WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Street robbery; mail prowler

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STREET ROBBERY: We have heard from several people about this incident in The Junction late today. From Kevin:

At 4:35 p.m. today, I was walking past the alley behind Northwest Art and Frame, near California and Edmunds. I heard a woman’s screams. The woman screamed “they stole my phone, stop them” and I saw three black males, I would estimate between 14 and 18, run south through the alley. The three individuals ran east on Edmunds. The woman was chasing after them and crying and screaming. I took the best photos I could of the three individuals as they ran by.

I heard from other witnesses that another bystander chased after them, as they ran east on Edmunds. I am not sure if the woman made a report to the police, however. I spoke with the police, gave them my name and showed them the photos. The police were trying to locate the victim.

We were contacted separately, via text, by the person who reported chasing the suspects; they also did not know if anyone was caught, saying, “Several people joined me in chasing them to 40th and Edmunds, where we think they were hiding in a yard. Police took it from there.” we just checked the jail register and the only person booked for robbery since this afternoon is way out of the described age range, so likely not related. We will pursue more details on this Monday, but in case the suspects are still at large, a heads-up seemed in order.


Thought your readers might want to watch out for this:

It occurred at about 5:20 pm on December 7th. This guy walked up to our front porch, took a quick look in the mailbox (empty) then walked away. We were not at home at the time, but it happened so fast it would not have made any difference anyway. This is in the Genesee area just west of the Junction.

P.S. If you happen to be downtown right now, a reader reports that a shooting investigation at 3rd/4th/Pine has led to the rerouting of the C Line. We don’t know anything else about the incident but thought we’d mention it since we were writing Crime Watch anyway.

34 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Street robbery; mail prowler"

  • justme December 10, 2017 (7:25 am)

    Weak cowards can’t do anything worth while on their own, so they have to run in packs. I bet none of you, probably watching the blog for kicks, is man enough to do anything of value standing on your own two feet. 

    • Christopher Rogers December 10, 2017 (9:35 am)

      What have you done, besides make this comment on the blog?

      • Alki Resident December 10, 2017 (9:55 am)

        Christopher are you justifying this situation? I find it hard to believe you’re even a WS resident.

      • Marianne December 10, 2017 (10:17 am)

        I am guessing that JUSTME’s comment is for the thieves, not those of us reading about the crime.  I haven’t gone back and checked, but the description of the thieves and the location of the crime, sound similar to the one a few weeks ago.  

  • ABC December 10, 2017 (9:10 am)

    I was with my 9 yr daughter and we witnessed the female victim chasing after 3 suspects(14-17).  The cries and screams were heart wrenching and full of distraught.  My daughter was so frightened and thought there was a shooting or something and ran toward me for protection.  It took an hour for my daughter to calm down.  We hope the victim is not hurt chasing after them!  It’s not worth it but we totally understand how much a phone can mean to someone.  To those boys-where are your parents?  I know you are taught better than this and hoping your parents read this blog.  There is no future if you start life stealing, then dealing then what’s next killing.  Hard to break the snowball effect.  Start thinking about what you are doing and ask yourself is it worth it to ruin your future for a few bucks?  Stealing from people who worked hard to earn that phone.  The next time you boys might run into the wrong person. Seriously return the phone is your best option. 

    • Concerned December 10, 2017 (11:19 am)

      You would hope that they’re taught better than that from their parents, but unfortunately there are POS parents out there, teaching their kids either directly or through example how to do POS things

  • Seattlite December 10, 2017 (9:11 am)

    I hope they can find these criminals and recover the lady’s cell phone. I am not carrying a purse to the Alaska Junction or any other areas of West Seattle anymore. Instead, I’m using a small purse with a thin strap that goes across the shoulder and can be worn under or over coats.  This is a safe way to keep the criminals from trying to steal a hand-carried purse.  All of the women’s jackets/coats I’ve purchased recently have a special inside pocket for cell phones.  Be aware of your surroundings at all times and go with your gut.  We have to beat the criminals at their own game. We are smarter than the criminals.

  • Just a thought December 10, 2017 (9:13 am)

    Those three geniuses clearly ran by the bank. There is almost certainly surveillance footage on multiple sides of the bank and it will probably provide a fairly good view of their faces. If I was the victim I would follow up with the police. I would not assume spd will take the time or make the effort to contact chase. 

  • DaveD December 10, 2017 (9:23 am)

    Not a constructive comment yet it gets posted. 

    It’s never advised by police to try and chase criminals who could be carrying a gun to save property. 

    • Tsurly December 10, 2017 (10:15 am)

      I’m the one who chased them. I stayed back about 30 yards behind them for the safety reasons you described above, which are totally valid. I can tell you all these kids were scared shi*less running away from me. They ended up chucking the phone somewhere on 40th after I instructed them to do so, pleading with me to leave them alone after that. 

      Thanks to to the other folks who helped me, including the teenagers skateboarding in the Safeway parking garage (telling me which way they went), the gentleman who joined me on 40th and Edmunds, and the woman in her car ciricling the block around Edmunds and Hudson. In the absence on the police (who realistically cannot respond to everything), it was wonderful that so many people stepped up to show these jerks that what they did was unappectable and will not be tolerated.

