West Seattle Crime Watch: Cell-phone theft-spree arrests

May 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Earlier this week, a note came in, suggesting we look into a pattern of thefts. The anonymous tipster wrote in part:

3 students have reported having their cellphones stolen from them while waiting at bus stops in West Seattle. All 3 students have filed police reports accordingly. The first one happened during the last week of March, the most recent happened within the last week. Each of them happened at different bus stops, but all have happened in West Seattle.

Each student was approached by a young person they did not know, who either asked to use the student’s phone for an emergency or simply asked to see the time. If the student resisted, they were bullied by the stranger & the stranger’s friends. When the students did take out their phones, the stranger grabbed the phones and ran away with their friends.

Two of the victims also were assaulted, wrote the tipster. But before we could finish investigating this to write about it – we found out that the Southwest Precinct has a break in the case. After we saw Lt. Pierre Davis at the Alki Community Council meeting tonight, he shared this exuberant report:

While conducting surveillance, the SW ACT Team watched one of the possible suspects steal a cell phone from a victim. They did a stake-out on the suspect’s residence and arrested the suspect when he exited. A search incident to the arrest located the stolen cell phone. Our SW ACT Team also located the other involved suspects and arrested them as well. Crime spree over!!! Winning!!!!!

Next step – we’ll be seeking to find out who the suspects are and what happens to them in the jail/court system.

12 Comments

  1. Ugh, I hate to hear stuff like this ;( Not West Seattle, but very close, in the Mt Baker neighborhood a couple months ago (just off of Rainier) my employer’s neighbor had a very similar situation happen to him at 6am. He was waiting for a bus and was approached by 2 teens (a boy and a girl) with a sob story about missing their bus and needing to call their Grandma. He knew he shouldn’t get his phone out, but he did anyway and even still these jerks pepper sprayed him and took the phone. The really crappy part is that it would have happened whether he got his phone out or not, in fact the end result may have been worse had he chose to say no. I don’t know why it still surprises me, but it’s shocking how little regard so many people have for what others have busted ass to earn.

    Comment by MB — 10:28 pm May 19, 2011 #

  2. I’m not at all sure if this is the same type of situation but Tues eve at QFC (just inside the door), an older man approached a woman and asked her if he could use her phone. She thought and said no. He then asked me and I said no but Id give him change for a pay phone. He said he needed to call his wife. On the way out to my car (parked on Alaska); I saw him returning from across the street. Who knows, but doubtful it was legit but right inside of the grocery store entrance?? It just didn’t seem right and these days I’m a total skeptic!

    Comment by Curious — 10:49 pm May 19, 2011 #

  3. Good job SW Act! The bully side of this just makes me sick. It will not be tolerated here! We’ll keep our eyes peeled.

    Comment by wrong — 11:01 pm May 19, 2011 #

  4. What is the SW ACT Team an acronym for? Love that the SW precinct is quoting Charlie Sheen now! Thats too funny.

    Comment by Westsider — 11:30 pm May 19, 2011 #

  5. Anti-Crime Team. http://www.seattle.gov/police/units/ACT.htm (I will hotlink that in the story) – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:46 pm May 19, 2011 #

  6. I don’t get the attraction to stealing cell phones their a dime a dozen. What em I missing. We also need to toughen up on the punishment cuzz this stuff just keeps increasing. I would like to see these thugs (no matter what their age) have their picture posted aswell as their address and parents names if their under eighteen.

    Comment by wsguy — 1:00 am May 20, 2011 #

  7. @wsguy: I think the draw is that these phones, especially if they’re high-end units like the popular iPhone, can be either be fenced or sold on eBay fairly easily. There will always be folks looking to buy ‘unlocked’ iPhones off eBay for $200, no questions asked.

    That said, this is a real eye-opener. I have been happy to loan out my cel phone to others in the past, and have been lucky. From now on, I’m not going to be so neighborly.

    Comment by DCS Foyle — 8:07 am May 20, 2011 #

  8. I love that the law has a sense of humor… “eg: WINNING!!! ~Charlie Sheen” It has to feel good to get these creeps off the streets!

    Comment by AffordableSeattle — 10:08 am May 20, 2011 #

  9. How about timely descriptions so we can perhaps avoid further victims? This is all good reading, but without physical descriptions of the suspects, the methods alone aren’t likely to prevent any crimes.
    No blame to WSB here, but hey, SPD, how about a little more detail?

    Comment by pjmanley — 1:05 pm May 20, 2011 #

  10. My daughter got her phone stolen in Feb while she was on the 128 from W Sea to S. Center. She said the boys got on in High Point. One of them asked if he could borrow her phone and promptly ran off the bus with it. Jerks! It would be nice to have the description to see if they are the same boys.

    Comment by Autumn — 4:16 pm May 20, 2011 #

  11. Uh, you may want to go back and talk with Lt Pierre because it wasn’t SW ACT that made the arrest of either suspect but two patrol officers from SW precinct. SW ACT did have a stakeout going but it was the patrol officers who tracked the suspects down and made the arrests.

    Comment by Chuck — 4:47 pm May 24, 2011 #

  12. I would like to know the description as well. When I was walking home from school (I go to sscc), I was approached by a young boy, and he asked to use my phone. I said no, and then his friend began to bully me, just as the description said. They left with my phone and ipod, soit would be nice to know if these where the same two. Maybe then I would feel safe walking from my school again.

    Comment by BTW — 9:18 pm May 28, 2011 #

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