West Seattle Crime Watch: Wheels; window; Trenton trouble

January 23, 2009 at 11:21 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

That photo is from Ray, who says his car is the wheel-less Honda Fit reported by Justin in this comment on last night’s Junction wheel-theft report. That’s not the only car-targeting crime we have received word about today:

Somebody smashed Mark‘s car window near Fairmount Playfield. He says it appeared to be an isolated incident, at least on his block (5000 block of 38th SW – map), and he also sent a report of the weapon:

Two more reports to share, ahead:

These two are both from the same area, both from this morning, but we have no official info on them yet so can’t say whether they’re related. First, from M:

I live on Delridge/Trenton. My next door neighbor was robbed this morning. It was between 1030 and 1130. I’m not sure of the exact time. We heard some thumping next door and we thought it was our neighbor. Then we heard this loud noise and I looked outside and saw two black men running from my neighbors place. They were carrying what looked like a fax machine. My husband immediately called the police and they showed up. We gave them all the info they needed. It happened in broad daylight. My neighbor wasn’t home at the time. We’re not sure if the police caught these men. My neighbor is pretty shook up about this.

Not long after the time frame mentioned by M, Chris sent this in the noon hour (we went shortly afterward to see if the car was still there, but it was gone):

> My wife reports some kind of car chase ending at 16th and Trenton. Apparently at least two suspects jumped out of the car while it was moving and made a run for it. The car ended up in my neighbor’s retaining wall. … The police apparently were taking my neighbor to identify potential subjects.

23 Comments

  1. What scumbags! Sorry to hear this.

    Comment by Jeannie — 12:12 am January 24, 2009 #

  2. WSB, could you please pass my contact info to M? We are neighbors and I think it’s past time to get a block watch started here.

    Comment by Aim — 12:26 am January 24, 2009 #

  3. Sure, just sent it.

    Comment by WSB — 2:45 am January 24, 2009 #

  4. Are we living in West Seattle or New York City circa 1977? I’m beginning to suspect the latter.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 5:38 am January 24, 2009 #

  5. My son lives within walking distance of Gatewood school and had his small fishing boat and trailer stolen from his alley driveway Thursday night. A lock was cut and the boat towed off. None of the neighbors saw or heard anything. Bolt everything down as tightly as possible seems to be the word.

    Comment by TDe — 7:17 am January 24, 2009 #

  6. It seems the thiefs are getting bolder. I wonder if this is what happens when the economy tanks.

    Comment by Magpie — 7:20 am January 24, 2009 #

  7. It’s astonishing that the thieves could take the 4 wheels on an open street like that. This isn’t a ‘smash & grab’ car prowl; you need tools and help to get those things off before someone notices.

    Has there been any layoffs of NASCAR pit crews lately?

    Comment by AlkiBoy — 7:30 am January 24, 2009 #

  8. The thieves are bolder because there is no consequences to their actions. The police are too short staffed to respond in a timely manner and the prosecutor’s office is not prosecuting ‘minor’ property crimes. Why should the thieves have anything to fear?

    Comment by amused — 7:58 am January 24, 2009 #

  9. The main reason this is happening, is the economy. people are getting desperate and bold.

    It is only going to get worse if the state, county and city cut police, and human services.

    Comment by toddinwestwood — 8:03 am January 24, 2009 #

  10. Thieves have something to fear when neighbors band together and look out for one another and don’t keep every window blind closed and never look out their windows. Got to get up and use the bathroom at midnight? While doing so take a quick look out your windows to see if anything strange is going on. Go on regular walks at all hours and keep your eyes open for b.s. Call 911 if you see anything weird. The more streets/blocks that form Block Watches and get in these scum bags faces the better off we all are.

    Comment by No More Same Old Same Old — 8:05 am January 24, 2009 #

  11. Sorry for the folks that got hit. It’s wrong and it sucks.

    The new mantra for every breathing property owner in the SW Precinct. It’s not the ONLY strategy for all of this crap, but it’s a HUGE piece of it, I believe, especially in these economic times.

    Block Watch.
    Block Watch.
    Block Watch.

