Update: Police search for suspects after Admiral street robbery; fifth West Seattle holdup or attempt in seven days

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli. Above, police near the robbery scene)
5:18 PM: Police are combing North Admiral neighborhoods right now for two street-robbery suspects. More to come.

5:27 PM: They have found a possible suspect. We don’t have full details of the incident yet but police had been seeking two people, one reported to have a knife, another who reportedly told the victims he had a gun. They either stole or tried to steal a phone.

(44th/Atlantic, where police checked a home whose resident reported an intruder alarm)
5:45 PM UPDATE: No word of any arrests yet. An active search continues, with K-9; the actual robbery happened north of Admiral/California.

(Tonight’s search went all the way to the water – above, Don Armeni Boat Ramp park)
Just before this, we had learned of a robbery attempt near there yesterday afternoon; police say they don’t know yet if that’s related. In that one, two people tried to steal a 13-year-old’s phone, but older youth in the area chased them away. It apparently was not reported to police until today. (Added: That attempt happened near Lafayette Elementary around 3 pm Tuesday, according to the victim’s family.)

6:26 PM: Search continuing, and it’s very wide-ranging.

(Sunset/Seattle, atop the North Admiral bluff)
7:23 PM: Police have been searching as far north as Harbor Avenue. Counting the attempted robbery yesterday that we just learned about today, this is the fifth street robbery or attempt in West Seattle in the past seven days, starting last Thursday (January 15th) when two people knocked down and stole the backpack of a middle-schooler walking by Myrtle Reservoir in Gatewood; on Friday, a robber stole a phone from a high-school student walking in a Westwood neighborhood; on Saturday, a man parking near his workplace in Morgan Junction was accosted by robbers who tried to steal his car.

8:14 PM: We’re adding photos from the search. Meantime, we just checked with Lt. Alan Williams, who confirms, no arrests yet, and that the person detained at 45th/Walker was not identified by the victims, so he was released. The robbery itself, Lt. Williams says, happened in the 2300 block of 44th SW. He has no description information at this point aside from “two black males … estimated to be 15-17 years of age.”

52 Replies to "Update: Police search for suspects after Admiral street robbery; fifth West Seattle holdup or attempt in seven days"

  • Lisa Dodge-Johnson January 21, 2015 (5:24 pm)

    Just spoke to officer on corner of 45th Ave and Walker asking me to “go back home and stay inside”. they are looking for 2 “black” men for an armed robbery.

  • Melinda January 21, 2015 (5:26 pm)

    Just drove thru Admiral. Saw 4 police cars around Chevron/7-11 area.

  • Goodgraces January 21, 2015 (5:34 pm)

    Were the victims WSHS students? While shopping in the Admiral area around 4:45 today, heard from a reputable source about an attempted robbery of a student yesterday, and then other attempted robberies (allegedly by the same suspects) today.

  • Laura January 21, 2015 (5:45 pm)

    It looks like they may have someone in the alley beside 7-11. Looks like a couple police cars and one with lights on in the alley. Lets hope they caught them!

  • Joslyn January 21, 2015 (5:52 pm)

    We just saw a police car driving along Sunset with lights flashing.

  • Priscilla January 21, 2015 (6:05 pm)

    Police cars parked outside Seattle and 45th Ave SW while others prowled by-all lights flashing. Drove off about 8 minutes ago.

  • PDH January 21, 2015 (6:07 pm)

    Just drove by on Holgate between on 45th and 46th SW. Lights!

  • AdmiralRob January 21, 2015 (6:13 pm)

    Scanner said they are shutting traffic at California & SW Seattle St. – maybe caught them?

  • Jimi January 21, 2015 (6:13 pm)

    Still cops looking those two suspects behind 711 and chevron gas station.

  • Bree January 21, 2015 (6:20 pm)

    Thanks. We notified our neighborhood & some others since police cars are active over here with one sitting at California & Massachusetts. Most appreciated so we could put people on alert. WSB – you are the best.

  • Joe Szilagyi January 21, 2015 (6:26 pm)

    Are pawn shops required to take photos and get valid state ID matching sellers and pawners?

    • WSB January 21, 2015 (6:37 pm)

      I don’t know. Maybe somebody else does. Phones don’t just go to pawn shops. Mall kiosks. They take photos and IDs – and that’s how, you might recall, the suspect in the bus stickups was caught…

  • J January 21, 2015 (7:09 pm)

    Better description of the suspects? Especially given this has happened twice in same area within the same amount of days? I live on this block and am always out and about. I will gladly alert the authorities if I see suspicious activity AND matching descriptions. Love to help keep the neighborhood safe!

