Three Charged For Maple Leaf Break-In, May Not Be Connected To Other Burglaries After All

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee November 16, 2010

King County prosecutors have charged three teens--an 18-year-old man, a 15-year-old, and a 16-year-old-- arrested in a burglary at a Maple Leaf home last week.

Police initially believed that the  three teens--and three other teens who were caught with them and have not yet been charged--may have been connected with nearly 20 burglaries in the North Seattle area. However, department sources tell us that now, detectives aren't so sure, and that police are having trouble connecting the teens to the other burglaries.

Mohamed Ali Moallim, 18, and the two other juveniles--who we're not naming--are accused of breaking into a home on NE 89th and 12th NE on November 10th.

A neighbor called police after they saw the teens standing, standing around a silver Toyota Camry parked with its hood up in front of a home on the block.

The neighbor then saw one of the boys crawl into the house through a window and open the front door. At least one of the boys was wearing gloves during the burglary.

Police arrived on scene and arrested six teens, who initially told police they had stopped at the house because they were having car troubles.

Later, they admitted they had all decided to do a "hit"--break into--a house while on their lunch break from Ingraham High School.

Police had been searching for a group of burglars who hit the Maple Leaf, Roosevelt, and Ravenna neighborhoods hard since the beginning of October.

After police caught the six Ingraham students breaking into a home in Maple Leaf last week, they were fairly certain they'd busted their burglars.

However, police sources tell us that detectives are now less certain that these teens are connected to the other burglaries, and haven't yet found anything conclusive to tie the teens to the other cases.

Police sources say it's still possible that at least some of these kids were involved in the string of burglaries, but police don't seem as sure of the connection as they did a week ago.

The teens haven't admitted to any other break-ins, and police have only recovered a few minor pieces of evidence, making it tough to tie them to the other burglaries.

We've also gotten several reports of a few other similar break-ins around the north end since police arrested these teens last week. However, sources tell us these more recent burglaries in the North Precinct don't quite fit the same pattern.

Police are planning to meet with North Seattle neighbors this evening at the Ravenna Eckstein Community Center.

We'll have more as this develops.

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