WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: The car prowler who left tools behind

It’s been a bit quiet on the crime beat – but we do have one recent pre-snow car-prowl report, from Tracy:

Heard vehicle alarm go off at about 5:20 am on 2/5/2017. Went out to check, turned alarm off. Did not see anyone flee nor any vehicle leaving, but the motion light had been activated. Opened driver side door and discovered a small, metal nail puller sitting on driver seat. No damage to vehicle so I’m assuming I left it unlocked, but the alarm must have set. I did notice the top tray of the console was missing. Miscellaneous items were in it, but nothing important. Searched alley trash cans and area with a flashlight, but nothing. Access to the vehicle was made from the alley. Once there was daylight, a neighbor searched the alleyway and sidewalk around 44th and Hinds. A long, skinny screwdriver was found in the alley and my console tray with nearly everything in it was discarded along the sidewalk.

Reported this to the police online; received phone call afterward to set up a time to meet an officer and provide him with the prowlers’s tools which were recovered.

P.S. Calendar reminder – next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is in 2 weeks, 7 pm Tuesday, February 21st, at the Southwest Precinct.

12 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: The car prowler who left tools behind"

  • WS February 8, 2017 (9:43 am)

    Sorry to hear this, but glad you found your things!  I’m interested to know which alley this was.  There was a break in to an alley garage very near 44th & Hinds a couple weeks ago, in broad daylight, and the garage door was left up for hours!  Bolt cutters were used to cut the padlock. This was in the alley between 44th and California, just north of Hinds.  Saws and other tools were taken.   It was reported to police.


     More recently graffiti appeared on a garage door in that area, a huge SOS with a question mark beneath it, and on a dumpster as well.  Also, the same graffiti was painted on a storage unit northward down the alley.   I know of several cars that have been broken into in the Hinds/44th vicinity, over time, and there have also been eggings.  We might benefit from an organized, active block watch.

    • Christopher Boffoli February 8, 2017 (4:02 pm)

      WS:  This did indeed happen in the same alley you’re talking about. Please send me a direct message with the date (and timeframe if possible) of your break-in.  I can check to see if my alley-facing security cameras caught anyone passing around that time.  cjboffoli (at) gmail.com 

      • WS February 8, 2017 (7:27 pm)

        Thanks, but it wasn’t my break in so I didn’t make note of the date.   I think things taken were pretty old, fortunately, and there isn’t much, if anything, of any value remaining. 

  • Alki Resident February 8, 2017 (1:13 pm)

    If police told you they are fingerprinting the tools, they lied to you. 

    • WSB February 8, 2017 (1:18 pm)

      And you have direct personal firsthand knowledge of this case?

      • Alki Resident February 8, 2017 (1:41 pm)

        It doesn’t matter what case. Police told me they don’t fingerprint tools because someone else’s prints could be on them , like the tool could be stolen from a residence and previously used. I know first hand because tools were found in my vehicle. They came and got the tools then later admitted they don’t get fingerprinted. 

        • WSB February 8, 2017 (1:55 pm)

          Yes, it does matter which case. Accusing someone of lying based on something someone else told you in some other situation is not something we support here. Fingerprint evidence IS taken and used in some cases – most recent one from our archives:


          • Alki Resident February 8, 2017 (2:12 pm)

            The story you shared doesn’t say tools were fingerprinted. It says prints were lifted. So more than likely doors and window sills, counter tops. I’m talking tools. Go call the detective. He’ll tell you tools don’t get fingerprinted.

  • Swede. February 8, 2017 (4:34 pm)

    An active, organized watch should help. Only need to catch a few thiefs redhanded and the word wI’ll spread. 

  • 44th & hinds February 8, 2017 (8:04 pm)

    My 4Runner was broken into (I think I left it unlocked) parked in front of my house on 44th ave SW on this same date. I didn’t have anything worth taking and all of my stuff was thrown all over the vehicle. Fortunately I did not suffer any damage or property loss. It might be time for some cameras street side as well as ally side it seems. 

  • dacantrell February 11, 2017 (3:45 pm)

    My rear passenger side window was smashed out last night (Friday 2/10) in my driveway at Alki at the point where Harbor Ave turns into Alki Ave – just North of Anchor Park.  They took a new Nike bag (grey/yellow) and a Victorinox travel bag.  Both were loaded with everything I could ever need.  I wandered around today looking in bushes and a few garbage cans but found nothing. I reported it to the police.  If anyone has any outdoor cameras around the point, I would love to see who was wandering around out there between 1am and 7am on Saturday morning.  I was expecting some retaliation from reporting someone so this could be that.  I asked my landlord to connect the camera that is outside two weeks ago in anticipation of this, but unfortunately he did not have time yet.   The thief left a tool box and $550 cash in my console and my car was still locked when I opened it. The burgler wasn’t very good at burglering.

    • WSB February 11, 2017 (6:22 pm)

      Hi there – sorry to hear this – if you can please e-mail us this information, we can post it in our next Crime Watch report, which will be seen on the front page, rather than in a comment on an older story. editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

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