West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspect nabbed; groper sought

At last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen mentioned the ongoing search for a suspect believed to be responsible for at least half a dozen recent local burglaries. Just got word from Lt. Ron Rasmussen that the suspect is now in custody:

Through the excellent work of the Southwest Precinct Detectives and Patrol Officers, we arrested a juvenile male last night who we believe is responsible for the series of burglaries that have occurred in West Seattle area over the past couple of weeks. The investigation continues as detectives continue to follow-up on leads developed during the investigation.

Capt. Paulsen said last night that a search warrant had been served even before the suspect’s arrest, and stolen property had been recovered. Meantime, he also said police are actively looking for a suspect in connection with two recent “indecent liberties” incidents involving females walking alone, and he suggested extra precautions – read on:

WSB contributing reporter Megan Sheppard had written up one of those incidents for the police-files roundup we published early today – we saved it to include with this story. She wrote, after reviewing the incident report:

A 16-year-old was walking near 35th and Henderson/Barton on Friday afternoon when she was confronted by a man who tried to engage her in conversation. Feeling uncomfortable, she went into a store (he followed her) and then tried to avoid him. Offering to pay her for sex (she repeatedly asked him to leave her alone), the man became aggressive, grabbing her buttocks several times as she approached 39th and Barton. He ultimately reached and groped under her skirt and then took off running back toward 35th. Several nearby residents and a man driving by heard a girl crying and yelling for help and called authorities before comforting the teen. The suspect is a black man in his twenties, about six feet tall. He had a shaved bald head and crooked teeth and wore a dark blue jacket and dark spandex.

According to Capt. Paulsen, the other victim was an adult female, and it also happened in the Westwood area, in the “after-school to dusk” time-frame. He says neither victim was “physically injured” but certainly traumatized, and it’s a “high priority” for his team to find the suspect. In the meantime, he advises girls and women to “be aware of your surroundings, and walk with a friend.”

(Added Thursday morning: A little more information on both attacks from Lt. Ron Rasmussen: “In one case, the subject ran up to a woman waiting at a bus stop and grabbed her crotch area from behind. In the other incident the suspect followed the victim for a short while and attempted to engage her in conversation with requests for sex. When the victim walked away, he grabbed her crotch area from behind.”)

Also from last night’s WSCPC meeting: The current hot spots for car prowls and vehicle thefts are in Alki, Admiral, and Genesee Hill, according to Capt. Paulsen, most commonly between 8 and 10 pm. And he said there’s been a drop in commercial burglaries – the subject of a recent alert noted here – after potential suspects in a string of early-morning-hours break-ins were arrested; they couldn’t be tied to the break-ins themselves, he explained, though they had “tools with them” at the time of the arrests, but they did get booked for “warrants and drugs.”

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets the third Tuesday of the month, 7 pm, Southwest Precinct; they’re online at wscpc.org.

8 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspect nabbed; groper sought"

  • CitizenR October 20, 2010 (1:39 pm)


  • sarelly October 20, 2010 (2:07 pm)

    What’s most encouraging about this story is that the police CARE that women are being groped. Back in the 1980s I was similarly accosted by a random lunatic, as were about half a dozen other women that same morning, in broad daylight, on a busy street. (we were all on the way to the same class so we swapped stories.) When I tried to report what had happened, the police basically told me to get lost because they had work to do. Nobody wanted to go look for the guy. It was a “woman’s complaint” not worth paying attention to. I guess things really are better for women today. Even though none of us was hurt, it WAS traumatic, humiliating, and frightening. If it happens to you, you need to know you are not responsible in any way for the behavior of scumbags. Then get yourself a copy of “The Gift of Fear.”

  • cleo October 20, 2010 (6:14 pm)

    The Highland Park area has also been hit hard these past two weeks for stolen cars and the bad guys are getting pretty bold. My husband had his car taken while talking to a buddy. He pulled into the driveway, and stepped out – his buddy met him at the vehicle. He was intending to ask his question and get right back into the car. A man walked past them, jumped into the car and took off. His buddy had his hands on the passenger side door & tried to get into the car. This was at 1:30 in the afternoon in the 9200 block. As the vehicle was very low on gas, it didn’t get far. The vehicle was recovered about 8:30 p.m. at Martin Luther King Way and S. Kenyon parked in an apartment’s fire zone. WE go lucky – scrapes on the side, key gone, and everything gone through. Guess the Bibles scared him off (ha ha). No house keys on the ring – just the car key. Our block has had two cars taken, one attempt and now ours. Make sure you always lock your cars and take your valuables out of them.

  • WS Suzanne October 21, 2010 (12:17 am)

    I second sarelly’s recommendation of “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. GREAT book. Here’s a link to Amazon’s reviews (with almost 400 reviews) but buy it from a local bookseller pls — http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Fear-Gavin-Becker/dp/0440226198.

  • Victoria McKim October 21, 2010 (7:36 am)

    There is an excellent self defense class for women offered at Lee’s Martial Arts. I took it a few years ago and it is offered on a regular basis.

  • datamuse October 21, 2010 (9:03 am)

    Third the recommendation for The Gift of Fear. Really useful for everyone.

  • Melissa October 21, 2010 (11:56 am)

    I’d just like to point out here that that area lies right in the “safe walk” zone for kids who attend Denny and live in Arbor Heights. The District, which supposedly supports working parents and wants what’s best for kids, requires that they walk through this area to get to school. And no, I’ve got no kids at Denny.

  • which bus stop October 21, 2010 (10:18 pm)

    did the officer say which bus stop the woman was grabbed at?

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