3 West Seattle Crime Watch updates, and a ‘creepy’ encounter

August 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm | In Crime, Safety, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

Four reader reports to share – three are West Seattle Crime Watch reports (burglary, theft, hit-run), and one is a “creepy” encounter that a runner wants others to be aware of:

From Taylor near California/Ferry (map) in North Admiral:

Someone (persons) entered my building through open/unlocked kitchen window. Took off with 2 gold bracelets, and a vintage gold locket necklace. :( change from various “coin bowls” around the house. Did not take electronics/bikes/camera/guitar/cell phone. I feel sad about my stolen jewelry and sad/angry about the invasion of privacy. ;(

This happened sometime (Wednesday) between 1-4:50 pm. Entered through kitchen window, exit through front door….(locking the door behind them) …. “oh, thank you??”

Please post to blog. Neighborhood watch alert!!!

From Sydne:

Just an FYI for the Gatewood area of 41st Ave and Ida (map) to be on the alert for thieves of stuff from the porch! This time it was a watering can and ceramic chipmunk. Not things of high monetary value, but definately of sentimental value. (The chipmunk came with the house when I bought in 1994 and has stood guard on the porch ever since) This was done just before Tuesday’s “Night Out.” The first hit was a while ago and involved a wall plaque next to the front door.

From Rachel:

There was a hit and run at around 5:15 PM (Wednesday) along West Marginal Way at the five-way stoplight where the lower bridge traffic is. I was waiting at the stoplight to turn left from the lower bridge onto west marginal and saw a red beater car crash into what I think was a Toyota prius while waiting at the west marginal light. I wish I had the presence of mind to simply lift up my cell phone and take a picture of the red beater car but I didn’t, the car pulled a u-turn and left the scene and by the time the light changed (I was car 6 or so in a line of cars), I couldn’t see if the Prius pulled over and if yes, where. The red car was likely a 70′s model 2-door beater – maybe a Datsun? I’m pretty sure the numbers on the license plate were 540 (didn’t catch the letters – sorry!). The driver was a beefy white male. Sorry I couldn’t be more help but hope this helps the Prius owner even a little bit.

And finally, the “creepy” encounter, from a woman who wanted to be anonymous:

I was running (Tuesday) morning around 5:30 am on Beach Drive, just south of where Alki Ave becomes Beach Drive (near Constellation Park). I’m a 29-year old woman, I was running by myself, and it was still quite dark out. I was the only person around. I was heading south on the sidewalk when I heard a car approaching from behind, and then slowing as it neared me. It was a white BMW (3-series?) with two guys, probably in their mid-20s to early-30s. Then drove past me slowly, obviously looking at me in a creepy manner, though I tried to just ignore them and keep running.

They slowly drove away. I turned around to head home. A few minutes later, still on Beach Dr, I heard another car approaching from behind and slowing down as it approached. It was them again — I had turned around, so clearly they had too. This time they slowed to a near stop beside me. I glanced over, and the driver said “Hey…what’s up” is a super creepy voice. I looked away and continued running, trying to just ignore them. They drove slowly beside me for what was probably about 10 more seconds (but seemed like forever) and then (luckily) drove away.

It’s hard to say whether they were just really creepy guys or potentially predatory, but I know that the encounter has me pretty upset.

I wish I had more information (a license plate would have been nice), but, at the time, I was just trying to ignore them and was having a difficult time thinking clearly. If I see them again and can get more specific information, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

22 Comments

  1. To the runner this morning. Sorry you had to encounter those morons. My wife also likes to run alot in the morning hours. I make her carry a small canister of mace with her. I know its not the best protection, but at least its a start, and it makes her feel a bit safer as well as myself.

    Comment by Tommy — 12:46 pm August 4, 2011 #

  2. To the runner: scary. I was down by constellation park a few days ago late in the afternoon taking pictures and when a few guys that gave me the creeps. I went back to my car. As I was getting into the car I heard one of them say “let’s take that ladies camera” needless to say it spooked me and I took off. I almost put it on the blog, but didn’t then I saw your encounter.

    Comment by Wren Campbell — 1:17 pm August 4, 2011 #

  3. Thanks for the info from the runner. I sometimes run Alki/Beach Dr in the mornings… I’ll be keeping an eye out, too.

    Comment by Speedy — 1:38 pm August 4, 2011 #

  4. Normally, I’d think that stealing a watering can was odd. However, an orange, five-gallon Home Depot bucket went missing from my yard the other day. Who would take these kinds of items?

