West Seattle Crime Watch: Another hit-run, with 3 wrecked cars

May 7, 2014 at 11:38 pm | In West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 36 Comments

(WSB photos by Tracy Record unless otherwise credited)
11:38 PM: Just back from North Admiral, where another hit-run crash has left three cars with major damage, and police searching for suspects. It’s also closed California SW near SW Atlantic (map). The car at right apparently smashed into the parked vehicles at left – pushing them into and onto the sidewalk, with a tree taken out and underneath the minivan at left:

Then two people inside the car that wound up totaled in the middle of the street got out of it and ran. Debris was strewn everywhere – hood, bumper, lights, more (and a beer can) – and an SDOT crew was standing by for cleanup after the vehicles are towed.

A K-9 team was helping in the search (as you can see in our Instagram video clip).

A bystander told us a witness saw people get out of the car and run, and tried to chase them. Meantime, one nearby resident told us this stretch is often used for racing.

(Photo by unidentified texter)
12:21 AM: Via Twitter, Philip says the road is open again, though debris remains, and that the car that caused the crash has been towed.

(Photo courtesy Andrew, who says skid marks suggest a 3rd vehicle narrowly missed)
2 AM: We haven’t been able to find out yet if the suspected driver was ever found; will update whenever we do get that information. We did want to thank everyone who texted, phoned, e-mailed, messaged, and shared photos.


  1. Sheeez. Looks like we’re in for a special kind of summer fun this year. Sun + Booze + Thugs = a special kind of joy. Look both ways out there, folks.

    Comment by Summer Fun! — 12:07 am May 8, 2014 #

  2. Yeah, and now there’s more … a drive-by (no injuries) in Westwood. Writing a separate blurb.

    Comment by WSB — 12:30 am May 8, 2014 #

  3. if this car was not stolen, maybe, just maybe, they can trace it to the driver, or someone who knows where the driver is.

    Comment by JanS — 12:35 am May 8, 2014 #

  4. Reportedly police knew who they were looking for. I haven’t had a chance to follow up yet on whether they found him.

    Comment by WSB — 12:37 am May 8, 2014 #

  5. Thank you to all the neighbors that rushed out of their homes in their pajamas to check on the accident. Right after hearing the car speed up and then crash, through our opened window I immediately heard, “are you ok?? Are you alright?”. Despite this all happening, nice to know I have neighbours who care. After seeing the crashed car, it’s unbelievable they weren’t injured, it’s also unbelievable that they ran! One young guy, I would guess still in his teens, ran full speed away from the accident. I’m a little up the block from the accident, and had also seen a young blonde guy with a baseball hat walking quickly up the block immediately after the accident, he may have also been in the car but at the time I wasn’t sure what was going on. Neighbors who came out to help ran after one of them that darted, and I thought I heard they pinned him down but it appears they were unable to catch anyone. So thankful no one was hurt. It looked like a nearly new parked car was smashed in this accident…

    Comment by neighbor — 6:23 am May 8, 2014 #

  6. What is a “thug”?

    Comment by Heylady — 7:15 am May 8, 2014 #

  7. Thug…. A cruel or vicious person who cares for only themselves and no one else or others property. A criminal

    Comment by Yup — 8:20 am May 8, 2014 #

  8. We (Seattle-Tacoma) have the 4th highest auto theft rate in America. We need a special auto theft task force here (assuming this car is another stolen, hit-and-run). Bait cars are remarkably effective in other cities with high auto theft rates, as a deterrent.

    SPD hasn’t deployed any anti-auto theft tactics, and that’s troubling. We need to go on the offensive here.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 9:08 am May 8, 2014 #

  9. Even if a car thief is caught, our justice system is so backed up there’s no punishment. So says my judge and lawyer friends.

    Not blaming victims, but buy a Club or LoJack if you don’t want your car messed with or if you want police to find it if it is stolen.

