West Seattle Crime Watch: Arbor Heights search, arrest

September 2, 2013 at 11:12 am | In Arbor Heights, Crime, West Seattle news | 30 Comments

11:12 AM: In case you’re wondering about the police presence in Arbor Heights – officers responded to what apparently was a call about prowlers, and have been trying to track down multiple suspects. Per the scanner, it sounds as if at least one possible suspect is in custody. We don’t know if there was an actual break-in, but have a crew in the area trying to find out more.

11:26 AM UPDATE: Police tell us neighbors called in the report of suspected prowlers spotted in an alley and yards (added: in the 35th/105th area). At least one person is being taken in for questioning. Scanner traffic also indicates police are looking for a car that is believed to be related to the case, described as a silver Impala with chrome wheels.

2:34 PM UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Pierre Davis confirms that the suspect was booked into jail – and lauds the “great work by neighbors.”

30 Comments

  1. Which part of AH?

    Comment by Eugene — 11:37 am September 2, 2013 #

  2. Any idea where In Arbor heights? Thanks!

    Comment by ACG — 11:40 am September 2, 2013 #

  3. Reportedly first spotted in 35th/105th area. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:44 am September 2, 2013 #

  4. Was talking to a neighbor when police descended on the area near 39th & 104th. Moments before, my neighbor had commented on how odd it was that this guy who walked past us had parked over on 39th, then walked around the block. Definitely not a resident. We then heard descriptions of suspects from another neighbor. As I headed home up 102nd, I saw one of the suspects skirting the house at the corner of 37th & 102nd, heading east. Called it in, cops were there in one minute. Don’t think they found the guy.

    This is really creepy. WTH is going on with Arbor Heights lately? An armed robbery a week ago, a lunatic with a crossbow at Westwood Village, now this. At least everyone is on their toes, but I’d rather not have to be quite so vigilant.

    Comment by anonyme — 11:54 am September 2, 2013 #

  5. Too close to home for me!

    Comment by Buddsmom — 12:40 pm September 2, 2013 #

  6. Gold late model Honda accord has been casing our house in the 5400 block of 31st. Keeps parking in front early morning and once at night. Called police at 5:20 this am when they were here for 3rd time. We have it on camera but no actual crime has been committed

    Comment by Moe76 — 2:02 pm September 2, 2013 #

  7. I don’t understand why I have to come to wsblog to find this kind of stuff out. Been out in the front yard all morning, have had at least 5 really slow drivebys by police. They are going really slow and obviously looking for someone/something, why don’t they ask the residents if they’ve seen who/what they are looking for? Yeah I get they are busy, but with how slow they are cruising through, tough to see how a quick “have you seen anyone who doesn’t belong?” would really eat into their time.

    Comment by rob — 2:39 pm September 2, 2013 #

  8. Anonyme it’s safer now because of vigilant citizens like yourself remember there is a lot more good guys than bad guys just a reminder :)

    Comment by Andrew James Schnereger — 2:48 pm September 2, 2013 #

  9. Just got home from work…bummer, they got into my place:o( 105th/35th

    Comment by Vmill — 3:21 pm September 2, 2013 #

  10. Too bad criminals don’t take the day off also

    Comment by Monosyllabic girl — 3:52 pm September 2, 2013 #

  11. Vmill, I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope they didn’t do any damage, or get away with anything important to you. The criminals seem bolder on holidays. Let’s get the word out that it’s a bad idea to mess with Arbor Heights…

    Comment by enid — 4:19 pm September 2, 2013 #

  12. Was the other guy ever caught?

    Comment by Darren — 4:27 pm September 2, 2013 #

  13. the cops should post a picture of the guy they picked up. Because I’m sure hes out by now and we should know who to look out for.

