West Seattle Crime Watch: Can you solve this hit-and-run?

January 5, 2012 at 11:55 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

Concerned Neighbor” says a hit-run driver smacked into her car in the Admiral District last night, near California/Walker, leaving behind pieces like the one above. She’s telling her story in hopes you can help close the case:

I just wanted to write a note to share my unfortunate experience, I hope to maybe find the person who did this to me and hold them accountable for their actions and to make our neighborhood streets safer.

I’ve been a member of this community for nearly four years. I work at two local small businesses, and I own a small condo here. About eight months ago, I went to leave for work only to find that someone had attempted to steal my car, rendering it undrivable and valueless in the process. The car couldn’t be repaired and I couldn’t claim it on my insurance because due to numerous hit and run accidents over the years while my car was parked, I could no longer insure it for anything but liability. After a month of getting around without a vehicle, I withdrew my entire savings, secured a loan and purchased my first brand new car. A month later I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

As a result, I have very low mileage because I have barely had a chance to drive it, much less afford the loan I owe to pay for it. Due to the compassion of family, I’ve been able to keep up with my payments and keep the car I love so much, the result of years of hard work and saving.

While parked outside of one of my jobs last night on a local residential street, my car was hit. It was hit so hard that large pieces of their car were left behind in their haste to flee, needless to say, there was no note. I found it an hour and a half after I parked it, collected the debris, and called SPD. The officer who responded was both compassionate and thoughtful, but realistic enough to admit that the parts were without identification numbers, and therefore it was unlikely that the driver would be caught.

I am truly sickened, not just for my damages, but because anyone who could turn that corner so fast and hard as to strike a large, brightly (sun yellow) colored vehicle as hard as it did surely would have killed a dog off leash, a cat in the road, or a child in dark clothing. This happened in a residential neighborhood, and has happened to others I work with along the same stretch of road.

I want to appeal to the citizens in our neighborhood not to let this continue. This is a threat to our property and to our safety. I’m appealing to those who wish to keep our community safe to please enforce these values by not letting these types of crimes go unpunished. If anyone has seen or knows who owns the vehicle missing these (gray/silver corner panel and bumper parts- see attached photos) to please turn in their license plate numbers, or encourage them to turn themselves in. If we don’t stand up as a community and put a stop to these offenses, we only encourage them to continue, and the next victim could be you.

Here are two more photos “Concerned Neighbor” included:

26 Comments

  1. That car’s gonna end up in a collision shop. A collision shop would know what kind of car those pieces came from. I suggest you send a photo with your letter to every collision shop within 30 miles radius to be on the lookout.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 2:37 am January 6, 2012 #

  2. At least one of these pieces probably has some kind of part number on it. Punch that into Google or Dogpile and it should turn up what kind of vehicle the pieces came from.

    Comment by val vashon — 7:15 am January 6, 2012 #

  3. No part ID numbers, Val, per article .

    Comment by Alki Guy — 8:04 am January 6, 2012 #

  4. You might try taking the parts to a junk yard & asking them if they know what it might have come from. If you can find someone that’s been in the industry a while I expect they can make some pretty good guesses (the color rings a bell for me, but can’t pin it down.) Unfortunately that’s just more information about the car, not the driver. A fair number of folks driving as you describe in a residential neighborhood turn out to be driving stolen vehicles though, and if you can tell the police what kind of car, they might be able to match reports.

    Comment by MAS — 8:40 am January 6, 2012 #

  5. It is somewhat likely that this car gets parked relatively close to the accident location, so it would be useful if you could specify the street and closest cross street where this occurred. I have been successful in the past in locating a hit and run car in my neighborhood, so I would recommend driving around within 4 blocks of the collision at 2-3 different times.

    Comment by AIDM — 9:18 am January 6, 2012 #

  6. It also wouldn’t surprise me if the car involved in this accident was stolen.

    Comment by Huindekmi — 9:23 am January 6, 2012 #

  7. Even if it wasn’t stolen, one common tactic used by drunk drivers who get in crashes is to ditch the car and report it stolen.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 10:16 am January 6, 2012 #

  8. I don’t have any info right now but will ask around for you. I,m very sorry ,and we do need to keep our neighborhood safe.