    Comment by WS Wanderer — 9:43 am May 8, 2014 #

  10. I agree with WS Wanderer! Our legal system lets these folks off the hook after the SPD finds and arrests those responsible. Their police work is futile without a legal system capable of administering punishment for the crimes. @ScubaFrog, any chance you have attended a community meeting, like the blockwatch network meetings at the SW precinct? You may learn about the Seattle City Council’s role in how the SPD operates and allocates funding. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Gandhi

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 10:55 am May 8, 2014 #

  11. I don’t have time to attend community meetings. I’m too busy running a high school. It’s not for lack of information. SPD knows where things are happening. they know what happens on sunny nights on Alki and Beach drive. They also know they are drinking down there because we call it in. They show up, ask them if they are drinking, and then leave. Hmmmm … if I’m a teenager, what am I going to say if a police officer pulls up and asks me if I’ve been drinking? I should have a base expectation that I can expect them to believe a community member call in and not treat it so disrespectfully by such a lame contact. I did call 911 last night and got voice mail.

    Comment by DJL311 — 11:54 am May 8, 2014 #

  12. @ScubaFrog, a post on another thread lists some of what will be discussed at the next meeting.

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 12:04 pm May 8, 2014 #

  13. Scuba If you’re so passionate about this issue, why don’t you call or talk to face to face with someone who can actually make this happen? I don’t think commenting here is doing ANYTHING (except annoying me, dear). :)

    Comment by Danity Houser — 12:45 pm May 8, 2014 #

  14. What’s this talk about a stolen car – has that been confirmed in this accident? Any update on whether or not the suspects have been caught?

    Comment by WSgal — 1:05 pm May 8, 2014 #

  15. I have a request for that info out to SPD, have not yet heard back, going to have to try a different channel.

    Comment by WSB — 1:14 pm May 8, 2014 #

  16. ScubaFrog has it spot on!
    Danity – Sorry that you are annoyed by great suggestions.

    Comment by Sammy Bellstar — 1:37 pm May 8, 2014 #

  17. Danity, “great suggestions” made to no one are as effective at talking to the wind.

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 2:45 pm May 8, 2014 #

  18. Danity I’m sorry you’re offended about my comments regarding auto theft. Garden_nymph and WS_Wanderer are spot-on about the lax punishment for car thiefs. I remember when the one guy who was on film via the Sheriff’s Office helicopter camera, stealing that Chevy Tahoe and ramming people’s fences during a car chase was let out of jail without bail.
    I made an attempt to contact our West Seattle Precinct community liaison this morning, and I’ll certainly report any progress I make if I can get ahold of the West Precinct Commander (their website doesn’t make it easy to find out who the commander is – let alone how to contact them).
    I’ll also start contacting our representatives in Olympia – we need stricter sentencing guidelines for auto theft.

    Comment by ScubaFrog — 2:53 pm May 8, 2014 #

  19. Ideally SPD would include some kind of contact info on pages like this – but without dedicated in-house communications staff I kind of see, begrudgingly, why they don’t. Anyway, the official page for SW Precinct Commander Capt. Steve Wilske (who’s been on the job just a few months but attends most of the public meetings at the precinct, which used to be the purview of the Ops Lt.’s only):
    A few contact points for the precinct:

    Comment by WSB — 3:06 pm May 8, 2014 #

  20. Double thumbs up ScubaFrog!

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 3:31 pm May 8, 2014 #

  21. Oops! My earlier comment about ineffectual commenting was for Sammy Bellstar, not Danity.

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 4:20 pm May 8, 2014 #

  22. Has the suspects been caught? And why do you think this is a theft issue?

    Comment by Joy101 — 5:01 pm May 8, 2014 #

  23. Still waiting. I have high hopes of possibly getting an update in a few hours.

    Comment by WSB — 5:17 pm May 8, 2014 #

  24. The one down on Beach Drive was reported as stolen.

    Comment by DJL311 — 5:19 pm May 8, 2014 #

  25. If the cars involved are stolen, I’d like to know why. Where I’m from, auto theft was a huge business. Are these cars stolen for the sheer joy of stealing a car and then crashing it? If the purpose is for financing drug use, I’m mystified. Are we deing with drug-addiction, bored youth, organized crime? All three?

