West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 more phone robberies in local parks

July 3, 2014 at 1:31 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 27 Comments

Two strong-arm robberies this week in West Seattle both ended with the victims reported being assaulted and being robbed of their smartphones. Both happened in local parks; we obtained police reports for both:

HAMILTON VIEWPOINT PARK, MONDAY NIGHT: Police were called to the park in North Admiral at 10 pm Monday night. The two victims told police they were in the grassy area of the park, kicking around a soccer ball, when three people approached them and asked if they could play too. They did, for about 10 minutes, and the victims decided to sit down to rest. At that point, the report says, one of the other three yelled “You’re getting robbed!” and all three attacked the first two, punching and kicking them, and then stealing personal belongings that had been on the ground nearby. As they got away, the three attacker/robbers dropped everything but one victim’s iPhone. The report says they left in what looked like a blue late ’90s or early ’00s blue BMW. The three were described as males – one white, 6 feet tall, 170 pounds, medium-length blonde hair, baggy clothing; another dark-skinned, “possibly East African,” 5’11″, 150 pounds, with a flat-top haircut; the other black with a medium complexion, 6’3″, 230 pounds, short shaved hair. Seattle Fire was called to check out the victims’ injuries; one was described as having a swelling on his jaw “the size of a golf ball.” Police did not find the robbers.

ROXHILL PARK, TUESDAY NIGHT: This call came in to police at about 10:41 pm Tuesday. The victim said he was jumped while walking southbound on the north-south trail in Roxhill Park, just south of the bus stop in the 2700 block of SW Barton. Both robbers hit and kicked him before taking two smartphones from him, an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. He told police he recognized the two because they had been riding the bus with him from downtown all the way to Westwood, and that he had seen them often on Route 120 and on RapidRide Line C. Police did not find these robbers either; the victim described them as black, about 16 years old, both wearing black T-shirts and sweatpants (one orange, one black).

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  1. On Oprah there was a show once about what to do if someone wanted to car jack you. The man said to “throw your keys one way and run the other way”. Maybe throw the phone one way and run the other way?

    Comment by sc — 4:57 am July 3, 2014 #

  2. I would never walk on that trail. Those threes need to come down and be a clear area so people can be seen from the road. I see so many thuggish type people hanging right there outside Barton and its no wonder its the perfect spot for attacks.
    Also,shouldn’t there be cameras in buses so the victim can get the exact ID on his attackers?

    Comment by alki resident — 7:05 am July 3, 2014 #

  3. I have seen the boy with the Orange sweatpants hanging out in front of the Westwood McDonalds and also in front of Bartells in White Center – he probably lives in the area -

    Comment by Highland park — 7:33 am July 3, 2014 #

  4. The boldness and depravity is truly appalling. Two kids can’t even kick a ball around at HAMILTON??? WTF. I whole heartedly embrace having cameras everywhere. Just how do people think their privacy is going to be violated anyway? Picking your nose? Who gives a s**t! If it helps catch or prevent I’m in. Bus cameras-yes! Stoplight cameras being available to police-a big yes! Major areas of gang activity-yes!! The next time we get to vote on this issue…yes! Wake up people! It’s the only way to thwart these type of attacks that are becoming shockingly common. They should also have a camera at those kiosks where you can turn a phone in for money!!

    Comment by WSman — 7:49 am July 3, 2014 #

  5. WSman – re: your last point, they do, as we noted in this story:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/12/followup-rapidride-robbery-suspect-charged-in-another-bus-holdup

    Comment by WSB — 7:54 am July 3, 2014 #

  6. There was a post the other day in the forum about a woman who has weeded some of the beds within Hamilton Viewpoint Park but is now unable to do so and is reaching out to others in the community to help. North Admiral has a large population surrounding the park and beyond and the little I know about them an involved community group. It’s little efforts like weeding out the beds in the park that can start others to become involved in this park and be lookouts for the welfare of park users and the park in general. It’s a very popular park and gets heavy traffic.

