WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Confirmed gunfire; prowler on video; car broken into, again

1:11 PM: Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes so far today:

CONFIRMED GUNFIRE: A texter asked this morning about an incident very early this morning on Avalon in which they heard what sounded like shots and then saw police show up and put out markers. According to the SPD Twitter log, gunfire was confirmed at 35th/Avalon, no one hurt. We’re working to get any further details.

PROWLER ON VIDEO: From Matthew:

We caught this prowler on video trying to find a way into our garage yesterday. As you can see he tries the window and then goes around to the door but it was locked. Luckily my wife came home right about then and that’s why he slinks out of there like the rat he is. We called it into police but people should be on the look out for this guy. Wearing what looks like a yellow vest and Seahawks ski cap. We live on Erskine and 45th Ave SW near the Alaska junction.

P.S. Questions/concerns to bring to local police? The next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is coming up next Tuesday – 7 pm March 20th at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).

(ADDED) REPEAT CAR PROWL: Also received this afternoon, from Dan: “Last night for the second time in the past 3 weeks. our car was prowled at 42nd and Thistle. Car parked in the driveway and was broken into; they took misc items.”

20 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Confirmed gunfire; prowler on video; car broken into, again"

  • Admiral Mom March 15, 2018 (1:42 pm)

    The prowler looks like he’s trying to pretend being a meter reader. 

  • Conjunction Junction March 15, 2018 (2:04 pm)

    Prowler on 45th -are you positive he wasn’t a meter reader?  I think I saw him and watched him on our block, we’re just up from you on 44th.  I can’t really remember if he had the “stuff” that he would need, or a vehicle, which I would usually look for.  Huh, will keep watching and thanks for the video!

    • WSB March 15, 2018 (2:19 pm)

      Prior to a reply from the reader who sent the video, I do want to say, we review these closely before deciding whether we can/should post, and do not automatically post everything we receive. (The relatively recent case of the neighbor picking up mail was an unfortunate reminder that at least for us, the bar needed to be raised even further.) In this case, I can’t imagine a circumstance in which a meter reader would be trying to see if a window would open, and that sold it for me. – tr

  • BKRDT March 15, 2018 (2:16 pm)

    I noticed a guy of similar description on 47th just north of Erskine yesterday I think. He looked like a meter reader but struck me as odd for some reason.  Next time I will be more vigilant.

  • PotKettleBlack March 15, 2018 (4:27 pm)

    I also saw a similar looking guy on Erskine just this morning around 11am. Same bright yellow vest. He had a box in his hand and was trying to get in the front gate of the home he was at. I assumed it was a delivery, but maybe not? He didn’t get in as far as I saw.

  • chemist March 15, 2018 (4:34 pm)

    For what it’s worth, there was an actual meter reader coming around Seaview south of Erskine on Monday morning.  The fellow  I encountered politely asked to come to the patio to read the meter while I was prepping garbage bins.  He had a full orange and yellow jumpsuit (not just a construction vest) and the giant brown electronic contraption.

  • PotKettleBlack March 15, 2018 (5:00 pm)

    Not sure if it helps, but I checked google maps and 5218 is the address I saw him at this morning. He was trying to open the wooden gate and had a cardboard box under his arm.

  • zephyr March 15, 2018 (6:36 pm)

    Yesterday at midday I looked out and saw a guy walking down Orchard near California. He was wearing some type of construction vest. He did not look like anyone that lives around here or that I have seen before. He proceeded down to California and got into a regular sedan, not an official looking car or truck. I remember that he looked out of place. Particularly since where he was coming from was quite a distance from where he parked and there was plenty of parking on Orchard. My
    thought at the time was that he was casing the area.

    Do meter readers drive regular looking sedans or something more official? I would think that by wearing such a vest, the individual would hope to come across as a maintenance, construction or utility person. I can’t quite tell from the video if it was the same person.

  • Alki resident March 15, 2018 (6:42 pm)

    Can anyone tell me if he had any type of army pants on? Camouflage looking

  • Ajwren March 15, 2018 (8:32 pm)

    We live at 48th and Juneau. I came home from the store yesterday and saw this guy parked in a car in front of our house. Unloaded my groceries and he looked at the utility pole in front of our house. Then he left. Didn’t think he was sketchy but now I believe he was. 

