West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 burglaries 1 block apart; car prowlers’ latest target zone; more

January 17, 2013 at 9:31 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 19 Comments

Two burglaries discovered one block apart last night top this West Seattle Crime Watch update. First we heard from Jim, who reported via Twitter that his neighbors’ home in the 7300 block of 27th SW had been broken into; the burglar(s) smashed the windows with “large rocks.” Then we heard from Kevin:

Came home to a robbed and ransacked house at (7300 block of) 28th Ave SW. Broke through the back door and broke in the garage door too. Happened between 8:20 am and 5:20 pm. Electronics, jewelry, credit cards, passports among other things. Every single cabinet drawer and closet gone through and thrown on the floor.

One other burglary was reported last night, according to the SPD map – and it too was in the 7300 block, but this time the street was 36th SW.

Car prowlers continue to show up all over the peninsula. The latest reports, and new information about this week’s Arbor Heights mail theft, after the jump:

On Wednesday, Fauntleroy got hit hard by car prowlers: Krista e-mailed to say someone smashed her car window in the parking lot at Fauntleroy YMCA (WSB sponsor) at midmorning yesterday (same parking lot as Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California SW). That’s close to where Robert reports this happened:

Sometime early Wednesday morning, 6 cars on 39th SW/SW Henderson had their windows smashed and car interiors ransacked. it was apparent from the scratched-off frost on many car windows that they were looking for treasures. Unfortunately for them there were none at our house, but they surely left a mess.

And to the south in Arbor Heights, Joe followed up on the previous days’ reports of mail theft/tampering in the 37th vicinity:

They hit 38th and 39th as well. The vehicle on Monday was a ’70s-’80s full-size Chevy Blazer license 638X–. It is black with a white top. Dirty. Loud. Driven by a slender white male, dark hair. The passenger was a very large white female with dark hair as well. Both late 20s, early 30s. This occurred at 2:00 pm. I had already received a phone call from my neighbor earlier in the day reporting open mailboxes and strewn mail….so there were two occurrences Monday. The Blazer circled the block twice, raising my suspicions, so I went out to the street to look. I witnessed them pulled over and the woman getting back into the vehicle after coming out of the neighbor’s yard. Other neighbors witnessed the same.

Then early Wednesday morning at 2:00 am a nice newer black Toyota car (I think) took mail from all of the boxes on 38th. They appeared to turn down 37th as well. 911 was called. I went out to close the mailboxes; I found mail on the ground from addresses up the street.

That was likely the “suspicious vehicle” report mentioned in yesterday’s Crime Watch roundup. Police respond to these calls but they are also a federal crime – here’s the United States Postal Inspection Service page about reporting mail-related crime. And here’s the USPIS’s prevention advice.

19 Comments

  1. Car prowls and break-ins on 41st Ave SW this week, too. My husband forgot to lock his car, and found it rifled through the next morning. Luckily, we have learned (after about six occurrences of this in as many months) not to keep ANYTHING in our cars. And yes, it’s a bummer that it took us so many instances to learn that lesson. But these guys are nothing if not persistent…

    Comment by Morgan Junction Mom — 9:56 am January 17, 2013 #

  2. Getting sick and tired of these low-lifes. So much so that I’m looking for somewhere else to live.

    Comment by comment — 10:43 am January 17, 2013 #

  3. I’m glad my mail is delivered late,usually when im home from work. However I’d like to buy a small inexpensive camera to monitor my driveway/mailbox.If anyone knows of a inexpensive one,please let us know.

    Comment by ladybell — 11:16 am January 17, 2013 #

  4. comment,

    I’m making the move after living in Seattle my entire life, most in W Seattle. We can stick our heads in the sand and listen to everyone tell how fortunate we are to live here, but it’s not the same place. I can palpably feel it when I get off the plane at SeaTac.

    Comment by G — 11:21 am January 17, 2013 #

  5. LB – there is a discussion about surveillance cameras happening in the WSB Forums right now – I don’t have the direct link handy but you should see it on the “current topics” index at http://westseattleblog.com/forum – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:43 am January 17, 2013 #

  6. Comment and G- do you not think these same low lifes live other places as well? Go ahead and move and see if it’s any different anywhere else. The fact is the economy is bad and there are not enough jails to house these idiots so they are free to run amuck. Outside of moving to a gated community I don’t know what you can do to avoid crime. I hate saying it but we need more jails.

    Comment by a — 12:18 pm January 17, 2013 #

  7. Comment and G, I hear ya. WS has definitely changed and not for the better in some (most?) ways.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 12:19 pm January 17, 2013 #

  8. Jim, your situation sounds just like my friend Brian’s, whose house was burglarized last weekend in the 7900 block of 10th SW. Every closet, drawer, box, bag, etc. was dumped. It was unfathomable. They even took off the furnace cover and the veneer covering the exhaust hose from the microwave.

    Comment by Hilari — 1:51 pm January 17, 2013 #

  9. Not even gated communities are immune to crimes like these. I had a boss who lived in Broadmoor and she told me that not only were break-ins fairly common, home invasions weren’t unheard of. And this was *before* the economic crash of 2008. Yipes.

    Comment by Ms. Picky — 2:08 pm January 17, 2013 #

  10. A – Of course there are low-lifes everywhere, but the percentages of various crimes committed can differ drastically between cities, states, towns, etc.

