Car thief takes a saw to The Club; bicycle taken today; two other West Seattle Crime Watch reports

February 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm | In West Seattle news | 34 Comments

Four notes in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon – starting with one of the stolen cars reported here yesterday. Found, but not in good shape. Alex explains:

The husk of my car (’95 Honda Civic) was recovered around 3 am this morning abandoned in the street in SE Seattle, stripped of engine, lights, and everything apparently of value, about 24 hours after being stolen from in front of my house in High Point.

Attached are choice photos of the remains – all non-valuable junk strewn throughout … and you can see where they sawed through the steering wheel to remove the (still intact and functioning) Club. The thieves were kind enough to leave my junk in my trunk (maps, snow/ice scraper, spare sneakers and boots, soft roof rack and straps – though they did take my emergency go-bag). They’re so efficient! Glad I have insurance.

From Sean today, this photo and report:

I just reported my stolen bike to SPD. It’s a white Raleigh Cadent FT-1 with a bike pump attached and front and back lights.

MAIL THEFT: From JV: “Not sure what time of day but it was during daylight hours, probably early afternoon on Monday, Feb. 10. A mail order prescription was taken from our mailbox on the street on California between SW 98th and Roxbury. Funny thing is that it was a laxative. I wonder what the street value is. A neighbor found the ripped open pouch down the street and called us and returned it so we could reorder. The rest of the mail was dumped in the street and soaked by the rain. No big loss, mostly junk mail.”

MYSTERY DOOR-KNOCK: First we had the mystery middle-of-the-night doorbell-ringing, now, overnight, we received a report of a mystery “someone (pounding) the heck out of my door in Arbor Heights at Marine View Drive SW and SW 102nd.”

34 Comments

  1. I am sorry about your Honda. Mine got stolen on the same day, but it has not been found. Red Honda Civic.

    Comment by pinkgooseberry — 2:52 pm February 13, 2014 #

  2. Sorry about your loss and aggravation, Alex. Punks always get what’s coming to them, it’s just a matter of time.

    Comment by Chuck and Sally's Van Man — 3:04 pm February 13, 2014 #

  3. Ugh, that car theft kills me. I had a similar theft of a honda a number of years ago, which was only insured for collision since it was only worth a few $K. Sadly, the damage to the returned car was extensive, and irreparable due to having been used as a mobile meth lab. We got a whopping $300 for it in a trade in. :-(

    Comment by AG — 3:30 pm February 13, 2014 #

  4. It has been brought up before that they will saw through the steering wheel & thus make the club useless. We got the metal club that fits over the brake & locks the brake. They would have a much harder time with this. The club will stop some though that don’t want to take the time to saw the steering wheel. So wish these people could be caught and prosecuted. Tired of seeing so many cars stolen & seemingly not being able to get these people.

    Comment by Bee — 3:40 pm February 13, 2014 #

  5. Awesome… Now I’m debating if I should use my steering wheel club AND my brake club to be safe. Damn…

    Comment by Anonymous — 3:51 pm February 13, 2014 #

  6. I use a Club on my car. I know that if someone’s determined, they’re going to saw through to get it. I only hope that most people are just going to move on to another car instead.

    Comment by Sue — 4:00 pm February 13, 2014 #

  7. Sorry this happens to cars. You would think that the chop shop would be fairly close to where your stripped car was found.
    .
    The brake club sounds promising. What about aftermarket alarms, don’t they kill the ignition? I think mine does.

    Comment by dsa — 4:20 pm February 13, 2014 #

  8. Come bang on our door at 3 a.m.
    We’ll be waiting.

    Comment by WTF — 4:43 pm February 13, 2014 #

  9. Is this the norm now? Seattle has TWICE the amount of property crime that some other major cities have. We’re just expected to put up with it??? Where are the aggressive, preventative measures from the SPD???

    Comment by G — 4:46 pm February 13, 2014 #

  10. sorry to hear about the car thefts. Although it’s not super cheap, this is pretty effective and gives you a better chance of finding your vehicle.

    https://www.lojack.com/products

    I wish the company that made the antitheft app for my phone made a system for cars. try to unlock my phone 3 times and it takes a photo of you doing it then sends me email with that photo and GPS location of where the photo was taken. I can then remotely wipe my entire phone of all data on it.

    Comment by Mike — 5:21 pm February 13, 2014 #

  11. I think this drives home the point that Hondas may not be the best used car from a frequent theft target. I can’t imagine they are still (the 2005+ models) are stolen as frequently as older ones. For instance, we don’t hear of stolen Elements, or Subarus.

