Prosecutor accuses Kent man of cider and clothing theft

Colin Schilling, CEO of Schilling’s Hard Cider, was on his way to work one morning last week when he saw a man rolling one of the company’s carts along a sidewalk about 100 yards west of the company building at 4402 D St. NW.

And, as Auburn police now claim, carting away box after box of stolen Schilling’s hard cider.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has since charged the man, 42-year-old Nicholas Reed of Kent, with one count of second-degree burglary.

But seems Mr. Reed was a busy fellow. The prosecutor’s office has filed a second count of second-degree burglary against him for allegedly stealing outdoor wear from the nearby warehouse of Outoor Products at 4401 D St. NW the night before.

Reed’s arraignment on both counts is at 9 a.m. Nov. 25 in the GA courtroom of the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

Here is a summary of what happened based on the Auburn Police Department’s Certification for Determination of Probable Cause.

Schilling was heading into work shortly before 8:30 a.m. Nov. 10 when he saw on a sidewalk a man dressed in a dark hoodie and tan pants with a company cart carrying items to a transient camp in a wooded area west of the road.

When Schilling reached work moments later, according to the account, he noticed cases of cider missing from several large pallets in a storage area, an empty place where the missing cart should have been, and a pried-open, roll-up door.

Schilling called police. When police arrived, according to the account, they confronted the man with the cart, whom one of the officers recognized as Reed because he had been trespassed from the area several times for emptying dumpsters and leaving trash all over the place.

On the sidewalk next to Reed, according to the account, police found several large carts covered in brown packing wrap, a shopping cart with a brown package wrapped inside of it, and Reed wrapping a blue push cart.

An officer asked Reed what was in the package in the cart. Reed opened it and disclosed several cases of hard cider. According to the account, Reed denied stealing the cider, insisting he had found the cart and the cider in the middle of the street.

Asked about the other wrapped carts under the wrapping, according to the account, Reed said it was his personal property and refused to unwrap it.

According to the account, an adjacent business with a surveillance camera that covers the front of Schilling Cider showed police video of the burglary. Starting at about 3:50 a.m., the tape showed a person walking back and forth from the rolling door to the dumpster in the parking area, and at 4:09 a.m. the person pushed the stolen cart full of items westbound out of camera view.

According to the account, while police were at Schilling’s Hard Cider, Outdoor Products at 4401 D St. NW called 911 to report an overnight burglary. According to the account, police soon found several big boxes of outdoor wear underneath the large cart that was wrapped in paper — the one Reed had refused to show the officers.

Schilling has since reported that in the course of his alleged crimes, Reed stole or damaged $1,543 worth of property. Outdoor Products has summed its losses at $1,000.