Two followups on three incidents we’ve covered in West Seattle Crime Watch over the past week and a half:
CHARGES IN PUGET RIDGE DOMESTIC-VIOLENCE ASSAULTS: The 17-year-old arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend twice in five days is now charged in both incidents. Both led to high-visibility searches, on August 21st and on the 25th; the first one involved the Guardian One helicopter, and both involved K-9s. He is charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault and felony domestic-violence harassment (court documents say the two had lived together off and on at the victim’s home for the past six months). The harassment charge carries the special circumstance of firearm involvement – he was alleged to have been armed and threatening to shoot and kill her. In the first assault, he hit her and pushed her down, court documents say; the second time, he choked her until she lost consciousness. While police couldn’t find him the first day, they found and arrested him after the August 25th attack. Police found three guns he was believed to have discarded, one checking as having been stolen in Renton in 2009. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says he remains in custody, in juvenile detention; since he’s being prosecuted as a juvenile so far, we are not identifying him by name.
DETAILS OF NORTH ADMIRAL CONFRONTATION: The police report finally became available today in last Thursday’s North Admiral incident involving a man who got away from armed youths he believed were trying to carjack him. For one, the report puts the address as the 1600 block of Palm Avenue, not California as we were told Friday and therefore reported in our first brief story. Ahead, the full narrative, minus names:
Two months after pleading guilty to murdering his ex-girlfriend’s mother, 21-year-old Jose Gonzalez-Leos has been sentenced. His sentencing was on hold until September but then suddenly moved up to this past Friday, when, court documents show, King County Superior Court Judge Mary Roberts sentenced him to 320 months. That’s the top of the standard sentencing range, just over 26 1/2 years, counting time already served. He’s been in jail since his arrest in March of last year, more than two months after he killed 46-year-old Nga Nguyen at her home in High Point. Prosecutors say he strangled and beat her on December 14, 2013, after breaking in through a bedroom window, and that she had had trouble with him before, as had her daughter. Evidence linking him to the murder included a DNA match from saliva found on the victim’s body; that had led to a charge enhancement that the murder was committed with sexual motivation, but that was dropped as part of his plea bargain. According to a document filed by Gonzalez-Leos’s lawyer, he had been high on meth for a week at the time of the murder, and had killed the victim out of “sheer uncontrollable anger.” He had no prior felony convictions. (WSB photo, December 2013)
STOLEN BICYCLE: Derek first posted this in the WSB Forums:
My bicycle was stolen from my yard at 46th & Charlestown. Let me know if you see it?
Blue old-school mountain bike. Gary Fisher Hoo Koo e Koo. Bike pump, rear mountain rack with fender, and cat-eye headlight & tail lights.
It’s not worth a lot of money, but it’s been my main ride since 1993.
He hasn’t turned up a photo to share, but says his bike looks a lot like this.
STOLEN MAIL: From Nathan:
I live in the condos at 3271 Avalon Way and it appears that someone broke into our mailboxes last night. I’m on the HOA board, and someone else on the board has already contacted police about it, so I assume there will be a police report about it eventually.
It appears that someone used a crowbar to pry into the mailboxes. Hopefully other condos/homes were not affected.
The man accused of shooting his brother in their Junction apartment last Saturday night is now charged with first-degree domestic-violence assault. The charging documents say 19-year-old Rony Miranda-Guity shot his 25-year-old brother in the chest, point-blank, because his brother threatened to break his video-game system. Miranda-Guity is quoted as telling police that he was playing a game when his brother came home, slapped him on the neck, and picked up the system as if he was going to break it: “My reaction is my reaction, which was fast after he touched me and tried to grab my X-Box. Like, that’s the only thing that I got that I love.” Police say he also acknowledged that he didn’t call for help for his brother, who, the charging documents say, “staggered to the door of a different apartment unit to get someone else to make the call.” Though Harborview Medical Center was not releasing information about the victim’s condition, the court documents say he was in the Trauma ICU at Harborview “awaiting further surgery” as of yesterday, but is expected to survive. The documents also note, “There is a history of unreported assaults between the two” and that a .25-caliber handgun and shell casing were found in the apartment. Miranda-Guity remains in jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, awaiting arraignment on September 9th.