    I had a BMW M3 stolen in front of my house due to my own stupidity (company in for the holidays, and left it unlocked while dragging luggage in…) so I know what it feels like. Sorry Alex.

    Comment by JayDee — 5:22 pm February 13, 2014 #

  12. My takeaway is that the club will deter the casual joyrider/thief, but not the determined chop shop types. So I’m surprised there is anything left. If you’re going to rip out everything else, why not the seats? With a 95 Civic you’ve already effectively exceeded the restoration value. I feel bad for your hassle and misery.

    Comment by onion — 5:27 pm February 13, 2014 #

  13. Mike, what phone security app are you using?

    Comment by JW — 5:42 pm February 13, 2014 #

  14. My 97 Honda Civic was stolen Monday 2/10 in the afternoon from right out in front of my house. Pigeon Point. The officer asked if I had a club on the wheel. I did not. Guess they don’t help. Sorry about your car. I am guessing my car will look the same when it is found. This makes me sick.

    Comment by Stephanie — 7:05 pm February 13, 2014 #

  15. If you send us a little more info – nearest intersection, plate (even partial), I will include it in the next Crime Watch – so sorry to hear about it. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 7:20 pm February 13, 2014 #

  16. I’m from a place where you could leave any car unlocked for dayyyys and no one would even look at it twice. I want out of the city.

    Comment by WilbeHonest — 7:22 pm February 13, 2014 #

  17. Wow. I am so sorry for anyone going through this. I started Clubbing my car (a Honda) as a result of all the reports. I hope we all – as neighbors – keep vigilant and look out for one another. We’re all vulnerable as individuals, but perhaps stronger as a collective.

    Comment by CEA — 7:24 pm February 13, 2014 #

  18. Car stealing/stripping, door pounding at 3 a.m. I am so sorry for all. Seething actually at the moment and any further response is not printable.

    Comment by Laura — 8:39 pm February 13, 2014 #

  19. Modifying my previous advice about using the club for the ’90s Honda Civics. This is just too much bad evidence. Sorry for recommending the club so much.

    .

    I now recommend a “kill switch.” Kill switch is a hidden switch that renders inoperative an important electrical part the engine needs to run. (Fuel pump, ignition coil, etc.) It can crank but will not fire up. Stereo installer or mechanic could install this. Make sure the switch is well hidden. Turn the switch off when leaving the car, turn it on when wanting to drive it again. Somebody talked about one they had that was disguised in one of the radio buttons.

    Comment by bolo — 9:26 pm February 13, 2014 #

  20. @ JayDee – there was a span of time (about 2 years) recently when one of the most commonly stolen cars in the area was Subaru wagons made in the mid-late 1990′s because there were only a few master keys made. I discovered this myself early one morning when I went out to my wagon parked on the street, unlocked it, and realized in my half wakeful state, that I had mistakenly opened the door of my neighbors’ almost identical Subaru wagon! That was a surprise.

    Comment by M — 10:34 pm February 13, 2014 #

  21. JW, it’s called “Lookout”. Not sure if they have it for anything other than Android, but it’s pretty slick. The also have a storage backup if you want that, I just use Google for backup though.

    Comment by Mike — 10:46 pm February 13, 2014 #

  22. I just want to reiterate, as I have in the past, the efficacy of the Auto Brake. I have a 97 Honda Civic that I must park on the street. The Auto Brake locks onto the brake pedal. The brake pedal cannot be depressed with the Auto Brake on it; therefore the car cannot be put in gear and driven away. It’s laborious and time-consuming to saw the thing off and makes the car an undesirable target. I think this is what Bee is talking about above.

    Comment by Elisabeth — 10:57 pm February 13, 2014 #

  23. I saw a very suspicious white male with blond hair about 6′ tall wearing black pants and a navy blue jacket carrying a clip board walking door to door along 35th ave sw around the 9400 block last Saturday afternoon.
    He would walk up to each door, knock and look through the windows.
    Perhaps he was a salesperson of some sort, but I got a creepy vibe from him.
    When I walked by him and looked directly at him, I would think if he was a salesperson he would have engaged me and tried to sell me something which he did not.
    Rather, he sort of tried to look away from me and avoid contact.
    Maybe I am paranoid, but I do live in this area fraught burglary and just wanted to put this out somehow.

