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.