In West Seattle Crime Watch this morning:
NORTH ADMIRAL SEARCH: Thanks for the tips about a police search in North Admiral early this morning. We’ve just obtained some preliminary information from Officer Lauren Lovanhill in SPD’s media unit; it started in the 1600 block of California SW (map), when a resident reported a group of youths pointed a gun at him. She says he believed it was a carjacking attempt, but he managed to get away. One possible suspect was found and taken to the precinct for questioning, according to Officer Lovanhill, but the search ended without officers finding anyone else.
Side note: This is just two blocks south of Hamilton Viewpoint Park, which has been a trouble spot lately – in a comment on our report about charges in last week’s robbery/shooting case, David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association says SPD and Seattle Parks will be at ANA’s next meeting to hear and talk about it, 7 pm September 8th at The Sanctuary at Admiral (42nd/Lander).
SEAVIEW CAR PROWL: Tiffany says this happened Tuesday night:
My car was broken into last night in the Seaview neighborhood sometime after midnight, on the 5600 block of 45th Ave SW. They broke the back window and took a file tote that was in the back seat. Nothing else was taken as far as I know. I would love to get the bag back, or at least know that it was dumped someplace, as the files contained sensitive information. It looks like a purse, is beige linen on the outside, and has my business card and contact info in the front pocket. Thanks!
(August 18th WSB photo: Detectives examine robbery/shooting victim’s car)
After Seattle Police announced today that they’ve arrested a suspect in last week’s robbery/shooting incident that began in North Admiral and ended in North Delridge, we learned the suspect not only is in jail, he’s already charged – in this case and in an earlier robbery on Capitol Hill. 23-year-old Mau Joseph Satele-Tafia of North Burien is charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault. In both robberies, court documents say, he was after Gucci belts worn by the victims.
First – outside the Rancho Bravo restaurant on Capitol Hill on August 15th, Satele-Tafia is accused of holding up a man and stealing his Gucci belt; three nights later, in West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint Park on August 18th, police say he held up another man for his backpack and then demanded the victim’s Gucci belt. The victim told police he refused to hand over the belt, walked away, and was fired at. Then, he said, he left the park and tried to make his way to the bridge but that the robber pursued him and as the victim tried to lose his pursuer along back roads, they all eventually winding up in North Delridge. That’s where Satele-Tafia allegedly fired shots at the victim’s car, one hitting him in the leg. Shell casings were found at 25th and Puget; from there, the victim drove a few more blocks south to Delridge and Findlay, where they stopped to call 911. The next day, police heard from someone who had surveillance video of the shooting. And they heard from a witness who said they had found the shooter on Twitter, under an alias similar to one he used on Facebook that was a factor in identification in the Capitol Hill case.
Police say they are investigating Satele-Tafia in other robberies; in the meantime, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says his bail was set at $750,000 and he remains in jail pending arraignment on September 3rd. His history, according to court documents, includes robbery and car-theft-related charges.
FOLLOWUP: Specially trained K9 helps police find guns in Puget Ridge case; suspect remains in juvenile detentionAugust 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm | In Crime, Puget Ridge, West Seattle news | 14 Comments
3:31 PM: New information today on the arrest we reported Tuesday in connection with two Puget Ridge domestic-violence assaults, including the one that brought the Guardian One helicopter to the area on Friday. Just published online by SPD’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
A specially trained ATF K9 helped officers track down three pistols hidden by a 17-year-old suspect after he attacked his girlfriend Tuesday afternoon in West Seattle.
The victim, who is also a juvenile, called police around 1:50 PM and said her boyfriend had just choked her into unconsciousness at her home and fled. She also told a 911 dispatcher the suspect had left the house carrying three handguns. Earlier in the week, he had threatened to shoot the victim and, on Tuesday, had reportedly pointed a gun at her as he fled through a wooded area near her home.
Medics treated the victim at her home as police began searching for the suspect. Officers found the 17-year-old near 18th SW and SW Juneau St and took him into custody. Police discovered he was no longer carrying the handguns, and began searching the neighborhood to try to find where he’d stashed them.
Officers were able to call in the assistance of an ATF K9, Allegra, trained to search for guns and shell casings. The dog tracked down the suspect’s three guns in a wooded area. One of the guns had been reported stolen.
Police booked the suspect into the Youth Service Center for investigation of felony domestic violence.
Previously, we had reported the recovery of one gun. Meantime, we’ve been following up on the suspect’s status via the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; he was due in court this afternoon for a detention review and probable-cause hearing. We’ll update this story when we get the results of that hearing.
