FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Surveillance cameras recorded video of two brazen suspects shooting a gun inside a nail salon in Federal Way and robbed everyone of their personal belongings.
Video showed the two masked men walking into the nail salon on Jan. 18 with loaded guns. A Federal Way police report said one of the suspects fired three shots into the ceiling before they robbed five women at gunpoint. Shell casings were recovered for evidence.
The salon manager gave FOX 13 News two surveillance videos hoping someone would recognize the suspects. She asked for privacy, as her team was still shaken up and afraid for their safety.
Mayor Jim Ferrell said he went to the salon to check on everyone after hearing about the armed robbery.
"It’s really brazen. It shows an escalation and that’s what we’re actually seeing. We’re seeing an escalation in the types of brazen type of activity," said Ferrell.
The police report said the surveillance video showed one suspect going into a phở restaurant next door to the nail salon. After a short time in the restaurant, the suspect was seen walking out to talk to someone sitting in the passenger seat of a parked gray Jeep. The suspect then got inside the driver’s seat of the SUV. A few minutes later, two suspects got out of the Jeep wearing hooded sweatshirts and masks, according to the police report. Surveillance video showed the two suspects walking into the nail salon with guns in hand.
The nail salon manager gave FOX 13 News two pictures of who she said was one of the suspects. She said the man pictured was seen on surveillance video leaving the phở restaurant next door minutes before robbing her salon.
In the police report, investigators said they were searching through every piece of evidence to track down the two suspects. The report further said, "The video showed the first suspect touching the inside glass door of the Pho restaurant." Detectives collected fingerprints from the restaurant and the glass door the suspect possibly touched.
"We got these guys on video, they’re not rocket scientists," said Ferrell. "If you come to Federal Way to commit a crime, we’re going to track you down and hold you accountable."
Police said the suspects robbed the employees and customers of their purses, wallets, cellphones, Apple Watches and hundreds of dollars in cash from the salon. Investigators said the suspects got away in gray Jeep. It was a rental car with Oregon licenses plates that was reported stolen out of Tacoma.
Detectives said the two suspects could be connected to another armed robbery using similar tactics. Police said while investigating at the nail salon, they got another call from dispatch about two men shooting a gun inside a smoke shop on Pacific Highway, robbed it, and then drove away in a gray SUV. Investigators said one of the cellphones stolen from the salon was later found tossed on the side of a road.
Ferrell said he was concerned about the growing trend of stealing cars to commit crimes.
"It’s very difficult to track. They know that we don’t have pursuit laws in place right now or the pursuit laws are so restrictive that these individuals, these brazen people committing these law violations, know that we can’t pursue them," said Ferrell.
The mayor said he blamed the trend on a state law that went into effect in 2021, prohibiting officers from pursuing car theft suspects unless probable cause is established.
"As a result of this, just in Federal Way since that law was passed, 524 instances of when Federal Way Police did not pursue someone because they were legally not allowed to," said Ferrell. "It’s outrageous, it’s unacceptable. The legislature needs to fix it."
Anyone who has information about the two suspects or the stolen SUV should call Federal Way Police at (253) 835-2121. Those details could help the investigation and lead to an arrest.