CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: What happened between Gatewood burglary report and arrival

As promised, we’ve followed up today on Sunday morning’s burglary in the 8200 block of California SW, with a nearby resident seeing it happen and calling it in, but police not arriving until after the burglar was gone.

The 911 call was made at 11 am, as we reported on Sunday – the witness has record of that on a cell phone screen. The first officer to arrive at the house was shortly after quarter past – we happened to see it firsthand, because we are based a few blocks south and happened to be heading out on an errand at the time.

Here’s what SPD told us happened in the meantime.

*The dispatch went out at 11:03. An officer was headed to the house by 11:09.

*Before arrival, police got word the burglar(s) had left (11:14, the witness said), and so instead of proceeding immediately to the house, they tried to find the vehicle, using the description and plate (Washington AWB5824 – here’s a photo from the witness):

As the witness told us, they spotted a car they believed to be the vehicle, and they tried to pull it over – but the driver didn’t stop, and proceeded “in an unsafe manner,” as SPD put it, so officers were told to terminate the pursuit, which is SPD policy if it’s believed to be a threat to public safety. From the SPD pursuit policy, which you can read in full here:

…3. Officers Will Not Pursue Without Justification

The circumstances justifying the decision to pursue an eluding vehicle must be articulable at the time the officer initiates the pursuit.

Officers will not pursue solely for any one of the following:

– Traffic violations / Civil Infractions
– Misdemeanors
– Gross misdemeanors
– Property crimes
– The act of eluding alone

4. Officers Will Cease Pursuit When the Risk of the Pursuit Outweighs the Danger to the Public if the Suspect is not Captured

Following up on one other point from our original story – the SPD spokesperson with whom we spoke hadn’t seen anything about the mention of “shift change” and did not think that was related. The case is open, SPD verifies, and detectives have “good information” to follow up on.

28 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: What happened between Gatewood burglary report and arrival"

  • KT October 12, 2015 (5:50 pm)

    I would love to see SPD’s description of “unsafe manner”. We’ll see what the SPD does with the “good information” to follow up on. I have no faith whatsoever that this police department will ever seriously combat property crimes.

  • Eric1 October 12, 2015 (6:02 pm)

    Wow. Good call by SPD. They did everything possible to get these criminals. I agree about the no pursuit policy in neighborhoods. They would be vilified if they or the perps hit someone during the chase. It is likely that the scum are “familiar” to the authorities so they will get caught eventually. Running from the cops should be an automatic 2X sentence modifier.

  • Scofflaws October 12, 2015 (6:25 pm)

    Even the bus lane cop won’t pursue. There was a white sedan that fled a few weeks ago down first ave off ramp after being waved over for violating the bus lane. Officer stayed put but said something into his radio. Car later found abandoned near 4th ave. So .. next time you are in the bus lane and a cop waves you over, stop if you want to. :)

  • Tom N October 12, 2015 (6:51 pm)

    Wow next time I commit a crime I will speed away and the SPD will stop doing there job. It is time to take action SPD or folks will take care these guys for you.

  • mrsMarty October 12, 2015 (7:24 pm)

    WOW I.Ponder I do believe you are correct!

    And what a memory you have to remember that story.

  • Kap October 12, 2015 (7:32 pm)


    Take a breath. One, SPD is very serious about property crime. Our home was burglarized and they shut down Delridge to take them down. Two, what if one if these criminals ran into or over your loved one?

    Go SPD!

  • Mike October 12, 2015 (7:47 pm)

    To the person who witnessed the crime, contact Eric Rachner and get some suggestions into how to make SPD do their job.

  • NotOnHolden October 12, 2015 (7:47 pm)

    Are people actually advocating for unsafe high speed chases through our city?!?!? That’s insane. A high school friend was killed when two speeding fire trucks t-boned at an intersection, she was standing with her bike on a sidewalk and a fire truck fell on her. Innocent bystanders have been killed in accidents caused by high speed pursuits. A sheriff’s car drove up in someone’s yard a few years ago. Life is not a movie or television show.

  • unknown October 12, 2015 (7:55 pm)

    YES until you wear their shoes you have no right to say whether they’re doing a good job or not. I for one give them all my admiration!

  • Westside October 12, 2015 (7:58 pm)

    I sympathize with the victims, but I also am very happy to live in a city where lives matter more than property. If this were a story about an innocent person dying in a police chase, you can be sure that some of those deriding the lack of all out pursuit for stealing someone’s STUFF would be slaying the cops for their foolishness.

  • Neighbor October 12, 2015 (7:59 pm)

    Looks like the same build and age maybe but the way he walked yesterday was so sure and assertive.
    He didn’t really “look” like a criminal.

  • S October 12, 2015 (8:13 pm)

    I agree with the no pursuit but are they going to follow up? They have the license plate number and his picture. The car may have been stolen but it should be easy to verify if the guy in the picture is the owner. So, is the SPD going to follow up?

