West Seattle Crime Watch: Car-prowl arrest; bike, mail thefts

August 31, 2012 at 12:45 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 12 Comments

Four reader reports in today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup. First, three short theft notes, and then (after the jump, if you read this from the WSB home page), the story of a car-prowl arrest – and what police subsequently told us about it.

#1 – Mac reports a bike theft:

I just had my bike stolen (Thursday) from our apartment’s secure garage at California and Hudson. It is a teal and purple Novarra (I think that’s the brand), with black handlebars and a small cargo rack on the back. It has an old bike computer mount danging from the handlebars, and new tires. It wasn’t the nicest bike, but it got me where I wanted to go. Maybe someone will see it?

#2 – A mail-theft report from A:

My boyfriend and I live on North Delridge, across from the community center. We have been suspecting mail theft for a long time, but (Wednesday) night I finally found proof: our mailbox was left wide open and our junk mail was scattered down the street.

#3 – Also mail theft, reported by Tommy:

Just wanted to give a heads up that there has been a resurgence in mail stealing on the 5600 block of 26th Ave SW. It’s been a problem in the past; didn’t happen much this summer; seems to be happening again. It isn’t much fun trying to find a pet ID on the side of the road that was being sent from the City of Seattle (those little things aren’t cheap!).

After the jump, a Morgan Junction resident tells the story of how they’ve been hit by repeated car prowls and made the call last night that resulted in an arrest – plus, our followup with police:

We caught one of the car burglars that prowls by Morgan Junction last night. It’s actually the second time we’ve caught this guy and called the cops but he got away last time.

Our car’s been broken into at least 4 times so it felt good to watch the cops arrest him around 1:30 last night (it was a blue moon…ironic). The cops said he’d broken into at least 5 cars on 41st ave before they got him (just south of Morgan on 41st).

The moon was so bright last night he might as well have been in broad daylight and he was brazenly walking down the middle of the street checking every car on both sides. He seemed very confident and nonchalant about the whole thing!

He was wearing all dark clothes with his hood up and a backpack.

The resident says the suspect was dressed exactly the same as what they had seen previously. We called police to confirm the arrest and to seek information that would help us track the case. Det. Renée Witt says the suspect is 16 years old and was released after being questioned at the Southwest Precinct. It will be up to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office whether to charge him.

12 Comments

  1. Back on the street in no time…one time, in the past (late ’80s), I caught a guy stealing my car, chased him down, drug him back to the shop, hand-delivered him to the cops and when they said he was 15 and had 13 prior car prowls/thefts, I knew justice was not going to be served. He was ordered to pay $250 in restitution to me – at a payment plan of $5 per month…I never saw a dime. How much evidence do they need? The guy in this report was dressed the same, there is a witness who clearly saw him and the cops even said he had gotten into 5 cars!

    Comment by Todd — 1:05 pm August 31, 2012 #

  2. Same thing happened to us. My husband caught a pack of kids breaking into my car. Police picked them and basically gave them a free ride home. With such white glove treatment, why not make it a habit?

    Comment by bangles — 2:13 pm August 31, 2012 #

  3. Suggestion to bike owners: take pictures of your bike so if it is stolen, a pic can be posted and you can put up posters. Just an idea.

    Comment by Faith4 — 2:42 pm August 31, 2012 #

  4. I would also suggest to bike owners to put your Drivers License number somewhere on the the bike, like under the fender so if it ever found you may get it back, also if you see it somewhere you can confirm it is yours. We put our ID on everything so if it ever stolen, we can ID it. Taking pics is a great idea too!

    Comment by RJB — 3:05 pm August 31, 2012 #

  5. Good ideas – and let me also say yet again, PLEASE report these thefts (Mac did) as soon as possible. No matter how small or how big the theft. Police often wind up with found property. If they can’t match it to its rightful owner, because there is no ID on it AND there is no related crime report, you’ll never get it back. We watch the public notices, and SPD actually publishes some for found property that can’t be matched … TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:11 pm August 31, 2012 #

  6. For the past couple of days while at Lincoln Park I have noticed a white male riding around on what looked to be a red bike that was very similar to the red Schwinn reported stolen earlier this week. Today he was riding a yellow bike. I get the feeling he is living in the park. He hopped on the bus with his new bike on Fauntleroy headed North. He fits the description mentioned in the earlier post almost to the tee.

    Comment by Neighbor — 5:45 pm August 31, 2012 #

  7. Mail thefts on Belvidere as well. The police returned some of our mail that was recovered last week.

    Comment by ws mom — 9:59 pm August 31, 2012 #

  8. @Tommy, hey neighbor, when did this happen? I noticed another neighbor asking if we wanted secure mail boxes, but I haven’t noticed any missing mail. I’m very paranoid about ID theft so I make sure mail is picked up daily, but it still worries me that someone could be invading our privacy like this.

    Comment by QQman — 3:12 am September 1, 2012 #

  9. Mac we have your bike. We found it in our alley on admiral way. It is in our garage. We are gone for the weekend be back on Tuesday.

    Comment by Caroline turpen — 9:52 am September 1, 2012 #

  10. I live over on 25th, I put a locking mail box in so did several neighbors. They are about 85 dollars at Home depote, well worth the time to install it.

    Comment by Cindertang — 10:12 am September 1, 2012 #

  11. @caroline Yay! I’ll get a hold of you guys on Tuesday, then. Thanks so much!

    Comment by MacJ — 10:19 am September 1, 2012 #

  12. I had mail stolen last December including 2 outgoing checks so I had to close the checking account. The police found one check in the neighborhood (by ferry terminal) and the other was turned in at a White Center bank. I now have a locking mailbox but still have to drop the very occasional outgoing check at the post office as outgoing cannot lock in this system.. If the post office supplies a bank of boxes for the street you get secured out going as well.

    Comment by Jem on Fauntleroy — 1:54 pm September 9, 2012 #

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