TACOMA, Wash. – Armed thieves didn’t quite take the shirt off Tyler Pratt’s back on Monday afternoon, but they did steal it out of a clothes dryer at the laundry mat.
And it wasn’t just his shirt – it was hoodies, jackets, and a whole bunch of his girlfriend’s expensive veterinary scrubs.
Pratt, 23, and his girlfriend, 24-year-old Brittany Korczak, were the victims of a bizarre robbery at Tacoma’s Thirty-Eighth St Laundromat. They left the laundromat to run some errands Monday afternoon, and couldn’t find their clothes when they got back.
What they did find – with the help of the laundromat’s owner – was surveillance footage showing an armed group of two men and a woman stealing about $800 worth of clothes.
“It was actually probably the biggest load of laundry we’ve done to date,” Pratt said. “It was a double load - the bag was literally ripping at the seams.”
The video shows the thieves walking in, removing the clothes from the dryer, and even going so far as to fold some of them in an effort to make it look like they were supposed to be there.
One man put his pistol on the table and sat down while the other two thieves loaded Pratt, Korczak, and another patron’s clothes into a van outside.
“I assume they’re probably just going to try to hop around to some thrift stores and try to sell them,” Pratt said. “They don’t look like the donating types, so whatever they can’t sell, they’ll probably just dumpster.”
Pratt said the thieves were seen pulling away in a Plymouth-style van. It was burgundy, with silver or gray trim on the bottom.
Tacoma police spokesperson Loretta Cool said she hasn’t heard of any similar crimes in the area.