4:09 PM: We’ve just received that information. The KCPAO says a judge found probable cause in the case and ordered that the suspect remain in detention; prosecutors have until Friday to file charges. The probable-cause document says the suspect had returned to his 17-year-old girlfriend’s house yesterday to get his belongings when they started to argue; she told police later that she was trying to call 911 when he slapped the phone out of her hand and choked her until she lost consciousness.
We start this West Seattle Crime Watch roundup with a business-vehicle theft from just south of WS:
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR CRAWFISH HOUSE PROPRIETORS’ TRUCK: We’ve reported this on partner site White Center Now but since the restaurant is just blocks south of West Seattle, the truck could turn up here too. The proprietors of Crawfish House at 9826 16th SW reported via Facebook that their truck was stolen from the alley behind their restaurant late last night:
It’s a 2005 TOYOTA TUNDRA ACCESS CAB SR5. The license plate is B90959S. It’s a dark blue but a little lighter than navy blue truck. It’s our only transportation for the restaurant.
If you see it, call 911.
ANOTHER ADMIRAL CAR PROWL: From Callie:
My can was broken into around 3 am this morning. I was woken up to a noise and then the sound of a car speeding off. As far as I can tell, all that was taken was my gym bag. … My car was parked on 39th between Forest and Lander.
We’re checking with Callie for a description of the bag; (added) here it is- “It was a light blue/grey lulu lemon gym bag with a rose gold zipper. It had a pair of shoes, a white blouse, and navy women’s work pants in it. It looks very similar to this bag, but a different color they no longer carry.” (back to original report) If you see one discarded somewhere, do report it – as did the next reader:
RECOGNIZE THIS? From Pam:
Saw this purse this morning on Lander behind Admiral Mail building in alley. Someone may be looking for it.
We always recommend that if you find something like this (or an abandoned bicycle, etc.), contact police as well as us – it might be evidence of a crime; if SPD picks it up, people can still get it back by contacting them (or they might contact you if it was reported as stolen in the first place and is traceable).
Two West Seattle Crime Watch cases to report:
PUGET RIDGE ARREST: Thanks to the texter who sent the photo of police in the 18th/Juneau vicinity this afternoon. That’s where they arrested a suspect in what was described as a felony domestic-violence assault; it appears to be the same suspect sought in a similar case last Friday (WSB coverage here). We will be following up with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tomorrow. After arresting the suspect, police were searching for a gun he might have cast aside; they subsequently reported finding a gun along a staircase in the area. The victim was checked out by SFD medics.
NORTH ADMIRAL CAR PROWL: This is a reader report from James:
This happened on the corner of Atlantic Street and California in the North Admiral District at the Park Hamilton apartments. Between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on August 25th. my car had both passenger side windows blown out and a laptop and iPod was stolen. Neither were clearly visible and the car was parked in a parking space and not on the street. Estimated damage including theft was around $2,200.
Unfortunately, parking lots and garages are no more immune to car prowlers than the street – while we haven’t received a reader report, and it’s not on the official log yet, we also heard a dispatch very early this morning for a car break-in inside a parking garage at one of the Junction’s newer buildings.
(WSB photo from Friday night)
Bail is set at $500,000 for the man accused of shooting his brother in their Junction apartment just before midnight Friday night. The 19-year-old suspect appeared in court this afternoon for the first time since his arrest shortly after the shooting at the San Juan Apartments. According to probable-cause documents we obtained from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office after today’s hearing, the victim was found by a neighbor, who called for help and did what he could to try to stop the bleeding. The neighbor told police that the victim had said his brother shot him and that they were the only two people in the apartment when it happened. He also is reported to have told that to officers as well. They say the suspect, arrested when he emerged from the apartment, later confessed to shooting his brother with a .25-caliber pistol. There’s no mention of a motive nor of what preceded the shooting, but police describe the shooting as having happened “at point-blank range.” We asked Harborview Medical Center today about the victim’s condition; the hospital says no information will be released about him, as he and/or his family has requested, citing privacy laws.
The photo and report are from Tami:
My car was prowled last night in Seaview neighborhood in alley parking space off 46th Ave SW between Juneau and Findlay (5600 block). Nothing taken, but glove and other cubbies opened and rifled through. Reported for statistics to police.
This case isn’t on the map yet, but here are six that were reported in West Seattle over the preceding six days, going back to August 18th:
(There were none shown for the WS areas north or south of what’s on that screengrab from the SPD police-reports map.)
