More than 40 people gathered at the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria tonight for a Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council meeting that primarily served as the annual holiday potluck – the first year the community party wasn’t at the home of the late community activist Vivian McLean, who died this past spring.
There was a bit of business for the group to handle, before they got down to serious revelry: The recent rash of burglaries, which has hit Pigeon Point hard, as well as several other parts of West Seattle. The group was briefed by Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. (second-in-command) Pierre Davis, who didn’t have news of any new arrests, but did answer questions, and provided a general update.
“It’s typically very, very quiet” in Pigeon Point, as longtime community activist Pete Spalding noted. But not lately.
“Not to scare anybody” regarding the burglaries, Lt. Davis said, but “it’s happening region-wide” – from Snohomish County to South King County. He said a lot of the same people are responsible for break-ins in multiple jurisdictions. “What we’re seeing right now … is a lot of youth” involved in the current burglaries. “We’re tracking anywhere from 10 to 19 burglaries a week” in this area. He advised keeping lights on, bushes trimmed back, and other measures to help make sure anyone who might try
“We were able to get a carload of a few different individuals in this area who were out doing their thing … but witness identification was a problem,” he lamented (as reported here last week). However, that yielded “fantastic intelligence,” he said, that they hope will lead down the road to getting burglars off the street.
One resident asked about a specific car, “a white Lexus.” Yes, said Lt. Davis, that’s one of the vehicles reported tied to some of these, but they need a victim to be able to pinpoint that kind of sighting. Another resident voiced the reminder that you can call 911 if you see a suspicious vehicle. “Are these all stolen cars?” another person asked. Lt. Davis said “Nine times out of ten, it’s their (own) vehicle.”
Over the course of a two-week period, Spalding (who chairs the Precinct Advisory Council) noted, Pigeon Point reported six burglaries. Most recently, Lt. Davis said, it was eclipsed by a sector in western West Seattle, which had more than half the burglaries reported in West Seattle over the most recent week they’ve tracked.
Another question: Are those suspected in these burglaries people with criminal records? Yes and no, said Lt. Davis.
Do alarm systems help? he was asked. Answer: Yes. “It’s a strong deterrent,” particularly if it’s an audible alarm, said the lieutenant. What about dogs? A barking dog, yes – “anything that makes noise is a deterrent.”
Meantime, police are out actively hoping to catch burglars in the act – with plainclothes and Anti-Crime Team officers part of the effort as well as patrol officers, according to Lt. Davis.
That was the end of his briefing; he said he was headed back down to the demonstration scene by the port, to check in on “some spirited individuals.” And the Pigeon Point’ers got back to the potluck.