    Comment by Rex — 6:22 am February 14, 2014 #

  24. Yes, Elizabeth. This is exactly what I am talking about. After things happening to others, I was talking to the locksmith on California Ave (across from the big Admiral Safeway) and they had one. I imagine they could get if not in stock. They explained to me what it could do & I have been very happy with it. Though we still know someone somewhere might try but it will certainly deter them. Plus, setting parking brake, turning wheels to the curb in case they think they can load it or pull it away….that will stop that idea also. The auto brake is great.

    Comment by Bee — 6:32 am February 14, 2014 #

  25. As the former owner of the chopped 95 civic (Alex), I don’t regret using the Club. I’m convinced, as Onion said above, the Club deters casual break ins but not pros. Having parked that car on street for the last 10 years in the U district, Capitol Hill and now High Pt, the only time it was broken into before now was the one night I didn’t put my club on. I’m sure was lucky too, and the anti theft devices mentioned above sound more reliable, but I won’t discount the club. Nor having insurance. :)
    Thanks for all the nice thoughts but I’m lucky that it was our second car (not wife’s more recently purchased car to haul newborn around in) that I didn’t drive much. And that it was just a car, not a life or some valuable personal property.
    I fact my “lesson” here, since it was parked in front of my house on the street, locked, with a Club on the steering wheel, nothing visible nor valuable inside, was:
    -don’t own the “2nd Most Stolen Car” (’95 honda civic) if you’re livelihood depends on it (mine didn’t)
    -if you do, park in your garage instead of on the street, if you can
    -if you bus and bike commute more often than you drive, it’s a sign that it’s time to get rid of your car… And I’m fortunate to be able to.

    Comment by ae — 9:19 am February 14, 2014 #

  26. Just curious – what did the mystery door-bang recipient do in response? We have an alarm system (I live in the area) and I tend to think I would just hit the ‘police’ button, but would be curious how others have actually handled it.

    Comment by A different M — 9:40 am February 14, 2014 #

  27. I am the owner of stolen Red Honda Civic. The car is still missing. This is the third time this car got stolen. Each time, I got it back and it required repairs. I am not counting on getting back this time. After seeing Alex’s car, I feel my car is also in the chop shop. I think all the cars got stolen this week were by the same people. I am sad I am not getting my car back.

    Comment by pinkgooseberry — 9:54 am February 14, 2014 #

  28. Saw a tall man walking up marine view drive toward 102 around 11:45pm in dark clothing.

    Comment by T — 11:01 am February 14, 2014 #

  29. My boyfriend’s motorcycle saddle bags have been rifled through twice now, and there have been several break-ins in our apartment buildings parking lot. This is starting to get really bad and management won’t put up security cameras as a deterrent.

    Comment by Elisaid — 11:49 am February 14, 2014 #

  30. So the police found my 97 Honda Civic. Found on 23rd and Findlay. Stole some stuff out of it and it is filthy. I am lucky. I am sorry others have not been so fortunate.

    Comment by Stephanie — 3:12 pm February 14, 2014 #

  31. Thanks for the update.

    Comment by WSB — 3:27 pm February 14, 2014 #

  32. Saw a blue older pickup truck white male driving with damage to the front left slow down and pick up another white male walking with a bicycle wearing a black knit cap. The back of the truck had at least 3 bicycles in it this was 2:45 am on my way home from work coming down the west side of admiral.

    Comment by Rusty — 3:03 am February 15, 2014 #

  33. I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but is there really such a demand for mid 90′s Honda parts that it is worth it for “professional criminals” to go through the hassle to steal the car, strip it, and sale the items for a lucrative profit?

    Comment by Eric — 8:46 am February 15, 2014 #

  34. This just makes me sick! I check the wsblog quite often and it seems that auto theft is still as prevalent as ever. I had pretty much the same thing happen to my Honda civic. Back in 2005 they stole mine and stripped anything of value. When they did find it I had to pay the tow company over $500 and just gave them the title. A total loss of over 9 grand did not have full coverage.

    I’ve had many cars stolen and or vandalized over the years. The police do very little to solve this epidemic. I now use a dual handled club as well as the brake pedal club. Turn the wheels toward the curb even daisy chained the cars together. This is exactly the reason why I no longer have Hondas or anything that looks nice anymore. WHEN THE HECK ARE THEY GOING TO USE BAIT CARS!!!

    Here is a pict of what mine looked liked before & after the theft.

    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2077337/1995-honda-civic/photo-gallery/

    Comment by WS4Life — 1:24 pm February 16, 2014 #

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