West Seattle Crime Watch: Students robbed; truck stolen; car found

January 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 46 Comments

1:09 PM: For the first of this afternoon’s two West Seattle Crime Watch reports, we are still working to get more details from police, but for starters, they confirm the robbery happened: Stacey e-mailed to say she was walking through the Westwood Village parking lot yesterday afternoon “when four 8th grade boys asked to use my phone. They were visibly shaken up and had, they said, just been robbed at gunpoint by three masked men while walking down an alley near the park across the street (Roxhill Park). The robbers each had guns and the boys gave up their phones, wallets and in one case a backpack.” That’s all we know so far; police tell us more details will be available via SPD Blotter later this afternoon, and we’ll add to this report when that information is in. We have no idea at this point if there’s any relation to the armed robbery at a 35th/Roxbury business on Monday.

3:13 PM UPDATE: The SPD report says this was one of TWO robberies targeting kids that age, in that area, in the past four days – the first one was near 27th and Cambridge last Sunday, and yesterday’s robbery is now described as having happened in Roxhill Park itself. Details here.

(back to original report) Second, a stolen truck to look for: In the Hansen View area south of The Mount, a locked work truck – white Silverado with a Charter Construction logo and the word HEROIC on the back – was reported as stolen overnight. Here’s the @getyourcarback tweet; call 911 if you see it.

Speaking of stolen cars – the blue Camry reported as stolen in our Monday night Crime Watch roundup has been found on White Center, according to this comment from Melissa, who sent the original report.

46 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness about those poor boys! Tracey, please let us know if you find out anymore about which alley. We have squatters living in a house on our block…which the police know about.

    Comment by Amanda — 1:20 pm January 23, 2013 #

  2. I feel bad for the 8th graders. That’s pretty low to rob them at gunpoint .. Second guessing my choice to put down roots in the area.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 1:35 pm January 23, 2013 #

  3. @wsrats: so, you’re reassessing your choice to live in a big city and all the problems that every urban center has because someone was robbed down the street? Sorry, but this is part of life in any big city. If you want a lower crime profile, move to a gated bedroom community.

    Comment by Trigger — 1:52 pm January 23, 2013 #

  4. My point is WS wasn’t always like this, atleast in my experience. It has changed for the worse, it was a bedroom community at one time but not anymore and it’s just sad.. but if people like it the way it is now then I am happy for them.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 2:06 pm January 23, 2013 #

  5. I’m sorry for the boys but they did the right thing by not confronting the “bad guys”.

    Comment by sc — 2:32 pm January 23, 2013 #

  6. The boys had a shot gun pointed at them, how on earth would they be able to confront anybody with a gun pointed at them? These douche bags need to be caught FAST before we lose an innocent child.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 3:09 pm January 23, 2013 #

  7. The SPD Blotter report is just in and says there have been two such incidents in the past few days. Adding to the story.

    Comment by WSB — 3:12 pm January 23, 2013 #

  8. It takes a tough guy (or 3 of them) to rob a bunch of kids at gunpoint.
    ,
    Armed robberies, burglaries, car break-ins in my neighborhood this week. Is there something in the fog? Tired of these losers (sorry if that breaks a rule, but I’d say sticking a gun in a kid’s face qualifies one as a loser).

    Comment by AE — 3:14 pm January 23, 2013 #

  9. I find this incident sad and I hope the criminals are caught. As for moving out of the area due to crime, do as you wish, however we will all be better off if we stay, are present and involved. My question is, how can I help stop this?

    Comment by Claudia — 3:31 pm January 23, 2013 #

  10. @Trigger – 8th graders getting robbed at gunpoint is unacceptable – urban, gated community or whatever. Your apathy is disturbing.

    Comment by jmac — 3:49 pm January 23, 2013 #

  11. C – I’m planning on staying and continuing to be a part of the solution. I have hope.

    Thanks jmac.

