Update: Suspects in Arbor Heights robbery linked to others, police say

August 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm | In Arbor Heights, Crime, West Seattle news | 52 Comments

11:43 PM: Thanks to everyone who’s sent tips/questions about police activity in north Arbor Heights, near 35th/Roxbury. Police have detained three people; we’re working to find out what for.

12:10 AM: Our crew at the scene has learned so far that this is a robbery investigation. The original scene is apparently near 35th/104th; closer to Roxbury, police were searching a car. No details beyond that.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: The car (in our photo above) was impounded to be searched for evidence; one item recovered, per scanner traffic, was a purse belonging to a victim. Commenter “Neighbor” confirms this was a street robbery; we expect to get more details from police later this morning and will ask if there’s any suspicion it’s related to the holdup about 24 hours earlier in Admiral (reported here, with backstory on other recent cases).

10:15 AM UPDATE: Police say the suspects were responsible for three robberies/assaults last night – and are believed to be linked to other cases. From SPD Blotter:

Three men are now in custody following a series of robberies that stretched from Holly Park to Fauntleroy to Arbor Heights last night in a span of about 90 minutes.
The first robbery occurred at a bus stop at Beacon Avenue South and South Holly Street just after 10:00 pm. A woman was waiting for a bus when she was approached by a suspect armed with a black semi-automatic pistol. The suspect had a bandana covering his face, and demanded the victim’s cell phone. The victim handed over the phone and the suspect pushed her to the ground before he fled the area on foot. A witnesses driving by stopped to assist the victim and called 911. Officers conducted a search, including with a K9, but the suspect was not located. The victim had a few bruises on her elbow and hand, but did not require any medical attention.
Later, at about 11:10 pm, officers from the Southwest Precinct responded to a report of an assault with a weapon at Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Wildwood Place, just south of the Fauntleroy ferry dock. The adult male victim told officers he was walking to catch a ferry when he was confronted by an unknown male suspect. The suspect said something to the victim and then struck him on top on the head with the butt of a gun. The suspect then ran off without taking anything from the victim. Officers contacted the victim. He declined any medical treatment and left to board his boat. The suspect was not located.
About twenty minutes after that, 11:30 pm, officers from Southwest responded to the Arbor Heights neighborhood for a report of an armed robbery. A woman was walking in the 10400 Block of 35th Avenue SW when a suspect wearing a white hooded sweatshirt approached her from behind, grabbing her purse from her shoulder, yelling at her “Give it to me! Give it to me!” He then pointed something at her forehead, which the victim believed was a gun. The victim screamed for help and the suspect ran off east on 104th. Moments later, the victim and a neighbor saw a car drive by them with the suspect inside. Arriving officers made a high risk vehicle stop at SW 98th Street and 35th Avenue SW and took three males into custody.
Officers observed a woman’s purse inside the car, along with a blue bandana and several cell phones. A black handgun was observed under the front passenger’s seat. The suspect car was photographed and then towed to the processing room awaiting a search warrant.

The victim positively identified the suspect wearing the white hooded sweatshirt as the suspect who had robbed her minutes earlier and positively identified her purse in the car.

Detectives from the Robbery Unit responded to the scene and will be responsible for the follow up investigation. It is very possible that this trio of suspects are responsible for a number of armed street robberies that have occurred in various neighborhoods citywide this summer.

Detectives spent most of the night interviewing the suspects.

The suspects, ages 19, 21 and 22, will be booked into the King County Jail following their interviews with detectives.

52 Comments

  1. Thanks SPD!! Your response time was incredible! Poor woman walking down 35th was robbed (possible gun point) outside our house. The suspect jumped in a car with 2 I others and sped away but not before giving 4 of us plenty to ID them!! They were all arrested. I hope that poor woman is ok!

    Comment by Neighbor — 12:48 am August 22, 2013 #

  2. Thanks, Neighbor. At this point I’m not going to get official details until later in the morning but scanner traffic was starting to piece together in that manner – there was reference to a victim’s purse that was found in the car that police stopped.

    Comment by WSB — 1:06 am August 22, 2013 #

  3. Was the vehicle a Corolla? I overheard the lady yelling so I stood up to look and saw a Corolla going at least 45 mph heading west blowing thru the stop sign on 35th.

    Comment by Other neighbor on 104th — 3:44 am August 22, 2013 #

  4. YES, YES, YES!!!! Caught those POS!

    Comment by Eric — 4:38 am August 22, 2013 #

  5. P.S. Way to go neighbor and company!!

    Comment by Eric — 5:15 am August 22, 2013 #

  6. @Neighbor- Way to go getting involved and helping catch these guys. If everyone got involved like this I think we’d see less crime and more arrests. Im sure that lady was too shaken up to even try and get a description. I wish you were my neighbor.Thank you for being there.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 5:20 am August 22, 2013 #

  7. Good job West Seattlites & SPD!!!

    Comment by Sean — 6:29 am August 22, 2013 #

  8. We have such wonderful neighbors in Arbor Heights! Way to go! So happy to see a story end this way.

    Comment by ws born & bred — 6:40 am August 22, 2013 #

  9. Good work, Neighbor- this is a great example of why we can’t be afraid, and we should be outside when we want/need to be, and aware if what’s going on around us.
    There’s sometimes a fear of getting involved- but this shows that we need to help each other out.

