West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery at Westwood Rite-Aid; 30th SW search

5:25 PM: Police are converging on Westwood Village after a report that the Rite-Aid store was held up by a robber who said he had a gun. The only description mentioned in radio communications so far – “Asian male.” While he gave a worker a note that said he had a gun, no gun was seen.

5:40 PM: No updates on that case yet – our crew at Westwood says officers are searching the area as well as talking to workers in the store. **Meantime** – If you are seeing/hearing the Guardian One helicopter in the area – they also are helping with the investigation of another incident not far away, a break-in reported in the 8800 block of 30th SW (map), reported within this past hour, with the resident coming home to discover a break-in and suspecting the burglar(s) might still have been in the house.

5:56 PM: Back to the Rite-Aid robbery – our crew has just talked to police on scene. They will say only that “merchandise” was taken; they do have a more detailed description of the robber – Asian, male, 20s, 5’4″ to 5’6″, wearing a black jacket. Police are continuing to search neighborhoods in the area. To be clear, we have not heard ANY suggestion that these two cases are related – just happened that they were in the same area, and with the helicopter over here, albeit briefly, we needed to mention the burglary too.

9:23 PM: The SPD Blotter post about the holdup contains one new bit of information – confirming the “merchandise” was drugs, stolen from the pharmacy.

43 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery at Westwood Rite-Aid; 30th SW search"

  • wsn00b December 19, 2013 (5:27 pm)

    Here we go again.

  • AmandaKH December 19, 2013 (5:40 pm)

    Helicopter hovering…

  • westwood mom December 19, 2013 (5:42 pm)

    Hence the helicopters down low over Westwood, I am gathering.

    • WSB December 19, 2013 (5:44 pm)

      Actually I just added to the story. The helicopter originally came over to help look for a burglar in the 8800 block of 30th SW and now might be helping with the robbery search – TR

  • AG December 19, 2013 (5:46 pm)

    UGH, that’s my Rite Aid. Hope everyone is ok.

    • WSB December 19, 2013 (5:48 pm)

      Patrick had to go look at the other scene briefly but said the store is still open – no sign of injury etc. – sounds like it was a pharmacy holdup but we’re hoping to talk to a supervisor at the scene (he’s headed back there to find out more) – TR

  • smokeycretin9 December 19, 2013 (5:49 pm)

    Good thing there is a bunch of buses there for a robber to jump onto.

    • WSB December 19, 2013 (5:52 pm)

      Latest radio exchange suggests possible getaway car, not bus, FWIW…

  • JH December 19, 2013 (5:51 pm)

    Had just shopped there not 30 minutes before. A guy outside made some weird comment when I exited, something about asking if someone was scared. Wonder if it was him.

  • ~HockeyWitch~ December 19, 2013 (5:55 pm)

    Mine too AG.. I had jJUST in there picking up PRESCRIPTIONS!!..They were super busy too!.. Drive through was way busy, so I went inside..I probably walked right passed the guy.. Scary! Glad no one got hurt and I hope they find the jerk!!

  • West Seattle Hipster December 19, 2013 (6:06 pm)

    Wow, that area is really getting bad.


    Hopefully the suspect will be so annoyed by the sound of that noisy helicopter that he will give himself up.

  • AG December 19, 2013 (6:13 pm)

    Hockeywitch, was Heidi working tonight? She’d be the person in charge until 5pm most weeknights. Hope she’s ok, and everyone else too. They’re all good people and I’m sure it’s traumatic as heck. I was just there today, myself. I’ll have to bring some treats by first thing next week.

  • JoB December 19, 2013 (6:13 pm)

    so glad i didn’t head out the door to go to QFC

    a burgler in the 8800 block of 30th :(

  • G December 19, 2013 (6:18 pm)

    I arrived in LA in a few days ago and already feel much more safe and the tension peeling off. (Love the Xmas lights and palm trees.) But, I’m hoping you guys get a break on crime because what WS is experiencing is just nuts.

  • DBurns December 19, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    Please everyone stay alert and aware this time of year! Last night a friend was attacked in front of Nordstrom at south center and this morning a man tried to grab a cell phone from someone right in front of Full Tilt in broad day light. People are desperate and we can be vulnerable while shopping and distracted so please stay safe!
    Our security and management at Westwood did an awesome job letting merchants know what happened and gave a description of the suspect, who is of course, long gone. Our little village is a tight community and we are happy to have our loyal customers support this time of year. Happy holidays!!