    Comment by NW — 8:10 am July 3, 2014 #

  7. WSB – thanks, I do recall that story. Bus video and kiosk images were indeed available to the police. Now let’s get those street cameras available!!! Just wait until you (not specifically you WSB) get robbed. My home was but the video we had was unadmissible because it wasn’t time stamped. Those little ADT indoor video cameras (like we have) will help identify the thief but not convict.

    To NW – yes weeding/thinning out low visibility areas can help but HamiltonVW Pt? It’s right out in the open and this attack was at night.

    Comment by WSman — 8:39 am July 3, 2014 #

  8. Regarding Roxhill, it completely ruins the desire to use the C-Line (and other buses). 10pm is not that late to be coming home from downtown (sport event, concert, restaurant, etc.)., and if it’s too risky to walk from the bus stop to where you live, then getting in the car and driving is the way to go. The Westwood Metro stop on Barton has created so many problems for us as residents here. I no longer want my family riding the bus from there.

    Comment by Josh — 8:44 am July 3, 2014 #

  9. How about 3 minute delayed exploding decoy cell phones? I know,I know,but somewhat satisfying to imagine.

    Comment by Rick — 8:54 am July 3, 2014 #

  10. The awesome view from Hamilton Viewpoint Park brings people from all over, including thugs. I believe two local people were stabbed there last summer so be alert if you are there at sunset for photos or after dark.

    Comment by skeptic — 8:56 am July 3, 2014 #

  11. @ WSman – Cameras everywhere? 1984. No thanks. How about we push back and stop letting kids bully us? This whole, help me not be a victim sounds wimpish and only encourages more attacks. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t walk alone at night in known bad areas. I carry a licensed concealed weapon and have full training. They certainly wouldn’t want to pick me.

    Comment by Johnny What's Your Face — 9:23 am July 3, 2014 #

  12. Skeptic, just for accuracy’s sake, I looked into the archives; the incident to which you refer was near, not at, the park, and happened three years ago.

    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2011/07/west-seattle-crime-watch-followup-on-last-nights-stabbings
    .
    But the park has sparked safety concerns, including a discussion at a recent Admiral Neighborhood Association meeting, and also, as mentioned in a couple of our recent stories, concern about the gates being locked on time once the park closes for the night – the gates of course don’t keep out people on foot, but do bar vehicles, and park says now that it’s summer season those gates *are* being locked at 11.

    Comment by WSB — 9:50 am July 3, 2014 #

  13. Johnny whats your face……..It is easy to say when you are not the person being victimized. No call for victim bashing. The fact that you carry a conceled weapon speaks volumes for your brave comments. Forget “1984″ what about Road Warrior or Dirty Harry. Maybe these films appeal to your sense of reality.

    Comment by simon1021 — 10:26 am July 3, 2014 #

  14. @simon1021
    I assume you are of the let thugs rule and just give them your nice things?
    If you think like a victim you will be a victim and the punk AH kids know that. They have no fear and can simply take anything from anyone because they know that no one will push back.
    No one is bashing victims. Johnny is suggesting bashing the evil doers.

    Comment by Orca — 12:14 pm July 3, 2014 #

  15. According to the Police unit leader these people likely involved in gangs are actually pretty good guys once you get to know them…its the victims faults for having cell phones in public that are to blame:
    See WSblog article here: http://westseattleblog.com/2014/06/what-should-you-know-about-gangs-heres-what-the-west-seattle-block-watch-captains-network-heard-tonight/

    Comment by Doug Lee — 1:33 pm July 3, 2014 #

  16. We can walk to the Westwood Barton stop from our house, but drive our car up the line to catch the bus for evening M’s or Sounders games. It has gotten way too sketchy.