(UPDATED 11:16 AM with new information from police)
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
12:05 AM: Police and fire are rushing to the 4800 block of California SW for a report of a man with a gunshot wound in an apartment building. More to come.
12:14 AM UPDATE: From the scanner, the victim is a man around 35 years old, with a gunshot wound to the upper torso. An SFD medic unit is taking him to Harborview Medical Center. No suspect in custody yet.
12:24 AM UPDATE: Our crew now at the scene reports police have someone in handcuffs – that doesn’t always mean an arrest, though, so we’ll be working to verify at the scene. Scanner traffic indicates police believe it’s the person they were looking for.
12:32 AM UPDATE: Police say they’re not looking for any other suspects; they also confirm the suspect and victim are believed to be known to each other. This is the second shooting in West Seattle in five nights, after the Tuesday night incident that began with a robbery in Admiral and ended with the victim shot in the leg while in a car in North Delridge.
ADDED 11:16 AM: New information from police – they say this is a case of domestic violence, as the 19-year-old man in custody is the shooting victim’s brother. They also say they recovered a loaded handgun and shell casing when searching the apartment. No information about the victim’s condition, though.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: From A in Arbor Heights:
I live near the intersection of 35th & 102nd in Arbor Heights. When I got home from work today, my crawl space door was wide open. Fortunately, there is no access to the inside of the house from the crawl space. The intruder may have had other motives, including theft, but was disappointed as everything of value is kept secured. A neighbor driving by stopped to comment that they’d found a knife lying in the street outside my entry, and had thrown it in the bushes. Police and Block Watch have been notified.
MISSING A BICYCLE LOCK? We haven’t received any reader reports of bicycles stolen/found in the past few days, but this morning Vanessa found this snipped lock that might be of interest to someone:
Found this morning at 40th SW and Dawson in the middle of the road. The metal U locks would be a better preventative lock.
The most-recent bicycle theft shown on the police-reports map was reported to have happened in the 3900 block of SW Bradford on Monday night.
(UPDATED WEDNESDAY MORNING with new information from police)
FIRST REPORT, 10:53 PM TUESDAY: An “assault with weapons” response is on the way to 25th/Findlay – and we’re hearing from several people who say they heard multiple gunshots. Per scanner, a male victim has a gunshot wound in his upper leg. Police say they’re finding shell casings. More to come.
11:09 PM: We’ve just arrived at Delridge and Findlay – while most of the SFD response has been dismissed, a private ambulance is here. We hope to find out more from police about scanner traffic suggesting this might be related to a robbery at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in Admiral.
11:28 PM: Police are still trying to sort out what exactly happened and why it all wound up here after starting at the park in Admiral. No one is in custody so far. The victim’s been taken to the hospital and his injuries are not life-threatening. The car he was in is here at Delridge/Findlay and police are talking to possible witnesses.
11:52 PM: As pointed out in comments, there are shell casings on 25th near Puget.
Police are here too and crime tape is up (so if you’re out driving or riding at this hour, 25th is blocked).
12:46 AM: We went by Hamilton Viewpoint Park – no police cruisers with lights on, but there appeared to be an officer with a flashlight; gates were closed and not close enough for us to reach safely, so we’ll have to verify in the morning what if anything was found there, as well as whatever other details police have determined.
SIDE NOTE: While there have been other incidents involving gunfire, this is the first time someone has been shot in West Seattle since this incident near 35th and Morgan more than four months ago. One person was “grazed” in the June road-rage incident that started under the bridge.
ADDED 10:52 AM WEDNESDAY: A few additional details are in what police just posted to SPD Blotter, including the victim’s age and confirmation that shots were fired at Hamilton Viewpoint as well as in North Delridge:
Police are investigating a robbery with shots fired that took place at Hamilton Viewpoint Park in West Seattle last night.
Two men arrived at the park at 10:45 PM to meet with some friends. One of the victims got out of his car and was immediately confronted by a suspect armed with a handgun. The suspect demanded the victim’s backpack and he complied. But when the suspect demanded the victim’s belt, the victim refused. As he started walking back to his car to leave the suspect fired several shots in his direction.
The suspect then ran to a silver or bronze BMW, that was being driven by another male, and drove off southbound from the park. The victims took off after the suspect vehicle and followed them until the 5000 block of 25 Avenue SW where the suspects fired more shots at the victims’ vehicle.