    Comment by AJK — 1:43 pm August 4, 2011 #

  5. I’m also sorry you encountered “creeps” while running…all I can suggest is that you get a fanny pack or arm pack and carry a cell phone…not the most convenient when you’re running but you can get help.

    Comment by onceachef — 1:53 pm August 4, 2011 #

  6. I remember being a kid ,my parents telling me a strsnger was near,I could always act like I lived at some random house nearby and head for that house.
    Also as far as missing items in yards-I lived in Gatewood area years back and an elderly lady would be caught going into peoples yards and taking things.I always thought someday I’d find them in a yard sale somehwere.Turns out she still lived at home but insupervised alot of the time so went for walks and gathered items she could see from the sidewalk.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 2:16 pm August 4, 2011 #

  7. I would think that even pretending to take a quick pic with a cell phone would made a creep hit the gas. Another idea is to wear or carry a referee whistle-if you do have a problem use it to call attention to you. We carry one when hiking to scare away bears- or creeps as the case may be.

    Comment by exit82 — 4:20 pm August 4, 2011 #

  8. Well, I am not sure that anything illegal happened, but you should probably start carrying the mace from now on. I would have been a little freaked out – and I am an ugly man.
    .
    Hey, whatever happened with the strange “encounter” in Lincoln Park a while back? You know, the one where the woman started to pee in the open AFTER the ‘creepy guy’ approached or followed her? Did that turn out to be true or did the story just go away?

    Comment by NotMe — 5:04 pm August 4, 2011 #

  9. being alone in dark hours with nobody around is never a good idea, as far as all these punks breaking in through windows as of late, dosen’t the thought ever cross their little pea sized minds that some of us are armed and ready? on a side note I am retiring at the end of this month and with a heavy heart I will be moving away from my beloved west seattle to the country up in whatcom county. with no viaduct and all this new development and now add on the crime,, I am outta here folks!

    Comment by Paul — 5:55 pm August 4, 2011 #

  10. To the runner: scary stuff. I feel for you; this kind of thing used to happen to me a lot.
    .
    It’s up to you to decide how to respond when something like this happens; your own safety is, of course, paramount. These are some pretty good ideas, though I don’t think all of them would work in this case. Getting the plate number and the description of the car (plates can be switched) might help.
    .
    I’m not gonna say what you should do or shouldn’t, though. Speaking from (far too much) experience, every case is different.

    Comment by datamuse — 6:38 pm August 4, 2011 #

  11. To the runner: here’s a few running safety tips. Don’t wear ear buds, run facing traffic, vary your route, don’t wear a ponytail, have a Road ID on you, only run in daylight unless you have a buddy, trust your gut instinct because it’s probably correct, if you’re being cased change your course immediately so they know that you are aware of them, and if houses are nearby go stand on a property and put your hands in your hips and take note of their description.

    Comment by RG — 8:08 pm August 4, 2011 #

  12. AJK: who would take that kind of stuff?
    .
    lazy people.

    Comment by redblack — 8:53 pm August 4, 2011 #

  13. I am starting to get a little pissed off, with all of the robberies and home invasions, car thefts, and assaults going on in west Seattle. I bought a gun for home protection, now i am worried about leaving it at home because some body can break in and steal it. or I don’t want to go for a walk because some nut sack is likely to assault me. I am thinking that we need to start a drive around and take pictures program. If all of us non-employed folks band together and do some surveillance shifts maybe we can put a stop to this bull$hit. But then again we will probably get busted for prowling or some other obscure crime. We as a whole have to take back our community and and send a message to all who have nothing better to do than terrorize people that want to enjoy life,with out harming others to do so. we can talk about doing some thing, Lets stop the talk, get organized and do some thing about it.What say ye???

