West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspects charged; car prowls, and what was left behind

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:

BURGLARY SUSPECTS CHARGED: The two 20-year-olds arrested after a burglary west of The Junction last Friday are now officially charged, accused of ransacking the house while a resident hid in a closet; they were found hiding in a shed outside a house less than a block away. As we reported here on Monday, James Michael French (left) and Donchevell Delraye Williams (right) both have records, including assault convictions, and both got out of prison (in separate cases) the same day, less than 3 weeks before this break-in, according to what we found out via an inquiry with the state Department of Corrections.

Each is charged with one count of residential burglary. Charging documents say they were found with a bag of property stolen from the burglarized house, and that Williams had a folding knife clipped in his pants. He listed a Federal Way address; French had a West Seattle address listed in probable-cause documents but the charging papers say he told court personnel he had been “living in a drug house in Kent.” Both remain in jail; prosecutors asked that their bail remain at the amount set at their first hearing last weekend, $100,000 for French, $60,000 for Williams. They are due in court on February 11th.

CAR PROWLS: Car prowlers hit at least three vehicles along the Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood line overnight, one of them ours. First, Mark has more to tell about what happened to his family’s vehicle – and what he found nearby:

My wife’s Honda CRV was broken into sometime last night. Nothing of value was in the car and nothing seems to be taken, although the contents were strewn all over. There was no sign of forced entry, so either the car was unlocked (not likely), or a jimmy tool was used. My wife is in the process of filling out an online police report.

In addition, we found a Suzuki factory-type car rack with 2 bike mounts on it lying on the parking strip across the street. This was dumped there last night as well, and I’m guessing by the same people involved in the car prowl. I imagine the rack was from a stolen car, or was stolen separately and ditched there. I’ve attached a photo of the rack. If someone claims it via a comment in the blog, I will make arrangements for them to pick it up.

This occurred near the California Ave SW and SW Thistle intersection.

We also reported our prowl online (here’s where to do that). No damage; only evidence was open glove box and center console, plus an ice scraper moved from door slot to floor, one small electronics cord taken, will cost about $3 to replace. We don’t have details of the third incident, only that a vehicle was prowled in the same general neighborhood. Car-prowl prevention was a topic, by the way, of last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting; we’ll have that full report sometime tonight.

21 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspects charged; car prowls, and what was left behind"

  • PLF January 28, 2015 (4:02 pm)

    This past year our family was a victim of a crime that the minors (one being 17) absoutely nothing happened. Nothing at all…my hope where we can we can hold thugs accountable and demonstrate that you just can’t keep getting a slap on the wrist and keep victimizing families and the community…I don’t care anymore that you had troubles growing up …at some junction you are respnsible for your choice

  • Dawn January 28, 2015 (4:16 pm)

    I caught a guy going through my glove box this morning at 12th & Henderson…he got my checkbook. Tried to use the link for the online reporting link, but it isn’t working.

  • ej January 28, 2015 (5:22 pm)

    We have a garage but don’t use it for cars because it’s such a great project space & storage closet!! We may need to rethink this strategy…

  • alki resident January 28, 2015 (5:44 pm)

    Whats so exciting about prison that makes these kids keep wanting to go back to it? They’ll be back on the streets doing the same thing once they’re released. Hopefully the next homeowner victim will be armed. Enough is enough, I want my old West Seattle back.

  • HC January 28, 2015 (5:51 pm)

    Bait Cars are needed once these Punks really get caught maybe they will rethink it…..

    I’m tired of these teenagers who think they are above the law.

  • JayDee January 28, 2015 (7:00 pm)

    I am surprised by the lack of visible neck or facial tatts that are common among the frequently incarcerated. Hopefully these young adult criminals stop doing crime before they cannot blend into civil society. Of course, looking at felony time may make this a moot point.

  • MK January 28, 2015 (8:08 pm)

    How odd! I always lock my doors, but my Honda CR-V was ransacked Sat. before last. (North Admiral area.) Glove box contents dumped on to curb; rubber mat and carpet felt pulled out and left on the parking strip; and a pair of gloves and a box of Tic Tacs taken. Wrote it off to a tweaker and filed an online report.

  • ScubaFrog January 28, 2015 (8:11 pm)

    WSB, do you know which degree burglary French and Williams are being charged with? Hopefully First Degree…

  • Honda mystery January 28, 2015 (9:13 pm)

    Hmm, that would make 5 reports of Hondas mysteriously being broken into without signs of forced entry in the past week. 3 were hit in one night on 49th Ave SW a few days ago, each person thinking they had left their car unlocked but know they hadn’t.

    • WSB January 28, 2015 (9:21 pm)

      Police theorize the culprits have “shaved keys” facilitating that sort of thing, although I don’t know the specifics of which kinds of cars are vulnerable to that, will have to research.