    Comment by NativetoSeattle — 6:54 am August 22, 2013 #

  10. Is this going to be something I wake up to daily to read about? I wonder if these are all connected?

    Comment by Bonnie — 7:44 am August 22, 2013 #

  11. These street robberies seem to be on the rise. My concern is for the students who will be out and about more very soon with school starting. I’ve had to remind my own kids many times not to take their electronics out in public, among other safety issues while out walking. But it seems that these street robbers will take whatever they will get.

    Hope we can get this new batch of officers out on the beat quickly!

    Comment by justme — 7:51 am August 22, 2013 #

  12. Hopefully, the robbers will get something besides a slap on the wrists. I’m not going to hold my breath, however.

    Comment by phil dirt — 8:14 am August 22, 2013 #

  13. Released in 3… 2… 1.

    Comment by DTK — 8:20 am August 22, 2013 #

  14. Bonnie, we asked police that, and are awaiting a promised update, which we’ll add as soon as it’s in. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:26 am August 22, 2013 #

  15. …I see tee-shirts and bumper stickers in the very near future;

    “Don’t Mess With Seattle West!”

    Comment by Vanessa — 8:42 am August 22, 2013 #

  16. Will suspects be ID’d?

    Comment by John Q Lincoln — 9:17 am August 22, 2013 #

  17. If they are charged, yes. I don’t have their names right now, though, nor do I know if any of them was booked into jail. Still awaiting the promised SPD update.

    Comment by WSB — 9:35 am August 22, 2013 #

  18. This ended right by our street. It’s unsettling to know how brazen these criminals are getting, but at least I know we’ve got some heroic neighbors who won’t stand for this!

    Comment by Ben — 10:02 am August 22, 2013 #

  19. would be interested to see a full timeline of events if possible. pretty crazy they caught them just a few blocks from where the incident took place. was that because the police got there so fast, or because the bad guys were dumb?

    Comment by rob — 10:02 am August 22, 2013 #

  20. If the person robbed has the first name of Marion, I just stumbled upon some of your personal property discarded on the street. I called police to let them know, just in case it was related to this crime.

    Comment by anonyme — 10:13 am August 22, 2013 #

  21. Sounds like assault with a deadly weapon. . . Put these scumbags away!

    Comment by Arborheights1 — 10:22 am August 22, 2013 #

  22. SPD you’re awesome.

    Come on Mayor and City Council of Seattle put gangs, illegal guns’ cleanup at the forefront of your agenda!

    Comment by Seattlite — 10:38 am August 22, 2013 #

  23. I heard a car speeding very fast up California hill past Fauntleroy intersection, going south. I know it was flying by, hopefully it was a cop, could have been the suspects though. Shortly after heard sirens. That car was going really fast.

    Comment by jeannine — 11:27 am August 22, 2013 #

  24. How scary this happened within 3 houses from us. Good job fellow Arbor Heights neighbor, glad to know someone like you lives just down the street. Yes, for the most part we do have wonderful neighbors here in Arbor Heights.

    Comment by Lisa — 11:47 am August 22, 2013 #

  25. Holy smokes. Glad they caught these little sh*ts. good work id’ing them @Neighbor!

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 11:51 am August 22, 2013 #

  26. Wow, this was right behind my house. Glad the SPD caught them, sad to keep reading these stories in our area. Way to go neighbors!

    Comment by teah — 12:04 pm August 22, 2013 #

  27. These useless scumbags were “tough” and “gangster” enough to push a defenseless woman to the ground, assault unarmed victims with a deadly weapon, and steal from them. But apparently when Seattle PD came down on them hot and heavy these little wimps weren’t “thug” or “G” enough to pull their guns and act like the big bad G’s they thought they were then. Seattle PD would have had cause to immediately eradicate these vermin (however there’s always the risk that a cop or an innocent may be harmed in that situation and that’s unacceptable). Hopefully these little “tough” guys will have an “eye-opening” stay in the system (which should be feasible since there was assault w/ a deadly weapon involved) and a long one at that. Good work Seattle PD.

    Comment by TimeToStopThisBS — 12:21 pm August 22, 2013 #

  28. Good work getting some of the scum off the streets. They are not going to magically rehabilitate themselves – they have a lifetime of crime ahead of them, I’ll bet. I hope they are locked up for at least a little while.