      • HappyOnAlki December 10, 2017 (1:23 pm)

        Thanks for all this, TSURLY — sounds like you may have changed their minds about a life of crime!

      • Diane December 10, 2017 (4:06 pm)

        TSURLY; thank you so much, and thanks to all the WS folks who jumped in to help; hopefully these children were frightened enough to stop this behavior

  • WSRes December 10, 2017 (9:56 am)

    Good point about the probable camera footage around the bank. SPD is responsive to crime and I’m sure they’d follow up. But the have to have a report to follow up on first. A Saturday robbery in our Junction is a big deal. 

  • me December 10, 2017 (9:59 am)

    I would have gave chase!  They look like ‘ boys” that got kicked off the 50 to nights ago and then kicked out of starbucks.  One day they’ll grab the wrong person. 

  • Mini December 10, 2017 (11:24 am)

    The whole area behind that side of the junction is SO dark and needs to be lit up with bright lights behind the stores and all parking lots. This would improve public safety. At times its difficult to see people walking to/from their cars and stores. 

  • Kevin December 10, 2017 (11:47 am)

    I’m the one who snapped the photo.  The police were responsive, both on the phone and following up in person.  

  • MJ December 10, 2017 (11:52 am)

    Hopefully the perps are caught and made to pay for their crime.  The current catch and release system in not effective.

  • TJ December 10, 2017 (1:29 pm)

    These young thugs are exactly the type that need to be thrown in juvenile detention for a while. Yet Dow Constatine has added juvenile lock-ups to the growing progressive “zero” list, meaning no more. Sorry Dow, they don’t deserve a constructive talking to and a release back to parental custody, more than likely parents who don’t care much. 

  • Shockley December 10, 2017 (1:43 pm)

    Good on ya Tsurly.  

    Too bad you had to do these kids’ parents’ jobs for them.

  • WSsince2003 December 10, 2017 (2:45 pm)

    I’ve been meaning to write this for two weeks now but out of embarrassment did not.  I feel compelled to share my assault in the Junction now after reading this for community awareness.

    I was just about to the bus stop on Oregon St eastbound (across from Shadow Land) on Nov 25th late evening. The bus was coming in about 2 minutes per One Bus Away.   Eight hours later I wound up in Harbor View with a concussion and multiple contusions including six stitches on the right side of my head.  From the scrapes I have on my hands, knees and a major shiner on my right eye I’m guessing I was pushed down from behind and kicked in the head and side of my body.  Then again I don’t remember anything.  I don’t know who called the aid car (maybe the bus driver who would have been there shortly after).

    My phone and wallet were still in my front pocket when I got my  clothes back from ER at HVeiw.  What was missing was my black Patagonia down coat.    

    Seeing this picture from this story I wonder of one of those kids has my coat.  Ha.  I’ve always felt save using the bus in West Seattle and have used that stop probably 100 times.  I hope the original poster got her phone back.  Sorry for the long post.


    • WSB December 10, 2017 (3:16 pm)

      I am sorry to hear about this and I hope you are recovering OK now. I also hope you have reported it to the police … even if they weren’t called at the time, I believe you still could, two weeks later, so at least there’s a record of it. – TR

      • WSsince2003 December 10, 2017 (3:42 pm)

        I did report it yes.  They were not called. Thx

        • Jon December 10, 2017 (6:18 pm)

          Thanks for posting about it. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed being the victim of a crime. Just be thankful that you lived to tell the tale and refuse to be a victim should anyone ever try to harm you again. But thank you for reporting and adding to the ‘herd immunity’, so to speak.

          If you haven’t done so already, please look into some sort of self-defense option (for yourself and anyone in your life). My starting point with most people is this: at least carry (and have it in your hands when walking or waiting somewhere alone — even in your coat pockets) a high-quality flashlight which can be used not only to temporarily blind an attacker, but also, one that can be used as a blunt weapon in a defensive scenario. I would recommend this over “pepper spray” or any other such device, honestly (I’ll often tether a pepper spray or gel cannister to a light’s lanyard, just to have both in the event that one fails). I would – under no circumstances – recommend a “taser” or “stun gun” device.

          Here are a few light recommendations for you (ignore the cheapo pack-ins; the holsters are cheap and will rip or lose your light):

          1. Klarus XT2CR (micro-USB rechargeable)

          2. Olight M1X Striker (externally rechargeable battery)

          Surefire, Fenix, and Elzetta are some other brands worth looking into (Ezetta is more costly and doesn’t have a rechargeable option — but it will outlast you and I couldn’t imagine one ever failing). Really, everyone should be carrying one — at the very least, to use when crossing the street in the dark.

          Here’s a helpful video on the concept of a defensive flashlight. It’s a little cornball, but most of the advice is solid.