    Comment by WSratsinacage — 4:01 pm January 23, 2013 #

  12. West Seattle has far too much crime
    Sick of this

    Comment by Mn — 4:26 pm January 23, 2013 #

  13. One of the most important steps the Westwood/Roxhill community can take is establishing a neighborhood council, a feature of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods. This puts you in direct contact with elected officials and city departments, as well as providing access to resources, grants, and services. It allows you to represent yourselves as a ‘hood, and get meaningful results (e.g. your meetings can/will include representatives from Metro, Seattle Police, Schools, Parks, SDOT, and Seattle City Council, as well as neighborhood associations, businesses and community events).
    .
    I will commit one full year to establishing this council. This includes serving on the executive committee, securing (free) meeting space, setting agendas, and securing speakers/presenters. What you give is 2 hours, one night a month, plus any extra activity you want to take on to make your neighborhood rock. You can reach me directly by email – roxhillcastle@gmail.com.
    .
    Mat McBride, Chair, Delridge Neighborhoods District Council

    Comment by mcbride — 4:42 pm January 23, 2013 #

  14. Unfortunately these events are happening more often, we need to stop hiding and not let the police do all the work everyone need to get out drive around be alert show “them” we care of our neighborhood , lock your cars and if you have a car prone to breakins take steps to fix issue

    Comment by 36th ave sw — 4:47 pm January 23, 2013 #

  15. Need to have more neighborhood watch meetings as stuff comes up to help fix issues, instead of one a year

    Comment by 36th ave sw — 4:54 pm January 23, 2013 #

  16. Agree with 36th Ave. One thing we can do is not feel like we will lose our ‘progressive’ card if we are a bit more critical in our assessment of vagrants, wierdos, and other unsavory characters in our neighborhood. If you see someone who doesn’t look like they fit in, call SPD and report a ‘suspicious character’.
    .
    A few months ago I called SPD when a rather odd and scruffy-looking fellow came through my hood going door to door with a rather sketchy ‘charity solicitation’. I couldn’t help but notice how he seemed very interested in what he could see in my living room as he stood at the door, and then I noted how he continued to act like he has ‘casing’ homes as he went down the street. I commented about it here, and was taken to task by someone for being ‘paranoid’ and ‘intolerant’.
    .
    But the truth is, a neighborhood is only as safe as it’s residents are willing to look out for each other, and stay in touch with SPD when suspicious characters are seen about. By all means keep your eyes open, note descriptions, even take pictures if you can do so discreetly. If you see something or someone suspicious, report it.

    Comment by McGruff — 5:40 pm January 23, 2013 #

  17. Why the hostility to anyone who says they are considering moving due to crime – is it now heresy to criticize anything Seattle? Have we constructed this “utopia” that is really a little bit of a fantasy?

    I grew up here, and yes, West Seattle is beginning to suck. Don’t be so defensive, people, this attitude is really getting old around here.

    Comment by G — 5:53 pm January 23, 2013 #

  18. I think that people who say that West Seattle is “starting to suck” need to take a trip to the Central District. Or, better yet, some of the worst neighborhoods of Detroit. Please. You don’t know what ghetto is.

    Comment by Based God — 6:11 pm January 23, 2013 #

  19. I so agree. There are a couple of dicey neighborhoods in Seattle but WS is not one of them. Most people around here don’t even know what a bad neighborhood is. If somebody can shoot up a school in Sandy Hill, CT, a kid with a gun can rob 4 middle school boys in Roxhill Park. That whole area is inundated with teenagers after school. Parents need to insist that kids come right home after school. I love teens, but where there are lots of teens, things happen. They present an opportunity for someone with a gun looking for an easy target to rob.

