West Seattle Crime Watch: Where burglars have hit this week; plus, the suspected package thieves who weren’t

Four West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports in this roundup – including one case of suspicious activity that wasn’t what it seemed to be. First, two burglaries (plus where police reports say others have happened) and a car prowl:

HIGHLAND PARK BURGLARY: From Cam:

7700 block of 17th Ave SW. Wednesday, Dec. 9, i came home to find back door ajar and the power turned off. the house was ransacked and discovered a number of apple electronic items and camera equipment missing. keep your eyes peeled and report any clues.

GATEWOOD BURGLARY: Vanessa says this is the getaway car used by burglars who hit a home near 39th SW & SW Kenyon in Gatewood on Sunday afternoon.

She says the red SUV was parked in her neighbors’ driveway and that a man ran from the side of the house “with the TV in hand.” Police were called and arrived quickly; a door and window were damaged, she says.

OTHER BURGLARY REPORTS: Though we’ve only found one since Monday on the SPD Police Reports map – – early Wednesday morning, a nonresidential break-in in the 4400 block of Fauntleroy – Tweets by Beat, collected on our Crime Watch page, reveal 11 others reported since Sunday (no details available in SPD’s online records, just times/locations, which is why reader reports are so helpful – editor@westseattleblog.com):

-Tonight, 7300 block 16th SW
-Tonight, 4800 block 21st SW
-This morning, 39th SW/SW Elmgrove
-Wednesday night, 7700 block 17th SW
-Wednesday night, 3000 block 52nd SW
-Early Wednesday, 37th SW/SW Oregon (commercial)
-Early Tuesday, 2500 block SW Trenton (commercial)
-Monday night, 4700 block 41st SW
-Monday night, 1700 block California SW
-Monday afternoon, 8500 block 14th SW
-Early Monday, 7200 block Detroit SW

CAR PROWL: From Kristiana:

Our car was rifled through last night at Spokane and 48th SW. Nothing of value to steal and no damage, but stuff was strewn on the seats and a door was left cracked open.

Yes, it’s been reported to police – even if nothing (or “nothing of value”) is taken, it’s important to file a report, and you can even do that online.

WHAT LOOKS SUSPICIOUS MIGHT NOT ALWAYS BE: From a reader:

A package was delivered to our front door just after dark, and I wasn’t able to get to the door for a couple of minutes. When I went outside to retrieve the package, a young couple was walking down the sidewalk, shined a flashlight down the front walkway to my house, got into a Budget rental truck parked nearby and drove away relatively rapidly without saying anything.

Having received a recent SPD SW Precinct report concerning car prowls and package theft, which stated “Thieves will often follow or watch for FedEx, UPS, US Mail and other delivery trucks and then target a home after a delivery is made,” I was suspicious so I stood there watching what they were doing.

I started to call the SW Precinct’s non-emergency line (feeling like I was maybe be overly cautious) and then saw the same Budget truck drive by under a streetlight on the next block behind our home and heard them stop. So I called 911, thinking this was now too suspicious to not report immediately. The 911 operator took all of the information and said an officer would be sent to the area. I opted to not have an officer follow up, however, I had a call back from an officer within about 15 minutes.

They had stopped the truck, and it was a Budget rental truck being used by UPS as they had run out of vehicles for delivery. The officer verified their info and left a message for me per this.

It was such a relief to know how this ended, but it was also a good wakeup call on being careful with deliveries and reporting suspicious activity if something doesn’t seem right.

I’m also extremely impressed and very thankful with how quickly the SW Precinct followed up on this and reported back. Kudos to them!

ADDED: After reading this, @SudsyMaggie shared this photo of a UPS-deployed Budget truck she’d seen recently:

26 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Where burglars have hit this week; plus, the suspected package thieves who weren't"

  • mrsMarty December 11, 2015 (8:32 am)

    Budget trucks are not unusual at this time of year for UPS to use, this is a very busy time for them (UPS) and as stated they do not have enough trucks for all their routes. Also they will be out until very late at night these next few weeks so don’t be surprised if you get a knock at your door say 9pm or later and its that man/girl in BROWN!!!

  • Smitty December 11, 2015 (8:50 am)

    Talk about South of Alaska and East of 35th………..why is this a “myth” again?

