West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowlers still busy

We’ve heard a lot about car prowls in West Seattle Crime Watch lately, and we’ve heard from three more readers. First, from Justina, a Westwood break-in:

(Monday) around 3 p.m. I arrived at Target and saw a group of people in a car watching me. I didn’t think much of it, at first it seemed like a group of friends. I came out of Target 30 minutes later to see the window of my driver’s door completely shattered. The thief/thieves opened my trunk to steal my backpack along with my younger sister’s. I contacted SPD and soon there was another man who also had his car broken into.

Target’s security believes that there was a group of people who were all stealing from cars in the parking lot (Monday). One woman got arrested, but none of her possible accomplices came back. I just want people to be aware that these things do happen in broad daylight, even if you think you’re safe by putting your belongings in your trunk. I never thought that this would happen to me because I keep nothing of importance in my car. I always put my backpack in my trunk so no one can see it through my windows. But still, the thieves took my 10 year-old hand-me-down backpack full of homework and school supplies. Please be aware of your surroundings and stand up for what is right.

From Karna in Gatewood:

Would like to report a car prowl on the 7000 block of 42nd Ave near Myrtle. (Sunday) night between 12:00 am – 6:00 am, our car was “unlocked” and was clearly rifled, sunglasses taken and the entire “ashtray” which may have had $.75 and some old chap stick. Will be calling the police to report and request additional patrols on our block…I don’t smoke but would love to have my ashtray and shades back…and hope someone enjoys my shades…they were my favorite. In light of what’s going on in Paris and many parts of the world, this is really no big deal and we must all count our blessings…hope these thieves needed the money and were not just being vandals.

We also have a general neighborhood alert from the 44th/Dawson area southwest of The Junction, at least four recent car prowls and an attempted purse snatch a bit further south, near 44th/Brandon. No specifics on these so far but a general FYI.

CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL TONIGHT: 7 pm tonight (Tuesday), the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets, with a briefing on local crime trends, a chance to bring up neighborhood concerns, and a scheduled guest appearance from Metro Transit Police leadership. Southwest Precinct meeting room (2300 SW Webster) – all welcome.

17 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowlers still busy"

  • iggy November 17, 2015 (7:50 am)

    I won’t be able to attend the crime prevention council meeting, so I hope one of the attendees reads this blog.
    The car prowl at Target at 3:00 pm doesn’t surprise me. Although I only have anecdotal evidence and what I perceive, the Westwood Village Transit Area and the Westwood Village driveways and Target parking lot continue to become more and more scary. I will only go to Westwood village (depending on weather I go either by bus or drive) now between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. In the early morning and in the afternoon and evening, groups of people, some drunk and I even saw a guy urinating at the RR bus stop last week, in full view of people and a bus driver, with no police in site and no concern by Metro. Dark, inadequate lighting, no security. I’ve seen fights break out at the 22/124 (?) bus stop on 26th. In the parking lot by Target and the one by Staples, there are some aggressive panhandlers.
    The Post Office, now that it doesn’t have a driveup letter box dropoff, is also a disaster waiting to happen as we approach the busy holidays. The lines into the parking lot are backing up into the mall, and it is getting difficult to walk or drive safely through that area. I hope they will have an officer directing traffic as we get into the holiday season.
    I know that Westwood Village and retailers do care about their customers, but, honestly I’ve seen a real deterioration in pedestrian safety and car safety in the past few years.

  • Eric November 17, 2015 (8:01 am)

    I had something similar happen at Target. A group of people were in a red car watching my wife and I as we parked. I had a laptop in a case that I threw in the very back of my car. I looked over and noticed the people watched me do this. We started walking to Target and I noticed one guy get out of the car following us.

    As soon as we went through the doors, I told my wife to go on and I would meet her. I saw the guy come through the doors and began looking around. I walked right up to him and he looked startled to see me. He said something like, ” oh, I thought I knew you”, which I replied BS. He then left quickly out the doors and walked the wrong direction before changing direction to his car. I followed him and he quickly ran to his car and left before I could get a license plate number. I told security about this and promptly left Target to shop another day

  • someguy November 17, 2015 (8:46 am)

    Eric, can you give more detail please? What day of the week and roughly what time? Make of car or description of the guy you confronted?

  • sc November 17, 2015 (8:52 am)

    Anymore I only go to the Westwood Target in the early morning, in for the sale items and then out. And while I try not to have anything in the backseat I know WSB has said even a crumpled grocery bag may look inviting!

  • Fiz November 17, 2015 (10:36 am)

    We simply don’t go to Target anymore. It’s worth it to shop elsewhere, possibly pay more, but feel as safe as possible.