    Comment by Dan — 10:31 am January 6, 2012 #

  9. Is there any street cameras that the police could review in west seattle of a car that is missing some pieces. They hid the car in a garage or they drove Alki, admiral, 35th etc.. And lean on them to follow through, if you don’t push they will not care.

    Comment by lookingforlogic — 10:57 am January 6, 2012 #

  10. Seems it should be SPD’s job to identify the vehicle

    Comment by steve — 11:00 am January 6, 2012 #

  11. Concerned Neighbor … I am so sorry to hear you are having to deal with someone’s reckless and thoughtless behavior. It sounds like I. Ponder and AIDM’s advice are good places to start. Perhaps you could ask a few close friends to drive around looking for the vehicle, and a couple of other friends to call local body shops and check back with the police to see if the vehicle has been abandoned. I wish you the best of luck and am glad to hear you were not in the card at the time of the hit and run.

    Comment by jd — 11:02 am January 6, 2012 #

  12. Has “Concerned Neighbor” taken their car to a local body shop to see how much it will be to repair their car? Maybe a body shop can donate some labor and a bunch of us West Seattlites could each chip a little in to get the car fixed? Would be a nice way to start 2012.

    Just a thought.

    Comment by 4thGenWestSide — 11:15 am January 6, 2012 #

  13. The block of Walker is the stretch between California and 42nd. Thank you all for the suggestions, I’ve made several “walks through the neighborhood” checking for cars with damage. I will definitely look up local body shops and e-mail them the photos. I’m fairly certain there are not any cameras in the area, it was discussed that the apartment complex across the street may have some but I don’t believe they do.
    Luckily, the damages to my vehicle are fairly minor, and I should be able to make the repairs without having to use my insurance company and risk being raising my rates and being dropped again.
    My biggest concern is the safety of our neighborhood. On Walker St between California and 42nd there are at least two apartment buildings, 3 small businesses and several homes. I’m the third employee from my business to be hit and run while parked on this stretch of street in the last 6 months. The owner of the small business that just moved in next door has a small dog, and I’ve seen parents with young children coming in and out of the apartments above us. Whoever hit my car hit it with enough force to cause themselves a significant amount of body damage, which leads to my real concern, speed on a residential street. Just this weekend we had a hit and run incident with a pedestrian locally. I hope to catch whoever did this in an effort to make our streets safer, and selfishly enough because I don’t want to fix my car just to have it be hit again!

    Comment by jeepchick — 11:55 am January 6, 2012 #

  14. I like 4thgenwestside’s idea. Heck If you really want maybe some of us car guys can just do a junkyard run and help patch up the car for fun. Im not a body guy but could help with any mechanical issues or just putting on a new bumper or fender. I’d be more than happy to help! wsb feel free to forward my email to the o.p. if they ask.

    -the panel in the lower pic is off some type of stock body kit. that should narrow it down alot. looks like subaru parts/color to me but could be a few others. if you wiki a subaru outback youll get an idea. do note however that the kits can change slightly every year and by tirm level, so wiki wont show all of them. chances are good that if you find out exatly what the piece is youll get a very specific year/model. then theres probably only a few color cars that came with that color of trim.

    -edit.. just though of it. the one bit should have some kinda # on it. could be hidden by dirt. clean up the back side of it. then you could google each manufacturer followed by xxxxx-xxxxx part number. e.g. Ford XXXX_XXXX, honda XXXX-XXXX, subaru xxxx-xxxx. should be able to find it that way.