  • sam-c December 19, 2013 (6:58 pm)

    ugh, we were at Chase (and Target) during that. it was crowded there that time of night. hope everyone at rite aid is ok. funny thing is, we decided to go then, with the whole family, because I thought it would be safer than if I went back later (8:30) by myself.

    and funny G: as we left westwood village to go home, I saw the helicopters and thought, what is WS getting to be now? east LA? (or some other assumed crime-ridden neighborhood)

  • G December 19, 2013 (7:03 pm)

    Btw, the C line attempted robbery video made it onto local news down here in LA……

  • NW December 19, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    Big deal some merchandise that’s most likey cheap and made in China got stolen from somebody desperate and claiming to be armed. Hardly worth attention here blog just looking for something “Breaking News” get us all wow west seattle is getting so bad with crime this kinda racket has been going on out in westwood village roxbury white center alki north admiral central district wedgewood queen anne and on and on no biggie and it will continue. Crime here? Chicago or Culiacan Mexico now there is crime brutal s#>t!

    • WSB December 19, 2013 (7:39 pm)

      NW, if you aren’t interested in what’s happening, the bad as well as the good, I’m sorry, but if a dozen police cars converge on Westwood Village, and Guardian One buzzes overhead, we are going to report it. I’m not LOOKING for something to report. If you knew the half of it – I had a stack of ten stories waiting to be written about other things when this happened and took away the time I was hoping to use to write some of them before going to the development meeting I’m at now. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; when I left TV six years ago, I was hoping to be a lot less involved in crime coverage. Readers wanted to share the information when it happened to them, and they wanted to know when it happened in their community. So, we report it, and will continue to do so. High awareness leads to arrests in some cases and we hope it will lead to more – TR

  • Rachel December 19, 2013 (7:44 pm)

    C line robbery is on AP

  • westseattlemom December 19, 2013 (7:46 pm)

    It’s great you report it. When I hear helicopters I always look to the WS Blog to tell me what’s happening. So kudos in keeping our neighborhood and community informed. Thank you!

  • Marty2 December 19, 2013 (8:01 pm)

    Heard there was a similar robbery at the Rite Aid in Burien earlier this month, Asian male, 5-4 with note implying a gun. Got away with OxyContin, maybe same guy?

  • miws December 19, 2013 (8:12 pm)

    And it caught your eye, and you read it, and even commented on it, now didn’t ya NW?



  • ~HockeyWitch~ December 19, 2013 (8:18 pm)

    Yes AG… it was Heidi that got my medication and rang me up. She was super busy.. the drive through was super busy.. that’s why I went inside and there was a line there too. They really are great people and I too hope that she and the others are ok. I think they would like to get treats… especially after tonight.

  • DMB December 19, 2013 (8:32 pm)

    The word is out:

    Come to WS to rob the residents homes and cars. Knock over a Rx. Rape, voyeour and maybe attempted abduction. What’s next? Who’s next?

  • Beal December 19, 2013 (8:35 pm)

    I work at the Starbucks over in Westwood and we ended up closing early due to this incident. It is just us girls at night and our bathroom is a popular spot for the homeless and crazy in a hallway we cant see from the register area. The fact that this guy was not apprehended robbed the pharmacy the merchandise mentioned being drugs, may or may not have a gun yeah I don’t feel to safe !!

  • alki resident December 19, 2013 (8:52 pm)

    Don’t feed the troll.

  • Seattlite December 19, 2013 (8:53 pm)

    NW you’re just being contrary. WSBlog does a phenomenal job of reporting all news. Whatever the crime may be, WS does not need it period!

  • R December 19, 2013 (9:04 pm)

    Thank you for reporting. I was turning into Westwood Village to go to QFC when I saw 3 cop cars turn around and head towards Rite Aid. I parked on the far end, away from Rite Aid just in case and went on WSB to see what was up. Thank you!

  • Genesee Hill December 19, 2013 (9:25 pm)

    Rite Aid is my favorite drug store chain. By far.

    I hope law enforcement catches the wimpy vermin…

    Nice stores and great employees. Stay safe…

  • Tyler December 19, 2013 (9:49 pm)

    I was just down there at about 7:00. I found a pile of boxes that looked like medicine. It was on the far end o the lot between target and chase.

    • WSB December 19, 2013 (9:55 pm)

      Tyler, did you call police? If not, please do. They definitely would want to know. 911 and tell them possible evidence of an armed robbery.

  • NW December 19, 2013 (9:50 pm)

    and I appreciate this blog and all it does and will continue to follow it I however see stories like these then the comments from LA Ca. and how we had televised the metro video of gun pulling cellphone thief tackled which the news person may or may to have said west seattle and oh how much crime is happen there and you what I call bs crime happens EVERYWHERE damn where and fortunately and unfortunately too we have it here every damn time it happens in West Seattle on the blog to read this area should be termed south-west seattle far as I am concerned lump us all into the same damn crime stricken
    …….. I am sick of it and it makes me uneasy in the area I have lived all my damn life. It’s going to worsen too unfortunately with population boom. No troll here!

