From tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (last one of the year – the group won’t meet in December), not only the latest crime-trend toplines from police, but also citizen reports – including a store reportedly selling troubling merchandise – read on:
First, the store: Chief Sealth High School leadership is concerned about merchandise seen at Super 24, which isn’t far from Sealth’s current location at Boren (map). Assistant principal Lupe Barnes showed meeting attendees a palm-size item that looks like an old-fashioned revolver – no bullets, but she says it delivers “a shock.” She says drug-paraphernalia items and knives also have been seen in the store. Assistant city attorney Beth Gappert, liaison to the Southwest Precinct, said she and Community Police Team officer Ralph Wilson have been tracking, and talking with, local stores with potentially problematic merchandise, and will add this to their list.
Now, the trends, from Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Paulsen: Aggravated assaults are down. Residential burglaries (as regular WSB’ers know – just check the Crime Watch archives) are up, but so are arrests. As Lt. Paulsen noted, “We were able to resolve a lot of them with substantial arrests in the past few weeks.” He referred to the case of Richard Lovejoy, arrested in Fauntleroy a week and a half ago (WSB coverage here) and still in jail, as well as the case of three suspects arrested in Admiral a week ago (WSB coverage here; the one adult suspect in that case, Skyelar Hailey, is still in jail), and six suspects (all but one juvenile; we don’t have the adult suspect’s name so can’t check status) arrested in a Highland Park-Westwood spree (WSB coverage here) – “That cleared 15 burglaries right there,” Lt. Paulsen said.
One attendee expressed concern that the repeat offenders would be back on the street quickly; Gappert noted that the cases are being supervised closely by the county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office because they “know that these are criminals the Southwest Precinct is (particularly) serious about … (the supervisor is) very much aware of the impact these people are having in the West Seattle community so he’s making sure these are getting tracked from beginning to end.”
Car prowls and thefts are down, according to Lt. Paulsen, though current hot spots remain in Highland Park and South Park; Gappert added that it’s imperative that if you park on the street, you make sure your car has no “hint that there’s something valuable in there” – she says in some cases even suction cups used for a GPS might be an invitation to prowlers, even if the GPS itself is not visible from the outside (the prowler might break into the car in hopes it would be in the glove box).
Back to the trends – robberies are down and high schools/middle schools are quiet, according to Lt. Paulsen. He did mention a couple of side notes: Around Holden and 8th SW (map), a group of teenagers/young adults are “trying to take over this one little neighborhood,” which led to a woman filing an assault complaint because she said they wouldn’t let her drive through the area, saying it’s “their neighborhood.” Also, he noted heavy “gang recruiting” in the “Roxbury corridor,” while not entirely sure whether it’s all full-fledged gang recruiting, or some behavior by “wanna-bes imitating ‘real’ gang members.”
Also at tonight’s meeting, a drug-crime expert presented information on the latest regional trends; some of it might surprise you – it certainly surprised us. We’ll write that up tomorrow.
The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council usually meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room. No December meeting, so January 20th is the next one.
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