Frustration. Sadness. Anger. We feel your pain, Seattle.
For the third time since the onset of the pandemic, GeekWire’s offices in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood were broken into and looted early Thursday by someone who popped the lock on our door from a hallway in our multi-tenant building.
Coincidentally, and ironically, this happened just a couple hours before we published a previously scheduled story about the impact of rising crime rates on the deliberations by tech companies considering a return to the office.
Fortunately, as you can see in the security video above, this time our alarm system caused the burglar to flee before he could grab everything of value from the office.
However, he did roll out a cart from our studio with several pieces of audio and video equipment. As you can see at the end of the video, at the last second he also grabbed a basket of old phones and devices from the 10-year anniversary memorabilia collection in our GeekWire lobby.
Hope he enjoys those old Windows Phones.
As we picked up the pieces and tried to figure out what was stolen, again, we couldn’t help but empathize with other companies debating the future of their in-person workplaces in this midst of all of this.
Several of us still go into the GeekWire office on a regular basis, so it still serves a purpose, and with a couple years left on our lease, we don’t have a lot of easy options. But with most of the team still working from home, we certainly don’t need all the space we once thought we did, and definitely not at the rate we’re paying.
As Michael Schutzler of the WTIA told me after we recorded a GeekWire Podcast this week about the industry outlook on returning to the office, crime is “creating another factor to push people out of coming back, or out entirely.” Read more by Schutzler and others in this in-depth story by Amy Rolph.
For our part, we’ve removed everything of significant value from GeekWire HQ, again, and this time we’re not going to leave anything overnight that we wouldn’t want stolen. After stepping up our security with each incident, we thought we had taken enough precautions to avoid another break-in, but obviously not.
At any rate, ugh.