added, “It’s getting worse, they keep talking throwing money into this, money into this. It’s absolutely getting worse.”
The thief did get away but was later arrested by the police. Q13 reports he’s from another state and told police he was stealing because he had no money. It’s not clear if he was homeless.
Jay Boone says he and other Seattle business owners are fed up: “We’re down there every day and we’re not going to put up with it.” Unfortunately, it seems there’s not much Boone can do. He installed a security door and security cameras but the city is struggling with petty crime fueled partly by homeless people looking to support their drug habits. Those people tend to be passed through the system with no consequences and wind up back on the street, often the same day. It’s an ongoing nightmare for city business owners like Jay Boone. Here’s the report from Q13 Fox: