ID needed of 4 burglary suspects who targeted brand new headquarters for Best Plumbing in Northwest Seattle

A longtime business owner’s excitement about moving his company into a brand new building is now tempered with frustration. The new headquarters for Best Plumbing in the 8800 block of Aurora Avenue North were burglarized three times in two days this week.

“We’ve been a member of the community in Seattle for 50 years. I am a second generation owner and I just felt it was good to stay within in the community. We service a lot of businesses here and we just feel Seattle’s our home,” said Best Plumbing owner Bill Lilleness.

They had outgrown their Fremont location and purchased a lot five years ago to build their new mixed use facility.  After navigating a city permitting process described as "laborious," they were finally able to move in all the office staff last Saturday and set up their computers and work spaces. 

On Monday, they discovered thieves had stolen approximately $20,000 worth of laptops, cell phones, monitors, televisions and other electronics.

Best Plumbing burglary suspects

Their surveillance system showed two sets of burglary suspects entered the building at different times Sunday night. The first two suspects seen pushing bicycles bypassed the building’s security system around 8:30 p.m. using a master default code and then took the elevator to the second floor. They forced open an office door with a crowbar.  The thieves left with their bags stuffed with stolen electronics. 

Seattle Police describe the suspects as a white male with shaggy brown hair, an average build, wearing blue denim jeans, a yellow/green backpack and a brown hat.   The second suspect is a possibly Hispanic male with short black hair, a slim build, a tattoo on his right forearm and wrist and wearing a black t-shirt.

Then, at 3:10 am, two more suspects entered the building.

Best Plumbing burglary suspects

“A new group comes back and they access the building the same way and bust the elevator the same way to get upstairs. That’s when the two big screen TV’s were stolen,” said Lilleness.

Police describe the first suspect as a white male with an average build, wearing a purple and white plaid shirt, white jeans and several necklaces. The second suspect is described as a white or Asian male with an average build, wearing a light grey button up long sleeve shirt, glasses and has a portion of his hair dyed green.

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest of any of the suspects.  

“These people have probably told a lot of people about these burglaries. Obvious, to me, two different suspects, two different times when they hit this business, somebody is spreading the word which means they’re talking between each other because they’re either passing these codes or telling how to do it,” said Ret. Det. Myrle Carner with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.

Best Plumbing burglary suspects

Lilleness has since had the system reprogrammed and the codes changed to get into the building. He also hired armed security. That proved to be a smart move Monday night when a fifth suspect entered the building using a key card that had been stolen during the previous night’s burglaries. 

The suspect was promptly arrested and told police he got the key card from a man at a homeless encampment that stretches along the sidewalk behind Best Plumbing.

Lilleness says he’s concerned for the safety of his employees who have to park nearby and is considering long-term options on security. Still, he says he’s tried to be a good neighbor and thought bringing more jobs and new construction to the area might help the local community that has a long history of drugs and prostitution.   

He says they even invited Seattle City Councilmember Debora Juarez to their Grand Opening last weekend.

“My wife tried to contact her twice via email just to say hey, we’re new to the neighborhood. We’re kind of proud of what we built here. We hope that this is a light on a hill so that we have a little bit of change in the neighborhood. We’ve never heard back from her office,” said Lilleness.

I reached out to Councilmember Juarez for comment but have not yet gotten a response.  Now, Lilleness says they are planning to contact her again to remind the city council that if adequate policing and safety are not a priority, then businesses and residents may choose to leave Seattle.  

Lilleness would like to see all of the burglary suspects held legally accountable but has little faith they will be kept in jail once arrested. 

“It’s kind of where our city council and city attorney is headed to allow this sort of anarchy to exist,” he said.

So, if he had to do it over again, would he build there again?

“Great question. Shoreline or Lynnwood looks better,” said Lilleness.

If you can identify any of the burglary suspects for Seattle Police, send an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound through the P3 Tips app on your cell phone or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).  You can also send photos and info at   Crime Stoppers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.