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.