    On the other hand, there’s simply too many people here for my taste, and they keep coming. When it comes down to it, a city with 60,000 residents has far less criminals than a city with 600,000 residents, even if they have the same % of criminals. This tends to make for a much smaller crime section, which causes a more pleasant daily ritual (reading the news), which results in an overall better state of happiness and feeling about where I live.

    Plus, there’s still some places out there where you can shoot burglars and not get sued/arrested.

    Comment by Comment — 2:38 pm January 17, 2013 #

  11. I think people who always cry “there’s crime everywhere!” and point to some random circumstance in some other( more upscale) part of the city as being evidence that crime is everywhere a) misses the point about crime frequency being different across communities, and b) implicitly accepts that WS can’t be any better by perpetually defending the level of crime in WS.
    .
    Yes, crime in WS sucks; yes, WS has a relatively large amount of crime as compared to some other, more “upscale” neighborhoods; and, yes, this is unacceptable. That house burglaries are occurring a block or two away from the police station is pretty unsettling if you ask me. But then again, I’m the kind of person who wants to admit where problems exist so I can help the community solve them.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 3:17 pm January 17, 2013 #

  12. I don’t see anyone “defending” crime in WS (what does that even mean anyway?). But moving somewhere else with the expectation that it’s certain to have a lower crime rate seems to ignore that crime in WS is still relatively low and that just because you don’t hear about it elsewhere doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Even small towns aren’t immune; look up what’s happening in Gold Bar right now if you want a story to make your eyes cross.

    People who stay and work to better their communities strike me as optimistic, not defensive. I hear Detroit’s on the upswing these days, no fooling.

    Comment by datamuse — 4:05 pm January 17, 2013 #

  13. I guess everyone will come to their own conclusions about what is acceptable and what isn’t, and what they think can and can’t be alleviated in terms of crime.

    Comment by G — 5:21 pm January 17, 2013 #

  14. Yeah, everyone has a different idea of what is nice. Kinda sad but one may think nice is having your car broken into once a month because they moved from where it happend once a week.
    I don’t think it’s the economy unless we’ve had a bad econ for the last 10 years. It’s more dregs living in ws or coming here to commit crime.

    Comment by Fed up — 5:55 pm January 17, 2013 #

  15. My problem is that the police know who the criminals are and arrest them, yet the city keeps releasing them. I read, in the Crime Prevention Council section, that police thought that petty crimes were up and down in December depending the number of chronic thieves being sent to, and released from jail. If they would stay in jail, we would have fewer problems. Alas, housing criminals costs the city money whereas theft of your property costs the city nothing.
    .
    I hate to sound spiteful but hopefully these thieves will meet their end soon; be it by guard dog, homeowner or drug overdose.

    Comment by Eric1 — 7:53 pm January 17, 2013 #

  16. Just so you know – the city does not keep releasing them.
    .
    The county runs the jail. The county has the judges – unless the suspects are arrested on misdemeanor charges, in which case it IS a city matter.
    .
    Police make the arrests. But once those arrestees are delivered to jail – it’s out of their hands. County prosecutors decide on charges. State legislators decide on the laws that shape charges and sentences.
    .
    Makes it more complicated and frustrating, but just wanted to make sure credit/blame went where due. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:24 pm January 17, 2013 #

  17. I wouldn’t even know that this stuff was happening as regularly as it happens if I didn’t read the WSB. Reading it helps me realize things haven’t changed and gives me ideas of how to protect myself.
    I’ve lived in WS for roughly 40 years, it seems the same to me…with in 5 years of moving here we had two cars stolen and our house broken into…that was in the 70′s! Since then we have done something every year to fortify our belongings. Ex: don’t forget to use your “club.” Lock the garage door.
    Lock windows, and make them so they can’t slide all the way up. Get a safe, dont leave your jewelry laid out on your dresser in a organized manner showing what you own. Put safety bars on lower windows and back doors. Buy a locking mailbox. Think like a thief!

    Comment by The Farm — 8:51 am January 18, 2013 #

  18. We need to stop comparing WS to other parts of the city or other towns. These WSites are letting us know (which they don’t have to) that crime is happening next door to us, down the street from us, and in our WS community. Let’s focus on how we can fix it HERE and be examples for other communities, before we start drawing comparisons to crime being worse elsewhere or we’ll continue to have this “conversation” over and over again with absolutely no result.
    @The Farm thank you. I would also add, use alternate switches to turn on your lights & TV/radio at intermit times of day. Be vigilant around your home, too. As I’ve ranted many times before, be visible inside and OUTside your home; that means talking to your neighbors, listening to your instincts, walking around the block, engaging people. Don’t just hide inside your home or backyard, be in front. Be seen. Change your habits. The list goes on, but it’s OUR RESPONSIBILITY to take control away from these PsOS and thwart their actions before being a victim.

    Comment by WTF — 12:06 pm January 18, 2013 #

  19. But Fed up, crime has actually been about the same or decreasing in West Seattle over the last several years…that’s why I find your comment kind of puzzling. I mean, I can understand deciding that you’ve had enough even if the numbers are going down, but people keep talking about increasing crime as a reason to leave…when it’s not actually increasing.
    .
    Just because you hear about it more doesn’t mean there’s more of it.

    Comment by datamuse — 12:07 pm January 18, 2013 #

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