NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, February 15th, 2019

Tim Eyman caught on video stealing a chair from the Office Depot in Lacey, Washington

Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman is under investigation for petty theft by the Lacey Police Department after stealing a Brenton Studios Mayhart chair that had been put in the vestibule of the Office Depot on Sleater Kinney Road Southeast.

The alleged crime was committed on the morning of Wednesday, February 13th. Footage provided to the Lacey Police Department by Office Depot shows Eyman walking around inside the store entrance, clad in his red “Let the Voters Decide” t-shirt. He can be seen checking out his surroundings, then walking inside the vestibule and sitting down in the display chair the store manager had put there.

Eyman twirls around in an office chair

After reclining in the chair and spinning around in it a few times, Eyman gets up and wheels the chair right out of the store into the parking lot — without paying for it.

Tim Eyman walks out with office chair

The surveillance video then shows him walking back inside the store a few minutes later, this time with a black jacket on covering most of his red t-shirt.

Eyman disappears from the frame after walking back inside, but soon reappears inside the left edge. He can be seen for several minutes at the counter before eventually leaving the store again, this time holding a phone to his ear. The clerk can be seen walking out behind him wheeling a dolly laden with two printers.

Here’s the clerk’s sworn written account of what happened:

Tim Eyman came into our store to get some documents copied & also requested help with his printer he had brought in. I helped him with his printer issue and helped pick 2 new printers. He thanked me and shook my hand. While I was busy with another customer, Tim went into the foyer and sat in our display chair, then proceeded to walk it out the front door without paying for it. He then came back in and paid for his print job and his 2 printers as well as returning his old printer.

He acted wary when I told him I would help him take the printers out to the car. When we got to his vehicle (gray, mid to late 2000s SUV, possibly Ford Explorer/Expedition), he insisted I leave the printers on the ground next to his vehicle because he needed to rearrange a few things. I gave him my Office Depot business card and went back inside.

The police report states that after the store manager discovered the chair missing, he checked the surveillance footage to find out what happened.

(The surveillance footage the store provided to police is playable above unedited, but the nearly ten minute clip begins after Eyman has already entered the store for the first time. That’s why we don’t see him returning the printer.)

“Eyman was identified due to the phone number, payment method information, and name referenced through the store computer system that Eyman used to exchange the printers after walking out of the door with the chair,” the investigating police officer W.R. Smith stated in his report. “I further identified Eyman through the store surveillance video provided, a DOL picture returned through dispatch, and a personal picture of Eyman taken from his Facebook account on 2/13/2019 that shows him wearing the same red shirt with the phrase “Let the voter[s] decide”.

After scanning receipts and statements from Office Depot into evidence, and adding the surveillance footage to its digital locker, the Lacey Police Department concluded that Eyman was the likely perpetrator and has referred the case (which carries a charge of misdemeanor theft) to the city prosecutor. Officer Smith’s report states that his initial attempt to reach Tim Eyman was unsuccessful.

The Seattle Times’ David Gutman also tried to reach Eyman upon learning of the matter, but couldn’t get a hold of him prior to publication.

After the story had been picked up by nearly every major media outlet in the state, Eyman began emailing a statement to reporters. “I just called the Lacey Office Depot who referred me to the Lacey Police Department,” said Eyman.

“I am expecting a call from the officer in charge to explain what happened. I will cooperate fully in this process and will do whatever is required of me.”

He’ll “cooperate fully” and do “whatever is required”? What does that mean… that he’ll return the chair that he stole from Office Depot? Or pay for it?

As we have documented here on the Cascadia Advocate and at Permanent Defense (which happens to be celebrating its seventeenth anniversary today), there is no one in Washington State politics who is more dishonest than Tim Eyman.

Eyman has a long and disturbing record of lying to the press and the public, duping his own donors, repeatedly violating our public disclosure laws, hyperbolically attacking our elected officials, and inviting people on his email list to harass his political opponents. Now he’s been caught on tape committing petty theft.

We can only hope that this footage helps more Washingtonians understand who Tim Eyman truly is: a greedy, self-obsessed individual with a pathological need for attention who does not hesitate to lie, cheat, and steal with impunity.

It would be nice if this footage resulted in the end of Eyman’s career, but he has a gift for trickery and deception and parting fools from their money, just like his idol, Donald Trump, also known nowadays as Individual Number One.

When I started Permanent Defense seventeen years ago, Eyman had just been caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, having admitted to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for his own personal use.

He spilled his guts to The Associated Press in a phone call during the Super Bowl, which that year, like 2019, was a matchup between the Patriots and the Rams.

Tim Eyman: I took money, lied about it

After the story broke, many people thought Eyman was done.

I knew better.

After a conversation with two friends who professed themselves disappointed because they supported what Eyman was trying to do (kill Sound Transit’s Link light rail), I decided to take action. I drew up plans for Permanent Defense and it went live on the World Wide Web on February 15th, 2002… seventeen years ago today.

It has been very satisfying over the years to watch a growing number of people of all political persuasions realize what I’ve known ever since I caught my first glimpse of Eyman on local television: he is not to be trusted. Con artists like Eyman and Trump thrive on the gullibility of other people. And once they’re established, it’s incredibly hard to get rid of them. It’s like fighting a termite infestation.

But if we don’t stop them, then the country and state we love will be no more.

I’ve always believed Washington is worth saving. Cascadia’s future must be secured. That’s why my team and I have persevered in our efforts to build a Permanent Defense against Eyman’s attacks on our Constitution and common wealth. Eyman prides himself on his relentlessness; it’s arguably his favorite characteristic.

Fortunately, we’re just as persistent and determined as he is.

I couldn’t have imagined that on the very day that Permanent Defense turned seventeen, the great State of Washington would be gifted with video revealing Tim Eyman to be a petty criminal. Now everyone can see an example of what Tim once infamously called his “ugly, stinky, and disgusting” behavior.

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One Comment

  1. For 70 Dollars. Wow!

    # by Mike Barer :: February 16th, 2019 at 11:13 AM