The following is a press release from the Tukwila Police Department.
On Friday, Oct. 19 at 3:00 p.m., Major Crimes Unit (MCU) detectives and Community Police Team (CPT) detectives culminated a month long investigation into a series of purse and wallet thefts at Costco with the arrest of Artem Bondahousky, 23 of Auburn.
Beginning in February of 2018, a pattern of purse and wallet thefts emerged in which victim’s purses and wallets were stolen from their shopping cart 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 and officers began tracking the use of stolen credit cards and performed surveillance in the Costco parking lot and at a Fred Meyer in Renton where the suspect routinely would use the stolen credit cards shortly after the thefts.
Approximately $17,200 was charged to stolen credit cards. Through this in-depth investigation and with assistance from 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 be responsible for several of the other thefts going back to February of 2018 as well.
Bondahousky was booked on 11 felony charges ranging from theft, forgery and identity theft to possession of narcotics.
A special thanks to Officer Jason Wollan #168 who put in countless hours piecing these cases together and working with Fred Meyers loss prevention team to identify the suspect and make this arrest possible.
As we move into the holiday shopping season, we 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.