  • kravitz January 21, 2015 (7:11 pm)

    Probably the same morons who tried to steal the car that they didn’t know how to drive. This is getting old, and sadly, it’s going to end with someone getting hurt or losing their life…for a stupid phone…or wallet, or laptop, book bag, car keys – whatever. This has got to stop.

  • Sue January 21, 2015 (7:32 pm)

    About an hour ago we saw one male hand cuffed by the police on 45th ave Sw.

    • WSB January 21, 2015 (7:39 pm)

      Sue, we were at that scene. I don’t believe that possible suspect panned out. I am attempting to contact police again now in hopes of a status and also descriptions.

  • C January 21, 2015 (7:32 pm)

    We live 45th and Massachusetts. Wondering if they are still in that area.

  • Eric1 January 21, 2015 (7:36 pm)

    What is up with all the robberies in West Seattle? All over phones? The prosecutors need to step it up and keep the criminals behind bars as I doubt this is the first time these criminals have been caught. Charge them appropriately with firearm enhancements and such. Claim to have a gun? Get punished with the appropriate jail time.
    So tired of the plea bargains with the charges being reduced to dialing a phone without permission.

  • Nw mama January 21, 2015 (7:46 pm)

    These “Stupid phones” – especially iPhones- which many kids carry- can get these thieves $200-600 each. Just saying- it’s pretty good cash for petty theives.

  • G January 21, 2015 (7:51 pm)

    Jesus, I was just in the area, saw a SUV style police car, but didn’t know this was going down. Loss for words at this point.

  • wscommuter January 21, 2015 (8:53 pm)

    @Eric1 – please provide some actual examples of your complaint. What are these plea bargains you claim occur where violent robbers are given a slap on the wrist. Details, please?
    Because otherwise, you’re just ranting without any facts to back it up. Not adding to the conversation here.

  • Noelle January 21, 2015 (9:01 pm)

    Not good.

  • Ann January 21, 2015 (9:03 pm)

    Any update?

    • WSB January 21, 2015 (9:14 pm)

      Sorry, I’d added an update an hour ago and then while trying to multitask, filed over it. I just found it and re-added it.

  • Seattlite January 21, 2015 (9:15 pm)

    These are bold thugs who are armed…extremely scary. The 4 or 5 black thugs who tried to jack a car and rob a guy at the local Thriftway on Calif and Fauntleroy have not been captured to my knowledge. I feel very upset and frightened for the young kids who are getting their phones stolen by these hardened, criminal thugs. What more can SPD, public do about this?

  • Eric1 January 21, 2015 (10:42 pm)

    How’s about the violent robbers who killed the Tuba Man being let out quickly to kill again? You might think I am just ranting but there needs to be accountability, especially when people use guns. I don’t want them only being charged with theft (I was trying to be facetious about the phone thing).
    Trevonte Brown is a good example of just sentencing: 13 years for robbery using a firearm. All gun crimes need to start with this kind of sentence.

  • Eric January 22, 2015 (2:39 am)

    110% agree Eric1

  • Born on Alki 59 January 22, 2015 (6:35 am)

    Spot on Eric1, I can’t think of a better example of injustice than the scum that murdered the tuba man. Facts? Look up the rap sheets on a majority of these habitual re-offenders. I think that speaks for itself.
    wscommuter, I know a good optometrist if you need one. Just sayin’

  • bestbets January 22, 2015 (6:42 am)

    Whoa, will definitely tell my African-American son who lives in North Admiral to watch out since now any African American male, no matter what height, weight, and so on is considered a suspect (of course in Seattle all black males are considered “thugs” anyway by many based on many comments). Not feeling like I like my neighborhood when we have to fear our neighbors.

    • WSB January 22, 2015 (6:55 am)

      That’s all the description information we have – however fragmented, we report everything we can find out. And if people missed the earlier reports, the suspect descriptions are different – for example, the first one in Gatewood (linked above as are all the other reports) was reported by the victim as two white men, without much further descriptive information (that one happened in daylight; what happened yesterday was around dusk, and the streets in North Admiral are less lit than many neighborhoods I can think of, like ours, so it may well be that the victim didn’t get much of a look at the two). I’ll be asking this morning for the report and whether any additional information has been added. In both this case and the one from the day before (also mentioned in this story because we had just found out about it a short time earlier and hadn’t even had a chance to write a separate report before this happened), it seems there’s a possibility someone known to police is being investigated. But as was pointed out in the Morgan Junction case, just because you’ve seen a suspect before, or even if you know their name, is no guarantee of an arrest – for reasons from, you have to find them, to, what kind of evidence you have or don’t. – TR

  • trl January 22, 2015 (7:48 am)

    Bestbets,I understand. I’ll have to tell my son who takes the metro bus regularly, is African America and lives in Admiral to be on the lookout for both thugs and others who might perceive him as one.