    Comment by Boy — 4:41 pm September 2, 2013 #

  14. Boy, I don’t have a name, let alone a photo. And no incident number, since the map/tweets have been down all weekend. Will be checking tomorrow, though, in hopes of tracking the case. Darren – I only have word of one arrest. The scanner chatter suggested the car we mentioned might have been the lookout or getaway car, so perhaps the other person caught up with it while the one arrested remained on the run. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:51 pm September 2, 2013 #

  15. Take back your neighborhood through vigilance and communication with neighbors. In our neighborhood we are hyper-vigilant of cars or people walking that seem to be casing homes. The last break-in in our immediate area was about 4 years ago — knock on wood. Yes there are more good than bad people but the bad people are crafty which means the good people need to be smarter and craftier in identifying the bad people and calling the non-emergency SPD number or 911 as needed.

    Comment by Seattlite — 4:58 pm September 2, 2013 #

  16. Buddsmom, you KNOW it’s way too close for me. :(

    Comment by DaPuffin — 5:44 pm September 2, 2013 #

  17. Vmill, I’m so sorry. We were burglarized yesterday, Sunday, at 3pm. I hope they caught em and it’s the same guys. We’re at 31st & Cloverdale.

    I’m angry because it took ADT 3 – yes, THREE – hours to convince the dispatcher to actually dispatch the call. Our alarm was going off, clearly not a false as it was triggered in two locations, and they couldn’t get in touch with us. We could have been inside, injured, and dispatch refused to send anyone out. Once we got the messages from ADT at 6pm, we called a neighbor who checked it out, saw the point of entry and called 911 while we were en route home. Only then did it finally get passed to the officers.

    ADT did their job and SPD was FANTASTIC – the officers could not have been better – cleared the house 2 by 2 with guns drawn because the door was unlocked. They did everything perfectly and got fingerprints, and we have serial numbers and whatnot so if they’re caught it’s a slam dunk.

    Yet, as has happened 3 of the 4 times I’ve had a true emergency, dispatch had to be convinced to actually DISPATCH over multiple calls and multiple hours. How do we solve this? It’s not like it’s uncommon. We can’t get our fantastic local officers to help us if 911 is broken. I have a close friend who is retired 911 dispatcher and she tells me the lack of hearing from us should have pushed the call up the chain, not down.

    Sorry for the rant but I’m truly stumped. I want to help. I want to solve this, as do my neighbors. How can we fix this? How do we un-break the dispatch system? Anyone?

    Comment by AG — 5:53 pm September 2, 2013 #

  18. We had an alarm go off recently. We could not get to the house fast enough and agreed to have the police dispatched. We were sure we were being robbed & got back as fast as we could. It turned out an inner door had not been properly closed & wind blew it open. The alarm company received a bill from the police department, which was then forwarded to us for payment as a “false call.” We appreciate all the police do & the fact that they did come out and check though we missed them. It is possible false calls deter quick responses to real calls as they do not know for sure if real or false & often calls are cancelled as found to be false call. We, of course, are being much more diligent in making sure doors are properly closed.

    Comment by B — 7:36 pm September 2, 2013 #

  19. I hadn’t heard the alarm issue discussed in a long time, until this thread. So I looked this up. In case anyone else is interested … it explains the fees, the response philosophy, etc.:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/police/programs/alarms/

    Comment by WSB — 8:16 pm September 2, 2013 #

  20. Absolutely – we have very large cats who occasionally set off the motion sensor, and the alarm company has been coached by us that if the motion goes off once an resets, let it be. But in this case, two separate zones were tripped and continued to trip with no reset, meaning they were still inside for some amount of time to keep the motion sensor tripping. So ADT was positive it was the real thing, as were we. It’s the total breakdown of the dispatcher hearing “this alarm is continuing to go off and we can’t get ahold of the homeowners” and the dispatcher very clearly refused to send anyone. That’s what troubles me. The SPD are doing a great job in our neighborhood and really ADT also did the right thing by keeping attempting to dispatch. But the 911 op was an absolute impasse. It’s frustrating because they could have caught them in the act and perhaps the person above wouldn’t have been burglarized today.

    I simply don’t know the solution, but I want to be part of it. If you have bright ideas please feel free to contact me at quadgrande@gmail.