  • Halyn December 20, 2013 (7:31 am)

    Ok, now I’m freaked out all over again. Last night, I walked the dog and noticed the helicopter. ( I live in 9000ish block of 30th, so it was nearly overhead.) I went back home, and a few minutes later my cats started yowling from the bedroom, and I could hear them rattling the blinds on the sliding glass door. Before I could check that out, the dog jumped off her bed and trotted to the bedroom with her ears up. Suddenly, there is pandemonium. The dog is barking, the cats are hissing AND THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR IS SHAKING. It sounded like someone had a hold of the handle on the outside and was yanking it. We have a very dark tint coat on that door, so it’s not possible to see in or out at night, and only possible to see out during the day, so I couldn’t tell what was going on. The door is very secure, so I got up close to it, smacked my palm against the door and screamed “Get out of here!!” To be honest, at this point I thought it was a raccoon, because they do sometimes hang out in our backyard and harass the cats through the door.
    The noise stopped, and I went to another room that has a window allowing me to see the backyard, and no one was out there. It wasn’t til I got back to the living room that my brain made the connection between police search and noises at the back door. My husband got home a few minutes later and checked the backyard. He said there wasn’t any indication that the door handle had been grabbed. (Our screen door is broken, so it just sits on the track. If someone had tried to open it to reach the handle, it would have fallen over, and someone leaving suddenly would not be likely to carefully reset the door. The door was in place, so…raccoon, right?)
    So, is it confirmation bias, or are there actually more home break-ins in West Seattle every year? It feels less and less safe around here.

  • drahcir61 December 20, 2013 (8:38 am)

    Asian, male, 20s, 5’4″ to 5’6″ … this might take awhile.

  • AG December 20, 2013 (10:33 am)

    Halyn, CALL THE POLICE so they can check for prints.


    Sheesh, people. You’re sitting on potential evidence that could catch this person. Call 911.

  • Mel December 20, 2013 (11:51 am)

    AG–you think the police will check for prints if someone just requests it? No. We had a break in and they dont check for prints. This isnt CSI.

  • AG December 20, 2013 (2:51 pm)

    Yes, Mel, I do in this case when they’re looking for an armed robber. I actually have a clue what I’m talking about, and I’ve been burglarized as well. This is an armed robbery, which is a different story. Somebody assuming that they won’t check into something is just plain stupid.

  • Halyn December 20, 2013 (5:11 pm)

    I’m with Mel. This isn’t CSI. “Hi officer, I heard a noise at my back door, can you dust it for prints?” If I’m very, very lucky, the cop won’t laugh at me when he tells me no. In fact, my brother-in-law the police detective DID laugh when I showed him this thread.

    Also, I forgot to mention in my previous comment, the ground in front of our door is soft–there were no people tracks in front of the door when my husband checked the backyard, and neither of our locked gates had been tampered with.

  • NW December 20, 2013 (5:46 pm)

    Can you say paranoia? I know myself I feel a lot less safe in my neighborhood since this immediate media outlet which reports also a volume of great information I am not knocking the blog completely. Same thing I gues with TV news hour don’t want to listen to switch the channel till weather comes on. I am gonna make it a point to try and spread some smiles and hellos genuine and to not let the crime win and bring me the other direction

  • AG December 20, 2013 (6:31 pm)

    There’s a pretty dramatic difference between “I heard a noise in my yard” and “I think someone was trying to get into my house during a manhunt for an armed robber in the area behind where the robbery took place.” OBVIOUSLY “I think I heard someone in my yard” is not a priority. The latter might be. You presented two very different things in your different comments. I was responding to the earlier comment that made it sound like someone was actively trying to take refuge in your house. So yeah, DUH, if you now think it was just a noise that spooked you, whatever. That’s a very different story from the one you first told.

  • datamuse December 20, 2013 (11:26 pm)

    I know myself I feel a lot less safe in my neighborhood
    I don’t. Way I see it, looking at crime data over time, it’s been about the same as before, even down a bit over time. So, the risk to you personally is about the same as it ever was, less even.
    I am always, always in favor of assessing risk realistically using concrete information over “bad feelings” or what often gets passed off as common sense. I’d rather know than not.

  • PayN Pak December 30, 2013 (11:24 am)

    Did the Asian kid have spiky black hair and drive a lowered Honda Civic with a loud exhaust? I think I can identify him.

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