A woman traveled about 200 miles to the Tri-Cities to visit a sick relative, only to have all of her stuff stolen in the matter of seconds.
The Seattle woman was getting ready to return home at 3 p.m. Thursday when she set her backpack down next to her on the sidewalk on the 100 block of North Ely Street in Kennewick.
Inside the orange pack was everything she brought on the trip, including identification and cash, said Mike Blatman, Kennewick police’s crime prevention specialist.
She turned to look into a nearby business when a thief spotted a moment of weakness and grabbed the backpack and ran across Highway 395.
Several witnesses snapped pictures of the man, including one person who tried to follow him along Vista Way.
Police are trying to identify the thief, who was last seen wearing a dark hoodie and black pants.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers at 509-586-8477 or send a tip to www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org. Tipsters can remain anonymous and could earn up to a $1,000 reward.