Beer heist at Auburn Safeway leads to felony harassment charge

The Auburn Police Department reports that on Dec. 4, a Puyallup man tried to steal beer from the Safeway at 101 Auburn Way South, then pointed a BB gun that looked like the real thing to intimidate the loss prevention officers on his heels.

On Dec. 6, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Francisco Santiago Araujo, 29, with one count of felony harassment.

Araujo posted bond on the $50,000 bail set by the judge at his hearing.

According to the Auburn Police Department’s Certification for Determination of Probable Cause, here is a summary of what happened.

According to the report, at about 6:45 p.m, when Araujo saw the two loss prevention officers who’d followed him into the Safeway parking lot with two unpaid for cases of beer under his arms, he dropped one the cases and reached for his waistline, as if to retrieve a weapon.

According to the report, Araujo then walked to his car about 30 feet from the front entrance, pulled out what appeared to be a real firearm, racked it, and pointed it at the employees. In fear for their lives, the employees then advised all customers to enter the store for safety.

According to the report, Araujo then fled the parking lot in his vehicle. Officers stopped him after a brief pursuit and found the weapon he’d pointed was in fact a BB gun made to look like a Glock.

Araujo’s criminal record shows the following convictions:

Sept. 2011: second-degree criminal trespassing, 3rd degree malicious mischief and being a minor in possession;

Sept. 2012 and Aug. 2014: being a minor in possession of alcohol;

Jan. and June 2016: driving under the influence;

June 2016: driving with a suspended license in the second degree and other infractions.

According to court records, at the moment Araujo is up against charges pending for DUI and operating a vehicle without identification on Feb. 5, 2020, with an active $10,000 bench warrant issued for his failure to appear. He has racked up a total of 22 bench warrants issued for his failures to appear.

In addition to the standard conditions of release, the prosecuting attorney’s office asked that the court order Araujo to have have no contact with the victims, no contact with Safeway in Auburn, have no possession of dangerous weapons, and neither to possess nor consume alcohol or any controlled substances.