Police recover goods stolen from Vashon home, no arrests made

LD Thompson stands in his home office, the site of a far-reaching burglary last week.  - Leslie Brown/staff photo
LD Thompson stands in his home office, the site of a far-reaching burglary last week.
— image credit: Leslie Brown/staff photo

Nearly all the computer and video equipment stolen from the Vashon home of two award-winning filmmakers was returned on Saturday, four days after the couple reported the burglary.

David Rothmiller and LD Thompson, who made the highly acclaimed documentary “For My Wife,” came home last Tuesday to find $30,000 in computers, video equipment and other goods taken from their home office.

The burglars apparently broke in while the two men were in Seattle tending to the needs of their 12-week-old foster child. The couple was devastated by the far-reaching loss, which included two laptops containing all of their professional work and intellectual property.

On Friday, however, a deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office visited a house in the 16000 block of 109th Avenue S.W., near the Vashon Municipal Airport, to arrest someone on a traffic warrant. While there, he saw what he believed were the couple’s stolen goods, obtained a search warrant and returned to confiscate the items.

On Saturday, Rothmiller and Thompson got a call from the sheriff’s office, asking them to come to Courthouse Square to claim their missing items.

“It’s kind of a miracle,” Rothmiller said. He and Thompson, he added, “are nothing but grateful.”

No arrests were made Friday night, according to Sgt. John Urquhart, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. He declined to say why no one was obtained, noting only that the investigation is ongoing.

Last week’s burglary took place after perpetrators apparently used a crowbar to break open a ground-level French door next to Rothmiller and Thompson’s home office. The burglars walked out of the home with a $6,000 video camera, the couple’s two laptops, a 42-inch television, two portable DVD players, a keyboard, a Nikon camera, microphones, a tape recorder and other items.

Rothmiller and Thompson’s home, an artful stucco structure on a wooded parcel at the end of a private drive off of Wax Orchard Road, is currently on the market.

Last week, on that same day, another house on Wax Orchard Road was broken into, just 10 blocks from Rothmiller and Thompson’s home. Urquhart, however, said it seemed like a very different kind of burglary: It happened at night, and only a dartboard was taken.

Rothmiller estimates that 75 percent of what was taken from their home — including their two laptops — was returned. He and Thompson, he said, are impressed by the fast police work.

“We have such respect for them,” he said of the officers on the case.

Unfortunately, however, Rothmiller said that his computer was stripped of its contents — including scripts, photographs and other professional work. He also said he’s disheartened that no arrests were made.

“These people are still active and on the streets,” he said.

Rothmiller and Thompson run the company Trick Dog Films and recently held a screening of “For My Wife” at Vashon Theatre. They moved to Vashon four years ago.

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