    Comment by Gyngersnap — 6:31 pm January 23, 2013 #

  20. McGruff- I learned years ago to listen to my inner voice when it comes to any situation and I’ve stopped listening to what people think when they’re not even in the situation. Do what’s best for you.
    Based God- There is no comparison to Detroit or the Central District. It’s true, West Seattle has become over populated and more thugs are coming into our neighborhoods ,because it is such a nice place, and causing crime. It’s happening more and more everyday and it’s getting really old. I’m very grateful to WS Blog over the years for not only letting us know what’s happening but also what areas to avoid at any time of the day that potentially we could end up right in the middle of something going down.
    I think neighbors are becoming more aware of their surroundings lately and calling police, instead of second guessing the situation. This area is not the same as the 70s and 80s, that’s for sure and ashame.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 6:40 pm January 23, 2013 #

  21. For anyone who didn’t know or wasn’t here a few years ago, there was a murder at Roxhill Park. Here is the WSB coverage:

    http://westseattleblog.com/2010/09/bulletin-arrest-in-roxhill-park-murder

    Comment by Todd — 6:51 pm January 23, 2013 #

  22. “I think that people who say that West Seattle is “starting to suck” need to take a trip to the Central District.”

    Oh, well there’s a stereotype for you. Do you go to Ballard when you are looking for old Norskies and Fremont when you feel the need for smelly hippies? Get out of your smug little peninsula once in a while and you might be able to speak with some knowledge about the city we live in.

    The only problem with Seattle – and WS in particular – is the influx of professional hand-wringers and suburban wannabes. Crime happens. Get over yourselves.

    Comment by Ugh — 7:06 pm January 23, 2013 #

  23. SPD, please patrol the park. Thanks. – Signed, your community

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 7:48 pm January 23, 2013 #

  24. Another way to help your neighborhood is to clean up graffiti. There seems to have been an increase lately – some locations frequently clean it up but others leave it up for months/years. Not convinced the neighborhood is totally going downhill despite this disturbing news, but cleaning up the tags (especially the recent gang tags by VL) can’t hurt. Leaving them up makes it seem like the neighborhood doesn’t care and attracts some “characters” – some will come regardless.

    Comment by Ranger — 7:57 pm January 23, 2013 #

  25. Mat, you rock! I hope some of the Roxhill/Westwood neighbors will take you up on the offer. There is a lot that can be accomplished by dedicated community members being involved in their neighborhoods.

    Comment by Delridge mom — 8:12 pm January 23, 2013 #

  26. When this state passes out drivers liscenses like popcorn the gangsters from california and points south will gladly fill the streets up here knowing that very few people here carry weapons and are a easy mark, and the prosecuter is a pushover.

    Comment by ROBERT — 8:49 pm January 23, 2013 #

  27. ROBERT is right. Obviously, the answer is to arm 8th graders…..

    Comment by Ugh — 8:53 pm January 23, 2013 #

  28. Once AGAIN the PsOS walk the streets!!!

    Comment by WTF — 10:18 pm January 23, 2013 #

  29. Ugh, slow your roll. While I absolutely agree with you that West Seattle has lately been showing an influx of suburban wannabes who haven’t seen a ghetto in their lives, the Central District is undoubtedly a rough neighborhood. As to why this is the case… that’s a complex story. And I would argue that “smelly hippies” can be found anywhere in the city.

    Comment by Based God — 10:31 pm January 23, 2013 #

  30. My car has been rummaged through three times, my neighbor’s car has been stolen (later recovered) the neighbor across the street had his golf clubs stolen out of his garage, and several times there has been a wild melee of drunk punks congregating at my intersection at night. This is in the Admiral area, not White Center.

    But sure, go ahead and compare us to the CD, or a city like Detroit if it makes you feel better.

    Comment by G — 10:47 pm January 23, 2013 #

  31. Clearly you lack reading comprehension, as I wasn’t comparing West Seattle to either of those places. My point was that people who get borderline hysterical every time crime happens and say that West Seattle is beginning to suck should take a trip to an area that is truly plagued with crime and poverty.

