West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary investigation; mail theft

December 8, 2011 at 4:10 pm | In Crime, Gatewood, Pigeon Point, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:

Thanks to everybody who shared tips about police activity in Sunrise Heights in the past hour or so, near 35th/Webster. Police were chasing suspects in at least one burglary – and that general area, as reported here previously, has been a target lately; we don’t know if it was this same suspect, but there was a scanner report a while ago about a break-in attempt at 36th/Myrtle, not far away. At least one person has been arrested/detained. We’ll add details as soon as we get them.

And from Pigeon Point – pilfered packages and mail were found at noontime today, some with addresses from some distance away:

This lunch hour, my husband discovered a pile of opened mail and packages stashed behind a fire hydrant on the 4000 block of 22nd Ave SW. All the mail was given to our neighborhood mail carrier. I glanced at the mail as I was bagging it up and saw addresses more than a mile away, opened and empty Amazon delivery box, a bunch of Christmas cards…so sad. My husband may have seen the thieves stashing the mail the night before but didn’t think anything of it at the time so did not note the license plate number. The car may be a neighbors but it was a gray Chrysler New Yorker 80s or 90s style.

The person who e-mailed us said she tried to report it to police but they wouldn’t take a report because she was not the victim. So if you think your mail’s been stolen, be sure to file a report.

32 Comments

  1. If you see mail like this or someone stealing mail and especially if the police can’t be bothered as indicated above, call the Postal Service and file a report.

    Stealing mail is a Federal crime.

    Remember this isn’t for UPS etc, only U.S. mail.

    Comment by Jim P. — 4:53 pm December 8, 2011 #

  2. Our home, in the 7000 block of 36th Ave, was burglarized yesterday around 10am. Neighbors report an older black Mazda with tinted windows was parked out front. We saw this police action as we were headed home today and wondered whether it was burglary-related.

    Comment by Cori — 5:06 pm December 8, 2011 #

  3. So the police won’t take a report unless the person calling is the victim? What if someone is calling them to report a murder?

    Comment by waterworld — 5:29 pm December 8, 2011 #

  4. Didn’t make sense to me but that’s what our tipster said she was told. I was going to suggest filing the online report but didn’t have time to look up the link (which is probably somewhere on the Crime Watch page!) …

    Comment by WSB — 5:38 pm December 8, 2011 #

  5. Both of the people they stopped and detained were released at the scene after searching their car.

    Comment by Heather — 5:46 pm December 8, 2011 #

  6. My House in the 8400 block of 36th was broken into today at 2:45 PM. They kicked in the front door and thankfully my Alarm went off and they seemed to make a quick pass thru the house. So far the only damage is a new front door and door jamb. Police did show up and dust for fingerprints and were very very nice and helpful. Thankfully i work close and was able to get home quickly after the alarm company called. If anyone on the neighborhood saw anything please post your comments.

    Comment by chris — 5:57 pm December 8, 2011 #

  7. Considering that this particular area “has been a target lately”, can’t we get more police presence out patrolling our neighborhood regularly? They may not catch any burglers in the act, but if would-be thieves see police cruisers driving around the Gatewood/Sunrise Heights area more often perhaps they would find another ‘hood to prowl. Seems sort of obvious.

    Comment by Tina Doherty — 5:57 pm December 8, 2011 #

  8. A description of any suspects would be helpful as I watched some people in our alley today that didn’t make sense. I am the 7500 block of 32nd.

    Comment by Wendy — 6:18 pm December 8, 2011 #

  9. That’s my “open and empty Amazon delivery box”. It was supposed to get here the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, but went missing. Now I know what happened for sure. What’s the point filing a police report on a Black Friday deal that I paid $12 for, even if the full cost is now four times as much? Wish I could stop all USPS delivery to my house. All I usually get is hundreds of pounds of junk, and when I do get packages, they’re left where thieves can easily snatch them.

    Comment by Grant — 6:54 pm December 8, 2011 #

  10. Wendy,
    The officer that responded to my break-in yesterday said if we see a car parked on the street that is not normal for our block, we should call it in. Due to the increase of burglaries in this neighborhood, the officer said to err on the side of over-cautiousness and call in anything that seems slightly suspicious.