          Beyond that, situational awareness is extremely useful — especially in the Age of Smartphones. And as mentioned by others: appearing as if you aren’t carrying something worth stealing may be advantageous. Many of my female friends are opting to “fanny pack” concealment under their coats to avoid the rise of purse-snatching thugs. Take that for what it’s worth.

          Finally, if you’re ever considering applying for your concealed-carry permit, please do consider training. There are many classes offered just outside of Seattle (for very stupidly political reasons), and I ensure you, the firearms community is very patient and welcoming to newcomers who are maybe reluctant.

          And if you do go that route, and want to save yourself the trouble of being 100% clueless (and getting a bad recommendation from a store clerk, which I see nearly every week), I would highly recommend researching (and test-firing at a range with an instructor — most ranges will rent out to you for about $30 + the cost of ammo) the GLOCK 43 and the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 2.0 9mm pistols, which are slim and much easier for women or people with average-to-small hands, or those with low tensile grip strength to manipulate. Both are extremely reliable, affordable, and excellent; it’s just personal preference.

          Whichever self-defense option(s) you decide on will require you to train and change your everyday behavior. Too often, I run into so many women who buy a can of pepper spray, only to let it sit at the bottom of their huge purses. Many men assume they won’t be a target (despite what the crime stats say), and often don’t carry anything. If a tool is going to save you from a bad situation, it must be within reach and you should be able to instinctively deploy it in the dark. Go with what you’re comfortable with and don’t be afraid or dissuaded by others to not pursue some form of self-defense. It’s your right to do, despite how “taboo” it may be in this city (and on this blog).

          Stay safe.

          • WSRes December 10, 2017 (8:44 pm)

            All good advice. As a member of the public safety community we need to keep in mind that police are emergency “responders” and even the best we can realistically hope for is a speedy response after the incident has already occurred. I recommend read the Principals of Self Defense by Jeff Cooper. Don’t worry, it’s about attitude not specific to any type of self defense devices. 

          • Also John December 11, 2017 (8:40 am)

            Only one concern…  He didn’t see it coming.  He was knocked out.  The thief would’ve stolen his gun.

          • WSRes December 11, 2017 (1:21 pm)

            Exactly why I recommend reading his book. It’s about being aware of your surroundings.  

  • Highline Teacher December 10, 2017 (6:09 pm)

    Two weeks ago, I witnessed 3 young black males (teenage) snatch the tip jar from the front counter in a pho restaurant. They ran in front of my car,  into oncoming traffic, to hop on the waiting bus (outside Bartells).  One even opened the window to claim, “I didn’t steal anything” when i started shouting at them about how awful they are.  They came into the restaurant while I was still waiting so I got a good look at them and their mannerisms.  I later reported to the sheriff but the pho restaurant didn’t file a report so its useless.

    • WSB December 10, 2017 (6:47 pm)

      Thank you for the report. No matter how cynical people get about police response time, investigation intensity, whatever, it really is important to report crimes (we filed a report online for our two car prowls with total net of one charging cord) … maybe there’s a slim chance of prosecution in any event, but if you don’t, there’s 100 percent chance no one will ever be prosecuted. And to that point, I still haven’t found a robbery incident # for what was reported in The Junction last night – so I’m wondering if the victim ever did contact police. I’ll be asking the media-relations office in the morning but without an incident # … there might not even be a report on file. – TR

  • Highline Teacher December 10, 2017 (6:14 pm)

     The pho restaurant was in White Center.  Sounds similar to other incidences recently. 

  • WSB December 11, 2017 (10:41 am)

    I did get the police report for this and will write it up later – we have to run off to cover something unrelated. Bottom line, though, police never heard from nor found the victim, and did not find the suspects.

  • BelvidereMom December 11, 2017 (4:32 pm)

    I saw three kids surrounded by police cars on 35th and Dakota-ish around 3:45 yesterday. The boys were sitting on the steps in front of a house, with the cops clearly dealing with them. I couldn’t tell if they were cuffed, but they weren’t going anywhere. This would have been before the incident in the junction, though. Could it be there was another incident with three young men?! I’m pretty sure of the time because I was on my way to an appointment.

  • BelvidereMom December 11, 2017 (11:04 pm)

    Oh, I just realized this story is from Saturday. I saw three boys being detained on Sunday afternoon. Maybe it’s the same kids, maybe not.

  • Jimmy Rustles December 19, 2017 (1:59 pm)

    I was recently (Dec 14th) assaulted by a group as described by other commenters (3-4 black male teens) at Safeway in North Admiral. Initially they were loitering, but as I left Safeway they started running on the hoods of the vehicles parked on the roof and trying to open various car doors. I told them to get away from the vehicles, they circled me and attempted to start a fight. One got a punch in at my face, thankfully I’m a fully grown adult and those boys had noodles for arms, I wasn’t terribly hurt aside from a sore lip.

    I wasn’t the only one who called the police at that time, I noticed at people living in the apartment were watching out the window and on the phone with 911.

    I’ve never had a problem at Safeway before, so I almost always leave my handgun at home. Not any more, I’ll be carrying even when I walk to Safeway for a candy bar. Until these criminals are caught, I suggest people in North Admiral arm themselves.

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