West Seattle Crime Watch: False alarm; mail-theft suspect nabbed

Two notes tonight: First, in case you were among those who noticed a big police response heading south to Highland Park just after 5 pm (thanks to everyone who texted, called, and e-mailed!) – police at the scene told us it was reported as a possible holdup, but turned out to be a false alarm.

Second, from a local resident who wants to be anonymous:

Just wanted to pass along an incident that took place this morning shortly after 9am in the 6700 block of Beach Drive. I noticed a black car pull up to a bank of locked mail boxes. A male got out while a female passenger waited inside the car and the man walked to the boxes and looked as though he was trying to aggressively open one of the boxes. I had never seen this man in the neighborhood before so I continued to watch, a bit more closely and then I saw him use some sort of tool to try and open the box. I immediately called 911 and described the man, and what was going on and was able to provide the license plate of the vehicle. Other joggers/walkers had passed and he stopped what he was doing for a moment and then returned to the box, this time with more force.

He grabbed what he could and then crossed the street to another mailbox, which was not locked, and then headed back to his car. He drove a few houses down, parked behind a vehicle and then got into that vehicle’s trunk (not sure if it was by force or if it was unlocked) and appeared to be carrying items from that vehicle, back to his car when the first police car arrived, and then moments later, 2 more police cars surrounded the scene. All of this took place within a few minutes time and the thief and his female passenger were taken away. It turns out the car he was driving was stolen as well. Neighbors got their mail back and hopefully the car owner and anyone else who might have stolen goods will also get them returned. Thank you to the 911 dispatcher and the officers who immediately responded to the scene as it was unfolding. It feels great to be part of a community that cares!

We tried to get more details from SPD; no response yet, but didn’t want to wait any longer to share this reader report. If we are able to get any more info tomorrow, we’ll add it.

ADDED 2:08 PM FRIDAY: Southwest Precinct operations Lt. Pierre Davis says, “This was an excellent pinch by one of our 1st watch officers, based on an alert citizen’s 911 call of suspicious activity (possible mail theft). Block watch at its finest yet again puts bad guys in jail. Bad guys were caught with a large quantity of property, including a stolen vehicle.”

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23 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: False alarm; mail-theft suspect nabbed"

  • comment-avatar
    Marcus M July 5, 2012 (8:38 pm)

    good for you! A discreet call to 911 *instead of* alerting the thief! I love it!

  • comment-avatar
    Amanda July 5, 2012 (8:46 pm)

    Well done neighbor! So glad the police were able to come so quickly and arrest the people in action! That is fantastic.

  • comment-avatar
    DCo July 5, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    So glad they caught the guy! Well done!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Laurie July 5, 2012 (9:00 pm)

    A good, vigilant (and smart!) neighbor is priceless. Good work!

  • comment-avatar
    Chuck and Sally's Van Man July 5, 2012 (9:25 pm)

    Awesome. Now let’s hope the courts do their job.

  • comment-avatar
    cjboffoli July 5, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    Nice work! Two mail thieves (potential federal charges) and a stolen car is a pretty good collar.

  • comment-avatar
    35this35mph July 5, 2012 (9:38 pm)

    Well done anonymous neighbor!

  • comment-avatar
    Silly Goose July 5, 2012 (10:01 pm)

    BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO, I am so thrilled you are an aware neighbor who took time to report the crime and bam, they got the bad guys. I hope your neighbors give you a cool refeshing beverage with an umbrella in it!!

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    shed22 July 5, 2012 (10:53 pm)

    YES!!! We should all be so observant and responsive!

  • comment-avatar
    John July 5, 2012 (11:04 pm)

    Well done, Anonymous! We ARE a community that cares about its neighbors, and you are living proof.

  • comment-avatar
    Delridge Chick July 5, 2012 (11:16 pm)

    Love this community of ours, and the aware neighbors who aren’t afraid to take action. Great job!

  • comment-avatar
    KD July 5, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    YAY! THANKYOU!!! now if we could get some vigilant folks to follow delivery trucks(at a distance) and see if they can catch the punks that do porch stealing; although the description of these two sound similar to the porch delivery thefts. Maybe you caught the UPS/FedEx/Amazon stealers!!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    MB July 6, 2012 (12:02 am)

    This makes me nervous! Ive got some packages coming, hopefully I beat the bustards to my front door. They’ll be disappointed by whats inside, but dangit its mine.

  • comment-avatar
    West Seattleite July 6, 2012 (5:27 am)

    Hip Hip Hooray!

  • comment-avatar
    wsguy July 6, 2012 (7:32 am)

    Walking through the Junction Thursday afternoon there was a woman lying in the doorway of the Furniture store by the Bakery going through a grocery sack of mail…

    Amazon Fresh orders being stolen, UPS / FedEx packages stolen as they are delivered… seems like WS is being targeted as easy pickings…

  • comment-avatar
    WSratsinacage July 6, 2012 (9:05 am)

    Thank you anonymous neighbor.

  • comment-avatar
    Lola July 6, 2012 (11:23 am)

    So glad to hear of someone being caught. Yeah!

  • comment-avatar
    TLR July 6, 2012 (12:41 pm)

    I am so tired of all the theft around. My gosh. So tired of it!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    WTF July 6, 2012 (12:57 pm)

    Great job! Finally someone not afraid to get involved!
    I’d like a better description of the black car they were in; there’s been a an older (nice) 4 door Cadillac roaming the streets off 35th/Morgan/Webster/Holden area. When I saw roaming I mean driving without purpose to go anywhere, backing up down the street, pausing at houses.

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    Eric July 6, 2012 (4:58 pm)

    So did you call the police wsguy to report a suspicious lady going through an entire grocery sac of mail at a place of business?

    BTW, great job neighbor for calling those people in and helping them get arrested. I am very vigilant in my neighborhood also and will call suspicious activity in. The police can’t do it all alone. If we see something, say something!

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    West Seattleite July 6, 2012 (6:42 pm)

    I second Eric’s question. It is hard to believe someone with an ounce of common sense, and more importantly, moral fortitude, would see that and “just walk on by.” WOW.

  • comment-avatar
    wsguy July 6, 2012 (10:26 pm)

    Yes called the police and let them know – of course!

    West Seattliete why would you assume the police were not called?

  • comment-avatar
    Liz July 7, 2012 (6:36 am)

    So proud of you, if everyone would take resposibility and not walk away crime would be down. Each of us should keep eyes and ears open and safely act when something doesn’t appear right. You are a HERO!!

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