West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park arrest; robbery-suspect video

March 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm | In Crime, Highland Park, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

(Photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
HAPPENING NOW: Thanks to those who texted/e-mailed about a big police response in Highland Park a short time ago. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis tells us that officers were after somebody who bolted into an apartment complex near 16th and Holden after reportedly stealing somebody’s cell phone. Not an armed holdup, but “a crime of opportunity,” he explains.

SEPARATE CASE – RECOGNIZE THESE SUSPECTS? SPD has just gone public with video from another case:

Per SPD Blotter, this video shows two suspects from an armed street robbery in The Junction on February 2nd. It doesn’t show the actual holdup but does show suspects on a store surveillance camera afterward. Can you help detectives identify them? Call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.

36 Comments

  1. They are punk #1 and punk #2…wish I did know them.

    Comment by onceachef — 5:02 pm March 19, 2013 #

  2. I counted 12 police cars at the scene. For a stolen cell phone?

    Comment by Gavin — 5:04 pm March 19, 2013 #

  3. That apartment complex has been a problem for some time. Police are there just about every week, so I’m not shocked at the large response…must have been more than just a cell phone.

    Comment by BB — 6:36 pm March 19, 2013 #

  4. My son told me about the massive response because he saw it on his bus ride home. I was also told by SPD it was re: a cell phone, ummmm no. The negative occupants of the apt’s on Holden are getting out of control. SW Holden is turning into a mini lawless road. Seriously, this is bullshit.

    Comment by JC — 8:35 pm March 19, 2013 #

  5. I’m pretty sure those guys are the people i see walking around near the Delridge Public library in North Delridge.

    Comment by Thomas — 8:42 pm March 19, 2013 #

  6. There was a followup question at tonight’s Crime Prevention Council meeting and someone mentioned the general lawlessness. Lt. Davis said they’re keeping close watch on the area and trying to root out the worst troublemakers. Which would explain a large response to what otherwise seemed like something small. Same deal when there is an area that’s been plagued by burglaries and suddenly someone suspicious is reported.

    Comment by WSB — 8:48 pm March 19, 2013 #

  7. Since Alcohol has come into the grocery stores I see nothing but punks from the hood coming into the junction to steal alcohol!

    Comment by Silly Goose — 8:49 pm March 19, 2013 #

  8. Thanks for what you do to try to keep our neighborhood safe SPD.

    Comment by West Seattle Hipster — 9:00 pm March 19, 2013 #

  9. the police are doing their job it’s the courts letting the hoodies out after a warm shower and hot meal in the lock up.

    Comment by joel — 9:33 pm March 19, 2013 #

  10. I’ve heard that QFC looses $5,000 a month just on hard alcohol theft. Seems like it’d be cheaper to hire a full-time guard, or just get rid of it. There is a previous surveillance video of robbers at the Junction QFC, seems like not a happy place these days. What is going on in WS? Is it worse or the same in terms of crime?

    Comment by sara — 10:12 pm March 19, 2013 #

  11. All up and down Delridge but especially between Home Depot and the Library, the stairs leading up to 21st SW are hidden in the thick trees, making for a beautiful but unsafe way to walk home. These punks use the cover of those trees to accost people and steal and cause general trouble. I refuse to walk around my own home, driving to the east side to walk in the open if I want some exercise.

    Comment by Michelle — 10:15 pm March 19, 2013 #

  12. Sara — I’ve lived in WS for 63 yrs. Many of us old timers do believe that the crime has gotten much worse in WS over the years. Mostly due to overdevelopment and population. SPD is doing a good job especially with the growing population in WS which unfortunately includes growing gang problems.

    Comment by Seattlite — 10:23 pm March 19, 2013 #

  13. Is there more crime, or are we just more aware of it because of greater access to information: SPD blotter, multiple news channels and blogs? I keep hearing that the numbers are down, but I haven’t actually seen the numbers.

    Comment by argonautter — 11:20 pm March 19, 2013 #

  14. Argo:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/police/crime/stats.htm

    Comment by WSB — 11:38 pm March 19, 2013 #

  15. Those apartments and their residents are a constant blight on the neighborhood. Every day there’s trouble coming out of that alley. 6 police car response the night before this. 8 last week.

    Ongoing harassment of pedestrians, frequent reports of petty theft and vandalism, groups of tricked-out expensive cars with drivers switching vehicles after looking in the trunk for a moment with their posse, yelling & shouting at all hours, cars peeling out at high speeds day and night, etc.

