Woman leaves child in front seat as she uses screwdriver in brazen break-in, video shows

Multiple surveillance videos show a woman using a screwdriver to get past locked doors and inside condo and apartment buildings within seconds in Seattle.

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The latest case happened in Magnolia on Thursday morning. The surveillance video shows the woman leaving a child in the front seat of a car to wait while she’s apparently committing the crime.

“Just the ease of which she was able to break into our door and into our building, that was scary,” said Lisa Walker, who lives in the Magnolia condo complex that was targeted around 2:30 a.m.

“It was so brazen! She looked at the cameras. We've got full-on video of her, but she just kept going. She just had a screwdriver,” Walker said.

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The woman drove into their carport, walked to the door and pulled the tool out of her purse.

“Extremely quick. It was less than three seconds. She was able to pop in the screwdriver and opened up the door,” Walker said.

Once in, you can see the woman spot a key on the bulletin board, and she appears to use it to try and access mailboxes.

“When that didn't work, she went in the building a little farther, up some stairs, down the hallway to see if there were any packages. When there weren't any packages, she left the building,” Walker said.

And get this -- in the video, it looks like the woman wasn't alone.

“It was crazy! And then to see the baby in the car,” Walker said.“It just tugs at your heartstrings that this woman is doing it and she's involving her child. And the child doesn't have a choice of that,” Walker said.

The child looks like he or she is toddler-aged and can be seen playing with what looks like a phone or tablet in another video a resident shared with KIRO7.

When Suzanne Spalding saw what happened in Magnolia on her Nextdoor page, she said she recognized the woman immediately.

“Incredible. Immediately recognized her as the person who broke in here twice,” Spalding said. “It’s clearly the same person.”

Spalding manages an apartment complex in Belltown, and their cameras caught a woman with a similar M.O. from a few weeks ago.

First, the woman tries the front door. Then, when that doesn't work, she walks around to the side.

“You can see her pull out a screwdriver,” Spalding said.

Seconds later, she's in.

“Very, very quick,” Spalding said.

Spalding said then, the woman gets into the garage and starts casing cars on all four parking levels.

“She’s seeing if anything is open she can reach in and grab,” Spalding said. She said the woman spent a total of about 45 minutes coming in and around the building.

Both buildings are beefing up security, and people there are asking for your help.

“I'm hoping that people see these videos and they know the person and they do something about it,” Walker said.

“I want to be able to sleep at night knowing my residents are safe,” Spalding said.

Seattle police have not officially confirmed it's the same woman in both break-ins.

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