  • Orca January 22, 2015 (8:00 am)

    This will end badly when the dirtbags run into a citizen who is legally carrying a concealed weapon for protection.

    Right now they seem to be choosing children and a few others as victims. This can change as they feel they are getting away with it. It seems to have moved from the Westwood bus stop area to the California strip.
    Other threads in the blog have made it very clear that many of our friends and neighbors are quietly and legally armed now….both men and women.
    Hope they get these guys out of our neighborhoods quickly.
    This includes the Westwood area.

  • dontknow January 22, 2015 (8:01 am)


    You’re right. Many get very hysterical and try to broad brush. My hope is that many of you take a deep breath and let our police and justice system work. If it’s not good enough for you, then climb inside and make a difference. I love the West Seattle Blog and the fact that it brings everything to light. We all need to be aware of our surroundings and report unusual activity when we see it. Just the other day I noticed two Hispanic males in a pick up trolling the alley’s in my neighborhood and looking into yards. I contacted 911 and gave that info, but I’ve also see white males doing this as well…Just sayin. Stay safe!

  • martin@44th January 22, 2015 (8:21 am)

    Let’s be vigilante and look out for each other. Call police when something doesn’t feel right. Bad guys will leave our neighborhood when they feel our presence. Stay safe everyone. Love West Seattle & North Admiral!!!

  • G January 22, 2015 (8:37 am)

    Again, where are these conversations at coffeeshops, stores, and in public? You can be informed, but pretty hard to generate solidarity in the virtual world, unless you’re organizing some event. Why do people clam up in public about this? Is is unfashionable to criticize West Seattle? Are people that delicate and insecure? If we aren’t critical, nothing is going to change.

    • WSB January 22, 2015 (8:51 am)

      G, you keep saying the same thing. How do you KNOW people aren’t talking about it? I don’t profess to be everywhere at all times but where I’ve been this week, they are, including entirely unrelated meetings and events, etc. And while I will admit it would have been great to see 100 people pack the Crime Prevention Council meeting the other night, about 25 showed up and that’s about five times normal. Someone else made you this challenge in another thread, I believe – if you think something additional should be organized, do it! Otherwise, show up at what IS already organized and work with the neighborhood advocates who are already shorthanded, overworked, longtime volunteers trying to address a variety of quality-of-life issues. If you don’t have a Block Watch on your street, start one! And be at next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting if you don’t know how. http://wsblockwatchnet.wordpress.com – TR

  • The_Dude13 January 22, 2015 (8:53 am)

    I am the father of one of the boys who was robbed and called the police.
    Facts: 2 Somalian high school students who have dropped out if WS high. One is tall and skinny the other is shorter and chubby.

    There was a fight between the boys and they got a very good look at them. They have been seen around the admiral neighborhood many times, especially right after school.

    The police know who the boys are and are activity looking for him. They did apprehend one of the friends of the boys but the young man would say nothing.

    Many of the WS high school students know who they are as well. They helped another
    young boy that was being robbed on Monday but the 2 suspects got away before the police arrived.

    Any help is appreciated so this does not happen to anyone else.

    • WSB January 22, 2015 (9:11 am)

      Thank you, Dude. For anyone just tuning into this, we just got a call from someone wondering why police had been in so many places last night. When a K9 team is called in, they will go as far as a “track” gets them – and the track starts where the crime happened. Often, we hear via scanner that the track expired fairly quickly – which tends to mean the criminal(s) got into a vehicle and left. In this case, the K9 had a good track all the way north to Harbor Avenue. And along the way, they closed the streets to traffic temporarily so the dog could continue following the track. I’m not sure exactly where it left off. Separate from the dog, officers were in other places for what they call “containment” when someone is being sought in a crime that just occurred. And there were a couple spots in the area where someone reported something suspicious, like the house where an intruder alarm had gone off, though no one was found when police looked there, plus the person questioned at 45th/Walker. Meantime, we are asking police for the written reports on both Admiral incidents and will have a followup when we get that info – TR

  • The_Dude13 January 22, 2015 (9:02 am)

    One last thing, there was a man in a toyota pick up dropping off a woman at work and when my son asked for help during the incident and the guy did nothing….the words I have for him I can’t post here….

  • NW January 22, 2015 (9:07 am)

    What if we took a different tact and reached out to these individuals and many like them and offered support of some kind and help them help themselves to a more productive means of living overall?