    I’ve even witnessed guys jumping up and down on the hoods of other cars after altercations in the seamart lot in broad daylight.

    But it seems nobody can do anything about it. It’s a damn shame. Somebody should probably tell me to be more tolerant, I guess. That would probably fix it.

    Comment by Silvio — 12:20 am March 20, 2013 #

  16. The hard alcohol used to be available only in the state liquor stores…wondering what the theft rate (shoplifting, not robbing the cash register) was then, and whether punishment for theft from the state-run store was more severe than from private retailers?

    Comment by anti-obstruction — 5:03 am March 20, 2013 #

  17. I think the state did a great disservice when it privatized liquor stores. $5,000 a month at the QFC alone? How do they recoup those losses? Just seems ridiculous to me. People have the right to alcohol, but the easy hard liquor access to kids now is troubling.

    Comment by T — 5:35 am March 20, 2013 #

  18. If SPD enforced basic laws against loitering, traffic violations, excessive noise, etc., there may be less need to send multiple cards to apprehend a single thief like this. As is, SPD now thinks the only reason to show up is for weapons/assault.

    I don’t know if this is a tactical policing issue or a larger societal issue caused by watered down laws, but something has got to change. Perhaps SPD can shed some light for us on this thread?

    Comment by Darryll — 6:53 am March 20, 2013 #

  19. Are you kidding T? The voters, led by Costco, and yes QFC, Safeway and the rest, did the state a great disservice. They asked for it. I bet Costco which has much better surveillance and security doesn’t lose as much per capita as QFC.

    Comment by CandrewB — 7:54 am March 20, 2013 #

  20. Privatized liquor does not mandate it be present in every store and did not miraculously create a crime wave. I believe we should advocate more police presence, including walking the beat- get out of the cars and talk to people get an idea of what is going on first hand in the neighborhood – not just sitting in a car down the street.

    Comment by WS taxpayer — 8:21 am March 20, 2013 #

  21. By privatizing liquor, stores chose to carry it because they did not want to lose customers to stores that do. Costco did not get this passed- the voters of this State did. I am not much of a drinker, so it was fine by me to stay in the State stores. While prohibition was a bad idea, booze is not a social “good”, so encouraging access doesn’t make sense.

    Comment by Liz — 8:38 am March 20, 2013 #

  22. Great place to advocate police presence if you have a specific concern is to come to the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meetings, where the second-in-command lieutenant from the precinct stands before whomever shows up and asks about concerns. Last night, while there were some new faces there to hear SPD’s graffiti detective (story to come), there still was PLENTY more time that could have been spent listening to and answering neighborhood questions – the meeting ended half an hour shorter than it could have run. We mention these meetings frequently; third Tuesday of the month, 7 pm. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:44 am March 20, 2013 #

  23. Yes- thank you for posting information about the Crime Prevention meetings WSB- the police know about the problems the neighborhood has been experiencing with the property on 15th and Holden- but the more people that voice their concerns and experience to the right people, the higher the priority it becomes, and the more proactive policing can be.

    Comment by cs in hp — 9:44 am March 20, 2013 #

  24. Thanks for the reminder, WSB! You’re absolutely right that citizen involvement is what gets things done. I was unfortunately wrapped up at work last night, but I do make it to these meetings whenever my schedule permits. I’d also like to start attending city level meetings to understand whether policy factors are forcing police to be less effective than they would like to be – I suspect this must be the case at some level.

    My block also has a very active block watch – another key ingredient to reducing crime in your local area.

    Comment by Darryll — 12:59 pm March 20, 2013 #

  25. That apt building is loaded with a lot of scumbags I’ve seen it first hand when I get food from Athena’s. I think the landlord should also be accountable as well that place has been a problem for years. Any crime mapping would show that place as a hotspot

    Comment by nick — 1:17 pm March 20, 2013 #

  26. I lock my car door when I have to stop at that light because of that house! bad landlord!!

    Comment by westman — 2:46 pm March 20, 2013 #

  27. Yes, the police are well aware of that property. When I was filing a report about a car prowl in front of my house, a suspicious car parked a couple houses down. The officer told me they were scouts from the crack house apartments on 15th and Holden, sent over to keep an eye on him. To his credit, he did turn and face them as he finished taking my report.

    I love Highland Park, but that intersection is sketchy. I don’t advocate a Tacoma Hilltop incident, but we have to take all the measures we can.

