WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 4 reader reports

From Admiral to Arbor Heights, four reports from the WSB inbox:

PACKAGE THEFT: Erika reports that this happened about 11:45 am today in the Fairmount Park area:

Please be on the lookout for a white, late model Tahoe or like-looking SUV. The driver-side back window was covered with a black tarp/plastic. The driver was white, male, ~30 yo, short/balding hair; I think he was wearing a dark jacket & white t-shirt. The passenger was white, female ~30 yo, dark, curly shoulder-length hair. Please call the police if you see this vehicle.

CHRISTMAS CAR PROWL: Melissa says this happened in Admiral last Sunday:

We had our car rummaged through early Christmas morning on 41st and Lander. No broken glass (must have accidentally left car unlocked) – nothing major stolen, just an emergency kit, a CD set and some snow chains. As far as we know, no one else on the street had their cars broken into.

IT HAPPENED ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT: A Delridge resident reports:

We live on SW 18th. My husband and I got home from dinner with our family (Sunday night) around 8 and found two strange cars parked in front of our house. Two men were sitting in the first car, (a green Jetta plate # AWG19–) with no lights on and this seemed odd so we went inside but watched from our house as they began smoking something off of tin foil through glass pipes. My husband went back outside and got license plate numbers for both cars and I called 911. I could clearly see them continuing to light up in the car while we waited for the police. One man got out and drove away in the second car, a dark blue sports car (plate number ANU3933) and drove off. The Jetta then backed into our car and drove away just as police arrived.

In a second note, the resident said the second car was listed by SPD as stolen. Then on Monday night, she says, “the guy came back in a different stolen car” (this one). They again called 911, but the man/car left before police arrived.

VANDAL IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: This happened Monday night:

I live in the Arbor Heights area. My husband left in our car, and shortly thereafter there came a knock on the door. I looked out and saw a man, probably in his early to mid-30s, with long curly hair and a ski cap. I did not open the door and asked him what he wanted. He said that his “GPS” was wrong; he was looking for his aunt’s house. He left on foot, and as he walked up my driveway he intentionally damaged one of our Christmas decorations. I ran up the driveway to see where he was going, and he turned around and saw me, and started back toward me. I ran into the house and called my husband, who returned home immediately. We saw him walk by our house again a few minutes later. I have called the police. Because he turned around and started back toward me, I feel that this guy is up to no good.

15 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 4 reader reports"

  • Maggie December 28, 2016 (8:03 pm)

    I had my car rummaged through on Christmas night/early morning as well on 42nd & Oregon. They went through everything but only took loose change.  I’m almost 100% certain that I locked my Volvo but there were no broken windows so not sure how they got in.  It’s a pretty well lighted  area but they felt secure enough to go through the car in detail and even found but left behind prescription pills that are worthless on the street. 

  • WestCake December 28, 2016 (10:22 pm)

    I saw the car described in the first post, when I called they told me I had to witness a crime in order to report something. 

    • WSB December 29, 2016 (1:03 am)

      Where did you see it, and when?

  • NVJV December 28, 2016 (11:30 pm)

    We also had our car rummaged through on Christmas night (3:00 am on 12/26 to be precise) on 47th and Graham. They took a dash cam, umbrella, gloves, etc. from the glove box, but nothing of any real value. We caught the incident on our security cameras, and saw that they very clearly drove right up alongside our car, opened our drivers side door without any difficulty or delay, rummaged through, and took off in less than a minute.  We think it’s likely they had some sort of device that unlocked the car remotely, because we are 99.9% certain the doors were locked. The security cam footage shows that they didn’t try any of the other cars parked right near us. I wonder if it’s a certain make/model that they target?

  • anonyme December 29, 2016 (6:38 am)

    The Arbor Heights incident sounds scary.   I’ll be on the lookout for this guy.

  • Casey December 29, 2016 (7:58 am)

    What did the white Tahoe do?

    • Jason December 29, 2016 (10:26 am)

      The Tahoe is listed under the header ‘Package Theft’ so one could surmise that the occupants of said Tahoe are the package thieves.

  • Chris December 29, 2016 (8:37 am)

    It would be interesting to know the make/models of cars that were broken into that the owner thought it was locked….no damage to car….to ascertain what is going on.   Do they have a master key, have they figured out how to electronically unlock them with a signal, or what.    Imagine police probably already on this.   Recall something in the blog a while back about electronic signals can be picked up from the keybob when left within a signal range…perhaps that is it and they just drive by with their electronic gadget and test it like they did a while back with garage doors?????

    • Maggie December 29, 2016 (9:43 am)

      My car that was broken into on the 25/26th of December (as noted in the comments) is a 2005 Volvo S40. I always check my car twice to make sure it’s locked and I can say with 99.9% certainty that it was locked.  I do only use a key fob to open and lock my car. The entry was very “professional.” They rummaged through and were super selective about what they took: loose change, a swiss army knife, they left iPhone ear buds and accessories for an older phone (not lightning connection). I’ll file a police report just to get it on their radar but yes, it’s all very strange about how they broke in. Honestly though I would rather have this than a broken window. Sad that I can be grateful for this. 

  • Azimuth December 29, 2016 (9:02 am)

    I’m curious what the approximate police response time was for the Delridge victim?

  • bolo December 29, 2016 (10:37 am)

    Chalk it up to security flaws of keyless car systems. Cheap “black boxes” are available that can emulate the signal of your key fob.

    Here is a helpful article that explains how it works and how to combat it:

    How To Protect Your Car From Keyless-Entry Hacking
    The Trick Is How You Store Your Smart Key

    https://www.edmunds.com/car-technology/how-to-protect-your-car-from-keyless-entry-hacking.html

    I wouldn’t store the keyfob in the refrigerator like they suggest, because of possible damage to the lithium battery (which they also mention).

    • bolo December 29, 2016 (10:51 am)

      Quick checking brings up several products that block the keyfob signal. Here’s the first one I found, for example (not endorsing nor dis-endorsing):

      Keyfob RFID Signal Blocking Bag
      https://www.amazon.com/Keyfob-RFID-Signal-Blocking-Bag/dp/B00Y3FLYWG

      They call it a faraday bag, so that makes me think you could probably make something cheaply to safely store your keyfobs in the house, like lining a shoebox with aluminum foil. Try it, and test it by placing the keyfob in the foil-lined box, bring it near the car, and see if the doors unlock.

      • Maggie December 29, 2016 (2:51 pm)

        bolo-  I had no idea this was even an option. Thanks. I might just store my fob in a Le Creuset pot on my stove. Try getting through enameled cast iron! Par for the course for 2016 I guess. 

  • WestCake December 30, 2016 (11:18 am)

    I saw the car down on Harbor Ave in West Seattle, the dispatcher said I can’t report hearsay, I have to witness something.  

  • gina December 30, 2016 (11:25 am)

     Noticed two torn open boxes dumped in the middle of Lander St by Lafayette. One box had address label for 3800 block of 34th, medical supplies,  the other from 2700 block of 46th, Nordstrom Rack.  I hope the boxes fell from a recycling truck and weren’t stolen.

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