  • lox January 22, 2015 (9:25 am)

    bestbets-I understand your fear. My son is black and still young, but it’s tough knowing we are going to have to prepare them everyday to understand they will be suspect when things happen, regardless of guilt. Head down, hands up. That being said, I’m so frightened for what is happening. I hope the offenders are caught quickly.

  • Wes C. Addle January 22, 2015 (9:30 am)

    As a resident of this block, my ears and eyes will be open for the suspects.
    Surprised it happened at that time of day which is probably the busiest time as far as foot traffic goes.
    I was on the bus when the police passed us and pulled into the 7-11.

  • M January 22, 2015 (10:55 am)

    @M. I agree with you as well. Would love to see some Seahawk players come out to WS and speak to the violence and encourage these punk kids to put their guns down, stop being stupid and make something of their lives. Maybe some public support by our Seahawks would finally get through to some of these kids and provide a meaniful mentorship these kids are obviously missing. Get Beastmode on it.

  • debra January 22, 2015 (10:56 am)

    martin@44- folks are calling when they see somthing suspicious and told point blank they can’t do anything and to call back when a crime is actually comitted.
    Something fundmentally is not working when we are having so many violent issues in such a short period of time..clearly these thugs are not concernced they will be caught and if so only slapped on the wrist
    I will be one of those folks who will be armed legally and will protect myself and my family

  • Ms. Sparkles January 22, 2015 (11:27 am)

    Kudos to the “Older youth” that came to the aid/ stopped the attempted theft from the 13 year old the day prior.
    The_Dude 13 – I’m so sorry for your son and hope his experience with the hearless adult in the truck doesn’t leave him feeling that no one cares.
    NW – we need to catch them before we can offer them support; I’d like to know why they think this is okay. Are they so filled with hate, so lacking in empathly that they never think about how this affects the victims? How’d they get so cruel / callous / lost / effed up?

  • Me January 22, 2015 (12:17 pm)

    I see the Laurel and Hardy pair that The Dude is referring to all the time on California, north of Safeway. All the police have to do is hang out at Safeway one afternoon and they could round up these little turds.

    Ms. Sparkles – they’re bullies simply doing what bullies do, except today’s bullies carry guns.

    I’d probably end up getting myself shot if one of these idiots ever put a gun in my face. There’s absolutely no way I would submit to that nonsense. I know it’s not worth losing your life for a phone, but it’s the principle of the matter.

    I think it’s incredibly naive to think that a few encouraging words from a celebrity could ever change anything in these Kid’s minds. Same goes for after school programs, mentoring, etc. Sadly, I don’t think there is a solution – This is all simply a byproduct of idiocracy.

  • Seattlite January 22, 2015 (1:27 pm)

    Me — I agree with your post. These thugs obviously have no structured home life giving guidance into ethics, morals, right from wrong. Guns take these robberies to a totally different level. These thugs need to be caught and dealt with accordingly. I’m watching an old series called The Wire which realistically portrays urban youth at risk for committing crimes…which seems to have become West Seattle’s reality.

  • datamuse January 22, 2015 (1:48 pm)

    Heh, there’s no way West Seattle even compares to Baltimore.

  • Cynical Girl January 22, 2015 (6:05 pm)

    In this day and age when everyone has a cell phone and/ or Ipads, I never give the time when approached by someone. I call BS everytime. I say, “nope” and keep walking. Don’t care if I offend them. This happened to me for years living on the East Coast

  • East Coast Cynic January 22, 2015 (6:45 pm)

    Exactly @Cynical Girl. When somebody asks for the time, it tends to be a precursor to a mugging. I also try not to make myself a target by not having nice consumer goods on display for the knuckleheads.

  • Darryll January 22, 2015 (7:07 pm)

    Haha. True that, datamuse! This is an inconvenient blip compared to the situation portrayed in The Wire. :)

    I have to agree with the people who are asking about providing some support to these kids, though. If they don’t realize the benefits of the rules of society, then society has a vested interest in helping them understand and believe in those benefits. The alternatives to the rule of law are more expensive for society to deal with (prison, police, degraded quality of life, etc.). But I also agree that they need to be caught first.

    To all of the adults in the room… Let’s stay involved in the community beyond our front doors, beyond the internet, etc. The WSCPC meeting this week was a great reminder that we’re all together in this. And there are a bazillion other ways to contribute. So find your passion and get involved!

  • Bradley January 22, 2015 (7:57 pm)

    Next time some punk(s) asks you the time, tell them “time for you to get a watch”, put your hand on your (licensed) concealed pistol, and keep walking.

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