Crime Watch: Seaview metal ‘scavengers’; Junction sign theft

If you’ve seen police activity in Seaview the past couple hours, Doug‘s report explains it:

Our housekeeper spotted three people in an old light blue van pull into the alley behind our house this morning. Two of the people got out and came into our backyard. She scared them off and called me. I drove around and found them doing the same thing in the alley near 47th and Findlay [map]. I got the police on the phone and followed the van for several blocks throughout the Seaview neighborhood until police arrived and stopped them in an alley off Graham and 46th. They told the cops they were looking for scrap metal, but officers are running their names to check for any warrants. As always, please report any suspicious vehicles to police. There have been far too many home burglaries in the area lately.

Not long after Doug’s note, we also heard from Gary, who said that a tow truck has since shown up to take the van away. We’re checking with police to see if that means there were arrests involving the three people who were in it. SECOND CRIME WATCH REPORT: Bob at Seattle Integrated Martial Arts in The Junction says a sandwich-board sign for his business and co-housed Limber Yoga was stolen from 42nd/Alaska on Sunday night – if you’ve seen it anywhere, let them and/or police know.

28 Replies to "Crime Watch: Seaview metal 'scavengers'; Junction sign theft"

  • Dan April 27, 2010 (1:55 pm)

    I live in this area. Thank you for following them and calling the police!

  • cjboffoli April 27, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    Look out Magnum PI! Doug is on the job. Nice work!

  • M April 27, 2010 (2:19 pm)

    Nice job Doug. thanks for looking out!

  • Born To Be Mild April 27, 2010 (2:30 pm)

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but if someone is looking for scrap metal they are a thief. Unless it’s laying in the street, they can’t take it without permission. What they’re doing is scavenging through the neighborhood grabbing anything of value that isn’t nailed down.

  • Doug April 27, 2010 (2:31 pm)

    Thanks all! The police called me back to say they towed the van away since none of the three had a valid driver’s license. However, they couldn’t make an arrest since there was nothing inside the van that appeared to be stolen. I guess I caught them early on in their rounds. The good news is that police now have their names and information– and the van is out of commission.

  • wsgolfer April 27, 2010 (3:13 pm)

    Thanks, Doug. I live in the area as well, and appreciate the watchful eye.

  • Silly Goose April 27, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    I too live in this neighborhood and their van was parked in my friends yard so I walked down the alley to talk to the police until they came home. None of them were arrested they walked up Graham Street and headed south on California Ave. They were 2 males late 20’s and an older women late 40’s early 50’s very very creepy people. The metal chairs, Metal ladder, and metal construction shelf were probably stolen that fact couldn’t be proven as no one saw them take these things and they couldn’t be arrested for trespassing because they said they were just turning around in that drive way. They had suspended drivers liscenses and that is reason for the towing of their van.

    • WSB April 27, 2010 (3:42 pm)

      Thanks, Silly! My usual contact at the precinct isn’t available today so I hit a bit of a brick wall in getting official info – TR

  • Newnative April 27, 2010 (3:38 pm)

    The sandwich boards need to be kept inside over night. They are left in the sidewalks, in the ramps for wheelchairs, they are a nuisance. I have witnessed blind people walk into them.

  • Doug April 27, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    Thanks also Silly.. didn’t know they actually found some metal items in the van. I hope whoever is missing these things read this and call the police to reclaim their property.

  • sima April 27, 2010 (4:56 pm)

    Thanks Newnative,

    You are right and we will make sure we keep them out of the way. We always bring them inside except this one night. It is still theft.

  • MTM April 27, 2010 (6:04 pm)

    Those folks in the van were in my alley around 47th, looking around trash bins and I asked them what they were doing. Said they were looking for scrap metal and asked if I had any. They weren’t trying to hide or act covertly about what they were doing. I had an old piece of metal fencing I’ve been meaning to haul off and said they could have it. They strapped the fence to the top of their van, cleaned up the pile of wind-blown weeds that had collected around the fence, which they didn’t have to do, and thanked me over and over. They were polite, courteous and had a good sense of humor. I’m a woman and didn’t feel threatened or that they were creepy in any way at all. Sure, they were dressed raggedly but who wouldn’t be, dealing with scrap metal. I didn’t have a bad experience with them. Could it be they are just poor with few resources and trying to figure out how to eat?

  • MargL April 27, 2010 (6:48 pm)

    Well, they might be able to pick up quite a lot with a sign on the side of their van advertising “Will haul scrap metal for FREE” rather than trolling the alley taking without asking.

    This is after they get their licenses un-suspended, of course.