  • Maria March 16, 2018 (10:50 am)

    To add to the confusion, it seems independent contractors were delivering packages during the holidays with some of them wearing yellow vests.  I know I would wear a vest to call me out as  on-duty. 

    But anyone can buy a vest,  so ask for a badge or some ID if you are suspicious.  Just say “I don’t see a company name on the vest”.  Any legit employee will happily show a badge.

  • Caroline March 16, 2018 (1:03 pm)

    I was home Wednesday, March 7th  and this guy was lurking in my backyard (No equipment). Andover and 42nd. I could see him from my basement where I work. I came outside to ask if I could help him and he wandered off quickly without saying anything to me. 

  • jacobe March 16, 2018 (2:09 pm)

    Just had a similar experience today at my neighbors house across the street. I noticed what appeared to be a Seattle City Light employee with the bright yellow vest(with Seattle City Light logo and text) but there was no visible city vehicle on our dead end street which is very strange. He seemed to be taking his time looking around the house, after looking at the meter, and when I walked outside towards the street to try and talk to him, he saw me and quickly walked the opposite way down the hill.  There’s no good reason he would park a block away around the corner and just go to that one house. Definitely looked sketchy.

    This occurred down on Cloverdale and Fauntleroy near Lincoln Park. 

  • PotKettleBlack March 16, 2018 (2:33 pm)

    Saw this guy again today (Friday) right around the same time (11-11:30.) Tailed him for about 15-20 minutes. He seems to be some sort of free-lance delivery guy. Watched him check his phone before driving to each new address. Saw him leave multiple packages. Not sure what he’s doing in people’s yards or checking windows. He’s not a meter reader. I can’t provide a great description of him, but I did take note of the make and model of the vehicle as well as the plate number. Didn’t see this guy do anything shady, so maybe there is more than one person.

    • WSB March 16, 2018 (2:36 pm)

      I’m checking with SCL about what their meter readers are required to wear and carry.

      • jacobe March 16, 2018 (2:42 pm)

        The guy I saw looked extremely similar to the guy in the video but with no Seahawks hat. He had no gear, clipboard or anything. And when I started to approach him and ask if he was coming over to my house next he saw me, abruptly turned and walked down the hill ignoring me. When I called my neighbor to tell him about this, he referred me to this blog post which is when I saw the video and couldn’t believe how much it looks exactly like the same guy I saw. Anyhow, appreciate you checking with SCL on this. Wasn’t sure if it warrants informing the police or not.  

        • WSB March 16, 2018 (8:55 pm)

          To put a little closure on this – Scott Thomsen of SCL tells us, “Meter readers wear a safety vest, and a hat or jacket with a Seattle City Light logo. They also have an identification badge.” He said they have multiple meter-reading routes in the area so wasn’t able to confirm without specific location info whether they had someone in that area at that time or not. – TR

  • waikikigirl March 16, 2018 (4:00 pm)

    @Caroline, no, no, no never do that…if anything rap on your window to let the “suspicious” know you know he’s/she’s out there and call the police immediately.

  • anonyme March 17, 2018 (9:05 am)

    The freelance delivery thing is kind of creepy to me.  It’s hard to tell what a lot of these people are up to, and what a perfect opportunity to case houses and pass on the info.  As for meter readers, they carry an electronic device that the character in the video does not seem to possess.  Nor would they ever have to peep in windows or try to get them open.  Anyone can obtain one of those vests, and thieves casing houses often wear those and carry phony clipboards.  This is not sufficient identification.

  • RIP WestSide March 19, 2018 (2:10 pm)

    OMG YOU PEOPLE ARE SICK IN THE HEAD WITH FAR TO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS.ITS A HUMANS GOD GIVING RIGHT TO WALK THIS LAND AT FREE WILL AS LONG AS THEY ARENT CAUSING ANY BODILY HARM TO ANOTHER HUMAN OR THEMSELF.YOU PEOPLE ARE THE ONES DRIVING UP THE CRIME RATE WITH YOUR PARANOID STEREOTYPICAL ASSUMPTIONS.JUST LOOKING FOR TROUBLE.YOUR THE REASON WHY WEST SEATTLE IS NO LONGER A TIGHT KNIT FRIENDLY COMMUNITY ANYMORE.GO BACK TO WHERE EVER YOU CAME FROM PLEASE.

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