West Seattle Crime Watch: Thief caught on camera; car prowl; phone scam; SPD’s new way to write tickets

Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight, starting with a thief caught on video:

That video shows a theft in the Me-Kwa-Mooks Park area last week, according to Heather, who shared the video. (The thief gets out of the car at :46 in.) In case you can’t quite tell, she says, “He was driving a Nissan Murano with tinted windows and a sunroof. He took a pressure washer.” Call police if you know who that is.

#2 – CAR PROWL: Quick heads-up from Blair – “Car break-in on 32nd and Barton Saturday night by the Barton Pea Patch.”

#3 – PHONE SCAM: In case you get this call, here’s a warning from Melissa:

A man (“David Johnson”) with an accent (India, it sounded like) claiming to be from the “US Treasury Inspector” wanted my lawyer’s contact info regarding a legal action involving me, claiming I was notified months ago and that someone would be arriving tomorrow to arrest me. He was very good, even providing names and contact info when I pressed him, but nothing was adding up. I demanded a number to call him back (after a couple prompts, after he oh so helpfully offered to simply transfer me), then I hung up and immediately called the Seattle Police non-emergency line. They knew what this was instantly and did confirm that it was a scam, and if they call back, tell them you’ve already spoken to the police and hang up.

While every fiber of my being was telling me this was a scam, I did have a few bad moments since I still in bed and not totally awake yet. (It was before 7:30 am, so I guess they weren’t super sharp about the time zone thing…)

#4 – NO MORE HANDWRITTEN TICKETS: In case you missed the SPD announcement of a new electronic system, read about it here.

18 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Thief caught on camera; car prowl; phone scam; SPD's new way to write tickets"

  • Mike November 10, 2014 (8:28 pm)

    that thief, wow, glad they got them on camera
    the phone scam, I usually get them saying they’re from Microsoft Windows Security and I have a virus (which I love, I have a Mac and Chromebook). Don’t ever give our your info to a person that has called YOU. These guys are fun to mess with though, I dragged one along for a few minutes of fun “click on what, where’s that…huh, wait wait… which button, do what now, where’s that, ok i see it, now click what”. It’s like telemarketers, I turn it on them and ask them what color hair they have, if they’re married, where they live, what’s their favorite color, do they have a dog.

  • Lisa November 10, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    I’ve also had 3 of the scam phone calls regarding “legal action being taken against me.” Also a gentleman “Sean Williams” with an Indian accent. The phone number on my caller id is from L.A. I’ve never returned the phone calls – I think it was the “have a blessed day. God bless.” at the end of the message that truly assured me that this was b.s. :)

  • airplanenut November 10, 2014 (8:31 pm)

    #3 phone scam. This is going around. We have been called twice, once for each name.
    For a consumer alert go on-line to Fox59.com/2014/03/20-consumer-alert-irs-warn
    The main message is don’t respond, hang up.

  • kate November 10, 2014 (8:36 pm)

    I know the house that was robbed of its pressure washer. The house is up on a hill and the driveway is precarious and private. I can not image a random thief just “lucking out”, during daylight, randomly driving up and finding an easy item to steal. Very odd. Take a very good look at this guy. Perhaps he’s been at your house to make a repair, sell a service, landscape your yard, etc.

  • Person November 10, 2014 (8:51 pm)

    We got the treasury dept call too. I knew it was a scam and hung up, but they were eerily persistent and called back three times. Indian accent saying they are calling about a legal emergency.

  • Ttt November 10, 2014 (9:15 pm)

    My grandmother use d to get phone scammers calling her with a similar pitch. Once they seemed to establish that she was elderly, they began calling her in early morning hours and late at night until she gave them money. We had the police trace the calls and they were coming from Jamica. We couldn’t do anything about it except change her phone number– they harassed her all the time. After changing her number, they even had the gall to call the police and have them do a wellness check on her to see if she were still alive– trying anyway they could get to her again, over the phone since she had given them money before.

  • trickycoolj November 10, 2014 (9:56 pm)

    When scammers ask for your number give them the SPD non-emergency number. Memorize it. It’s a 206 number that sounds like any regular number. Get hit on by a creep in a bar or on the bus for your number? SPD non-emergency line. It’s even better than the old rejection hotline number!

  • joel November 10, 2014 (10:08 pm)

    phone scams….depending on my level of boredom it’s fun to mess around with them. act like you believe them and are going to give them the info. give them fake names, wrong info etc. start talking crazy talk to them about bizarre stuff. or just hang up on them or blow the whistle very loudly into the phone.

  • sophista-tiki November 11, 2014 (12:32 am)

    After someone tried to steal my vintage car right out of the car port in front of my house last summer. I moved everything to the back yard. Out of sight and locked up, fenced and boobie trapped. People are cruising around all the time looking for stuff to take. Never in a million yrs would I have thought someone would back up a tow truck and try to hook up my vintage car or would be casing what I have in my carport, down my driveway, inside a fenced and landscaped yard, with a big dog.

  • anonyme November 11, 2014 (6:07 am)

    What a scumbag. Goes to show that not all thieves are sketchy looking dudes in beat up vehicles. Hopefully the vehicle is distinctive enough to put this POS behind bars.

  • Rick November 11, 2014 (7:28 am)

    The non-emergency # idea is great. Tape it to your phone. If you have the time, waste theirs.

  • Danno November 11, 2014 (9:01 am)

    re: Phone Scam

    This is a scam for sure. I know, I work there. The IRS sends notices, they do not call you out of the blue. There is a rather lengthy due process. If you get this call got to TIGTA.gov and register the incident. You pick a 5 digit pin, and if the Treasury Department contacts you for further details, they will identify themselves to you with that number. There is a major effort underway to shut this scam down. Do not disclose your personal information.

  • sc November 11, 2014 (9:12 am)

    My senior mom just tells them she has the FBI on speed dial and they hang up!

  • Jon November 11, 2014 (9:12 am)

    ??? Why would they be asking for your phone number if they called you?

  • SJoy November 11, 2014 (10:26 am)

    Thanx Trickycoolj for the idea… Next time they call, I’m going to tell them that my phone is acting up and to call me on my cell phone!!! Can’t wait!!!!

  • Ex-Westwood Resident November 11, 2014 (11:02 am)

    Re: Phone Scam.
    I got the same call, but they claimed that they were from the IRS. They left a message with a 202 phone number.
    I called it and was told that I was being sued by the IRS and the person, Mr. Smith, who had a HEAVY Indian accent began reading the “indictment” after he was done reading it I asked who i needed to talk to to resolve this issue.
    They must have done a reverse look up on the number I was calling from because he QUICKLY ended the conversation with the threat that in an hour an IRS agent and county police would be at my house to arrest me.
    I called them from work, which just happens to be a Department of Justice number :-O.
    Just a hint – if the IRS, or any other Federal agency comes to arrest you, they will use US Marshall Service and NOT local police.
    Wife called the non-emergency line also and they confirmed it was a scam.

  • Magpie November 11, 2014 (1:12 pm)

    We got one of those messages last night for my son. Mine was from Phillip Smith, heavy accent, not using tenses, etc correctly and threatened my son with jail . Actually left a message from what appeared to be a 208#, but I googled the number and it is an IRS scam number. Proabably an autodialer that just dials numbers randomly and was in our area codeand 93x last night. The phone number that was left started with 830.

  • ScubaFrog November 11, 2014 (6:48 pm)

    Brazen. What kind of people do things like that? And why won’t the Seattle Police Department take appropriate actions against property theft? If this were in Issaquah, their detectives would take the time to investigate (as evidenced by Danny Westneat’s recent experience with the “SPD”).

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