West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowlers apparently busy

May 20, 2011 at 9:52 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 11 Comments

Perhaps a good-weather phenomenon – we’re getting more than a few car-prowl reports. One from Arbor Heights on the WSB Facebook page, mentioned in passing, then another from AH just came in via e-mail – that’s after the jump, along with reports from other West Seattle areas (NOTE – 1 “suspicious person” report, added 12:04 pm):

Just in:

My car that was parked on my house’s driveway got broken into last night. House is between 98th and 100th on California Ave SW (zip 98136). No damage to the car or engine. But glove compartment and entire car was ransacked. Left the car doors opened. Called police and there was another similar incident report on 42nd Ave SW, one block west of California Ave SW.

Out of the inbox yesterday, from Caroline:

Hey all – we reported this already to police – but wanted to make sure we got the word out. We live on 37th ave SW (arterial route) and my husband’s truck was broken into on Wed. evening. He is a nut about locking his car – but we’re not quite sure how they got in? He said there was some sort of greasy/black substance close to the door seam?? The car wasn’t damaged in any way (which was good) – they got away with money, Nike shoes (but left the Vasque hiking boots?), iPod, etc. I’ve also noticed a lot of cars driving very slowly down my street (which is out of the norm b/c people are using screaming down this street at 40-50 MPH!).

Okay – be smarter than us and keep your stuff outta your car – and be on the lookout! ;)

And from Becca, a more-general alert for her area:

Information regarding car prowlers around the Lowman Beach area, specifically Lincoln Park Way SW at Murray. For the last couple of summers (yes they typically start about now and they have). We have noticed that most of the activity is on Saturday/Sunday mornings as early as 3 am.

Latest incident: a couple of weeks ago at 3am on a Sunday two men were seen walking up a drive for some condos with about 5 units. One of the owners came out and contacted the two men as well as calling the police. After the police made contact the pair heading up Lincoln Park Way SW but when the police car was out of sight they changed direction going down the hill to Lowman Beach where a waiting car picked them up.

The people I have seen taking coolers out of the back end of a truck act as if they belong there. Several of my neighbors and I talk from time to time and keep an eye out for each other. But, considering how many people jog/walk/bike around here it’s easy for someone to do something right under your nose and get away with it.

Get to know your neighbors is the best advice I can give anyone.

Here’s advice from Seattle Police on deterring/thwarting car prowlers.

ADDED 12:04 PM: A suspicious-person report just in, this one from David; we didn’t want to hold it waiting for other Crime Watch reports:

Another cautionary tale.

Yesterday Thurs May 19, at 9:05 am a car drove slowly down our street. The sole occupant, described below, got out of the car and took cell phone pictures of three yards including my own. None of the homes are for sale. He snapped away until he saw me sitting in my car a few feet away, watching him, after which he beat a hasty retreat. He took off so fast I was unable to get his license number (!!!) but was able to verify the following particulars:

Who: a mid-to-late 40′s white male, stocky but not fat build, balding with trimmed medium mustache, between 5′-8″ and 5’10″ tall. Wearing dark blue/black shiny sweat pants, armless white/light weighlifter’s power-T shirt w/ small design. Bald head/face were red from previous day’s sunshine. Medium to dark complexion but non-hispanic.

Where/when: 32nd SW between Trenton and Henderson, 9:05 am 5/19/2011

Car: a Red two door 1993-1997 Honda Civic DX, washington plate #unknown.

11 Comments

  1. I just had my school bookbag stolen from out of my car at Lincoln Park last night (5/19) between 8:30pm and 9:15pm. I’m posting this in case someone sees the discarded remains of the bag. It is a blue Lands End canvas book bag with the name MEDIANCAT embroidered on it. it contained my Geology Text book, notebook, homework and an older, white TI graphing calculator. not much of value accept to me (sentimentally and educationally), in the middle of the quarter no less:( please contact purrovocative@gmail.com if any of it turns up in the park or around west seattle. Thanks!

    Comment by B-Squared — 10:09 am May 20, 2011 #

  2. Got my gps stolen last sunday from my newer vehicle near 64 th and admiral. May have stupidly left car unlocked, but alarm would have been on if properly secured. Are most breakins on older vehicles without alarms, or can thieves somehow thwart systems?

    Comment by alki guy — 12:34 pm May 20, 2011 #

  3. My neighbor and I both have newer vehicles with good alarm systems, and always lock our cars. They got into both of our cars last night, which leads me to believe they have some sort of device to thwart systems….

    Comment by wsbliss — 1:53 pm May 20, 2011 #

  4. I have an alarm system too, but it’s an older car-about 11 years old. I also don’t keep anything of value exposed. So far, no break ins.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 4:37 pm May 20, 2011 #

  5. I too had my car tossed recently in the Fairmount Park area. My doors were definitely locked, but somehow they got in without damaging my car. Took only my change drawer as I keep nothing of value in there.

    Comment by A Westwood Neighbor — 4:48 pm May 20, 2011 #

  6. I also had my car broken into in my driveway on the 18th sometime in the middle of the night. I live on 30th ave sw and hinds.

    Comment by Valerie — 5:10 pm May 20, 2011 #

  7. My neighbor had his car broken into early this morning (May 21, 2011.) The perpetrator tried to start the car with makeshift items but was unsuccessful. The police came out and a report was made. Unfortunately, the car had to be towed because the keys would no longer fit in the ignition. We are in the Gatewood neighborhood on Elmgrove.

    Comment by KatieK — 11:33 am May 21, 2011 #

  8. I saw an unfamiliar car in the neighborhood today. Stop sign at 39th and 102nd. I stopped while those going north and south have the right away. Old navy blue buick, looked a little weathered. They stopped at the non-existent stop sign. Then they waved me to go, so I went. I saw them do a u-turn going south on 39th but stopped in the middle of the road. I went to turn around and they disappeared. Later when I went out to check my mail. Same old vehicle cruising the area, just keep your eyes out… I know no Harm no Foul, been living in the area for almost 3 years. I don’t know my all my neighbors by name but I know their cars and an idea of when they come and go… get familiar with your neighbors habits.. thats all we can do to protect our personal belongings and those surrounding us

    Comment by arbor heights res. — 10:47 pm May 21, 2011 #

  9. I’m not sure when it happened since I haven’t been out to my car since Friday night, but my car was broken into. They mainly tore up the inside of my car looking for whatever it is they were looking for, but they did steal my can of pepper spray that I use for protection and my newest insurance card. I was surprised to see my CD player/deck was still there. I’m not sure what it is they’re looking for or want, but they don’t seem to be very smart since they could of gotten a whole lot more money for my CD player than they will for my pepper spray. My cousin lives a few houses down from me and her car was broken into on Friday – they took her insurance card, as well. I live on 49th and Genesee.

    Comment by Madison — 11:27 am May 22, 2011 #

  10. Two of our older cars were ransacked a couple of weeks ago right in front of our house. The only things the took were loose change. We don’t keep much in the cars anymore.

    They did not touch my car, late model german car but it was armed with an alarm.

    We know our neighbors well, walk the neighborhood and will be on the look out for strangers.

    Thanks for the posts!

    Comment by SSW — 1:52 pm May 22, 2011 #

  11. If your GPS was stolen (as was mine) and you are due for a phone upgrade, ask your service provider which models have GPS service. There is a GPS service on my new droid, so the thief can have my broken GPS unit — and will never have the opportunity to steal another, as my phone never leaves my side…

    Comment by wsbliss — 8:05 pm May 23, 2011 #

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