    Ben Kinlow told me that the SW Precinct/WS Seattle area use to have over 600 block watch groups. Currently, it’s somewhere in the range of 250 to 300. That strikes me as a little shocking. We have really dropped the ball on participation. Obviously, it is time EVERY street should be embracing and actively engaged in this award winning national crime prevention model again, in conjunction with new technology sources (our beloved WSB and email lists).

    If you have property of any kind and you live within the jurisdiction of the SW Precinct, you need to contact hardworking Officer Ben Kinlow at the Precinct to find out who the Block Watch Captain for your street is. He is waiting for people to contact him. If he tells you there is not a current group, then be a hero and start organizing one with your immediate neighbors – find a co-captain and get an email/phone list started.

    Amused – your’s is the first comment I’ve seen which addresses the PA’s office piece of this. The budget has indeed increased property crime prosecution dollar limits. These car prowl rings and thieves are probably believing they will be charged with misdemeanors and continue business as usual. However, PA Satterberg has written a statement (Jan. 4, 2009) that there are legal tools available for the Deputy PA’s to convert misdemeanor car prowl crimes up to felony class. I would put a link up, but received this as a PDF form of the Prosecutor’s Post updates, so I’ll quote:

    “While it is true that state law makes car prowl crimes misdemeanors, not felonies, DPAs are able to make felony cases out of the damage done to gain entry (malicious mischief) and the value of items taken (felony theft). Using these legal tools, and the successful partnership with police, prosecutors have been able to achieve significant prison sentences for the most prolific car prowlers.”

    But, I would hope for success – as Satterberg’s post also pointed out, the Car Thief Initiative reduced car thefts by over 50% between 2005 and 2008. So, the SPD and PA’s office are now focusing on car prowl rings. WSB is clearly supporting them brilliantly in those efforts.

    BUT!!!! In order for the PA’s office to do that people have to be vigilant in their reporting of unusual events to SPD. NMSOSO is spot on – none of us can be fearful, nor casual, about what they see or hear or know about activity in their neighborhoods. We need to be alert but cautious as folks have pointed out.

    And to the folks who have initiated Block Watch groups already for their peeps: way to go! You people are hero’s in my book. Really!

    Comment by BlockWatchMantra — 9:22 am January 24, 2009 #

  12. Yeah, we keep an eye out outside a lot – if there is some weird noise or something, we keep an eye on it (usually drunks across the street) to make sure it doesn’t escalate into something else. That little Cooper is just down the street from our house – I’d like to say I can’t believe that people had the guts to do something like that, but sadly I have to say that nothing surprises me anymore. :(

    Comment by snowlion — 9:34 am January 24, 2009 #

  13. Mantra, if you send me the pdf I’ll upload and link it … or else I’ll go rooting around for it later this weekend – the rest of the morning/afternoon is a little slammed but that would be of great interest – my previously promised car crime story from SD/WC coalition meeting is STILL in the works so it’s still incredibly timely. In addition to prowls and vandalism, outright car THEFT seems to be on the upswing too – as already posted on White Center Now as a topline from that meeting, on the unincorporated area side of the district that meeting covers, there’s been what White Center-based Deputy Jeff Hancock calls a “huge spike” in auto theft.

    Comment by WSB — 10:45 am January 24, 2009 #

  14. WSB -

    Gonna’ send it to you right now.

    Comment by BlockWatchMantra — 10:52 am January 24, 2009 #

  15. I can’t find it as an uploadable attachment but here’s the passage BWM mentions:
    >>While it is true that state law makes car prowl crimes misdemeanors, not felonies, DPAs are able to make felony cases out of the damage done to gain entry (malicious mischief) and the value of items taken (felony theft). Using these legal tools, and the successful partnership with police, prosecutors have been able to achieve significant prison sentences for the most prolific car prowlers. Recently, the Bellevue Police Department (BPD) identified and investigated a major car prowl ring that was operating in the Eastside area of King County. We want to thank BPD for their investigative work in breaking this crime ring. Working with BPD, the PAO charged these defendants with several counts:

    * Defendant Faraz Zolfagharkani has been charged with 10 felonies stemming from 11 counts of Vehicle Prowl. If convicted, he faces a standard range sentence of 63-84 months in prison.
    * Defendant Ashley Dickinson has been charged with seven felonies arising from seven car prowls. If convicted, she faces a standard range sentence of 15-20 months in prison.
    * Defendant Wesley Moton has been charged with four felonies connected with four vehicle prowl incidents. If convicted, he faces a standard range sentence of 13-17 months in prison.
    * Defendant Cierra Kastner has been charged with three felonies stemming from two counts of Vehicle Prowl. If convicted, he faces a standard range sentence of 12-14 months in prison.<<

    Comment by WSB — 11:10 am January 24, 2009 #

  16. Our block has a fantastic block watch(5600 block on 40th.) Many thanks to Paul.

    Comment by Joyce Maund — 10:41 pm January 24, 2009 #

  17. I want to know where the police are BEFORE this happens!?!? Again, I’ve lived in this area for four years and I’ve seen the police cruise through my neighborhood three times; once while five cop cars followed a bunch of kids down the street, the next when I called them after getting gang tagged, & the last time when one was just taking a short cut. Come on. The visibility of SPD in our neighborhoods is nil to nothing. That is one of the reasons these AHs work their way through without “anyone” seeing them. Police presence IS a deterrent; proven by SPD crime van stake on Alki. Crime spree in WS is an understatement and the criminals are laughing all the way to the crack house. This city is so soft on crime, it’s ridiculous; god forbid we offend anyone! I’m honestly waiting for the time WSB reports that a homeowner has taken the law into their own hands, which undoubtedly will not turn out well for anyone involved.

    Comment by WTF — 11:13 pm January 24, 2009 #

  18. Remember the Seattle Police Department? Nope. Me neither.

    The ONLY thing the SPD has ever done when I’ve called them is:

    a) Try to blame the crime committed against me on me and my “carelessness.” Remember folks, criminals aren’t to blame for their acts. Your stupidity for allowing the crime to happen is at fault.

    b) Try to claim that the crime committed wasn’t really a crime, and that it wasn’t worth their time.

    c) Not respond.

    Has anyone had a different experience in the past 2 years?

    Comment by Save Our Streets Seattle — 11:53 pm January 24, 2009 #

  19. SOSS, I have had way more positive experiences with SPD responding to either crimes in progress and other public safety issues than not. Response times vary, but I understand the reasons why they do as I took the time to learn more about the distribution of the Officers and also how they have to prioritize their responses. My beef is generally with some 911 Operators who unfortunately can be rather cavalier.

    This is not to say that SPD does not have some bad apples/Officers, but thankfully, SPD is way better than many other large city Police forces.

    FYI – For several years I was at complete odds with SPD due to my unpleasant encounters with The Force as a Union member picketing at the Seattle WTO meeting.

    Comment by No More Same Old Same Old — 6:51 am January 25, 2009 #

  20. Responding to the car ending up on the retaining wall on Trenton St. between 15th and 16th on 1/23. The car was being chased by Sheriffs (not Seattle Police)going North on 15th from Roxbury.
    At least 5 cars were following the car that crashed. As nosy neighbors we would really like to know more about this.

    Comment by jackie — 12:14 pm January 25, 2009 #

  21. WTF is right, i have called 911, and told they were busy and get there when they can…they never showed up.

    vote out nickels this is his fault since he is in charge

    Comment by bb — 6:48 pm January 25, 2009 #

  22. A while back my Daughter got into an accident on Henderson and 12th sw and when I tried to see the other driver’s car the cops arrested me for iterfering with an investigation, I’m beginning to think that the criminals have more rights than we do. If you tell them that you have a gun pointed at the perp when you call them they will be out pronto, then all you have to do is say “maybe the 911 operator misundersttod me”. Something has to change around here before it gets worse. Let’s take back our nieghbohoods!

    Comment by Tom — 1:06 pm January 26, 2009 #

  23. Let’s take back spellcheck while we’re at it Tom.

    Comment by TonyM — 7:04 pm January 29, 2009 #

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