    Comment by Cori — 6:59 pm December 8, 2011 #

  11. Glad to hear that at least one thief has been caught. Hopefully they keep rounding them up.

    Comment by Eric — 7:15 pm December 8, 2011 #

  12. Yikes..the 36th address is a block from me…the dogs are staying home until Christmas! Come and meet my dogs a-holes!

    Comment by onceachef — 7:18 pm December 8, 2011 #

  13. Tina, GET A CLUE! They got two car loads of possible suspects because they WERE there…

    Comment by Fritz — 7:49 pm December 8, 2011 #

  14. SPD is barred from releasing descriptions of suspects unless (a) the media already has it, (b) it’s an Amber alert, or (c) an officer gets tired of the the department’s PC garbage and releases it.

    Comment by John — 7:57 pm December 8, 2011 #

  15. John, I can tell you that’s absolutely incorrect. We get descriptive info from police often without having it first – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:05 pm December 8, 2011 #

  16. I saw a black lexus or Acura pulled over at 16th qnd Austin at about 4 pm today and it looked like a search was taking place 2 young guys and the car was more in the street blocking traffic…

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:10 pm December 8, 2011 #

  17. Hey Grant & everyone else; for years I used Pony Express in White Center,(mailbox center) until she unfortunately closed recently. Claire was great at being reliable & trustworthy holding onto my packages(due to my porch facing the street) & worth the $2.00 she would charge. Peace of mind until I picked it up, not some crackhead who thinks your hard-earned items through being at your job entitles them to swiping off your doorway! Even though it’s the opposite end of where I live in WSeattle, I plan on using Alki Mail & Dispatch to have deliveries sent now. It’s the only one I can find to hold packages for a small fee. The only other alternative folks is if you have a trusty neighbor/friend/relative that’s always home & have it delivered there. Peace of mind. ( wish I could give ALL the lazy thieves a PIECE of my MIND!!!) Ha!

    Comment by KD — 8:40 pm December 8, 2011 #

  18. Several break-ins on our street in the last week – most recent one today, in the afternoon. 32nd and Genesee. Thieves: we’re all looking for you!

    Comment by JPI — 9:25 pm December 8, 2011 #

  19. Whatever you say WSB!!! You’re 100% right, as always. I’m sorry I ever doubted your knowledge of how SPD provides descriptions of suspects. And, I don’t know what I was thinking, especially after following about every relevant update these past years. But, don’t get defensive. I blame myself.

    Comment by John — 9:49 pm December 8, 2011 #

  20. wow, John…snarky much? The editor was stating a fact, and you have a problem with that? What, pray tell, is your source of information?

    Comment by JanS — 11:18 pm December 8, 2011 #

  21. As a letter carrier, I would suggest that anyone who does not want packages left outside should leave a short visible note to that effect and put it where the carrier will see it(next to the front door?) “Do not leave packages if no one home. Leave notice please” would do it for me! (It’s not easy trying to figure out who is going to be upset by the inconvenience of having to pick it up at the post office and who wants it delivered.)

    Comment by webshaf — 6:53 am December 9, 2011 #

  22. Its amazing how people still have unsecured mail boxes and have vital informtion sent to them there.

    Comment by Jiggers — 7:36 am December 9, 2011 #

  23. This may be a stupid question, but if you have a secured mailbox (one that takes a key), how do you send outgoing mail? Does the letter carrier have a master key for all these types of mailboxes?

    Comment by RickM — 8:00 am December 9, 2011 #

  24. That’s an easy one, just take your outgoing mail to drop box or the post office.

    Comment by Dizzle — 8:33 am December 9, 2011 #

  25. RE: not taking police report because you’re not the victim — this happened to me.

    We were burglarized, and my neighbor noticed the broken window and MAJOR ransacking (destroyed furniture and tipped bookshelves, books torn apart, etc — not just spilled drawers.) Neighbor called 911 first since he didn’t know if the burglar was still inside, or if I were inside, hurt in some sort of attack. The 911 dispatcher said she couldn’t take the report since it was not from the victims.