    Comment by Danny — 3:51 pm March 20, 2013 #

  28. Some years ago our Highland Park neighborhood had a similar problem with a rental house a block away from this one. Despite numerous calls to SPD, despite calls and visits to the property management company (which happened to be in W. Sea.), no effective action was taken. The problem ended only when the tenant could not pay rent and was evicted – and their belongings were moved to the curb. A few years ago I saw a sign for that very same property management company at this apartment at 15th & Holden. Don’t know if they are still managers of the apartments. Perhaps we could invite the owner and the property management company to attend the next Highland Park meeting.

    Comment by Rajami — 4:13 pm March 20, 2013 #

  29. I’m curious what people expect the landlord to do. (I don’t mean that to sound like a passive-aggressive defense of the landlord, I’m actually curious.) Is it as simple as evicting the tenants? Are there legal issues with trying to do that to tenants who have signed a lease?

    Is this the apartment in question? Seems like maybe the landlord doesn’t want to deal with this either, since it seems to have been for sale on and off for almost two years now.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/7701-15th-Ave-SW-98106/home/474602

    Comment by bigmark — 4:46 pm March 20, 2013 #

  30. Bad spot…drivers avoiding the red light cutting through the parking lot then heading in the alley behind the apt in the photo.
    SEMART parking lot is big magnet for folks hanging
    out looking BAD!!!
    This area is a blight in the HP neighborhood. Time to CLEAN IT UP!!!
    Also those stairs from Delridge to 14th need cleaning up including the weeds chopped short to keep things in view.

    Comment by M Flash — 5:01 pm March 20, 2013 #

  31. Wow I bet Zippy’s is glad they’re out of there!

    Comment by nemobeansmom — 5:02 pm March 20, 2013 #

  32. Rajami what is the name of property management company? Sounds like what we went through on 13th?

    Comment by Melissa — 7:43 pm March 20, 2013 #

  33. Athena’s restaurant is located right next to troubled ally (Along side seamart)
    We have been having trouble with the section 8 Apartments east of the alley since we have moved in a year ago.

    We see that are many hard working families in individuals in the great area of highland park.

    Unfortunately We have some Very Bad section 8 (Federal Housing) nieghbors across the alley from us!
    If you pay taxes you are paying their rent!

    I have witnessed a very bad situation get worse over the last few months.
    Everything from crack sales, Liquor bottle security tags litter the lot, large fist fights,gambling,threats on business and personal,broken store front windows the list continues to build.
    I fear if this is not curbed by the summer months its going to escalate to violence general badness.

    I have spoken with the police and they are trying a few avenues.

    There are ways to help!
    Email
    Kevin.McDaniel@seattle.gov (with spd)

    With ANY complaints you may have had with section 8 tenants

    Call 911 if you see any and all suspicious behavior.
    The more calls on apartments the easier it will be to evict them.

    Last but not least come down to our restaurant and hang out!! We have cheap beer on tapp (3.00 a pint) and delicious Gyros and burgers.

    We can take this corner back from the crack dealers and thugs and make this a great place to live and raise a family!!

    PS We will be having live music on April 6th from 6-8pm.

    PSS We need you’re help!!

    Comment by Athena's — 7:45 pm March 20, 2013 #

  34. The guys in the video were at the Morgan Junction Thriftway last night. Don’t know who they are, but they stand out. Shouldn’t be too hard for the police to find them.

    Comment by rob — 8:35 am March 21, 2013 #

  35. http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/7701-15th-Ave-SW-98106/home/474602

    That property is for sale. We should start a collection in the neighborhood to buy it out or something.

    I appreciate the Athena’s post. It’s great to have a nice food spot in the neighborhood, and I try to make a point to come over as much as I can. An effective way to help take control over our neighborhood is just to be out and about. Looking forward to the live music in a couple weeks,that sounds like a fantastic idea.

    Comment by Mike — 11:25 am March 21, 2013 #

  36. There are a number of things that the present owners can do.

    1. Hire a professional management company. This particular property is self managed, I believe – and the owners are likely in over their heads. Either that or they don’t care. There are plenty of reputable management companies that will manage the property correctly. Unfortunately, that means less going to the bottom line, but the owners need to realize that missing income in the short term will result in a better property and neighborhood in the long term.

    2. Start serving 10 day notices. This is the first step to eviction. I don’t know if the present owners are doing this.

    3. Asking for help from the community. If we complain directly to the owners loudly enough, change will happen. I’ve also heard talk of suing the owners in Small Claims Court, and enough of those actions would prompt the owners to change quite quickly.

    Thanks -

    Tom

    Comment by Tom — 1:20 pm March 22, 2013 #

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