    Comment by Based God — 11:09 pm January 23, 2013 #

  32. Yes, there are places much worse than ws, like the cliche that is Detroit, but that is horrible logic to accept this increase in crime. There are plenty of places out there with much better track records than us, but no place is perfect, and it all boils down to balancing an area’s pros and cons with your personal preferences. Personally, I’m tired of living around this many people.

    Comment by comment — 2:01 am January 24, 2013 #

  33. Highly encourage readers and commenters to take up Mat Mcbride’s offer as he posted above. It will help, a lot. Mat is great and has a lot to offer.
    -
    FWIW – It took the formation of a neighborhood council several years ago in the North Delridge area to begin to address a lot similar issues that Roxhill is dealing with. Is North Delridge now a utopia? Nope. But I would say that from this persons perspective, public safety has been improved. It doesn’t come easy, but it is worth the effort. Tenacity is key.

    Comment by Mike D. — 4:54 am January 24, 2013 #

  34. I have lived here for 10 years now and WS has changed considerably. And yes it does suck.

    Comment by H — 7:42 am January 24, 2013 #

  35. I moved to the North Delridge area from Hilltop in Tacoma, and was living in the Central District before that. I remembered West Seattle to be a safe, suburban area, and have been surprised and what i’ve seen since I moved to the area. Crime definitely has jumped up here. I don’t feel it’s as bad as the CD, but it’s still gotten worse than I remembered. Thanks Mat Mcbride – that is definitely what the area needs. I personally like the diversity that these neighborhoods – which are filled with hard working people and a few bad apples – have to offer.

    Comment by jmac — 9:32 am January 24, 2013 #

  36. The part I take issue with is the assertion that crime is on the increase. The data I’ve seen says that if anything, it’s going down. I get deciding to move on because you don’t want to be here anymore, but I’d check your perception that crime is going up when what’s really increased is reporting on and attention to crime. That’s a GOOD thing: it means people know what’s going on and can take action to respond to and prevent it.
    .
    This is undoubtedly a scary incident and I’m really glad none of these kids were hurt. Matt McBride has the right idea and I hope that those of you who live in the neighborhood take him up on his offer. I’m over in Highland Park and HPAC has done some great stuff, including fostering community engagement.
    .
    Getting worse? At least I haven’t been awakened by a SWAT team wanting to have a conversation with my neighbors lately.

    Comment by datamuse — 10:01 am January 24, 2013 #

  37. DM, you are correct. Crime is NOT getting worse. We report it because we believe firmly that “knowledge is power” but in the past, you just might not have heard. is that good or bad? I assume the folks who come to WSB want to know. But it’s NOT worse. Check the data on SPD site. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:07 am January 24, 2013 #

  38. Robert- please do not blame Californians for these incidents. For all you know and most likely this boys are Seattle natives. Just because California has more crime and bustling cities doesn’t mean people are migrating up here. Maybe Seattle natives should take a chill pill and realize that we are a growing city and there will be crime every once and a while. We have nearly ZERO crime compared to some cities so why doesn’t everyone deal with it and stop making a fuss and take it as a personal attack every time someone steals grandmas purse.

    Comment by Jo Beth — 5:49 pm January 24, 2013 #

  39. Don’t these robbers have family, friends, and neighbors who don’t have some inkling of what these guys are up too? They should turn them in.

    Comment by Robert — 9:24 pm January 24, 2013 #

  40. Another cross-flaming thread huh? Folks, the CD may or may not have worse crime, on average, but a spike is a spike, and that’s what we have going on right now. Queen Anne residents have dealt with car prowlers for years, despite living in a pretty nice area. Any decent, quiet area where people park half-decent cars on the street and many turn their porch and alley lights off at night is a target. Why? Because we think we are safer, when in fact, our lack of experience with such crimes makes us less defensive and vigilant, and thus, easier prey.

