Just back from the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. The transit discussion – which swerved back and forth across just about every imaginable bus-related issue that’s come up recently – will be in a story all its own. So we’ll start this Crime Watch roundup with the WSCPC meeting-opening briefing on crime trends, followed by 5 reader reports we’ve received.
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Paulsen said that a spike in property crimes about a month ago is over because of recent arrests – the rate had dropped back down in the past week or so. He says the year overall remains on track around 20 percent below last year’s property-crime rate – a year that in turn was about 20 percent above the long-term average.
Another “bump” may be ahead, he warned, because it’s “that crazy time of the year, the holidays,” when thieves and burglars are after items you’ve bought for gifts, maybe even before you get them into your vehicle or home: “(When shopping) you become more of a target, so be aware of your surroundings, look around,” Capt. Paulsen warned, adding that there will be more police presence at Westwood Village and The Junction – not on overtime, but by “shuffling around” resources. He also cautioned people to arrange for deliveries in ways that won’t lead to packages unattended on front doors.
Betty asked about the Fairmount Springs break-in reports that circulated one week ago (they’re in this WSB Crime Watch roundup), apparently targeting homes inhabited by women, home alone. The cases were news to Capt. Paulsen and Community Police Team Officer Jonathan Kiehn, who monitor for patterns, but said these hadn’t surfaced as one. Another attendee said she had come to ask about the incidents too, and the perception that there might be a known suspect who hadn’t yet been arrested. Police promised to check into these cases ASAP.
One attendee brought up mail theft and asked if police could “set up a sting.” Short answer: No, since it’s a federal-jurisdiction crime, but if you see it happening, do call 911, the citizen was told, since, Capt. Paulsen said, they have caught mail thieves “over the years.” He was also advised to look into a locked mailbox. Immediately after the exchange, he and Officer Kiehn started a followup conversation.
Now, Part 2 of this roundup: The latest reader reports – five in all, the first two with photos:
Kevin shares that photo from 45th and Dakota and reports:
Late (last) night/ early AM, someone stole the taillight assemblies from my 2012 Toyota pickup. It was a neat job, but the dealer says they are $249 each to replace. Two days ago my neighbors found an abandoned, but new, auto emergency kit on their front curb. It looks like someone’s working the neighborhood
Next, a photo that might help solve a burglary:
Louis is circulating that surveillance photo in hopes someone recognizes the silver car with the extensive rear-end damage. He says it’s linked to a burglary on the south end of Beach Drive that happened between noon and 2:30 pm November 5th. Contact police if you know whose car it might be.
A victim of vandalism, who wanted to be anonymous, reports:
I woke up this morning to find that my car that I parked on Delridge Way and Alaska was egged. 2x on the driver’s door/window and 1x on roof of my car. … I have no reason to believe anyone that I knew could have done this.
The victim says it happened sometime between Sunday night and this morning.
Doug reported last Friday that his “townhouse @ 17th and Henderson St SW was broken into but nothing was taken. Amazing. The downstairs sliding glass door was broken out. It appears person(s) were inside. My front door was unlocked when I got home. Can’t believe nothing was taken.”
And finally, Sarah in the 6000 block of Fauntleroy reports something last night that might not have been linked to crime, but she offered a heads-up just in case:
Before 9:00 pm a man dressed in black clothing wearing a baseball hat was knocking on my door. He wouldn’t look up so I could see his face through the peep hole. He had a clip board in hand and was flipping through the papers, making it look like he was checking something. The knocking was light and constant but not loud enough for my neighbor to hear. I watched him through the peep hole but never asked who it was or answered the door. It seemed suspicious. I hope no one else falls for this and opens their doors.
Police have said it before and they said it again tonight: If you see anything suspicious, call 911. (Sarah did.)