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Bainbridge Island police arrest alleged liquor thief
Bainbridge Island police officers arrested a Renton man for a multi-county spree of liquor thefts Sunday.
Michael Alofa Siva, 25, was arrested at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal after he allegedly stole bottles of liquor from the Safeway on High School Road.
Employees at the grocery store, and security cameras at Safeway, observed Siva stealing the liquor on the afternoon of Sunday, May 19.
Island police were immediately notified of the incident. Officers went to the ferry terminal where they found Siva — who matched the description of the man on the security footage — waiting in line for the next boat.
He was arrested and booked into the Kitsap County Jail on $10,000 bail for a felony charge of second-degree organized retail theft.
The arrest may mark the end to a string of liquor thefts in the region. Siva is suspected to have stolen liquor at Safeway stores in Woodinville, Newcastle, Issaquah, Renton, Kirkland, Burien and Seattle.
Bainbridge police said Siva targeted certain stores.
"He said he didn't go to the 'ghetto stores,' as he called them," said Bainbridge Detective Scott Weiss, the officer who interviewed Siva after his arrest. "He goes to Safeways in rural areas because the security isn't as high."
Weiss said that Siva confessed to the thefts after his arrest.
Siva also allegedly hit the Safeways because they commonly stock brands he preferred to steal, such as Ciroc vodka, Grey Goose vodka and Remy Martin cognac.
Siva would either sell the liquor or trade it to support his drug addiction, Weiss said.
"The reason he does this is because of an addiction to oxycontin," Weiss said. "He said he uses about 10 to 15 pills a day."
Oxycontin is a prescription opiate.
Weiss said that Siva struck all his Safeway targets more than once. He allegedly stole from the Woodinville and Newcastle Safeways as many as four times.
Bainbridge's Safeway also captured Siva on security cameras stealing liquor on Wednesday, May 8. The incident is part of his current theft charge.
Siva allegedly stole approximately $126 worth of liquor on May 8, and $320 in spirits on May 19.
Police said the liquor thefts from across the region amount to more than $4,200 worth of liquor that was taken from multiple Safeways.
"The Safeway loss prevention people were very excited because he was on their own most wanted list," Weiss said.
Weiss noted that Siva was previously arrested this year after stealing liquor from a Seattle Safeway.
The incident led to Siva signing a no-trespass order prohibiting him from entering any Safeway for a year.
Because Siva repeated his thefts at multiple Safeways, a charge of burglary could be added to his case, Weiss said.
Camera footage also allegedly shows Siva working with up to two other suspects at various stores.
One person who appears on footage in Woodinville also appears on footage during a Safeway liquor theft that took place on Wednesday, April 17 on Bainbridge. Approximately $125 worth of liquor was stolen in that incident.
Siva admitted to police that another person was involved in the crimes, but refused to name them, according to a police report.