    I’m going on 16 years in my current WS home, and I see more and more people on the sidewalks today than in years past. I walk my dog every night, and it’s not uncommon to see SPD searching my neighborhood for an armed robber who just mugged a person that stepped off the bus along California Ave. Local criminals from anywhere in Seattle, Tukwila, Federal Way or anywhere within a half hour can come over here and clean house, until we rise up as a community, change our behaviors, and start taking it more seriously than just phoning in our insurance claim the next day. Turn off the TV, go outside after dark, take your valuables out of your car, install a hidden trigger switch on your ignition so they can’t start, then steal your car, turn on your damn porchlights and leave them on (my personal pet peeve!)

    Comment by pjmanley — 10:53 pm January 24, 2013 #

  41. The CD used to be deadly in the late 80′s and early 90′s, until the community, especially moms, dads, and grandmas, started forming groups to confront the drug dealers on their corners, expose them for who and what they were, and drove them off – many to Kent & Renton, unfortunately. But they dispensed with apathy and excuse-making (enabling) and confronted the issues head on, driving the crime rate down significantly, and fast. We must clean or paint over graffiti immediately, recognizing the nature of such territorial pissing for what it is: A mark. Do not call it ART! If you let those dogs “mark” your territory, they will soon own it. Broken Window Theory here folks. West Seattle is still a great place, but it won’t be for long if we don’t diligently and vigilantly rise up and take back our streets, sidewalks, driveways, alleys, and parks. I’m not going anywhere, so I’m all-in on this.

    Comment by pjmanley — 11:07 pm January 24, 2013 #

  42. The illusion of safety is disappearing all over the United States, and has been for some while now. With meth labs in the countryside and rising gang activity in rural areas, I don’t think we can speak of this kind of mugging as solely a problem of geography. What we do have in West Seattle is an opportunity to build a regional sense of community (through tools like neighborhood clean-ups, neighborhood email lists and this blog) so that acts of violence are the exception rather than the rule.

    Comment by rumtussle — 8:44 am January 25, 2013 #

  43. pjmanley, your point about going outside and spending time outdoors in your neighborhood is a good one. I rarely encounter my neighbors outdoors in Highland Park, even after dark, despite having lived there for over 13 years. Go outside. Say hello to people.
    .
    rumtussle, whenever I see assertions like yours my immediate reaction is to ask for evidence. Again, while crime still occurs, overall crime levels are dropping all over the country. Even Detroit is improving, to cite somebody or other’s favorite example. Statistically, this is a safer time to live in America than it’s ever been. It’s certainly safer than most other countries I’ve visited. (I agree with you about community engagement, though.)
    .
    Case in point: the Middle Fork area in Snoqualmie Pass. That was a place full of meth labs and other nefarious activity…years ago. Now it’s pretty quiet, with a family-oriented campground and lots of hiking trails, not to mention Goldmyer Hot Springs.
    .
    Frankly I think the tendency to go full-bore apocalyptic every time something like this happens can do more harm to the community than the incidents themselves.

    Comment by datamuse — 9:26 am January 25, 2013 #

  44. The punks perpetrating these crimes are clearly not the brightest. The scumbags will be caught. I have faith in that. What I don’t have faith in is the punishment they will face. These wastes need to be severely punished and the guns they have been using to carry out their crimes melted.

    Comment by alkiobserver — 10:07 am January 25, 2013 #

  45. These people will be caught. How about if we help that happen?
    .
    Armed robbery of kids makes people uncomfortable. Somebody out there knows who these robbers are, and is at least a little creeped out by it.
    .
    Heavy publicity of an anonymous tip line might be all we need to get that person talking. If not, given the effect this is having on our neighborhood businesses and residences, I bet we’d have no trouble raising enough of a reward to be motivational.
    .
    Would one of the police or other city-community groups be able to shepherd this, or would it need to be citizen-driven?

    Comment by alboss — 4:05 pm January 25, 2013 #

  46. Doesn’t mean fights over its still you responsibility to be vigilante, and for all we know it was neighbors who called it in and made this all happen…

    Comment by 36th ave sw — 12:33 am January 26, 2013 #

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