  • SJoy November 17, 2015 (11:09 am)

    I am so paranoid that someone is watching when I get out of my car, that I never put anything in my trunk when I leave my car. If I know I need to put something in my trunk, I will stop many blocks away from where I plan to park, put it in the trunk and then go and park.

  • Eric November 17, 2015 (12:30 pm)

    @someguy,

    This was some time ago. I can’t remember the day, but it was a weekday because I had my school laptop with me. The car was a beat up, red sedan (I think 90’s Nissan.) The people were all white, in their late 20’s-early 30’s (2 guys and a girl). The guy following me was scraggly, brown hair (shoulder length) with a beard, regular build- 5’9. All of them looked to have a drug problem, which is what initially raised a red flag when I noticed they were watching me.

    The guy following me had a cell phone in his hand and I was watching him from the corner of my eye as we walked to the entrance of Target. My gut feeling was that he was going to follow us in, and make sure that we were far enough into the store to shop and then call his friends and tell them the coast was clear. This is why I told my wife to go ahead and I walked back to the entrance of the store to confront the guy.

  • h November 17, 2015 (12:31 pm)

    Certainly not to discount the reports of “target marking” and “break-ins” but instead to comment on the sometimes black/white mentality I read in these threads. Somehow my car gets full of stuff, in fact, there always seems to be something or quite a few somethings that I left in there. It’s a nice car. Fortunately, I haven’t had a break-in for 13 years. And yes, 13 years ago, someone broke into my car to steal the nonexistent contents of a box I brought home to recycle. I live near Westwood center. I do shop at Target and have seen an increase of what I would describe as “sketchy people” but overall, it’s fellow shoppers just like myself.

  • Dr. Bob November 17, 2015 (1:27 pm)

    Stopped going to Westwood Village a long while back. Too many sketch characters.

    Don’t miss anything there.

  • datamuse November 17, 2015 (1:31 pm)

    My main concern at Westwood continues to be people who drive like they’re on an expressway, not in a crowded parking lot. And turn y’all’s lights on, it’s dark out there.

  • Cautiouser November 17, 2015 (2:07 pm)

    Never ever put belongings in your trunk at your destination! Put your things in the trunk before you leave to go somewhere that you will leave your car even for a short time, or take them with you.
    Sorry this happened to you.

  • DH November 17, 2015 (3:15 pm)

    Don’t forget if you have a locking trunk you can set it so the trunk can only be opened with a key. My 15 year old Sentra has this feature so it’s not new. Agreed with others that I put stuff in my trunk before I get to the destination.

  • Blair November 17, 2015 (4:17 pm)

    Monday morning between 12:00am & 5:00am my car was broken into on 32nd Ave about 1 block south of Barton by Westwood Village. They stole my $1300 Lenova laptop I left in my car on accident. It did not help I also forgot to lock it. They went through everything but left behind a green she’ll rain jacket that has a seafood company etched into it. They also left a large rusty flathead screwdriver that smells heavy of cigarettes. I saw some locked mailboxes were also broken into the same night and another car up the block on 34th. Everyone keep a look out. I assume this is the same person.

  • Jimmy November 18, 2015 (5:22 pm)

    I live by West Crest dog park on 5th Ave SW in a dead end neighborhood. This morning I was walking my dogs around 7 am. I heard a car cruise around the next block over and then I hear the same car approach me and do a U-turn. It was a old white Jeep Cherokee with (2) white males with a Seahawks beanie. It is not a car from the neighborhood and it seems like they were scoping the area. Well as I come home today after work my car window was bashed in and they took a back pack full of my gym clothes. Hope this helps someone else.

  • face less November 18, 2015 (10:45 pm)

    target has known about the problems for years and has never addressed it. Everyone should boycot this organization so they understand that safety is an issue and if they don’t do something about it, then they will lose money and end up having to leave westwood. nobody should have to feel unsafe when shopping at westwood

  • Monique November 21, 2015 (4:17 pm)

    I just posted under car prowl. Big Black Dodge Ram involved in a break in to my car on Thursday night, 11/19 @ 10:30pm. I watched the Dodge Drive and reverse out of a dead end as if he was looking for something or someone before passed my site line. Next thing I know my dog is going crazy….as this truck is stopped next to my car. I think someone was on foot and the Dodge came to get them. Didn’t get much but look out for this Dodge….

  • Mary December 8, 2015 (12:04 am)

    Got my car window smashed and several items stolen between 2am and 6 am on November 21on SW 30th Avenue near Luna Park Café.

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