One of the victims, a 19-year-old man, was struck in the leg by a bullet. Medics responded to the scene and he was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
(WSB photo of police examining ‘the victim vehicle’)
The victim vehicle also sustained damage from multiple bullets.
Officers flooded the area but were unable to locate the suspect vehicle.
The Robbery Unit responded and processed the scene for evidence. Detectives are still working to gather more details about the suspects—the victim described them only as a Samoan male and a white or Hispanic male both in their early 20s. Police are also investigating the nature of the meeting between the suspects and victim.
Out of the WSB inbox this morning, from TW:
I discovered my car stolen from my apartment’s off-street parking last night near Westcrest Park. It’s a black 1996 Honda Accord, license plate ALM 8630, with some distinctive damage on the right rear end (corner dented above the tail light). Please let me know if you see it around anywhere; the last time a car got stolen, a WSB tipster led the police to it. Would be great if you guys could do the same again!
If you do see this or any other stolen vehicle, please call 911 first, and then an FYI here would indeed be great.
One year after 38-year-old Admiral resident Duane Atwood‘s arrest, he has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in one of the two cases against him – indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender. Making a periodic check of the files, we discovered Atwood was sentenced last Friday. He pleaded guilty in connection with an incident in July of last year on Beach Drive near Cormorant Cove Park, in which he called out a question to a woman who was walking by his vehicle, then exposed himself when she approached to reply. The victim got his license-plate number, which eventually led investigators to Atwood. They subsequently discovered he had moved back to the area four years earlier without re-registering as a sex offender as he was required to do because of a 2000 conviction in another West Seattle case, an arson/burglary incident found to have been committed with sexual motivation.
Last Friday, Superior Court Judge Judith Ramseyer sentenced Atwood to one year for the indecent exposure/failure-to-register case, as recommended by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Though he has already been in jail longer than that, he remains there because of an unrelated charge filed five months after his indecent-exposure arrest. We reported on that case last December, when he was charged with felony harassment, accused of repeatedly calling an acquaintance in the middle of the night in 2012 and 2013, progressing from sexual innuendo to threats of rape and murder. The online court docket says he was scheduled for trial in that case later this month, but the date’s been postponed to October.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this morning:
ANOTHER STOLEN VAN: Both vans stolen last week and reported here were spotted and returned to their owners; maybe you’ll be the one to find the van taken from Staci‘s home:
Our gray 2004 Toyota Sienna was stolen last night from the street in front of our house, 21st & Roxbury, between the hours of 12:00 am – 8:00 am. License plate 660 XPY.
If you see it, call 911.
MORE STOLEN PATIO FURNITURE: From a Highland Park resident:
My Pier 1 Bird cage hanging chair with a beautiful flower woven into the back was stolen with the turquoise cushion attached last night around midnight. My dogs barked and they chased something that I thought was a raccoon. It must have been the people stealing the chair. It was out of view and I didn’t check around because I thought they were chasing an animal and called them back in. My house is on the 9000 block of 13th Ave SW.
That’s the second stolen-patio-furniture report we’ve published in recent days. Meantime, as we finished this, we just got word of this theft:
STOLEN BOAT: From Marlo:
*Stolen boat out of Jack Block Park.*
We last used it three weeks ago. It’s a 22-foot Four Winds. We were headed out today to volunteer our boat for a family camp in Olympia to give tubbing rides to the kids when my husband noticed it was not there.
West Seattle Crime Watch: Roxhill-area police response; vehicle theft & attempted theft; stolen/found bikes…August 16, 2015 at 12:54 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments
In West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
POLICE INVESTIGATE GUNFIRE REPORTS: Thanks to those who texted us (206-293-6302, any time) about possible gunfire heard in the past hour in the Roxhill/Westwood area, and then the ensuing police response. We found officers investigating at 27th/Roxbury; they had not yet found any evidence of gunfire, such as shell casings or property damage, nor were any victims reported, so far. Witnesses reported a red car might have been involved, and police are investigating that. We’re continuing to check back on what if anything they’re finding.
From the WSB inbox:
STOLEN CAR: From Margaret in Highland Park:
Our car was stolen out of our driveway last night some time between 10 pm and 8 am on 13th Ave SW between Trenton and Henderson. It is a purple 2014 Honda CR-V AWD. South Carolina license plate KIR 919. Police report has been filed this morning.
