Major Crimes Unit detectives and Tukwila Community Police Team detectives culminated a month’s long investigation into a series of purse and wallet thefts at the Tukwila Costco store with the Oct. 19 arrest of Artem Bondahousky, 23, of Auburn.
Beginning in February, detectives noticed a pattern of purse and wallet thefts being stolen from victims’ shopping carts or vehicles. The victims were often putting groceries in the trunk of their vehicles or returning their shopping carts at Costco when the thefts occurred, detectives said.
Detectives and officers began tracking the use of stolen credit cards and performed surveillance in the Costco parking lot and at a Fred Meyer store in Renton, where the suspect routinely would use the stolen credit cards shortly after the thefts. In all, approximately $17,200 was charged to stolen credit cards.
Through investigation and with assistance from the Fred Meyer loss prevention team, detectives identified Bondahousky as the suspect in at least 11 of those purse and wallet thefts.
Bondahousky is believed to have been responsible for several of the other thefts going back to February, detectives said. He was booked on 11 felony charges ranging from theft, forgery and identity theft to possession of narcotics.
Tukwila Police Officer Jason Wollan put in countless hours, piecing the cases together and working with the Fred Meyer loss prevention team to identify the suspect and make the arrest.
Police encourage everyone to always be aware of their surroundings and to not leave their purses, wallets or other valuables unattended, even for a brief period of time.