    Comment by Jon — 2:43 pm January 6, 2012 #

  15. I would think some of the major automobile repair body shops should be able to possibly recognize these colors or parts of parts to a certain vehicle manufacture

    Comment by LS — 4:54 pm January 6, 2012 #

  16. I’m a car nut and those parts look familiar. The first two pictures are rear bumper mouldings. In the 3rd picture, the long body-colored bit is a trim piece for a rear passenger door. So, looking for a 4-door sedan from the 1980′s or early 90′s. Checking car pictures online, here are some possible car models those parts fell from: 1980′s Ford Escort or Taurus; some Subaru models; some Nissan models. I’ll chime in later if I get any other inspiration.

    Comment by furor scribendi — 5:23 pm January 6, 2012 #

  17. I love a good puzzle…
    I’d guess the body colored bumper corner without ribs is likely 1991+.
    Maybe Kia 2000-2005?
    It appears to be right rear to me and somehow looks like a wagon as it is quite short from wheel well to bumper. The trim piece is relatively short which may also mean SUV or wagon? The trim style looks like a Kia Optima or Nissan Sentra trim but the length is baffling. Too long for most space between rear doors and wheel-well but too short for most rear doors. Maybe they hit the full side of their car and this is the trim from in front of the door?

    Comment by GetaLife RideaBike — 7:49 pm January 6, 2012 #

  18. This is full of generalizations and opinion, I already know that.
    .
    There is minimal damage to your car, but they managed to tear off two large sections of what appears both corners of the same bumper on their car. Those bumper skins are fairly tough to tear. I don’t understand how both came off unless there was significant pre-existing damage to the suspect car. However wreckless drivers do drive wrecks.
    .
    At any rate Walker St in that area is close enough to several drinking establishments that street parking is risky. And due to proximity to the retail area the driver is likely to live elsewhere.

    Comment by dsa — 8:06 pm January 6, 2012 #

  19. Given the number of incidents, I hope that there is a traffic circle, or at least plans for one, in that immediate vicinity in the near future.

    Comment by madashell — 12:00 pm January 7, 2012 #

  20. I’m pretty sure those parts are off a 4-door Subaru sedan from ’80′s-’90′s. I don’t have a model name or year, yet. Check for part sequence numbers, as mentioned above by Jon, to cinch what kind of car hit yours. Good luck!

    Comment by furor scribendi — 10:56 pm January 8, 2012 #

  21. I work for a local tow company so I deal with cars all day long. That side panel screamed mini-van sliding door. I think I have a winner. 2002ish Kia Sedona. Note the ridge down the center of the raised trim and the curve in the bumper for the tail light.

    http://plainfield-indiana.olx.com/2002-kia-sedona-iid-1562371

    Comment by JSmith — 11:58 pm January 9, 2012 #

  22. Looks like a 6th generation Honda Accord.

    http://i.imgur.com/B4I0O.jpg

    Comment by name — 2:31 pm January 10, 2012 #

  23. Another car guy here. JSmith nailed it, it’s an older Kia Sedona. That ridge in the center of the raised trim is just too unique. Look: http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2009/06/06/23/45/2003-kia-sedona-ex-pic-18556.jpeg

    Comment by sdw126 — 4:40 pm January 10, 2012 #

  24. Definately a 2002-2003 Kia Sedona, I didn’t think of a soccer mom car….not sure it gets you much closer to finding the culprit though. There must be hundreds in West Seattle alone…Good luck, hope you find it.

    Comment by GetaLife RideaBike — 9:57 pm January 11, 2012 #

  25. Smith your good! been eye balling everything on the street lately. Kia’s had caught my eye and were high on the lookout list but i hadnt seen the sedona yet. very good! Ill bet theres like 4 in w.s.

    -i wounder if the spd would be willing to look at the local registrations.

    just to put it out there for the op, check c.l. on jan 10th there is a listing for some damage pasenger side doors. see if the damage matches.

    Comment by Jon — 2:31 am January 12, 2012 #

  26. I would check behind Fred Meyers in Burien.
    The street Kennedy High is on. There they have Geigo Progressive Allstate and a few other insurance body shops are located there.

    I would check quickly and take the pieces with you,
    they have a pretty quick turn around time,these folks are very helpful.

    Comment by onthebus — 11:54 am January 13, 2012 #

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