  • bridge to somewhere April 27, 2010 (7:47 pm)

    I had scrappers “liberate” some metal from a backyard shed, and I can say it wasn’t appreciated and it didn’t make my family feel particularly safe knowing there were folks stealing in our back yard while we put in full days at work. :-(

  • sillygoose April 27, 2010 (8:06 pm)

    MTM they are drug addicts and you just happened to be home or else they would have been all over your property. The police knew all of these people and have dealt with them before and they are connected to a local house on Fauntleroy that acts as a drug house and chop shop for cars, boats anything with alot of metal on it that they can sell and get a few dollars for to buy thier meth. They are CREEPY disgusting people, they were nice to you because your metal donation got them one step closed to getting high.

  • Doug April 27, 2010 (10:11 pm)


    These folks opened the gate and came into my backyard.. they weren’t rummaging through the garbage. I have no doubt they would have taken anything in sight if someone hadn’t been home. As mentioned above, they also had some metal ladders and metal chairs in the van.

  • MTM April 28, 2010 (7:37 am)

    OK… If you know for certain that they are thieves and drug addicts and are associated with a chop shop, then I’ll believe you (Do the police know about the chop shop?) In any case, I had a different experience with them and appreciated the clean-up… and no worries. I have a large dog in the yard who let them know she was on patrol. :)

  • alki resident April 28, 2010 (8:41 am)

    MTM-be careful who gaines your trust around here.There are alot of meth heads here and the nicer you think they are the more items in your home will come up missing.These people are hard up for drugs not food.I personally know a couple men who are now living in kcj because of their yrs of drugging and metal recycling.If it wasnt tied down they had it in their van before you know it.Once they got the money for it,they werent grocery shopping.As for the sandwich board case-Ive seen many businesses chain their sign to a tree or post.Maybe this will help next time.

  • WSWAGuy April 28, 2010 (9:39 am)

    I had a 20′ section of chainlink fence removed from my side yard some time back. IMHO these folks are low life theives, just several among a subculture of vermin skulking around our fine neighborhoods. Question/Report ALL questionable activities in your immediate neighborhood. Join or start a Block Watch. And finally, get a pet attack tiger… Sigh.

  • neighborly April 28, 2010 (10:04 am)

    We live in this neighborhood, and had two metal ladders stolen from our yard this winter. They were too good for scrap; we figured they were sold to a pawn shop. We filed a police report. That was the first theft we’ve experienced, and have lived here for nearly 20 years.

  • Sgt. B April 28, 2010 (11:04 am)

    If anyone knows of a neighbor who had items stolen yesterday please have them call the non-emergency number and report it. 206 625-5011.

    Or, call and leave me, Sgt. Bauer, a message on my voicemail. The clerk at the Southwest Precinct will put you through to my desk. 733-9800.

    Any info you have is useful.

  • Stephanie April 28, 2010 (12:59 pm)

    My neighbor, who is hard of hearing, was home when she went to the bathroom, only to come out, and find this person in her living room! He said he was wanting to haul off metal from her yard. She told him to leave, and she got a description of them, both white, male and female, looked like a druggie she said, the female had long dark colored hair. And the van, an older blue van with a white top, and the license number,it was this same vehicle. She watched them leave her alley, and continue into ours. They stopped at every house, at most of the houses they took something, she said. It is nice to know that they were stopped by police, but very un-nerving to know that they could not arrest them. If none of them had a drivers license on them, isn’t that an arrestable offence? They will just find another vehicle to use.

  • SWA April 28, 2010 (1:36 pm)

    Friggin METH heads!!!!! My house was broken into in Jan. they took what they could carry in my duffle bags… My kids didnt want to stay in thier own house. So my neighbor walks out of her bathroom to find this guy in her living room… This was like two days ago and gee they get to walk away free from thier van today…..WOW!!!!!REALLY…….need I say more……

  • Doug April 28, 2010 (6:16 pm)

    Please tell your neighbor to file a police report. I can’t believe they walked into her home. Who knows what might have happened to her! This will make a much stronger case for police.

  • DBurns April 28, 2010 (11:02 pm)

    Recently all of the bronze downspouts were stolen from the entire Westwood Village property. They went around in the middle of the night and tediously unscrewed each one. Probably got $20 or so for them and these were really expensive, attractive spouts. They were replaced with cheaper ones but they will likely come and get them too. Selling metal is apparently big business these days but shouldn’t the folks on the receiving end be a bit more discriminating? I have no idea how it all works so maybe I’m wrong.

  • bridge to somewhere April 29, 2010 (8:56 am)

    kind of frustrating someone could remove all the WV downspouts in the middle of the night and not have any police noticing. that’s a big, well-lit facility that should have nobody in it after midnight.

  • Stephanie April 29, 2010 (10:05 am)

    She did file a police report. She was on the phone with the police when she was watching them go down our alley, giving them a play by play. That is why it is so disturbing that they were not arrested?..?

  • Doug April 30, 2010 (9:47 pm)


    Never heard back.. frustrating

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