West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen cars found; bike gone; prolific prowlers

We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a tale of two cars … both stolen, both found.

One tale had a happy ending: Josh‘s 1997 Accord, stolen from Westwood two weeks ago, turned up by Roosevelt Reservoir “with only a few minor scratches” over the weekend.

The other did not. It was the Escalade that Heather reported on Sunday as stolen from The Junction. She sent a followup saying it turned up in South Park Monday:

It was missing its engine, much of its interior, and its doors.

Many cars are found in decent shape because they were just used to get from Point A to Point B – but then, there are cases like this.

Other Crime Watch reports to share, starting with Jack, hoping to get his stolen bicycle back:

Sometime between Thursday, October 3 at 5:00 pm and Saturday, October 5 at 5:00 pm my bicycle was stolen from my garage. I live at California and Genesee, and the bicycle is a green 2010 Novara Randonee. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the bike, but it had a black back rack and purple handlebar tape.

James says his neighborhood near Lincoln Park is experiencing a “straight-up epidemic” of car prowls:

Thursday, our car was broken into at around 3:30 AM. Our alarm went off, but we didn’t hear it. Neighbors who did said they didn’t see anyone at the scene.

(Sat PM/Sun AM), 4 cars were entered. One neighbor has two work trucks that were entered. For me, the same car that was entered on Thursday was re-entered. The sad end of the story was our neighbor who lost his wallet with some cash and all his debit/credit cards.

Another car break-in, reported by Jeff:

My 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan was broken into at about 3:30 PM (Sunday) at the 2600 Block of SW Trenton St during my son’s baseball practice at the SWAC. Car was parked on the north side of the street across from the entrance to Westwood Village and below the softball field. Passenger rear window was broken out and all my drum hardware bag containing drum & cymbal stands and other miscellaneous items, along with two Yamaha 12″ floor monitors and my son’s diabetes supplies were stolen. Most valuable items are two small Chauvet LED mini light bars and a Shure SM57 mic and Sennheiser e606 bass drum mic. Drum hardware is really only useful if you’re a drummer so has almost zero street value. Monitors list for about $500 but these are about 7 years old so have maybe $100 value at most.

Here’s the official Seattle Police advice on car-prowl prevention.

28 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen cars found; bike gone; prolific prowlers"

  • Alki Resident October 8, 2013 (1:56 am)

    @ Heather- My truck was ransacked and destroyed by vandals a week ago. I was devastated to see what was stolen. I am so sorry to see the outcome of your vehicle. This has to make you sick. No words can describe these thugs but karma will get them. Again,Im just really sorry.

  • kas October 8, 2013 (8:15 am)

    First to Heather and Jeff – I’m so sorry for your losses – that’s awful to see what some people are capable of doing, at another’s expense.

    Second, add another car to the list of Lincoln Park neighborhood car prowls Sat pm/Sun am – although my kid made it easy by accidentally leaving door unlocked. Most valuable item taken was TI-84 graphing calculator from trunk, but glad car was not damaged.

  • Eric1 October 8, 2013 (8:49 am)

    Wow, they did quite the number on that Escalade. Pretty organized if they can strip the car like that in a day. They probably didn’t move the truck very far from where they stripped it so hopefully the police might have some good leads.
    .

  • Brenda October 8, 2013 (8:57 am)

    Dirtbags.

  • Dusky October 8, 2013 (9:13 am)

    I’m curious where James lives near Lincoln Park as I live in the same area.

    • WSB October 8, 2013 (9:16 am)

      46th/Kenyon vicinity.

  • Gary October 8, 2013 (9:21 am)

    We had a woman knock on our door last night at 8:30, wasn’t looking to sell or for signatures, and couldn’t really give us a straight story of why she was at our doorstep. It just seemed pretty suspect. Curious if anyone else in the area received the same housecall. We live in the 2600 block of 49th, just off Admiral.

  • Azimuth October 8, 2013 (9:54 am)

    Wow, that’s incredible to see the Escalade stripped like that. How incredibly violating. I hope you can recover your losses, minus a deductible of course… ugh.

  • JanS October 8, 2013 (10:46 am)

    Heather, I’m so , so sorry. I had almost the same thing happen to me a couple of years ago, although mine was an old car, a 1996 Saturn. It was amazing what they took off that car. Again, I feel for you…:(

  • tj October 8, 2013 (11:15 am)

    So can we request the West Seattle Police to start a task force JUST for auto theft? Maybe use a bait car… Have we had enough, yet?

    I’m shocked to see that Escalade in such condition – after reading it was intact just days ago. I’ve been a victim of theft, and it’s such a violating feeling – I’m empathetic and sympathetic to all of the victims.

  • Diane October 8, 2013 (11:22 am)

    wow; thanks for visuals; we often hear about cars stolen/stripped, but rarely see what it really looks like; pretty shocking; huge bummer

  • WS Family October 8, 2013 (12:14 pm)

    My daily commute takes me past the site of the Escalade stripping, always see newly stripped vehicles left there, how about more policing — or a cam set up in the business lot on the other side of the barbed wire fence?