Please call 911 if you see it.
ATTEMPTED CAR THEFT: From Todd and Amy in Seaview:
We know we are late to report but someone tried to steal our 2002 Dodge minivan last Wednesday night/Thursday morning. It was parked in the alley between 41st & 42nd Ave SW and Graham (just north of Morgan Junction). I came out Thursday morning 8/13 to find the car had been ransacked, the ignition switch lying on the floor and a hole in the steering column.
Looks like the anti-theft device did its job. Apparently they didn’t want our old cassette tapes, CDs or wetones. Why they wanted an old mom van is beyond me. This little incident is going to cost over $1500 bucks to repair. I suspect since they couldn’t get our car started they went and got Ray’s van instead (which sounds like it wasn’t too far away from ours). A police report was filed Thursday morning.
STOLEN BIKE, FOUND BIKES In addition to filing a police report if your bicycle is stolen, please let us know – lately we are receiving an increasing amount of reports of bicycles discovered, abandoned, and while we are advising the finders to report police know, you might be able to get it back sooner if there’s a match here. So far this weekend, we have a report of a bike theft at an apartment building in the 3000 block of 63rd SW in Alki, with another bicycle, a black Schwinn, abandoned nearby and tagging found on a railing; also a Schwinn bicycle (color unspecified) abandoned behind a building at Delridge/Andover; and a blue Trek bike found in an unspecified area of West Seattle.
ADDED 2:41 PM – FOLLOWUP: Thanks to a reader for finding Ray‘s stolen van, reported in Crime Watch on Thursday night. She called 911 last night after reading the report here and connecting it to the van that had turned up on her street near Morgan Junction – and Ray confirms today that police contacted him last night to say it had been found. (The other stolen van in that CW roundup also was found, as updated there.)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:40 PM: Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:
STOLEN PICKUP TRUCK AND TRAILER: Stolen from 17th SW & SW Trenton in the past 24 hours, Jim reports: A 1-ton Dodge Ram Extended Van, white over gray, towing a square red trailer, “with a point in front and diamond plate and a drop door in the rear.” Call 911 if you see or have seen it.
(Friday morning update: Jim says the van and trailer have been found, not far from where they were stolen, with two appliances missing from the trailer. He also says thanks to everyone who helped look!)
CAR PROWLED, AGAIN: For the second time this week, Kerry‘s vehicle has been broken into, near 40th and Oregon, and at least one neighbor, too:
My Explorer was prowled again last night. Lost my work clogs, pants, emergency air pump, first aid kit and emergency food and water. (I know it seems silly to have all of these things in my vehicle but I’m on the road a lot for work.) It looks like they went in through the driver’s door. My neighbor also had his car prowled and we have both filed police reports. He heard the prowler at 2 am and chased him. He was able to give a good description and recover some of the items stolen from his vehicle.
ADDED 9:38 PM: Since we published this an hour ago, we’ve heard from Ray, who also is a victim of auto theft:
My white 1996 Plymouth Voyager was stolen from its off-street parking spot in Morgan Junction last night. Lic WA AON8275
Again, call 911 if you spot a stolen car – don’t get close to it, police advise, since there’s no way to know the thief/thieves’ whereabouts.
Two followups tonight on robberies covered in West Seattle Crime Watch over the past five days:
ROBBERY SUSPECT IN COURT: The 22-year-old man arrested Tuesday afternoon in connection with a robbery hours earlier remains in jail tonight; a judge set his bail at $15,000 during a hearing in a jailhouse courtroom this afternoon. Probable-cause documents say the robbery started as a shoplifting incident; the man allegedly walked out of the Charlestown/California 7-11 without paying for a container of Muscle Milk. A store employee, who told police the suspect is known as a “chronic shoplifter” at that 7-11 and two others, followed him out and confronted him a few blocks away, in the alley on the east side of California/Spokane, telling him to return the beverage. At that point, the employee told police, the suspect pulled out a fixed-blade knife and swung it at him, at which time the employee retreated and the suspect ran away. As we mentioned in Tuesday’s report, a surveillance photo was circulated to police, and about two hours after the incident, Officer Sara Mulloy spotted the suspect walking toward and into the West Seattle PCC; backups were called, and the suspect was arrested.
He’s due back in court Friday. The police report says his “last known address” was in Tukwila but that he is currently “living in his vehicle on the streets in West Seattle.”