    Comment by amalia — 12:24 pm August 22, 2013 #

  29. Curious if the suspects were from West Seattle or if they came here to assault people?

    Comment by Bonnie — 12:48 pm August 22, 2013 #

  30. My son and I witness a man with a blue bandana running away from the ferry down wildwood last night at approx 11:15. Is this relevant now that they have caught them?

    Comment by LFauntleroy — 12:57 pm August 22, 2013 #

  31. Nice work reporting and by the SPD.

    Comment by dsa — 1:22 pm August 22, 2013 #

  32. LFauntleroy – having seen what police had to go through to compile evidence in the case of Donald Plute (truck theft, ramming, etc.), I would imagine they would be happy to hear from more witnesses.

    Comment by WSB — 1:29 pm August 22, 2013 #

  33. The pile of belongings I discovered on 102nd this morning and reported to police contained several purple bandanas. Didn’t realize the significance of that until WSB posted the update. I keep reading “blue” bandanas; is it possible they looked blue under different light conditions? They were definitely purple. From what I understand, this is gang attire.

    Of course, it was our OWN Southwest Precinct cops who made the speedy arrest. Way to go, SW SPD!

    Comment by anonyme — 1:38 pm August 22, 2013 #

  34. Anonyme – could be. Don’t know about the gang attire aspect – police always caution that there is a much wider perception of what’s “gang” (graffiti, clothing) than what actually is – but there was a gang unit detective on scene, fwiw (they do assist in other investigations, though).
    .
    As for whether they are West Seattleites – I’ll be looking up their background next and if anything is found, we’ll have a separate story. They won’t be getting a bail hearing until tomorrow because they weren’t booked until this morning, and the bail hearing is followed by the release of “superform” information that usually includes addresses.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:46 pm August 22, 2013 #

  35. Armed Robbery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon. I’m hoping the mandatory sentence is 10 years.

    Comment by Bob — 2:18 pm August 22, 2013 #

  36. So so happy they got caught and arrested, hopefully they will be locked up for a long time. 19, 20, 21 shouldn’t they just be finishing High School and getting a job. What a buch of low life’s too lazy to earn their own money so they hide behind bandanas and guns and rob the hard working!! ugh disgusting creeps!

    Comment by Silly Goose — 2:23 pm August 22, 2013 #

  37. This is how it’s supposed to work: People willing to step up, get involved and help, which then helps the cops perform at their best. Win-win. Now I pray the courts do their part and drop the hammer on these brutal thugs.

    Comment by pjmanley — 2:24 pm August 22, 2013 #

  38. Wonderful. SPD good work, WSB wonderful coverage. I wish these miscreants many, many years in prison with possible reform in their future. These criminals won’t be terrorizing anyone in the general public for years to come.

    Comment by Spec Ops — 2:30 pm August 22, 2013 #

  39. Saturday night I was returning from the Roxbury Safeway when i noticed 6-8 young males hanging around the bleachers in the baseball park across the street. They would have gone unnoticed if it weren’t for the fact that they were all wearing red. Some even had red bandannas around their neck like a damn stagecoach thief!
    It was the action of one of the ” men” that caught my attention. He placed
    something black in the front of his pants quickley as I drove past. The other
    “men” seemed concerned that I had driven by at that time.
    I pulled over and called the police and reported everything i had seen. The lady on the phone made it out to sound like I was overreacting. But assured me that there would be a patrol car on the way.
    I wanted to see the outcome so I drove down the street and waited for them to show up.

    Waited for 20 minutes… They never showed.

    Later I see these same group of ” men” wandering the streets
    Can’t help but think they were the same involved in the robberies or had done their own.

    We can no longer rely on those paid to serve and protect us.
    Arm yourself. Now.

    Comment by Some guy — 2:40 pm August 22, 2013 #

  40. Ugh. Glad they were caught. The little POS who robbed me on 106th and 32nd at knifepoint in January of 2012 is now getting a nice little vacation in Aberdeen (Stafford Creek Prison.) Maybe these guys will join him.

    Comment by daPuffin — 2:48 pm August 22, 2013 #

  41. Soooo not looking forward to bus cuts and walking in the dark this winter. :(

    Comment by daPuffin — 2:50 pm August 22, 2013 #

  42. This was right in front of my house when I was trying to go home. I had to wait an hour before I could get home and they wouldn’t tell me the details of what’s happening right in front of my own home.

    Comment by Jordan — 2:52 pm August 22, 2013 #

  43. @stopthisBS– haha… lol. Yeah! “Eye opening”… again lol scums! Maybe “eye closing” is more what they will encounter. I have heard that people who hurt women and/or children have to or learn to keep their eyes closed in certain circumstances :) Sometimes bad people learn what it’s like to have to close your eyes because of fear or other flying things.
    Just what I saw on TV.
    Jerks!