    Comment by AG — 8:18 pm September 2, 2013 #

  21. Good to hear that at least one of them was caught. It is very disappointing to hear that 911 operators won’t respond. If there is a monetary fine for false alarms it is in the best interest of the owner/alarm company to not have false alarms so why not send an officer. Since most of these guys are career criminals, if you stop one, you probably stopped 20.
    .
    I hope it never comes down again to a big case like Josh Powell to get a repremand to obviously bad operators. I can see some hesitancy but at least let the officer decide if he has the time to check out an alarm. It isn’t as if an officer would drop everyting to respond to an alarm.

    Comment by Eric1 — 12:01 am September 3, 2013 #

  22. @AG we have ADT here at house also, and had a similar incident and were paid 500$ because of there mistake…it obviously didn’t cover the damage but it was lil something.

    Comment by CJ — 11:18 am September 3, 2013 #

  23. I see on the jail register that Donald Maxwell Plute wanted on a $250,000 warrant was booked at 2:21 yesterday afternoon. He was the guy that stole a truck rammed two cars including a Seattle PD car awhile back. Wonder if he was the guy arrested in AH yesterday, sounds like what he does.

    Comment by tophat topcat — 2:10 pm September 3, 2013 #

  24. CJ – THANK YOU. This is good to know. The failure to dispatch is the scariest part for me. Had we been inside, harmed in the burglary, nobody would have gotten to us for hours and hours, if not days. That frankly scares the duck-poop out of me. I still don’t know whether it was ADT failing to make it clear that there’s no way this was a false alarm, or whether it was 911 apathy, but regardless it went sideways and they could have been caught red-handed had it NOT gone sideways. I’d love to hear more about how your refund happened – if there’s something I should know or someone I should follow up with, will you email me at quadgrande at gmail?
    .
    I’m just so freakin’ glad that we were not home and it all wasn’t worse. But there is still a major PITA factor of it all, expense, and most importantly the lack of feeling like there’s the security backup for which we’ve paid.
    .
    For anyone who cares about security systems, I’m looking into AT&T’s security services. They include remote-view cameras, remote backup, fire alarm, CO2, remote thermostat control, water leak monitors, full-on smart house action, etc etc etc in their package which is actually a lower monthly payment than ADT. Yes, the outlay is higher for equipment, but it’s cheaper than our deductible… It may be time to fire ADT.

    Comment by AG — 2:56 pm September 3, 2013 #

  25. Thanks for the note, TT – I have been checking the jail register every day for Plute but haven’t checked since yesterday morning. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find out but he does not match the partial description I heard during the search. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:23 pm September 3, 2013 #

  26. I saw the Arbor Heights suspect. It was not Plute.

    Comment by anonyme — 3:48 pm September 3, 2013 #

  27. Thanks. Looking at the jail register, the other charge for him, besides the warrant on the pre-existing case, is reckless driving – I am working to find out what that’s about; he might have had a bail hearing today since he was booked yesterday. Will write a separate update as soon as I have a few more details. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:05 pm September 3, 2013 #

  28. Thanks TR. I have been waiting for Plute to get arrested and this makes my day! After having a bike stolen in our complex and witnessed him leaving with it he was busted for that and out in a few days. Then having 5 cars broken into and numerous residents seeing him on the property we have all been watching for him. Feel much better knowing Mr. Plute and the other thief in AH are behind bars for now.

    Comment by tophat topcat — 4:55 pm September 3, 2013 #

  29. Thank you Anonyme for listening to your gut and being proactive and calling the police. You are good people.

    Comment by Lisa — 8:39 pm September 3, 2013 #

  30. per the link given by WSB above to seattle.gov & the SPD’s policy, an “alarm signal” is “not considered a valid alarm” – they require physical evidence. I find this unbelievable, but it explains why some months ago I discovered a voicemail from ADT (after I’d been at the gym, where my cellphone was in my locker) about an alarm going off. I returned home (several hours after the alarm event) sure that I’d find a notice from the SPD saying they’d been there, but nobody had been dispatched. What good is an alarm system then? The criminals probably know this policy & that they have plenty of time to take whatever they want.

    Comment by Katrina — 2:45 pm September 4, 2013 #

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