West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle; prowler warning; plate swap; plus, newest example of how more info helped make a match

Two reader reports start today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:

STOLEN BIKE: Sonya hopes you’ll be on the lookout for her bicycle:

Sometime in the evening of 2/17/15 at 10 pm to the morning of 2/18/15, my Ivory Raleigh with a pink stripe and two different tires was stolen from Fauntleroy Way SW and Hudson SW.

It’s been reported to police, so if you see it, please call them (and you can mention it in comments here too, but PLEASE make the call to police first).

POSSIBLE PROWLERS THIS MORNING: From Chris:

Just wanted to give Morgan junction residents a heads up. Around 9 am today there were two white men in all black with hoods and backpacks walking up and down 42nd Ave and Holly St, back and forth peering into cars and yards. Once they ran into a few pedestrians and realized the street wasn’t deserted, they called their third buddy who picked them up in a light blue 1970s Plymouth or Lincoln with a white vinyl roof. They slowly cruised the block once more and then rolled through the Thriftway parking lot. SPD said they’d send an officer to the area, I haven’t seen anyone yet. All three were white, in their 20s. Black pants, black sweatshirts. Car had a dog in the passenger seat too. Wasn’t sure of breed.

From recent police reports:

SUPERMARKET ROBBERY: As precinct Capt. Steve Wilske explained at this week’s WS Crime Prevention Council meeting, many incidents classified as robberies start as shoplifting. What happened last Saturday night at the Jefferson Square Safeway is one of them. A cashier told police a man walked past her with a bottle of vodka. She asked, “Are you going to pay for that?” He replied, profanely, that he didn’t have to. Another man then walked by with a 20-ounce Coke and claimed he’d already paid; the cashier knew he didn’t since she was the only one open. Finally, a third man tried to buy a bottle of vodka with a credit card that wasn’t working, possibly as a distraction. The store manager went out into the parking lot and while writing down the suspects’ plate, he told police, one of the three men got out, asked him, “Is there a f—ing problem?” and then said, “You’re going to die tonight,” before telling one of the other men in the car, “Get the gun.” The manager went back into the store and called 911. The three men are described in the report as black, 18-21 years old, 5’3″, 5’5″, and 5’7″, slender, and their car was a 2007 silver Toyota Camry.

BURGLARY NEAR LINCOLN PARK: Sometime between 10 am and 8 pm last Sunday, a house in the 7500 block of Fauntleroy Way SW was burglarized. The report says items taken included a TV, computer, and drum set; police noted that “every room in the house” and “every closet, dresser and cabinet” had been looked into by the burglar(s).

LICENSE-PLATE THEFT: This can be so subtle, it’s not noticed, so check your plates every so often. Last Friday in the 2300 block of Alki SW, a parking-enforcement officer called a patrol officer after finding a maroon BMW with plates that checked to a VW van owned by someone nearby (on Bonair). The BMW’s owner lived in the same area and didn’t know his plates had been stolen and replaced with the stolen plates. The police report concluded, “It appears someone stole the other plates to put on the BMW so they could take the BMW plates without the (owner) noticing.”

CAR STOLEN, THEN FOUND: A 1996 Honda Accord was stolen from the 6500 block of California SW in Morgan Junction last Friday night. It turned up in Tukwila on Monday night.

RACKS TAKEN: In the 4500 block of SW Hemlock, east of Lincoln Park, someone stole racks from a car in a driveway the night of February 9th/10th, a Yakima rack system including three bike mounts.

FOLLOWUP ON STOLEN-ITEMS REPORT IN LAST ROUNDUP: We’re getting more police reports with full narrative info these days via public-disclosure reports, with the help of an automated program written by Tim Clemans, who has been working with SPD on ways to get more information out to more people, faster. Here’s an example of how more information can make a difference: If you read this recent roundup, you might recall we mentioned a box of stolen items found in Gatewood, including a bowling trophy with a name on it. WSB commenter HelperMonkey was at the bowling alley a few hours after reading that item, happened to look up at the screen for the alley next to her group, and saw what looked to be the same name. She went over, found the man, showed him the story on her phone, and asked if it was him. It was. (Keep in mind, we published only the first and last letters of his six-letter surname.) We hope he has his items (which had been taken by SPD to put into evidence) back now, or will soon. What made the difference here was the name we got from the official report – looking back in our archives, we think this reader report involved the same items.

The same method of obtaining more reports which otherwise have NOT been routinely available also led to the much-discussed recent story about tax-time scam calls. Not a new scam, but there was a reason to warn people about it again, once we obtained a police report about someone who actually had been victimized.

We’re still only able to access a fraction of local police reports, so reader reports matter *massively* in terms of continuing to get the word out. And while we know some reports are shared on neighborhood-specific, non-public lists, it also helps to get that kind of information out more widely because criminals seldom restrict themselves to one particular neighborhood – what happens in Admiral might be important for Arbor Heights to know, etc. Send info to editor@westseattleblog.com any time. Thanks!

4 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle; prowler warning; plate swap; plus, newest example of how more info helped make a match"

  • G. Adams February 19, 2015 (11:50 am)

    Sometime between yesterday 2/18 at 7:00 pm and this morning 2/19 at 9:00 am my car’s mirror on drivers side was torn off and mirror broken was on the ground. The car parked directly behind me had the rear passenger side window broken and shattered. I live on 61st SW a block off of Admiral, have parked out front of the house for 7 years, never a problem until last night. I filed a report with police on line and called the local precinct to inform them also.

  • G February 19, 2015 (12:22 pm)

    If the IRS had their act together, they would place a banner on their website WARNING people in real time about the tax scam. What an outdated, inefficient, useless institution.

  • Mike February 19, 2015 (12:39 pm)

    Get security footage from Safeway and charge the crooks with malicious harassment using a firearm. You want to act like you’re all that, you get to take punishment like you’re all that.

  • Korm66 February 19, 2015 (1:17 pm)

    Mike- exactly!
    Also, the Safeway manager should get hazard pay for this.

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