  • AG October 8, 2013 (12:31 pm)

    We had a Honda Accord stolen a few years back. Sadly, we only had accident insurance on it because we only paid $800 for it from a family member, though it was worth $3k. We didn’t think about getting it back damaged and having to repair it in order to sell.
    .
    When it was returned a week later, it had been used as a mobile “office” by a prostitute, extensive amounts of meth were smoked in it, and there were needles everywhere. The police advised against driving it the 3 blocks home due to the strong meth fumes that could be smelled from 10 feet away. We had to tow it to a dealer and take a whopping $300 for it, as the interior was a 100% loss.
    .
    Bottom line, even if your car isn’t worth much, get theft insurance. If it’s returned with extensive damage, you’ll be very happy you had coverage.

  • K October 8, 2013 (1:54 pm)

    And…here is another one… when I got into my car to drive today (in the rain) I found that someone had stolen the windshield wipers off of my car overnight!!! Lovely.

  • East Coast Cynic October 8, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    Re: Auto Theft Task Force

    Excellent idea tj.

    Bait cars would be great. Seems like there are enough cops zooming around in police cruisers that they could spare a few officers w/ nice car bait to trap thieves.

  • HelperMonkey October 8, 2013 (3:56 pm)

    K, that same thing happened to me here in WS back in 1996 and oddly enough I was just talking about it yesterday. Terrible thing to steal because it’s kind of necessary here…

  • wetone October 8, 2013 (4:06 pm)

    A lot of times when a car is stripped like that Escalade the thieves go to the insurance company auctions buy it for nothing then put it back together or they have a body (wrecked) waiting for the parts they stripped off.

  • metrognome October 8, 2013 (4:10 pm)

    I know SPD has a map showing where cars are stolen; wonder if they have a similar map showing where they’re found. I’d bet they would see patterns that would be useful.

  • Wendell October 8, 2013 (6:43 pm)

    And it looks like they had no use for the OEM rims.

  • pam October 8, 2013 (6:57 pm)

    Gary – she was on 3000 block of Garlough also. When dog started barking she was down the stairs and on front walk before I could get to door. She was friendly and then started mumbling about selling something or other – she had nothing but a purse with her and no id visible.

  • KD October 8, 2013 (7:57 pm)

    Fingerprints on Escalade found??

  • Guy October 8, 2013 (8:58 pm)

    @KD-

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t checked for fingerprints. I’m the LO of the Escalade and was permitted access to the vehicle in the tow yard without supervision (upon showing ID) to pick up what the thieves didn’t take. And I talked to someone in the SPD Auto Theft Dept. today and she told me there isn’t a “Police Hold” on the vehicle so there was no reason our insurance company couldn’t take it to its own yard today. No, she wasn’t a police officer, and no, we haven’t been contacted by a detective.

  • BP October 8, 2013 (10:38 pm)

    It is so depressing how little effort it feels like the police put into these cases. I realize there are violent crimes that take priority, but theft like this fuels the other ones with quick cash. Also it is a quality of life issue for the rest of us. Take prints, set up stings, get some high profile arrests out there to at least make this not seem like such a non-event… This can’t be helping our insurance rates either.
    The only other thing that strikes me is that in so many of the car prowl cases, people are still leaving valuables in their cars. I literally don’t even leave change in mine.

  • T October 9, 2013 (5:51 am)

    I’m sorry, but if you are silly enough to leave valuables out in plain sight, they will get stolen. People need to be smarter about locking their car doors, hiding valuables in a trunk, and taking them out altogether. Your car is NOT safe from burglary. We don’t live in a vacuum anymore. Be smart, not stupid.

  • wetone October 9, 2013 (5:36 pm)

    Finger prints are rarely taken these days for things like car theft, home burglaries (except high profile cases) as the jails would be full since most the people doing these crimes are on file. Washington state doesn’t want to spend the money to prosecute these type of cases due to cost they would have to endure. It’s a great system we have, very easy here for criminals and they know it.

  • BP October 9, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    Now I’m even more depressed :/

  • Kb October 10, 2013 (11:34 am)

    Heather wow. What does one do with a situation like this? Last Friday somtime between 10p.m.-7 a.m. my car and truck were broken into at the 4700 block east of Delridge. They took a battery pack heavy duty car charger jumper cables and. a ipod cord and sunglasses. Inlearned the neighbo had his motorcycle stolen the same night.This must be a ring look how many cars have been hit how could it not be?

  • Mary October 24, 2013 (8:09 am)

    I contacted WSB 2 days ago & advised I had my Nissan truck stolen from parking spot on alley behind 56th Ave Sw, 2 blocks from Alki. My story was posted and 2 of you great people took the time to post the fact that you noticed a truck like mine parked E. of Lincoln Park & it had been there for the same amount of time my truck had been missing. I got SO excited, checked the maps and took my loaner car right over there…FOUND IT!!! Some damage done, for sure. Ignition won’t work, broken windows, more. Stolen personal items-not as bad as I’d thought though. I would like to thank “Sharon” and “kas” personally for taking the time: I don’t have much money-not really looking forward to taking the bus as I didn’t think I could afford to replace my truck. Thanks to you both, I think my insurance will at least get it drivable again. If either of you would like to make a new friend, I’d be glad to take you to dinner or buy you coffee or drinks anywhere you want in W.Seattle! If you don’t want to meet me, then I’d be happy to buy you both gift certificates somewhere! Thank you both! You are terrific!–Mary.

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