West Seattle Crime Watch: Heartless theft of heart-restarting defibrillator

October 2, 2012 at 11:32 am | In Crime, Health, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

We start today’s West Seattle Crime Watch with a theft that puzzles the person who reported it: Darla Varrenti, executive director of the Nick of Time Foundation (which came to Chief Sealth International High School last year for youth heart screenings). She says a defibrillator donated by her organization, like the one at right, has been stolen:

We placed 130 AED’s last year in all the schools in SPS and at the 15 outside sports fields with a program called “The Heart of Seattle Schools.” The one at the (Southwest Athletic Complex) has gone missing and in order to have that complex covered the school district has taken one from the high school [Sealth] to replace it. That leaves a floor at the school not covered as the nearest one is on the 3rd floor.

This machine really has no value to anyone unless you are having a sudden cardiac arrest, then it becomes life-saving! … The school district doesn’t have the money to replace it and I hope the community might rally around and help them out to replace it.

Varrenti says the units cost about $1,200 each. If you have any tips on the theft – call 911. If you are interested in donating to help replace the stolen one, you can do so through Nick of Time (go to nickoftimefoundation.org and click “Donate”; then, she says, “they can put a note in that the donation is for the West Seattle AED and they get a receipt back right away”). P.S. The field from which the AED was stolen is the same one where a coach suffered a fatal heart attack four months ago.

THREE MORE CRIME WATCH NOTES: Ahead, two bike thefts and a followup on a recent theft report, after some of the stolen items were found and returned to their owner!:

Paul reports his bike was stolen from outside his apartment in the 5900 block of Fauntleroy “a few days ago”:

It was a blue and while Scott brand men’s mountain bike, the only truly unique distinguishing feature is an air pump bracket mounted on the frame, but it’s certainly enough to mark it as mine. I know bike theft recoveries are a total long shot, but stranger things have certainly happened and I love to see what our W.Sea community can accomplish when we work together :-)

Eli‘s bike was stolen too – for the second time in 4 months!

My bike was stolen out of the gated garage of our condo building in the
3800 block of Beach Drive. Green Kona Women’s bike with LED lights, pannier, bike stand etc. Police report filed. Any help in finding it would be appreciated.

Yes, stolen items DO get found. We’ve had many such cases here, thanks to alert West Seattleites. And here’s the latest: Remember HM‘s report of “delivery snatchers” last week? Beth found HM’s stolen leather kitchen chairs in the alley behind her house – and now HM has them back.

6 Comments

  1. I don’t usually wish harm to others but maybe karma will take hold and give the thief a heart attack!

    Comment by onceachef — 5:29 pm October 2, 2012 #

  2. You would think that somebody would know better than to take a safety item, but people take fire extinguishers too. Hopefully, they will realize their error and leave it someplace to be found. If not, then I say karma +1.
    .
    And what is it with the bike thefts?

    Comment by eric1 — 7:00 pm October 2, 2012 #

  3. “The school district doesn’t have the money to replace it and I hope the community might rally around and help them out to replace it.”
    But the district had enough extra money to waste at least $1.8 million (Seattle P-I, Mar 1 2001). That’s enough for 1500 units. We managed without those units on every floor of every building for a long time. How many people did we lose due to heart attack and no AED around? You can’t cover the entire city with a safety umbrella.

    Comment by WestSide45 — 7:03 pm October 2, 2012 #

  4. @WestSide45- I understand your frustration with the SPSD budget problems from 2001 but nothing can be done to address that problem now. Replacing the AED can be fixed now- people from the community are already making donations to replace the unit. As to the comment, “How many people did we lose due to heart attack and no AED around? You can’t cover the entire city with a safety umbrella”- to begin with there is a difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is the leading cause of death in the US. You can increase the survival rate from SCA significantly when a bystander or first responder performs “hands only CPR” and uses an AED. Just 6 weeks after the Heart of Seattle Project placed all the devices throughout the school district, a 42 yr old Dad playing in a weekly pick-up basketball game, (at one of the elementary schools) was saved by his friends when he suffered a SCA while playing. If the AED had not been there to help shock his heart back into rhythm, he would not be alive today. We may not have the resources to “cover the whole city with a safety umbrella” but we can make sure a small piece of it is covered.

    Comment by NickofTime — 9:26 pm October 2, 2012 #

  5. Paul and Eli, sorry to hear about the thefts.
    If you or the bike shop where you bought the bike still have the serial number, you can register a stolen bike at http://www.nationalbikeregistry.com for ninety-nine cents. If police in any state find it, they’ll reunite you. Some bike shops and others will also know to call the registry and check the serial number to find out whether a used bike is stolen before they buy it.
    For $10, you can register a bike before it’s stolen–they say that the sticker that they mail to you to show that the bike is registered might deter thieves. I found out about this earlier this week while just browsing for information about bike security–it seems like inexpensive insurance.

    Comment by sunset — 10:44 pm October 2, 2012 #

  6. Regarding the leather chairs in the last paragraph; large items like that are often stashed nearby, probably to be grabbed later. When heavy and bulky things disappear from a yard, it’s always good to look around the neighborhood for them.

    Comment by WMF — 1:12 am October 3, 2012 #

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