West Seattle Crime Watch: Youngstown nonprofits hit by burglars, again; other break-ins

October 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

3:25 PM ORIGINAL REPORT: Three break-ins to report in West Seattle Crime Watch – first, one announced in a news release just received from The Nature Consortium:

Late Thursday night, thieves broke into the boiler room at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and attempted to steal data servers belonging to Nature Consortium and Southwest Interagency Academy. Nature Consortium employees discovered the break-in when servers were not operational on Friday morning.

This is the fifth break-in at the Youngstown building this year, and tenants have urged the need for increased security. The historic school building is owned by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, which has significantly reduced staff support for the building in recent years due to budget problems.

The thieves entered the boiler room though a manhole in the sewer, removed several data servers from the room and abandoned them nearby. Two of the units were discovered the next morning in the Delridge Park across the street. Both Nature Consortium and the Interagency Academy were able to recover their servers and no data was lost.

“We’re really fortunate that we were able to recover everything,” says Development Coordinator Lindsay von Marbod, who discovered the break-in Friday morning. “We could have lost all of our files, not to mention the dollar value of those servers. We’re really lucky.”

Two other reader reports about burglaries, ahead (PLUS, ADDED 4 PM, 2 OTHER NEW CRIME WATCH REPORTS):

One report from a burglary victim who didn’t want to be identified:

Our house was burglarized on Tuesday Oct. 9th between the hours 9 am and 12:30 pm on the 4800 block of 25th Ave SW. (They) broke through a window in the front of the house. We have an ADT home sercurity system that we unfortunately did not arm on the morning of the burglary. There is an ADT sign posted out front of the house that obviously did not deter these thieves. … The SPD says it is not uncommon for thieves to say “pish posh” (those are my own words) to home security system signs. They know a lot of people fail to arm them. ARM your security systems! Needless to sa,y we will not fail to arm the security system again. We also have 2 large dogs that were fenced in the back yard who were surely going bonkers the entire time. After this event, the dogs will remain in the house while we are away.

A civilian (thank you, whoever you are) spotted two men between the ages of 18-25 hurrying down the street with a TV and a box with cords/cables hanging out of it and thought it looked suspicious so he called the police. The men dropped the TV (broke it) and ran off barely before the police arrived. I’m assuming because they noticed someone had spotted them. All and all, they stole some electronics, game systems etc. The caught us with our pants down, but you better believe next time WE’LL BE READY. (ß def post this) Keep your eyes peeled folks. Be aware and on guard in this dog eat dog world of wonderful West Seattle. We don’t want these (expletive deleted) to get you like they got us!

Also within the past week (reported a few days afterward), in the City View neighborhood:

My home was burglarized on Monday, October 8th. This was a daytime burglary but with some suspicious circumstances. I’m unusual on my street because I live alone; I come home for lunch; my work is less than a 10-minute commute. I came home for lunch that day and left around 2 pm. I told SPD that the burglary took place between 2 pm and 9 pm – I got home late that day due to paperwork. We (me and the officers), suspected the burglars left by 5 pm. Just a typical, random burglary.

Well, I discovered Friday that the burglars were in my home at 6:30 pm – very unusual for a daytime burglary. I learned this when I was watching a DVR recording (generic version of Tivo), and the recorded program quit playing half way through – when the burglars cut the cords to my TV and electronic components.

The burglars had to use at least two vehicles and one had to be a large vehicle based on the items they stole. I know there were at least two because one of the drivers was pulled over by the King County Sheriffs for driving a stolen vehicle. Only a small fraction of my stolen possessions were in that vehicle. I went to the Burien station to claim those items, by the way. Luckily my passport and credit cards were noticed – otherwise they wouldn’t know who’s belongings they had. And there was plenty of other stuff that wasn’t mine. (The sheriffs didn’t share any information with me about this person other than he is a drug user…)

These thieves were either taking tremendous risks by being in my home that late or they knew my schedule. I immediately thought of this American made Pickup truck (maybe Ford?), that has been parked on my street off and on for the past few months. I assumed it was a landscaping or contractor’s truck. Sometimes I’d see it in the morning, sometimes when I came home for lunch, sometimes when I came home in the evening. And the creepy part is, there was a guy in the truck. My cousin came to check my home Tuesday after the burglary when I was at work and he mentioned this creepy guy in a truck. He called the police. I came home that night and he and the truck was still there so I called the police. Now I don’t know if this guy has anything to do with the burglars nor do I know if the police ever came to check him out.

Unfortunately I can’t give a description of him other than it’s a white male – probably in his 20’s to 30’s. (But I could be way off – I mean I never really paid attention). And the truck might be a brown w/ some white Ford but again; I didn’t pay much attention. There’s some equipment in the bed which is why I thought he was a landscaper or contractor. But I believe he was conducting surveillance now. I could be wrong. I called SPD and the Sheriff’s dept to report my updated suspicions but I had to leave a message – I think burglaries are low priority…

I haven’t finished my stolen belongings inventory yet but I’m sure it’s well over $10K – hand blown art glass (couple of dozen pieces); electronics – TV’s, laptops, game consoles, lots of speakers and subwoofers (I’m an audio/videophile), etc.; toys (particularly Batman toys); sci-fi collectables/replicas; furniture – unique modern lamp, hand-carved stools, etc. I suspect they were in my home for over an hour and used at least two vehicles.

