VIDEO: Car prowl/theft prevention @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

That’s our video from Det. Scotty Bach‘s presentation last night at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – looking at the car prowl/auto theft epidemic from an police perspective.

Det. Bach’s presentation was rather remarkable in that he began, as you’ll see and hear, with some frankness about what happens once a suspect is caught, as well as some insight into what he really does vs. what the public might think he does. “I arrest repeat offenders all the time,” he said – and he offered advice directly from one (end of the clip), while also showing “how things go out on the street,” as well as photos of a few local suspects they’re still trying to find.

He had statistics, trends, and much more. So far this year, for example, in all of King County, he says, auto thefts are up more than 18 percent – 2900+ compared to 2500+ during the same period last year. And in this area, “car prowls are off the hook,” he said. And he repeated what you’ve hopefully heard many times before: DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING IN YOUR CAR. Even if you think it’s “covered up,” thieves know that and will break in. Lock your car – thinking that leaving it unlocked is a deterrent, is a myth, he said.

He also mentioned the rise in license-plate thefts (take a look at yours at least daily!), as noted here in recent reader reports.

Our video, focusing on his slide deck while you hear from him offcamera, is 21 minutes and includes much more – it’s worth a listen.

Also at the WSBWCN meeting:

Southwest Precinct Capt. Pierre Davis started with the crime-trend update, including what he had said at another recent meeting, that south Highland Park, near Roxbury, has been hit especially hard with car prowls lately because the thieves work in teams and shift back and forth across the county line, depending on where they think they’ll find less law enforcement at any given time. He repeated the prevention advice – don’t even leave a jacket or other clothing on a car seat because thieves will assume it’s concealing something. And if you didn’t already know this, in response to questions, Capt. Davis confirmed that Westcrest Park and Lincoln Park remain high-prowl areas.

He also, as he did during the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting earlier this month, spoke to the ongoing gunfire incidents. Any suspected gunfire incident gets a police response, he said; most gunfire incidents have a reason – the people shooting are not just firing at random; sometimes it’s a drug deal that went awry, or some kind of disagreement between acquaintances. Nuisance properties often play into these incidents and the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office on known problem spots, he said.

The West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets on fourth Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, at the precinct. Keep an eye on the WSBWCN website for updates.

11 Replies to "VIDEO: Car prowl/theft prevention @ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network"

  • Double Dub Resident April 27, 2016 (5:21 pm)

    As stated, the police officer arrests repeat offenders all the time. I work with police officers everyday and hear personally their frustration at this type of thing. 

    There needs to be tougher sentencing when dealing with these POS, instead of this stupid warm and fuzzy idealism that everyone can win in this. When it comes to criminals and  fighting crime, someone has to lose and I’d certainly rather it be the criminals rather than the people trying to do right.

  • Carole April 27, 2016 (6:20 pm)

    Sentencing ranges are set by the Legislature.  Communicate your wishes to them.  Judges are limited to the legislated ranges.

  • dsa April 27, 2016 (7:56 pm)

    Does releasing these thieves, I mean suspects have to do with a reluctance of home and car owners pressing charges?  I remember once in another city a neighbor got caught red handed breaking into our storage area and he begged we not press charges or he would be put away for a long, long time.

  • Double Dub Resident April 27, 2016 (8:44 pm)

    I doubt it dsa, sentencing is done through legislation, though judges still have a discretion and scale in which there is a min and max penalty. Prosecutors often give a recommendation which the judge often follows, probably just to keep the line moving. 

    Though what I don’t understand is reading about people getting busted and then reading their criminal record in which they have multiple felonies, up to 16 arrests in a yeara time span, multiple warrants for no shows on their record and they’re walking the street. It’s ridiculous, and there’s something broken in that

  • Double Dub Resident April 27, 2016 (8:45 pm)

    I meant sentencing guidelines

  • MellyMel April 27, 2016 (9:28 pm)

    I wonder how much of the catch and release is related to we don’t have space for property crime criminals in the jails/prisons? i.e. there is some calculation that if you can only lock up X bodies total, then they save it for the violent criminals?

    • WSB April 27, 2016 (9:49 pm)

      The jail is nowhere near full. At last check, it had sections closed off because it wasn’t at capacity, so that’s not an issue. Bail is up to the judge; sentencing, though, comes with guidelines set by the Legislature, as well as plea negotiations by the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which include sentence “recommendations” to which the judge is not bound, but from which the judge seldom deviates, at least in my coverage experience … TR

  • dsa April 27, 2016 (11:34 pm)

    They should not be walking free then terrorizing the neighborhoods.

  • Double Dub Resident April 28, 2016 (8:12 am)

    And yet, dsa, they are. Because there are little to no consequences for committing these crimes. Criminals are all about the risk vs. reward and when the risk is low to almost non-existent and the reward is potentially high, why would they not behave as they do? After all, they have the bleeped up mentality of being a criminal in the first place.

  • Ben April 29, 2016 (6:39 am)

    I am looking for an email or contact info for Detective Bach, is that available?  I couldn’t find one on the precinct page. 

  • SeattleSlumDweller May 2, 2016 (11:08 am)

    Mayor Murray is so removed from what it really is like for a family to live in Seattle . Murray thinks that citizen concern about escalating crime is hysteria. In Queen Anne, car prowls are out of control as are other property crimes. I have to check playgrounds for hypodermic needles before my kid can play. Yet Murray doesn’t see this as an issue. MY property taxes went up by $1,000 in 2016. and property crimes impose additional taxation on citizens. Dump Murray, Mike O’Brien and the rest of the corrupt elected officials and elect someone that represents real tax paying citizens.

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