  • I. Ponder October 12, 2015 (9:29 pm)

    Do you think SPD will see the comments here? I’m wondering if the license plate matches the vehicle featured in the pressure washer theft. Similar shoes, build, and hairstyle.

  • NativeNancy October 12, 2015 (9:57 pm)

    Any more photos? What is the make and model and color of the car? Black or blue? Age of perp?

  • Lincoln park October 12, 2015 (9:58 pm)

    The no pursuit policy is common sense. We don’t need a high speed chase through the streets of Seattle for a property crime.

    2. I’m sure spd has crime databases where they can put in the license plate and see a history of what’s been done and by who etc, I watch CSI (j/k).

    Let’s give a kudos to the SPD when then do a good job. Kudos

  • Eric October 13, 2015 (3:49 am)

    If the response time wasn’t so pathetic, there probably wouldn’t even be a conversation about pursuit or not. Wouldn’t be surprised if the car was stolen and all that great info for not

  • JeffK October 13, 2015 (7:16 am)

    This is the kind of crime that a technology like Persistent Surveillance could address without any chase involved (look it up, Radiolab recently did a story on it). Yes, yes, we would have to put several layers of privacy protections on it and hold it to the highest standards of scrutinization.
    I’d like to see a law at the state level addressing this technology, iron-clad accountability, full public disclosure of how it is used and what it is used for, and clear criminal repercussions for any misuse.
    I’m sure there were many that do/did worry that Guardian One was going to be peering in to their windows, but from what I’ve seen it is run with integrity. Persistent Surveillance could be used and run similarly.

  • Neighbor October 13, 2015 (7:19 am)

    I agree that they should not have given chase over property crime. This would be a different outcome if SPD showed up in the 14 minutes it took them to commit this crime.

  • JoB October 13, 2015 (8:52 am)

    in the end, it’s stuff. car pursuits can take lives. compounding the crime isn’t good for anyone.

  • S October 13, 2015 (9:06 am)

    Agree with Neighbor. Could SPD explain what they were doing in the time it took them to respond? 911 call at 11, no police action until 11:09? That’s a long time for a burglary in progress.

  • CanDo October 13, 2015 (9:31 am)

    A lot of cities stopped high speed chases in neighborhoods years ago, because of deaths of innocent people being run down by either the chased car or the police themselves. I applaud the SPD for common sense. I would not like to see them in hot pursuit in my neighborhood where children play and adults walk, bike, etc. The burglars will be caught eventually, but a person killed by a high speed chase may never recover.

  • K October 13, 2015 (12:40 pm)

    Looking at this photo, and the link to the past webcam footage in the comments, I see that these people are fairly well dressed, and the one has a newer car. Are they affording these things from burglarizing all over West Seattle?
    Yesterday my home had a forced entry, breaking the rear window to unlock my backdoor within a 3 hour period of time in the afternoon, daylight, right on busy Fairmount Ave.

  • Mutt October 13, 2015 (8:12 pm)

    SPD…damned if you do, damned if you don’t! And Mike I have a few “suggestions” for you..

  • KT October 13, 2015 (9:21 pm)

    Crime victims and those who have not experienced being a crime victim will see things differently. 7,102 residential and commercial burglaries in the City of Seattle in 2014. How many were cleared?

    And it is wonderful that at least one poster here got exemplary service from SPD but there has been enough media coverage this year of the department’s non-response to property crimes to question their commitment. Washington has the nation’s highest rate for property crimes. Washington averages 3,710 property crimes per 100,000 people. The national average is 2,730. A long time ago when my home was burglarized and I lost over $20,000 worth of property, it took SPD five hours to respond, walk around my house, give me a case number, and tell me to contact detectives if I developed any suspects from talking to my neighbors (it was after 9pm by that time and they didn’t want to disturb them). Based on what I read in the media, I don’t have faith it has changed completely.

  • JumboJim October 13, 2015 (10:08 pm)

    Why does it take SIX minutes for the police to even get a car to respond after the call? If you think that’s reasonable put your phone down and sit for six full minutes doing absolutely nothing while you think about response times. What if it was called in as “just a property crime” by your neighbor and the burglar broke in to find your spouse, child, etc. at home? Does a quicker response time matter then? The police really don’t know if a reported crime in progress is going to pose a dangerous threat to someone or not. Same thing about letting “just a burglar” go if they speed off- if and when the police enter the home to find a rape or murder victim, what then?

  • Leroy Jenkins October 15, 2015 (9:06 pm)

    Gotta love Monday morning quarterbacking!

  • Eric Arrr October 21, 2015 (5:45 pm)

    Innocent people are killed as a result of police chases all the time. SPD did exactly the right thing by breaking off the pursuit. If there had been some specific basis to believe the burglar posed an imminent threat, that would have been a different story.

    As to the response time… that is a major pet peeve of mine. I don’t understand what it is that keeps patrol officers so busy that they can’t hurry to the scene of a burglary in progress.

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