    • WSB December 11, 2015 (9:02 am)

      Because it is. Crime happens all over. And even if you’re trying to extrapolate something from this update – using your choice of location descriptions, six incidents are north of Alaska and/or west of 35th, six are south of Alaska and/or east of 35th. I’d suggest pulling a long-range date search for the SPD map BUT it seems to be short on data time and time again – which is why I used Tweets by Beat to make this list rather than the map. – TR

  • Gatewood mom December 11, 2015 (8:52 am)

    Man/girl?
    Why not just use the word “person”? Or “man/woman”?
    Match them properly please.

    Man = male adult
    Girl = female child

  • Smitty December 11, 2015 (10:05 am)

    I am on it! Residential crime stats coming soon….

  • AMD December 11, 2015 (10:41 am)

    It may also be worth mentioning that they hire seasonal helpers this time of year and sometimes run out of brown uniforms for them, so some of the helpers are in street clothes (the drivers will still be in brown, though). Always good to check if you’re curious!

  • Smitty December 11, 2015 (10:43 am)

    So what am I missing (besides trying to be PC)? Is this data wrong?

    I even took out all traffic violations as that may skew toward 35th and as you can see over the last 365 days there are CLEARLY bigger numbers east of 35th. This also includes commercial which heavily skews toward the three Junctions.

    edit: Can’t get it to link to my search criteria. Will have to do your own.

    http://web6.seattle.gov/mnm/policereports.aspx

    • WSB December 11, 2015 (10:55 am)

      That’s the map that doesn’t show all the info, so it’s fairly useless. I’ve stopped using it for screen grabs until there’s some indication it’s fixed (and I do have someone to ask). As noted in this story: If you sort the map for burglaries only – at least as of when I wrote this late last night – it only showed one. (Plus a few that happened before then.) So I went to Tweets by Beat, which we aggregate on the Crime Watch page, and it brought up all the additional burglary calls. You might be able to get an accurate dataset via the Socrata data at http://data.seattle.gov – there is also yet ANOTHER view, text only, which requires registration. – TR

  • Carol O. December 11, 2015 (11:03 am)

    Smitty, are you the Donald Trump of data?

  • Eric1 December 11, 2015 (11:15 am)

    LOL on how most people think property crimes are centered in “poorer” neighborhoods. Some crimes are more common in “poor” neighborhoods but as one of my less reputable friends once told me… Why would you steal from your neighborhood? They have the same crap you do…. you go out and steal from the nice neighborhoods. They are actually at work during the day and not at home “hanging out”.

  • Smitty December 11, 2015 (11:34 am)

    “Smitty, are you the Donald Trump of data?”

    Huh? This is city of Seattle data, not mine.

    Erica – data has no bias.

    Until someone can find better data – or prove this data incorrect – this will have to suffice. Certainly much more reliable than tweets.

    Note: You have to sort for the last 365 days. One week is certainly not indicative.

    • WSB December 11, 2015 (11:48 am)

      Smitty, maybe you’re not familiar with Tweets by Beat. It’s automated, from the city’s data system. It’s not random someones tweeting “Oh hey, we were burglarized.” It is directly from SPD’s system, and without much of a time lag. (Anyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, see the box on our Crime Watch page where it’s aggregated, all six West Seattle/South Park sectors.) I don’t know why the police-reports map is so flawed, but it is, and as a result isn’t indicative of much of anything, unfortunately. (In addition, unlike Tweets by Beat, there are categories that don’t show up on the map at all – including homicides.)

  • miws December 11, 2015 (12:04 pm)

    FFS, crime happens *everywhere*. Not just in certain parts of West Seattle, and not *just* in West Seattle. Just like, in keeping in the theme of what people often complain (repeatedly and endlessly about), *development*, *densification*, and myriad other things are not just happening in West Seattle.

    .

    *And* none of the above is exclusive to Seattle as a whole, Puget Sound, Washington State…. It’s happening in many places across the country.

    .

    Mike

  • Smitty December 11, 2015 (2:51 pm)

    “FFS, crime happens *everywhere*”

    Who said it doesn’t?

  • miws December 11, 2015 (3:38 pm)

    It’s the ongoing, oft-repeated, from the same commenters, implication that certain areas are more prone to crime. It shows a great disrespect to residents of those areas, many of which, just like everywhere else, that take a great deal of pride in their neighborhood, mixed with some, that just don’t give a damn. Just like everywhere else.

    .