    Comment by Kim — 6:45 pm May 8, 2014 #

  26. Picture this scenario. Wiseguy drunk or racing driver wrecks his own car (not stolen), runs away, then goes home and reports it stolen. Then it’s covered by insurance and the wiseguy doesn’t go to jail or have to deal with any legal issues. Pretty smart, eh? So, a car later reported as stolen may not have actually been a stolen car. If it was reported as stolen before the event then I would assume it was actually stolen.

    Comment by I. Ponder — 6:46 pm May 8, 2014 #

  27. DJL311: You probably reached voicemail when calling 911 before many other neighbors were calling 911 soon after the “accident” on Calif. I called after hearing the crash, looked out my window and hearing “are you ok”. I reached 911 operator, gave info. She said they were receiving other calls on this crash as I was talking with her.

    I also believe there is a good chance car was stolen since people in car ran from scene! OR other possible scenerio… they ran if drunk/high, didn’t want to take breathalizer.

    I sure hope they find them! It is amazing nobody was killed or hurt at this awful crash scene!

    Comment by shell — 7:11 pm May 8, 2014 #

  28. Please let’s not turn this into a game of telephone. No confirmed stolen cars so far. Whenever I get updated information, hopefully this evening, I’ll add it to the story.

    Comment by WSB — 7:16 pm May 8, 2014 #

  29. DJL311: You probably reached voicemail when calling 911 before many other neighbors were calling 911 soon after the “accident” on Calif. I called after hearing the crash, looked out my window and hearing “are you ok”. I reached 911 operator, gave info. She said they were receiving other calls on this crash as I was talking with her.

    I also believe there is a good chance car was stolen since people in car ran from scene! OR other possible scenerio… owners of car, they ran if drunk/high, didn’t want to take breathalizer.

    I sure hope they find them! It is amazing nobody was killed or hurt at this awful crash scene!

    Comment by seashell — 7:29 pm May 8, 2014 #

  30. “Danity I’m sorry you’re offended about my comments regarding auto theft.”

    Scuba no need to call me out. I can minds own business just fine, dear.

    Comment by Danity Houser — 9:38 pm May 8, 2014 #

  31. Well ScubaFrog that would be nice to have such a task force, but unfortunately due to the neutering by DOJ, SPD must field a new response team to various POS complaints. It is only going to get worse.

    Comment by buckwheat — 12:07 am May 9, 2014 #

  32. P.S. for anyone still following … SPD tells me the car was not reported as stolen BEFORE this happened but was reported stolen today. The case has been referred to detectives.

    Comment by WSB — 12:10 am May 9, 2014 #

  33. Hrm…maybe there’s something to I. Ponder’s scenario?

    Comment by Mc Gruff — 8:03 am May 9, 2014 #

  34. Squad cars or bait cars? The fleet is getting old and needs to be replaced. Prioritize our police force to deal with personal crime over property crime?… Tough choices need to be made! The number of officers in the SPD is dwindling and they have started to recruit internationally. Information transparency comes with better technology, that’s NOT cheap either. The rank and file of the SPD has dealt with poor leadership at the SPD for too long. Changes are in the works, let’s hope they are good ones! Thank an officer today, it will brighten their day!

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 10:44 am May 9, 2014 #

  35. WSB: I’m still interested and waiting for updates as you receive any information. Thanks for posting info about car reported stolen AFTER the incident! Hopefully they can track down the “true owners”, then ask witnesses if they recognize them. Were they same guys running from the scene that night? Or maybe friends of the “true owners” borrowing their car, then running away!

    Comment by seashell — 7:50 pm May 9, 2014 #

  36. Sounds straight out of a video game called grand theft auto

    Still Wondering if these types of games distort our minds and realities particularly the young ones

    This is type of behavior is not thuggish it’s rubbish. every time some one calls one of these sh*t for Brains thugs you give them the credit they are looking for and create more wanna b’s that do stupid stuff for street credit.

    Teach your children it’s not ok to be a video game character in the real world.

    Maybe some water in their face immediately after long hours of playing video games to alert their senses to the real world, they have just disconnected from for the past 3-7 hours.
    Even a air horn could do the trick. Just a couple blasts after a long bout with halo and it’s back to reality.

    Followed by teaching
    Running into parked cars and running away is game over not a do over.

    Comment by Real — 1:01 pm May 10, 2014 #

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