'You feel a little helpless'; Officers watch burglary suspects flee, blame WA pursuit laws

Investigators are looking into two smash-and-grab burglaries in Snohomish County where crooks targeted ATMs.

Surveillance video caught one of the incidents.

It happened at Dank’s Warehouse, a pot shop in Edmonds—video shows at least two crooks smashing into a business. In the video, you can see one of the crooks using what looks like a hammer to break out one of the windows.

Then, the thieves use a Chrysler minivan as a battering ram on the front entrance.

After a few minutes, the burglars are able to get in. Video from inside the store shows a thief in a puffer jacket make their way toward the ATM.

The thief pushes the ATM, but then runs out of the store quickly.

Edmonds Police say they had officers in the area and responded to the crime scene while the suspects were still in the middle of the theft.

Officers tried to stop the suspects, but they sped off. Due to Washington's pursuit laws, officers could not chase the suspects, Edmonds Police said.

"It’s really frustrating to feel like the people that are supposed to protect us and stand up for us and help us when something goes wrong couldn’t do anything about it when they had him," said Savhanna Korvales, manager of Dank’s Warehouse.

Edmonds Police tell FOX 13 News it is frustrating for them, as well.

"You feel a little helpless having to go back to a crime victim and say, ‘We had them. They were right there. But we couldn’t do anything about it when they decided to leave,’" said Commander Josh McClure with the Edmonds Police Department.

The other smash-and-grab happened at La Esperanza Counseling in Lynnwood, which is about half a mile away from Dank’s Warehouse. 

La Esperanza translates to ‘The Hope.’ At the counseling center, they work to provide mental health and addictions services to people in need. 

Now, they are dealing with their own issues—a smashed front door and a stolen ATM.

FOX 13 News spoke to employees at the business, who say they do not have any surveillance footage of the incident.

Investigators say they are looking into both crimes for possible connections, but have not confirmed if that is the case.

This is at least the second time in a week that police arrived to an active smash-and-grab scene but were unable to chase the suspect due to pursuit laws.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Suspect crashes stolen Kia through Covington storefront in brazen smash-and-grab theft

The other incident happened at a smoke shop in Covington.

"We’re not naïve enough to think that the bad guys don’t know they have a little bit of advantage," said McClure.

Korvales says this is a trend that no businesses should have to deal with.

"I never felt unsafe until the last year, or so," she said.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 2nd suspect arrested in Dec. 2022 smash-and-grab robbery of Tacoma pot shop

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Anyone with information is asked to contact either Edmonds Police or Lynnwood Police.