(WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
First of two reports from tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct’s second-in-command, Operations Lt. Ron Smith, had a long list of quick updates on crime trends and individual situations. Top of the list, the investigation of the death discovered at the scene of this morning’s 24th SW fire, barely a block southwest of the precinct. We had asked Lt. Smith about it before the meeting began, and he mentioned that in addition to SPD joining the investigation by mid-morning (photo above), ATF arson investigators checked out the scene a few hours later. Still no official word on what if anything they found in what Lt. Smith called a “full-blown investigation” – only that it’s “somewhat suspicious … it might not be (a crime) but … we’re at a very preliminary part of the investigation.” The victim has not been identified, nor has her cause of death been announced.
Other case updates/mentions and trends:
ADMIRAL DISTRICT GRAFFITI VANDALISM: The SPD graffiti detective is on the case of the extensive vandalism that’s been happening lately in The Admiral District, particularly from the Admiral Theater to the former Charlestown Café site (where a development project is pending). Call police, take photos of the vandalism, then paint it over, Lt. Smith advised. Meeting attendees also noted that graffiti can be reported through the city’s Find It, Fix It app. (You can also report it on the Web or by phone – here’s info on the SPD website.)
BURGLARY ARRESTS: A recent break-in on 46th SW led to three arrests, according to Lt. Smith, who also mentioned last weekend’s arrests in a South Delridge-area incident on 16th SW. A neighbor at the meeting said the apartment was vacant because its former resident had been evicted. And he briefly mentioned the Super Deli Mart burglary/arrest.
SOUTH PARK LURING ATTEMPTS: A detective has been assigned to the case (mentioned here April 5th).
PROPERTY CRIMES DOWN: Overall, Lt. Smith said, so far this month, auto theft, burglaries, and car prowls are at about half the average rate. But he said car prowling might be underreported and implores anyone affected to file a report: “If it’s not reported, it doesn’t exist,” and they can’t assign or divert resources.
ACTION PLAN IN THE WORKS: Lt. Smith says he’s working on the “warm-weather plan of action for all of West Seattle – Lincoln Park, Alki, other parks, viewpoints …”
And that includes:
WESTWOOD VILLAGE: He acknowledged community concern (although no one spoke up about it at the meeting) about “aggressive” juveniles causing trouble at Westwood Village, and said they’re using different strategies to work on that – for example, new merchants are being required to enter into a “trespass” agreement with police, which means that troublemakers can be barred from a store’s premises. Asked by WSCPC president Richard Miller about a notable police response in the Westwood area yesterday, Lt. Smith said it was a traffic stop in which a suspect “got confrontational” so the officer called for backup.
SCHOOL-ZONE SAFETY ON DELRIDGE: Robin Graham from the K-5 STEM PTA said they’re happy to have the school-zone beacon-enhanced signage near the school on Delridge Way, but would love to have a temporary radar speed sign to show drivers how fast they’re going. Lt. Smith said he could probably make that happen as soon as next week (school’s not in session this week because of spring break).
Our second report will center on the presentation by, and Q/A with, SPD Crisis Intervention Team members; depending on how the news stream goes, we’ll likely publish that tomorrow.