    Comment by JesseD — 3:48 pm July 3, 2014 #

  17. Don’t let the thugs win by conforming your life and locking yourself indoors. If you do they win. Police, in spite of their best efforts can’t be all places at all times. Be prepared to protect yourself, your family and your property. Thugs will go elsewhere if they come to realize the sheep are actually sheepdogs. Rise up!

    Comment by Don'tbavictim — 9:22 pm July 3, 2014 #

  18. Well said, simon1021. The last thing we need is a vigilante culture and an arms race between criminals and others in our parks.

    Comment by Moose2 — 9:27 pm July 3, 2014 #

  19. @moose2
    I simply cannot understand your point.
    Do you propose that everyone stay at home and hide because there are punks and criminals?

    The police can’t protect you all of the time.

    Give us an idea of what you suggest people do in the face of the growing problems of thugs in the parks and on the streets…in the day time!

    You must have a suggestion since you oppose people protecting themselves.

    Comment by Orca — 10:11 pm July 3, 2014 #

  20. @ Highland Park – did you give your information to the police? I think it may be useful to them.

    Comment by M — 11:15 pm July 3, 2014 #

  21. It is truly discouraging to see that we can’t agree on what to do about these issues. Lets open our minds and talk about a solution together instead of wasting time disagreeing. This is why it continues.

    Comment by Westie — 7:40 am July 4, 2014 #

  22. I think we need the police to start being proactive instead of reactive. I suggest they do some undercover work until these Strong Arm Robberies cease. I have never heard of Seattle Police using Bait Cars here in WS. How bout Bait Phones? Undercover cop at a bus stop using an iPhone. I think once the word gets out amongst the criminals they will think twice about it. Arming ourselves may make you feel safer but if you can’t get that gun out in time it’s likely going to end up pointed right back at yourself or at the least stolen and now in the hands of criminals.

    Comment by WSman — 9:01 am July 4, 2014 #

  23. Yeah simon1021 and Moose2… Let’s continue to get beat up and robbed by kids and then complain on the WSB comment section. It’s the best course of action. /sarcasm.
    .
    Since when is carrying a firearm, mace, pepper spray, etc for protection, vigilantism? Johnny WYF and Orca make excellent points – Be aware of your surroundings and don’t put yourself unnecessarily in harms way. Also be smart and have protection. Seems like common sense.
    .
    Sorry, some of us won’t conform to the “already a victim” mentality that plagues so many, sadly.

    Comment by Wilma Burgerwrap — 9:41 am July 4, 2014 #

  24. Makes me glad I thought twice about walking up to Hamilton with a friend the other evening to watch the sunset. Admiral feels pretty safe to me but there’s always going to be people who take advantage of that “feels safe” vibe when it lures people outdoors after dark. As for the comments on here, I’m not sure fighting back to protect your cell phone makes any sense, do you really want to die over a damn cell phone? As a woman I walk around with mace but also a willingness to pick my battles; I don’t have a single possession I’m willing to trade my life for.

    Comment by LStat — 2:32 pm July 4, 2014 #

  25. Well put Lstat! I completely agree. There are very few things worth dying or killing for.

    Comment by WSman — 5:10 am July 5, 2014 #

  26. And there you have the solution….by LStat and WSman.
    Don’t go outside and if you do be prepared to hand over your cell phone and whatever else the punks may demand. Don’t push back. Just hide in your own house and let the punk kids rule the streets. Some lessons are never learned.

    By the way…don’t miss the report up above about a guy being hit over the head by QFC in Westwood village.
    Isn’t it great? But…it would be better to not do anything about it. Right?

    Comment by Orca — 10:22 pm July 5, 2014 #

  27. Agreed Lstat. As I stated before, we travel up the line from Barton, to catch the bus in the evenings for athletic events. I’m a gun owner, but am unwilling to kill lost teens, in the defense of a cell phone. Hopefully, SPD can figure this out.

    Comment by JesseD — 10:37 pm July 5, 2014 #

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