On Monday, April 17, 2023, King County Prosecutors charged Charlie John Heitz Jr., 57, of Des Moines, in connection with the April 12 vandalism of 14 businesses and homes in Des Moines that caused $32,500 in damages (read our previous coverage here):
- Malicious Mischief In The First Degree
- Malicious Mischief In The Third Degree (two counts)
This is the case involving Anthony’s HomePort, ABC Grocery and All Star Sports Bar, along with many other victims, including two condo residences.
The investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are possible.
Heitz’s arraignment is scheduled for May 28 at the King County Courthouse. He remains in King County Jail.
Details from charging documents
Charging documents say that on April 12, 2023 at about 10:17 p.m., Des Moines Police Officers responded to a malicious mischief incident at Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant located at 421 S. 227th Street.
An employee reported that a subject had thrown a rock through an exterior window. Video surveillance from the Des Moines Marina south parking lot displayed a male walking off of the property at 10:10 p.m.. The white male was wearing a dark colored coat with a gray horizontal stripe across the back, a white knit hat, gray pants, and black gym shoes with white soles.
On April 13, 2023 at about 3:55 a.m., Des Moines Police Officers responded to ABC Grocery (22309 7th Ave South) for another malicious mischief incident. The owner of the business arrived shortly thereafter and provided exterior motion activated video surveillance of the incident, which displayed a male throwing a rock through an exterior window near the front door. The male was wearing the same clothing seen on the Des Moines Marina video surveillance from the earlier malicious mischief incident at Anthony’s Homeport. As the evening shift continued, Des Moines Police Officers responded to numerous incidents involving broken windows at various businesses all within the downtown area of Des Moines.
A Des Moines Police Community Service Officer was able to obtain video surveillance from Bank of America (707 S. 227th Street) and the All Star Sports Bar (22303 Marine View Drive). The exterior surveillance from Bank of America showed the same male as prior, throwing a rock through a large window pane at 4:09 a.m..
The surveillance from the All Star Sports Bar shows the same male walk northbound past their business at 3 a.m. and return at 3:09 a.m. while carrying a rock in his right hand. The male suddenly turned and threw said rock at an exterior window.
In all of the video surveillance, Prosecutors say it is clear the same male, later identified by police as Charlie J. Heitz, 57.
An employee from Anthony’s Homeport called at approximately 7:30 a.m. and advised that multiple windows had been broken. This damage consisted of a broken front glass door as well as two side-lites (glass panels).The opposite side of the building had three additional glass panels broken. The manager stated that the windows on the west side were tinted, double paned and very costly to repair. He estimated the replacement cost to be about $2,000 per window, eight windows total, at a value of around $16,000.
At this point in the investigation, 14 businesses have been identified as victims. Two other similar incidents recently occurred, however there is not video surveillance to support that it is the same suspect.
List of victims & replacement costs
Current list of victimized locations and estimated replacement costs:
- ABC Grocery, 22309 7th Ave S.: $800
- All Star Sports Bar, 22303 Marine View Dr S.: $1,000
- Anthony’s Homeport, 421 S. 227th St.: $16,000
- Bank of America, 707 S. 227th St.: $2,000
- Barber Supply, 709 S. 219th St.: $1,000
- Condo, 22516 6th Ave S.: $600
- Condo, 22532 6th Ave S.: $600
- Dollar Tree, 21815 Marine View Dr S.: $1,000
- Entourage Salon, 22341 Marine View Dr S.: $1,000
- Highlander Laundry, 21837 Marine View Dr S.: $1,000
- Mandarin Kitchen, 22612 7th Ave S.: $2,000
- Saltwater Animal Hospital, 22014 7th Ave S.: $1,000
- Wells Fargo, 22037 7th Ave S.: $2,000
- Xpress Tax Service, 22607 7th Ave S.: $1,500
Estimated replacement cost total: $32,500
How the suspect was found and arrested
At approximately 11:37 a.m., Tonya Seaberry – who is assigned as a Crisis Specialist with the Des Moines Police Department – advised via radio that she had located the suspect from this incident. Seaberry is very familiar with numerous city residents from her daily duties to include the listed suspect, Charlie J. Heitz.
Seaberry had spotted Heitz at the Des Moines Library (21620 11th Ave S.) wearing some of the clothing seen on all of the video surveillance. She and another officer entered the library to confirm her suspicions. Heitz was found seated at a computer station with clothing hanging off the computer station wall partition which included the blue coat with the gray horizontal stripe and flannel shirt. An officer also noted he was of the same race, physical size, and approximate age of the suspect. All of the clothing matched that of the video surveillance.
Heitz was then taken into custody by patrol units.
In conclusion, 14 business and resident locations have been identified as victims. All of them were randomly vandalized with the same modus operandi of a large rock or brick used to break glass exterior windows.
The involved businesses are located within the downtown area of Des Moines, all within short walking distance. All of the video surveillance located at this time show Heitz either actively breaking the windows or in the area of the associated businesses.