West Seattle Crime Watch: Staying safer this holiday season

The Southwest Precinct sends holiday greetings and a wish for a (continued) low-crime season. Toward that end, precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen asked if we would share an SPD-provided list of holiday-specific crime-prevention tips with you. Even if you’re sure you’ve heard them all before – take another look. You’ll find the full list after the jump:


The West Seattle community has been experiencing record low crime over the past few months. This is due in part to the combined effort/partnership with our citizens who have been observant and vigilant to call 9-1-1 to report crimes and suspicious activity. We are now in the holiday season. The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends. This time of year often brings out predatory criminals looking for opportunities to benefit themselves.

Your Southwest Precinct would like to remind our folks in West Seattle of a few holiday-specific trends that open people up to crime. This is a reminder for everyone to keep themselves safe this holiday season. These safety tidbits can be used year around as well…

Your Southwest Precinct police officers wish all of our citizens a safe and relaxing Holiday Season.

Your Southwest Precinct Police Officers

When Shopping:
1. Avoid leaving packages in the car.

2. Don’t carry more cash than you need.

3. Be aware of your surroundings when leaving a business, particularly if you’re carrying packages.

Home Security:
1. Use your locks and alarms. Open doors and windows are an easy access point for burglars. Make it as hard for them as possible. Criminals know that you have gifts waiting to be given to loved ones.

2. Know your neighbors and look out for each other. You know the people who should be in your neighbor’s yard. Call 9-1-1 if you see anyone suspicious. Forming a Block Watch is a great way to get to know neighbors.

Car Security:
1. Don’t leave anything of value in your car. This includes change in the ashtray and electronic accessories.

2. Park in well-lit and public areas. Use existing light and people to make the prowler feel like he can be seen.

Child Security:
1. Make sure your child always walks with a friend or an adult.

2. Make sure your child knows how to call 9-1-1 and that they know to run to a public place if they feel like they are in danger.

After the holidays:
1. Don’t leave packaging for electronics or valuable gifts near your trash bin. That is a giveaway as to the items in your house and can make you a target. Dispose of them inside of the recycle bin where they can’t be seen, or wait until the trash man is at your house and take the packaging out at that time so it is not sitting on your curb.

2. Record all serial numbers of new items that have them. If the items are stolen, serial numbers are the best way for police to positively identify items as yours. Put the serial number list in a safe place in your house (not on a Word file on your computer).

5 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Staying safer this holiday season"

  • sam December 8, 2010 (8:42 am)

    thanks for posting- as another reminder for kid safety. if you go to a busy toy store with a play table be sure to keep a close eye on them at ALL times, rather than leaving them at the play table while browsing (depending on the kid’s age).

    not to be alarmist or over-reactive or anything, we were at a toy store downtown this weekend and a person there made me a little nervous. the person wasn’t really interested in any toys, but was primarily talking to kids at the play table (not this person’s kids), handing them toys, and put a hand on a kid’s shoulder. nothing happened, but it made me uncomfortable, especially noting that the play table was right next to a back exit.

  • Lucky chick December 8, 2010 (1:00 pm)

    Thanks for the tips. And do not have packages delivered to your home and left on the porch! Thieves are not hesitant at all to help themselves! Send them to work, have them held at FedEx, or require a signature.

  • Nervous December 8, 2010 (2:49 pm)

    Have there been any reported cases of mail theft in the Arbor Heights area? A couple of times in the past few weeks there hasn’t been any mail in our box, which is incredibly uncommon and makes us a little suspicious…

  • Arbor Heights Parent December 8, 2010 (5:22 pm)


    There have been mail thefts in Arbor Heights.

    In the weeks before the snow, I found several pieces of mail from Marine View Drive addresses. The first piece I found I wasn’t even thinking mail theft and I turned it in to be mailed again. However, a few days later, I saw several more pieces on SW 104th Street (all were rain soaked) and realized that it was a variety of addresses that had been dumped there. I took that mail to the Westwood Post Office and gave it to the manager who said they had been having trouble with mail theft in that area. He further stated that there was always trouble with mail theft as it got nearer to the holidays.

    Perhaps a locking mail box might give you some piece of mind.

    Good Luck.

  • Jennifer December 8, 2010 (7:26 pm)

    We live in Belvidere and just had a guy come to our door at 7pm offering to “talk” to us about security and put a sign in our yard for free blah blah blah. Very sketchy and pushy.

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