    Neighbor called me at work and I called 911 on my way home. They wouldn’t take the call from me because I wasn’t home yet. (I was hoping officers could meet me at home to ensure it was safe before I went in.)

    We had to call a total of SIX times to finally get a 911 dispatcher to send the call out to the police. It was 17* outside and the dispatcher advised us to NOT go inside in case someone was still in there. They finally dispatched when I disclosed that I’m a person with a disability and could not continue to sit out in the cold as it had been three hours.

    It was one of the more frustrating experiences I’ve had. I made a complaint at the time, at the recommendation of responding officers who were horrified at the level of damage — they felt it should have been a much higher priority call.

    Comment by A — 8:48 am December 9, 2011 #

  26. Wendy, I live on 32nd also. I came home about 1:00 pm and turned into the alley and saw 3 guys walking thru and looking over fences etc. They saw me and just started walking towards my garage so I put the door down quickly and waited. They pasted by, don’t know which way they went. But now I wish I would have called and reported it.
    I thought it was odd but we have a paved alley and people do use it as a shortcut.

    Comment by N — 10:00 am December 9, 2011 #

  27. If amazon locker comes to west seattle, you can use that to secure your amazon deliveries.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200689010

    Comment by Lou — 11:57 am December 9, 2011 #

  28. May want to consider getting a P.O. box either at the Post Office or a commercial place (the latter will take UPS etc, I believe so that can be very convenient.)

    Consider clubbing with a neighbor or two on a mail drop, split the cost

    If you have a private mailbox, take a look at the security types. There are some pretty heavy duty ones to be had and even some with a package drop for smaller packages.

    A few hundred dollars but in the long run cheaper than a P.O. Box or mail drop.

    UPS now has a “premium” service that will let you schedule deliveries or hold packages or have them delivered to a different address as needed.

    They have a basic free service that will email you an alert a day or so before a package is delivered which could let you arrange for someone to grab it or otherwise deal with things.

    (Note: I am not involved with any delivery service or mail drop service)

    Jim P>
    (Professional security paranoid for over twenty-five years)

    Comment by Jim P. — 12:16 pm December 9, 2011 #

  29. Mail theft is really common, especially around the holidays. A locking security mailbox can go a long way in protectingyour incoming mail from opportunistic xmas grinches and identity thieves alike. In the neighborhood, McLendons and Alki Lumber have high quality locking mailboxes. As for outgoing mail, USPS mandates that no mailbox (except the CBUs) requires the postal carrier to use a key.. that is, your outgoing mail is not secure. When sending checks or bill payment or giftcards or anything you don’t want stolen, bring them directly to the post office. Online bill pay is a good secure option too!

    Comment by Jenny at Mail Boss — 1:48 pm December 9, 2011 #

  30. So the person who sent the mail about the stolen package and opened mail was kind enough to email me personally about the stolen mail. When they gave it back to the mail carrier, recognized my name and sent me a mail about it.

    When my mail was being delivered today, I asked the mail carrier about what’s next? She said that once it’s back in the hands of the carrier, it would likely get turned back in at the station, but that’s about it. Not much else to do but get a locking mailbox or PO Box.

    Thank you again, kind neighbor, for recognizing my name and sending a heads up.

    Comment by Delridge resident — 2:10 pm December 9, 2011 #

  31. This is very sad.

    Comment by K — 4:17 pm December 9, 2011 #

  32. The gray Chrysler New Yorker was prowling around the 2300 block of California Ave a few nights ago. One male, caucasian, wearing blue jeans, a black coat and boots, with a shaved head. He stole something that looked like an Asian style screen, cased our parking garage and tried to get into the condos across the alley. He saw us and went about his theft, completely aware the we were watching.

    I’ve also seen the same guy driving some kind of a red sedan. I only saw the color from the edge of the door, but he freaked out a little when people started walking down the alley toward him. I think that’s the night when he stole my neighbors snow tires.

    This usually happens at least once a week and is usually between midnight and 1:45 am.

    Comment by Liz — 6:56 pm December 11, 2011 #

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