  • C January 28, 2015 (9:30 pm)

    2 cars on our block had windows smashed on Sunday night. 45th and massachusetts in N. Admiral. Our other car was rummaged through 2 weeks earlier. As far as I can tell only an off brand charger was taken.

  • Eric January 29, 2015 (4:50 am)

    So A residential burglary is a class b felony that can get one 10 years in prison according to the Washington State legislature. Yet we have seen time and again serial burglars get no where near this sentencing for multiple convictions for burglaries.

    So we can’t afford to incarcerate these POS for a long term sentence, but somehow can afford the police resources to arrest these POS over and over. Put them in jail short term over and over. Pay all the people in the court systems (defendant lawyers/ public defenders, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, and all the other personnel involved) over and over, and just keep this cycle happening over and over. Something is wrong with this picture. Put these POS away for some real time. Especially since French was already convicted of armed robbery and assault during that crime

  • wscommuter January 29, 2015 (8:39 am)

    @Eric – You have to understand that more than 30 years ago, WA went to “determinate sentencing” to eliminate the most of the discretion judges have for all felony offenses. Judges are required by law to follow a sentencing grid for punishing felons. So, for example, on residential burglary, it is ranked as a “serious level IV” offense (there are, I believe, 12 levels, as determined by the legislature) and for a first adult felony offense, the “standard range” the judge is required to follow is “at least 3 months, but not more than 9 months” imprisonment. If one has prior adult felony convictions, then the punishment goes up, the worse that person’s record is.
    The one unique thing about residential burglary is that prosecutors are allowed to charge the associate crime (here, apparently theft) along with the burglary and it could push the offender score higher.
    Bottom line – don’t blame the courts for the punishment imposed – talk to your legislators, who are the folks who set these determinate sentences.

  • Eric January 29, 2015 (9:43 am)

    Ok, let’s take that Alan Polevia punk for example then. How does a career repeat burglar keep getting light sentences? It seems the judges are low balling the sentences. 3 to 9 months for first offense? Seems like judges go to the low end of a 6 month difference for example. So while legislator may have an authority on a guideline. Judges still have discretion on how to impose this guideline and they tend to go low in sentencing within this guideline

    • WSB January 29, 2015 (10:01 am)

      The sentencing recommendations often come from the prosecuting attorney’s office as a result of the plea negotiations (so far in my intensive coverage of neighborhood crime, for the cases we follow, the vast majority end with a plea rather than a trial), and I’ve heard at least one judge make a speech about how they don’t really want to digress from that because it would ruin the relationship between the legal sides, or something like that. As for Polevia, last sentencing we covered, the judge went with the prosecutor’s recommendation:
      He has done some time in jail since finishing that sentence. DUI, according to the register.
      We’ll be watching this case to the end, of course. It takes some work … we don’t get the suspect names handed to us; I had to make guesses based on who showed up on the jail register a few hours later. And the register doesn’t match police incident numbers to prisoners. The next step was contacting the PAO on Monday and saying “OK, I think these two guys are the suspects in … if they are, can we please have the probable-cause paperwork?” And so on. From here, after arraignment, it’s usually a matter of watching the status hearings, which are postponed at least a few times, and then finally a hint at a plea turns up, after a few months … TR

  • sgs January 29, 2015 (11:37 am)

    Interesting about the shaved keys. Our Toyota Camry was broken into a couple of weeks ago with no sign of damage and we wondered how they got in. Looks like it’s someone’s full time job these days. I tried reporting it on the SPD online system, but they didn’t have an option for just a break in, just whether the stolen goods were worth more or less than $1500. Nothing was stolen because we don’t keep anything of value in the car.

    • WSB January 29, 2015 (11:44 am)

      SGS, please go back and try again and choose the “less than $1500” option and just fill in “none” or something. I used that system yesterday for the first time and agree it’s VERY clunky, but still made it through in about 10 minutes, and believe me, the record of what happened where is important in many ways – otherwise, it looks like the crime rate’s lower than it really is; otherwise, we think criminals are not hitting someplace they are; if I were to take a map grab to show car prowls, for example, it wouldn’t show the ones not reported … Sorry to hear it happened, meantime. Though ours too is undamaged and the stolen cord really is of negligible value, it’s still creepy.

  • KM January 29, 2015 (12:06 pm)

    Many people I know that have been victims to car prowls just leave their doors unlocked now, windows down when possible, and nothing inside. It’s a unfortunate strategy, but when they are robbed, there’s little to no physical damage and they don’t have to deal with insurance. Saves money and a headache.

    With little attention given to personal property crime, and lenient justice system, it might be a good way to deal with it.

  • carole January 29, 2015 (12:48 pm)

    I have thought about leaving a big note on the dash: Nothing of value in car.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident January 30, 2015 (7:57 am)

    From what I can tell, it seems that crime against property takes a back seat in; investigating, prosecuting and sentencing.
    Don’t even mention if the perp is under 18, then they just get the “their a child and don’t understand that is wrong to steal from others” excuse.

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