SATURDAY BANK ROBBERY: We’ve finally obtained more details on Saturday’s robbery at Umpqua Bank in The Admiral District, the first bank robbery in West Seattle in more than a year. The incident report adds a little more to what we reported Saturday: The robber first came into the bank and said he wanted to open an account but had to wait for his wife. He sat down in the bank’s coffee area and made a call on his cell phone. After all the other customers in the bank were gone, he walked up to a teller and passed a note demanding money. The report says a customer came in and the robber, apparently startled, ran out, and was then seen, as we reported on Saturday, getting into a champagne-colored 4-door car; it was last seen headed southbound on 42nd SW. The robber is described in the report as a Samoan man in his 40s, heavy muscular build, full head of shaggy hair, gray goatee, tattoo on the left side of his neck, white shirt, jeans.
We’re still working on a followup to Tuesday’s robberies. In the meantime, reader reports on four overnight incidents:
DELRIDGE BURGLARY: We’ve received a few notes today about a 5 am-ish police search at West Ridge Park in the 7900 block of Delridge Way SW. A reader tells the story, and then some:
Tuesday morning at about 530 am, I walked to the recycling bin in our town home complex (Westridge Park Apartments) when we were walking out the door to go to work. I saw this guy come down the hill between the our building and the next building over. He gave me the creeps, so I walked faster back to the car. Our dog started barking from the window overhead. I didn’t reprimand her. I actually said, “good job.” My fiance and I headed to work and debated the whole way about whether we should have called the cops or not.
Tuesday evening our neighbor told us to make sure we lock our doors because he was robbed that morning. A guy just walked in our neighbor’s back door and started taking things. Unplugged his phone next to his bed while he was sleeping. Made several trips in and out before our neighbor’s roommate woke up and gave chase. The robber dropped a good amount of loot but made off with a backpack full.
Today about 5 am we woke up to police in our backyard yelling at some guy in the back yard to “Get on the ground!” Apparently that guy, or his buddy, came back for round two and was on his way out with a new purse. There were 4 or 5 police vehicles in the front and some officers patrolling the back yard. I’m thankful for the SPD today.
EGGING SMASHES WINDOW: This photo and report are from Paula:
At about 4:55 am while my husband was getting for work, he heard a crash and ran into the living room to see a huge hole in our front bay window – it’s bigger than a basketball. Our son heard it as well and came running down stairs then outside to look for the culprit. They both were looking for a rock, but it turned out to be an egg. Our house is old (1911), so it’s single-pane glass, but it still had to be thrown with great force for the egg to travel right through the window, blinds, the living room and into the dining room. Anyone know a good furniture/area rug cleaner? That egg flew everywhere. I reported this to the SPD non-emergency line.
(Neighborhood not mentioned – we’re checking.)
Finally, two car prowls in the Junction vicinity, one to the south, one to the north:
CAR PROWL #1: “My car was prowled last night, 41st and Hudson. Nothing taken, but I filed a police report, called my insurance and credit card companies, just in case the information on my registration or insurance card is used for future ID theft.”
CAR PROWL #2: From Kerry at 40th SW & Oregon: “My 97 Ford Explorer was broken in to in the alley behind my home overnight. WA State Vehicle Registration, insurance card, Skittles and sunglasses stolen. I did file a police report. The vehicle was locked and it looks like they went in through the driver’s side door.”
ORIGINAL TUESDAY NIGHT REPORT: For the second time today, police are trying to solve a robbery. They’re reported to be looking for four boys, around 14 years old, who robbed the California/Andover mini-mart. One showed a gun. They were last seen southbound on California. No other description so far – more as we get it. (11:48 pm) No police left at the scene when we got there; at this point we won’t likely be able to find out more until morning.
ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: The narrative from this incident finally has appeared on the SPD website. From the report (“V” refers to the victim, the store staffer who was on duty):
V/ stated he was
working at the listed location when 4 juveniles entered the store. He described them as 2 black males and 2 Hispanic males, all of them approximately 15 years old. V/ described the juveniles as follows: Suspect 1/HM, 15yo, 4’10″, black hair, buzz cut, and wearing a jacket around his waist. Suspect 2/BM, 15yo, red hat, black T-shirt, black pants. Suspect 3/BM, 15yo (No additional information at this time). Suspect 4/HM, 15yo (No additional information at this time).
