West Seattle Crime Watch: Interrupted burglary; stolen bike; gift theft thwarted; more

Our first West Seattle Crime Watch roundup since pre-Christmas starts with two reader reports:


Attempted residential break-in. 7500 block of 46th Ave SW, approximately 7:45 (Friday) night. Neighbors came home as it was occurring. Burglar fled. Police notified.

We’ve asked a followup question about any description that might be available.

STOLEN BIKE: So often, stolen bicycles turn up abandoned somewhere – the thief used it to get to the scene of the next crime, and then cast it aside. Sharon is looking for hers: “My bike was stolen from (the 1700 block of) Alki Ave SW. It is a black Marin crossover with a sticker on the the front, which may have already been taken off. … I will provide a reward if found.”

We also have three reports from the online police files; it usually takes several days for narratives to become available, if they ever do, but we keep watch to see what’s new, and found these, including gifts stolen from a church and rapidly returned:

GIFT THEFT THWARTED: Last Saturday morning (December 20th), police were called to Holy Family Church (20th/Roxbury) on a report that two people had broken into the church and taken gifts that were intended for families in need. They got there so fast, they were able to stop the suspects in a car not even a block from the church. After a “high-risk stop” (that’s what you’re usually seeing, if you see police, guns drawn, by a car – it’s the policy for stopping someone suspected in a felony), they arrested a male and female suspect found inside. According to the report, police saw “multiple boxes crammed inside the cabin of the suspect vehicle, as well as a large box inside the trunk of the vehicle, which was open and unsecured.” The male suspect claimed a woman at the church had told him he could take the gifts. The only person at the church at the time, however, was a priest. The church, according to the report, did not want to press charges, which led to what the report calls the “unarrests” of the suspects. But they were told they could not leave in their car, which police parked nearby – because neither had a valid driver’s license.

BUSINESS ROBBED: A business in the 8600 block of 9th SW was robbed at knifepoint just after 6 pm last Monday (December 22nd). An employee said a man had come in, pointed a knife at her abdomen, and demanded money; she gave him what little was in the register and he left. Police found a possible suspect at 14th and Cambridge and took the victim there to see him, but she said it wasn’t the same man. The police report says she described the robber as “5’2″, Hispanic, light skin, late 20s or early 30s, with a round, heavyset build,” wearing a blue hoodie, dark pants, and a “Halloween mask.”

BURGLARY/CAR PROWL: On Wednesday morning, police were summoned to the 1000 block of SW Henderson, where a man told them that overnight, someone came into his fenced back yard, tried and failed to break into two storage sheds, but smashed the window of his pickup truck and stole a laptop and tablet.

13 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Interrupted burglary; stolen bike; gift theft thwarted; more"

  • SomeGuy December 27, 2014 (6:17 am)

    Errr, I know churches like to “turn the other cheek” but in the rare cases when the police actually catch the bad guys red-handed, it seems like a bad idea to NOT press charges… They will resume stealing stuff the next day, perhaps in a different neighborhood, but continuing to commit crimes and violate people’s sense of well-being.

  • Azimuth December 27, 2014 (8:28 am)

    I can appreciate the church’s stance of compassion, but if these thieves are this brazen and/or desperate, and are now on the loose again, where will the thieves turn to next? My house? I hope the police have taken good notes on this pair since I’m sure they will see them again soon. I also hope the church is wiser than me and these two can move on from this…
    Also, I’m definitely not a lawyer, but I didn’t think it was up to the victims regarding pressing charges, but is the domain of the prosecutor. It surprises me the police can “unarrest” someone unless the police made a mistake. Is that correct?

  • Marianne December 27, 2014 (8:36 am)

    While driving through Arbor Heights on Christmas day, I saw a FedEx box lying in the road. I stopped to pick it up. It was empty. I went to the home on the address and they were not home. I called the phone number of the recipient, also on the package. They were out of town. The package had been delivered the day before. I wonder if the thieves knew the home was empty.

  • SillyGoose December 27, 2014 (10:47 am)

    Come on Seriously “Holy Family Priest” press charges what is wrong with you, you ask for donations constantly and we donate even though we are not wealthy ourselves, and you let this scum steal our hard earned donations without pressing charges!! Tell me what the items were and I will press charges for stealing my donation!! Why did you even bother to waste the time of the Police Officers if you weren’t going to arrest the criminals? You have turned the devil loose on God’s people!!!!

  • Mike December 27, 2014 (10:55 am)

    The church will wish they had gone forward with pressing charges the next time these thieves up the crime level. It’s not if, it’s when. It saddens me that they’d let crooks go like that, it’s going to damn another individuals rights by not doing what is right.

  • Admirallie December 27, 2014 (12:54 pm)

    Yep – the prosecutor decides whether to press charges – not the victim,and not the cops.

    • WSB December 27, 2014 (1:17 pm)

      Yes of course, even if they had said they wanted to “press charges,” it would be up to the prosecuting attorney’s office. But it’s pretty rare, in what I’ve seen over the years, for a non-huge crime to be prosecuted without a cooperative victim/witness. Also, I wanted to clarify, the stolen property *was* recovered. Not that that negates the crime, but if anyone was confused … The exact transcription from the police report, by the way, regarding this part, was: “… (redacted) stated he did not want to press charges against the suspects. As a result, Sgt. Britt advised officers that the suspects would be released from the scene. Sgt. Britt also screened the unarrests of the suspects; because neither suspect had a valid driver’s license, officers legally parked their vehicle. …” (I don’t know the exact wording or specifications of the policy but in many serious and/or nonroutine incidents, someone of sergeant rank or higher has to “screen” – sign off on – the incident.) – TR

  • Eric December 27, 2014 (1:41 pm)

    I’d like to know where that vehicle is parked

    • WSB December 27, 2014 (1:52 pm)

      Later in the report, it says that one of the suspects indicated his brother, who ostensibly IS a licensed driver, would be coming to get him and the vehicle. White 4-door car, is the only description in the pages of the report that were made public. And again, this happened one week ago – 3 pm Saturday, December 20th. The report did not appear in the system until the last day or two – I came across it online last night.

  • gia December 27, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    Car should have been impounded, and the driver (who did not have a license) should have been charged accordingly. Afer so many driving without a license it can lead to driving on a suspended license, which can carry some jail time. Something other then an “unarrest” should have occurred. :(

  • Suzanna December 27, 2014 (2:16 pm)

    Marianne we had a package stolen in arbor heights on Christmas eve was it from Amazon?

  • Marianne December 27, 2014 (5:56 pm)

    Susanna, This package was from FedEx. It was delivered on Christmas Eve and found on Christmas Day. Sounds like the same thieves.

  • anonyme December 30, 2014 (6:08 am)

    Agree with gia. They should not have walked away from this, even if the charges were related to the vehicle rather than the theft itself. Now they’re off to commit more crimes, thinking they’re untouchable.

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