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Slow streetcar stymies suspected shoplifter

2.5 miles per hour is not a great getaway speed

The First Hill Streetcar at Broadway and Pike
Via Seattle Department of Transportation

Someone chose an extremely inefficient way to evade the police, Capitol Hill Seattle reports: After police were called on an alleged shoplifter at the Broadway and Pine Walgreens, the suspect hopped on the First Hill Streetcar.

For those who haven’t ridden this line before, it’s slow. Even when it started out, it wasn’t the most expedient—moving with traffic for much of its run, it’s beholden to a lot of slowdowns that cars are. It gets stuck on left turns sometimes, for example.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has been looking into ways to speed up the streetcar line—but soon after planned changes were announced, one car skidded two and a half blocks. When service resumed, streetcar speeds were even slower in parts.

None of this helps the streetcar’s usefulness as a getaway car.

The suspect hopped onto the car at Broadway and Pike. Police were waiting for her when the streetcar arrived half a mile away at Broadway and Terrace, an sluggish 12 minutes later.

Although the suspect was apprehended during what sounds like a thrilling police chase, she was booked on a misdemeanor—shoplifting.