    If you want to get into the whole stereotyping thing, I could counter with the perception of “snobbiness” in certain areas of WS. But, not only do I really not believe that is true, but I have very good friends in those parts of WS, and throughout WS, actually, some may live at about the same “comfort level” as I do, some maybe a bit better, though not rolling in dough, and every one of them are decent generous, human beings, without an ounce of snobbiness on them.

    .

    Plus, as WS born, and having lived, gone to school, done business in, bussed/driven/ridden by car/walked/bicycled through every damn part WS over several decades, each part has a special place in my heart.

    .

    Mike

  • AJ December 11, 2015 (6:27 pm)

    On ABC News this evening, there was a story that mentioned UPS renting extra trucks. Don’t be surprised to see U-Hauls being used, not just Budget.

  • Alan December 11, 2015 (11:07 pm)

    @Mike – Thank you for your post. I had made multiple starts at writing something similar, but kept dropping it.

    I could easily afford to live North of Alaska and West of 35th, but have chosen to stay “on the wrong side of the tracks” in Riverview because of my neighbors. We do not have a cute retail core, but we have community.

  • Long Time West Seattleite December 12, 2015 (8:07 am)

    I have lived in West Seattle a long time (almost 30 years) and I have seen crime on both sides of WS. I’ve lived in Admiral, Alki, Gatewood and Fauntleroy. Crime everywhere. What I have seen the most of is snobbishness on the part of those who think they live in the ‘better’ area. The ‘I’m better than you’ attitude has got to go.

  • Smitty December 12, 2015 (8:49 am)

    First of all, we all live in West Seattle. I’m sure our friends in Queen Anne, Magnolia, etc would laugh at any talk of neighborhood superiority in this neck of the woods!

    That said, it sounds like the answers are all PC based – rather then fact based. I think it’s ridiculous to deny facts (or call them into question) just because we don’t want to hurt anyone feelings? Really? Is this grade school?

    Facts are facts.

    And, the only people who mentioned “the wrong side of the tracks” “better areas” and “steroetyping” were you guys……

    And how does this get turned into “crime happens everywhere”? Of course it does. That was never at issue.

  • Alan December 12, 2015 (2:07 pm)

    @Smitty – I am sorry if you are so misunderstood. You seem determined to prove there is more crime to the east of 35th and south of Alaska. Perhaps you can explain why you think those streets are key and why it would be helpful to prove this theory/long held prejudice.

  • Smitty December 12, 2015 (3:15 pm)

    Because I see this defense and deflection all the time, and I am tired of the PC. Once or twice a year someone who is moving to West Seattle asks for opinions on neighborhoods. Someone invariably states the “just stay north of Alaska and West of 35th” at which point they are attacked by the internet lynch mob. All I can figure is that it is people who live “south of Alaska and east of 35th” who have some sort of complex.

    I think if message boards weren’t anonymous we’d have a public shaming just for stating the truth.

    I linked to a city database of crime for the last year and the facts were obvious.

  • Alan December 12, 2015 (7:04 pm)

    OK Smitty, we didn’t misunderstand you. You are oversimplifying the statistics and misrepresenting the vast majority of West Seattle. You can be a insulting, but don’t be childish when people call you on it.

  • unknown December 13, 2015 (6:15 am)

    Remember the delivery people at this time of year, long hours cold windy wet days and nights GO UPS!!!!!!

  • Eric December 13, 2015 (10:49 am)

    It’s funny because from reading the blog, it sure seems there is a lot of crime happening in the Admiral District.Just as much as anywhere else.

  • J. December 14, 2015 (8:20 am)

    Crime is everywhere..people are so defensive and seem to be more focused on ‘being right’ than anything else. Accept it, it’s in every neighborhood and just protect your stuff and keep an eye out…in..every..neighborhood.

  • Alan December 19, 2015 (12:09 pm)

    @Vanessa – In case you are still checking here and didn’t notice the vehicle involved in the chase/shooting last night, it looks like it might be the same.
    http://westseattleblog.com/2015/12/police-investigation-in-highland-park-after-crash-reported-gunfire/
    They both appear to be about a 1999 Explorer with the same color and trim. Hard to tell for sure from the images, but too close to ignore.

    You might want to contact the detective assigned to your case, as the shooting is being investigated by King County. Chances are that the owner is now going to claim the car is stolen and they are likely moving any stolen goods they might have at the house, in case a warrant is served.

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