    Comment by Norman — 9:35 pm August 4, 2011 #

  14. The other day while waiting at a light near Admiral and California, a transient was yelling at a jogger. I don’t know the full scope of the reason behind it but the jogger decided to stop and confront the transient. The jogger pulled out a cell phone and started to call 911. This made the transient very mad. I pulled off and hopped out to make sure the situation didn’t escalate further. The transient was a very fit early 20′s male, the jogger was probably in his 40s and well… a twig. The transient had alcohol on his breath as well. I talked to the transient, got him to calm down, even got him to shake my hand and ramble on about how I’m a ‘good man’.
    .
    Confronting somebody that’s harassing you is not ideal in all situations. One swing from the transient would have put the jogger in the hospital. I chalk it up to the jogger having zero street smarts and not knowing when to just leave.
    .
    Unless you know you can take on somebody harrassing you, leave… then call.

    Comment by Mike — 10:45 pm August 4, 2011 #

  15. When was the last someone shot or even shot at a burglar? Did it ever occur to you that they break I’n when you are out? Someone needs to figure out why West Seattle has so much crime. Why not Queen Anne, or Magnolia, is it because we are close to White Center. What’s also stupid is all the screaming fire trucks going to some “emergency’ when it’s mostly the same people calling for the same stupid reasons and we have to listen to the emergency vehicles screaming around wasting gas. Im 47 and have never called 911. Who are these people calling all the time.

    Comment by Doug — 6:53 am August 5, 2011 #

  16. Mace is a great equalizer. I am encouraging my daughter to carry it as well. One spray and down goes the perp. I usually have it for walking my dogs as well.

    Comment by Jill Loblaw — 7:29 am August 5, 2011 #

  17. To the runner: I know how you felt. I was followed by a drunk on the way to school a few months ago. You just have to walk faster, head to an area where people are, and DON’T wear head phones. Also, carry a cell phone.

    Comment by A west seattle teen — 7:44 am August 5, 2011 #

  18. Actually, Doug, property crime in West Seattle is about the same as that in Magnolia and Queen Anne. It’s much worse downtown and in the U District. Please check your facts before making assertions like that. I really don’t appreciate having my neighbors blamed for no good reason.
    .
    I’ve called 911 twice, both times on behalf of someone else who needed help. Compassion is a wonderful thing.
    .
    Jill, I’m curious, is it mace or pepper spray? Mace was originally tear gas, though the same company makes pepper spray too. The reason I ask is that pepper spray is not 100% guaranteed to have the effect you want; I know one guy who’s completely immune to it. Not to discourage anyone from carrying it, but if you’re going to, please practice with it. It’s a weapon and should be treated as such. (Sorry if I sound like I’m lecturing, I’ve seen a lot of people treat it as though it makes them invincible. It doesn’t.)

    Comment by datamuse — 10:15 am August 5, 2011 #

  19. Carry a whistle, carry a small boat horn canister (same size as some mace canisters), carry mace, jog up to someone’s front porch and knock on the door if someone is right beside you, if more traffic, (carefully) cross the street and flag down another car, run up to a house and scream FIRE-anything to get them to respond, whatever it takes to get them to understand you aren’t helpless. My ex-wife used to jog and she learned any manner of things you do to attract attention to you and the ‘creeps’ is the last thing they want to have happen. If it’s dark and no traffic, then, as much as it hurts to change our habits to suit ‘creeps’, jog when there is more traffic and more people around, jog with someone else, always carry a cellphone. Remember, what may look stupid or crazy or embarrassing to you might save you when the creeps are around.

    Comment by seadude — 11:58 am August 5, 2011 #

  20. As far as handguns go, I seriously recommend you get a safe. You can get one for less than $100. This takes care of the issue of having it stolen when you’re not around and kids or other people playing with it when you are.

    Comment by M — 12:10 pm August 5, 2011 #

  21. As far as guns go, mine are all in a safe, my point was and is the unsafe feeling most of us have these days.

    Comment by Norman — 4:38 pm August 5, 2011 #

  22. Don’t run in the dark. The guys in the BMW were probably just your average dbags but you never know. I am ex military, a trained fighter and not a tiny person. Even so a few years back i was jumped while jogging in the early morning in a very affluent neighborhood. Oh yeah BTW I was wearing headphones and never heard them coming. If it weren’t for lots of years of training these guys probably would have killed me. I got shanked twice and wound up with a punctured lung. All this for in IPod, the cops eventually found them. 2 rich kids that lived at the end of my block. Try to be aware of the potential situation you are putting yourself in. Don’t be paranoid, but also don’t take a quaint beach neighborhood for granted. I have scars as a reminder.

    Comment by ws Ed — 9:32 am August 6, 2011 #

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