Be extra-aware of burglars this holiday season. So warned the most recent newsletter from Seattle Police crime-prevention coordinators citywide. Though the burglary rate has dropped lately, according to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen, a couple of cases have attracted attention these past couple days – some of which might even play into a citywide “pattern” that police are trying to break right now. We have that story plus a followup on a stolen car (including what the thief did with a card also stolen from the victim) – read on:
Here’s the latest – from an anonymous tipster:
A few weeks ago, a neighbor came out of her driveway and noticed a dark sedan parked outside of her home. After being gone a short while, she got nervous about the suspiciously parked dark sedan, so she came back home to find she had been robbed. Her jewelry, computers and TVs were gone. She didn’t get the make or model of the car.
Today, we saw a navy blue Crown Victoria, 4 doors, with blacked out windows cruising the neighborhood. License plate: (starts with) 476
We were driving down 44th and noticed the parked navy Crown Victoria. Two young Hispanic males were standing outside of the car. We turned around to check out what they were up to since the dark sedan registered with us, but they were gone by the time we got turned around. Later this morning, we saw the same Crown Victoria slowly coming down the alley across from us. A few minutes later they came down the alley again.
They called 911 around noon, the tipster says. This comes as police citywide investigate a series of burglaries involving that type of car. We had asked them about a break-in Monday when, a burglary was interrupted in Gatewood, on SW Northrop. A neighborhood e-mail chain forwarded to us says the resident found “four black females” in her house, filling up backpacks with items. We don’t have word of anyone being questioned or arrested in this case but some of those on the e-mail chain said the MO sounded familiar, with a friend on SW Frontenac getting hit about a month ago, so we asked Capt. Paulsen if there’s a “pattern,” and he says there’s one happening citywide right now involving “large American types of vehicles that include women as lookouts/drivers … all of the precincts are sharing information in order to catch them.”
One more burglary note, though we don’t know if this plays into those series: Tuesday morning, police investigating a burglary got a “partial vehicle description” that led them to stop a suspect vehicle in the Sanislo Elementary vicinity (18th/Myrtle). Though “the vehicle was full of items that were possibly from other residential burglaries,” Capt. Paulsen says, they had to let the three people in the car go; the victim who reported the burglary couldn’t say for sure “that’s them.” He says they did have reason to impound the car, and, “We are hopeful that we will be able to identify who the items in the car belongs to. We think they may belong to an unreported burglary that happened earlier. Our Burglary Detectives are following up on that issue. If we can develop Probable Cause, we can obtain arrest warrants for these folks.”
In other crime trends, he says auto thefts are up slightly, but they have an idea who might be to blame for at least some of that. The most recent car theft reported here on WSB, in fact, has just ended with the victim’s car being found in Kent. We told you on Monday about Ky’s car being stolen in Fauntleroy; this morning, Ky got word it was found in Kent. The shoulder bag in the car when it was taken was NOT found, but “our son’s preschool art” was stll in the car. Ky has surveillance video that might help police solve the case and says it’s been turned over to them. He also has the purchase history from stolen cards and says one was used at Starbucks, joking ruefully to neighbors, “It is so stereotypically Seattle to stop by Starbucks for a morning pick-me-up after stealing a car.” (Ky reports the thief also rented a movie at a RedBox DVD rental kiosk.)