(Texted photo, during police search in Gatewood)
Thanks to everyone who asked about a police search in Gatewood about an hour ago. It broke up just as we arrived, but we have finally found a sergeant to ask, and we’ve learned it was related to a robbery first mentioned by a commenter. Still many details missing, but here’s what we know:
*A man was held up at gunpoint early this morning in the West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) parking lot at California/Fauntleroy. (The commenter who mentioned it says the victim described the robbers as “teenagers.”)
*Officers searching for the robbers had reason to believe they might be in the Gatewood area, several blocks southeast of the store, so that’s why they had “containment” set up in the 8 am hour – west of 35th, along streets including Webster, Ida, and Othello. We’re told some “evidence” was found.
They’re still investigating actively, and that’s why details are few. By the way, if you happened to see the big police response in the Home Depot parking lot around 9 pm, just next to the precinct, that was not related – they were taking a domestic-violence suspect into custody – that just happened to be where we found a sergeant to ask about the Morgan/Gatewood case.
P.S. This is the third day in a row that someone’s been robbed, armed or strongarm, in West Seattle (our Thursday and Friday stories are linked on the Crime Watch page). So we’ll say this again: The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets Tuesday (January 20th), 7 pm at the precinct (Delridge/Webster), and precinct leadership is always there for a briefing on trends as well as attendee Q/A.
ADDED 10:35 AM SUNDAY: Thanks to MK, wife of the man who was held up, we have details of what happened. From her comment below:
Steve had parked his car on 42nd by the McDonald’s and was walking to work. He was approached by Robber #1 and asked the time. Steve looked at his cell phone and it was 7:13 am. Robber #1 pulled out a gun and pointed it in Steve’s face and demanded his car keys, at the same time 4 males surrounded him. One of them searched his pockets, stealing his wallet and cell phone. Robber #2 & #3 took his keys and got into his car but couldn’t figure out how to start it – the car has keyless ignition. Steve was calm and told Robber #1 how to start it and Robber #1 gave the gun to Robber #4 who then had the gun on Steve’s back. Robber #1 went to the car and was able to start it, they all jumped in the car but they didn’t release the parking brake and maybe got 3 feet before all 5 jumped out of the car and ran off. Steve got into the car and drove to work where he called the police. Police responded immediately – they did a search of the area and also dusted our car for fingerprints and were able to pull some good prints.
Hopefully they will be caught- he thought recognized a couple of these punks (shoplifters) and spent the morning searching his shoplifting records and sure enough he found 3 of their photos which he called police and provided a cd of their photos.
Here are the descriptions (all teens/young adults):
Robber #1 short black male
Robber #2 tall skinny black male (previous shoplifter)
Robber #3 average height samoan male (previous shoplifter)
Robber #4 brother of number #3 (previous shoplifter)
Robber #5 tall black male
There was no activity on either our credit cards or his cell before they were closed so we think they were just after the car.
So please note the holdup did not happen IN the store parking lot, as early information had indicated – police responded there because the victim drove there after the robbers fled.