I guess I’m writing this to warn others and to let people know to report anything suspicious. And to remind everyone that even though you may come home daily or may be gone only for a few hours, that you should still take precautions. Because I never thought I’d be burglarized… And for God’s sake; don’t put your car and house keys in the kitchen drawers… LOL. Yes they also got my garage door opener from my 2nd car. And I saw other remotes and car keys amongst the stolen property at the Sheriff’s station. Guard that garage door opener…

ADDED 4 PM: 2 Crime Watch reports have come in since we published this. From Steve:

We may have had a package stolen from our porch sometime between 11:25 and 3 pm. There’s no trace of it but FedEx says it was delivered. I thought I’d report this in case someone else has the same experience. We live at Andover and 44th.

The package has passports and other travel documents for a trip coming up soon so it’s especially inconvenient.

And from Kathi in Arbor Heights, near 39th/100th:

We left our cars unlocked last night, someone went through both of them and only got away with some change. Not sure if the doors had been locked would they just move on or would they have broken the windows. Either way, thought folks might want to know.

(from original report) Another reminder: Bring neighborhood crime concerns, questions for police, and – this month – for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council at 7 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, October 16th), at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge and Webster).

14 Comments

  1. What’s happening right now on Roxbury!?

    Comment by Sara — 4:01 pm October 15, 2012 #

  2. We’re on our way over to find out.

    Comment by WSB — 4:03 pm October 15, 2012 #

  3. Update, it’s a county call (White Center; KCSO, not SPD). So any followup will be on our White Center site http://whitecenternow.com – Same area as a gunfire incident a week ago that we just reported on WCN today.

    Comment by WSB — 4:17 pm October 15, 2012 #

  4. OMG people PLEASE back up your data regularly. Computers can be replaced.

    Comment by Data Guy — 6:29 pm October 15, 2012 #

  5. Steve – any luck tracking down the passports?

    Comment by Steve — 7:41 pm October 15, 2012 #

  6. Burglaries are a low priority with the police. That is unless you are a prosecutor or $$$. My house was burglarized and I think the police didn’t want to show up. I live alone and was so scared to find my house in shambles. I tracked down from Comcast that someone was using my outlook account but they told me the police would have to get a subpoena. When I dropped off the documents with the Ip address to the SW station, the officer behind the desk just laughed, scoffed, and cynically dismissed me. I never got a courtesy call though I think it might have been a lead to other crimes. I feel very sad about the state of affairs around here and feel like society is pushing me to defend myself by other legal means while in my house.

    Comment by Singlemom — 10:26 pm October 15, 2012 #

  7. I’m Steve, and no luck on the passports. We’re going to try to expedite things so we get them in time to travel but don’t like our passports out there as potential ID to be used to open accounts in our name.

    Comment by Mightymoh — 8:02 am October 16, 2012 #

  8. When we were burglarized the police drove by the 2 black males, mid-late teens that are well know for various criminal activities in the area (aka north delridge) on the way to investigate the burglary. Im supposing he couldn’t stop and question them as to what they were doing and why they weren’t in school as he had to respond quickly to the burglary they just committed . That is is straight up blood boiling. We have not recieved any follow up on their leads/fingerprint findings from the police/detectives regarding this. I would have to agree that this rash of burglaries in the area have been low priority. And I’m am not exaggerating on that, there have been a RASH of burglaries over the last several days. So much so that I’m surprised it hasn’t made the local news. People need to speak up when this happens to them. Stand up and don’t be afraid. SPEAK OUT. If you don’t, this will continue to happen and THEY WIN . Come together . Be at the SW precinct at 7 pm this evening. PS- Phoenix Jones , get your ass out here, obvi the area needs some assistance fighting crime. Thanks a mill.

    Comment by ThisIsInsanity — 8:21 am October 16, 2012 #

  9. @Data Guy: Came to post the exact same thing.

    If you have anything you consider a “server”, you should be backing up those files offsite regularly.

    Comment by brian — 1:31 pm October 16, 2012 #

  10. @DataGuy @brian
    Thanks for your concern. We have been doing backups every week for several years now. Regardless, the loss of the servers would still have been a serious setback. We are lucky to still have them.

    Comment by Nature Consortium — 4:14 pm October 16, 2012 #

  11. I live on the 4800 block of 26th SW and my house was burglarized today. 2 flat screens, a MacBook Pro, HP lap top and 3 iPods stolen. Bedroom ransacked. Very frustrating. Police were very helpful but not hopeful that our stolen items would be returned.

    Frustrated & violated.

    Comment by Delridge Denizen — 9:37 pm October 16, 2012 #

  12. @Delridge Denizen
    Oh man , I’m so sorry. I know exactly how violating and disgusting it feels. I truly think its the same kids/teens running around our area doing this. Did the SPD get prints at your house? Hopefully they can start linking these all together…

    Comment by ThisIsInsanity — 7:33 am October 17, 2012 #

  13. The SPD did take prints, tho it is likely the burglars were wearing gloves. SPD also mentioned that they are fairly certain they know who did it… mentioned they have some “usual suspects”, but no probable cause.

    Comment by Delridge Denizen — 7:58 am October 18, 2012 #

  14. Yep, that’s exactly what they told me. It’s gotta be the same guys. So frustrating.

    Comment by ThisIsInsanity — 11:02 am October 18, 2012 #

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