    Comment by K — 4:11 pm August 22, 2013 #

  44. Some guy, there seems to be quite a disconnect between the police and 911, though maybe it is intentional. When the police are talking to us hysterics during their neighborhood watch outings, they say call 911 for anything remotely suspicious. When you call for something legitimately suspicious, the 911 operator will make you feel like an a-hole for wasting their time. This could be by design to shut us under control during the meetings. I learned a long time ago to only call 911 when someone is hurt or about to get hurt.

    Comment by CandrewB — 5:17 pm August 22, 2013 #

  45. CaB, they also have said again and again and again, though the 911 operators come off as brusque, that’s their job. (Paraphrasing wildly) – while the calltakers need to get information out of you fast and need to figure out what’s going on, they are simultaneously communicating to the actual radio dispatchers who in turn are talking to the officers. I’ll add the link to our most recent writeup of the “how 911 works.”

    Comment by WSB — 5:35 pm August 22, 2013 #

  46. Speaking of 911, has anyone else gotten the customer service style message along the lines of, “Your call is important to us but all our representatives are helping other callers who may or may not be facing a life-threatening emergency”? Luckily, when I got 911 voicemail I was just calling to report that a drunk driver had plowed into a line of cars in front of my house and was trying to flee the scene. The police showed up within minutes, so I didn’t think that much about it until later. It would have been pretty scary had I been calling about an intruder breaking into my house at 3 a.m.

    Comment by Ajax — 5:55 pm August 22, 2013 #

  47. At least they are adults and might get punished a bit. Hopefully they will take into account a firearms enhancement and the likelihood of a legal weapon is small so bail in the $100,000+ range would be nice. I can only hope they keep them until they can tie a few more robberies to these guys and hand down a prison term that will insure they are old when they get out (I play lotto too, but likewise, I haven’t won that either).

    Comment by Eric1 — 8:26 pm August 22, 2013 #

  48. So proud of my husband! He is so brave for running out and helping that woman and taking over her hysterical 911 call. The cops WERE that fast but his quick action made a huge difference and to think it ended a night of terror…..in awe of his bravery! God knows what they would’ve done next. They parked down of 104th and then one robbed her and ran back to the car. Stupidly they drove back past them to get away. They did the loop to get back to 35th and came out straight in front of the PD who were rushing up to 35th! BUSTED

    Comment by Neighbor — 9:01 pm August 22, 2013 #

  49. So happy these thugs wee apprehended. Since I feel that my car coming round the corner may be the reason that man walking to the ferry was not forced to hand over his belongs. As we passed the guy running towards the white corolla with a bandana over his face we then quickly passed another man running in the opposite direction towards the ferry. We would have stopped but he was almost to the ferry dock. I am so relieved that no one was hurt. I would never be able to forgive myself for not calling 911 immediately. Now that I know the whole story my call could have prevented the robbery in arbor heights. Since the SPD were so close and already aware of robbery reports I guess my call would have had quick response. Lesson learned. Just so relieved that no one was hurt. Next time I see a man running down the street at 11:15 at night, with a bandana on I will not worry about profiling. I will call 911.

    Comment by Lfauntleroy — 11:01 pm August 22, 2013 #

  50. That’s one way how criminals get away. Neighbors/people worried about if they’re profiling or over reacting to what they see, so they don’t call the police.

    Years back, I got in my car to go to work. As it was warming up, an old beater white Volvo pulled up behind me with 3 people in it. They just sat there. Finally, a woman got out and walked by my car and down the street, I think to try and distract me. She obviously had a drug problem. Meth would be my guess, due to her unable to control her motor skills very well.

    I should have called 911. Instead, I called my across the street neighbor and told him about what I was seeing and to keep an eye on the car, as I had to get to work.

    I went two blocks, grabbed a coffee from the mini-mart, came back and noticed my neighbor who I called, car was gone. I called back and he said the Volvo left. I told him his car was gone too! Apparently, while he was looking out the window on one side of his house at the Volvo, the girl got into his car and stole his car.

    I ended up running around the neighborhood looking for it, while he called the police. I vowed never again to hesitate to call the police if I saw something suspicious in my neighborhood.

    And Someguy, good for you for calling the police about what you saw. Let’s not forget that not too long ago in that area, as reported here, supposed gang members were beaten by a group of Samoans wearing all red.

    Comment by Eric — 5:26 am August 23, 2013 #

  51. Do not always like SPD, but thanks for your quick response. These thugs will not take the Arbor Heights neighborhood!

    Comment by T — 6:41 am August 23, 2013 #

  52. The fact they used a gun takes things to a whole other level, increases the minimum sentence by quite a bit, won’t be a slap on the wrist

    Comment by West seattleite — 8:33 am August 23, 2013 #

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