V/ observed the suspects take several candy products off of shelves and place them inside their pockets and clothing. They then walked past the open pay counter and out the front door, without paying. As they did so, V/ approached the suspects and said “Hey, put back the candy”. As he said this, S/2 stood between V/ and the other suspects and pushed him out of the way. S/1 then reached towards his front waist and said, “We have a gun!”. V/ was afraid S/1 would use the weapon and disengaged from the suspects, letting them leave. As the suspects exited the store, S/1 told V/ he would shoot him “if he tried= something”. The suspects were last seen headed southbound on California Av SW.
The threat of a weapon (none was actually seen) is what turned this from shoplifting to robbery.
(Robbery report updated 4:40 pm with suspect being taken into custody)
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:
(Photo from Scott)
SEARCHING FOR A ROBBER – UPDATE – SUSPECT IN CUSTODY: (Original report, 2:16 pm) Thanks to the tipsters who texted about a police search that’s continuing right now in the California and Spokane area. SPD media relations confirms they’re looking for someone in connection with a street robbery. They don’t have details yet on the exact circumstances of the robbery, not even whether a weapon was involved, but we do have this description of the robber: White man, mid-20s, scruffy beard, black hat with white “insignia,” gray T-shirt, dark zip-up vest, dark pants, dark shoes. If you have any information, please call 911. We’ll update this with anything more we find out – we have a crew on the way to try to get more information. (2:56 pm – No other details so far.) …
3:55 PM UPDATE: A suspect has been located and is in custody – more details to come.
4:40 PM UPDATE: Just back from the arrest scene – the West Seattle PCC (WSB sponsor). The suspect was being cuffed in the parking lot as we arrived:
(WSB photo by Tracy Record)
What we’d heard on the scanner preceding this – A photo of the suspect, apparently from a surveillance camera, had been circulated. One officer spotted him in the PCC/WSHS vicinity. He went into the store. Police converged. They found him in a bathroom. We’re still working to find out more details of the original incident itself, and will also be checking on the suspect’s status.
(back to original report) Meantime, the robbery call came in just as we had finished writing a separate Crime Watch report about a burglary early today – so read on for that:
Thanks to a kindhearted WSB reader, little Corliss has a sign again.
Backstory: Last Thursday’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup included his dad’s report that someone made off with the street sign they’d bought from the city in his honor – and while the stolen sign is still out there somewhere, the family has a new sign, and reason to take heart. The photo and update are from Corliss’s dad Justin:
Thank you for posting our issue. A nice West Seattle-ite read the blog and came up with a new Corliss sign. His father passed away in January; while cleaning out the garage, he found a Corliss sign. It feels good to live in a community as kind as West Seattle!
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
(WSB photo, April 2013)
VERDICT IN CHARLESTOWN/AVALON SHOOTING: More than two years after two men were shot in an exchange of gunfire during a robbery attempt at Charlestown and Avalon, the would-be robber has been found guilty of two charges, first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, according to King County Superior Court documents. Juan Garcia-Mendez was 19 years old when he shot, and was shot by, then-27-year-old Rick Powell, who he targeted while Powell was taking a break during a driving-for-hire shift. Garcia-Mendez had gotten out of prison in Yakima just four days earlier, and that fact represented “special circumstances” in the verdict. Powell was a musician as well as a driver, and friends and fans organized multiple benefits during and after the two-plus weeks he spent in the hospital. Garcia-Mendez is scheduled for sentencing on September 11th; he’s been in jail since the day after the shooting in April 2013. (Thanks to the tipster who let us know about the verdict; the case had so many delays over the two-plus years, it had fallen off our watch list.)
BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: Photo and report received via text (206-293-5302 any time) today:
As we were walking back in to our apartment building this morning, we noticed that the doorknob had been damaged and that there were fresh scratches on the metal guard. It looks like someone tried to pry their way into our building overnight. People in the area should make sure they’re keeping their doors/cars locked up! We are at Andover and California.
Yes, they reported it to police.
MISSING A BICYCLE? Photo and report e-mailed tonight by David:
Is this your bike? Abandoned on sidewalk in front of my property near the intersection of Frontenac and 47th…still there. Dropped off this morning by a sketchy looking individual.
12:27 PM: Police are investigating a bank robbery that happened a short time ago at the Umpqua Bank branch just north of Admiral Safeway. Scanner traffic indicates the robber gave tellers a note; no weapon was seen. We only have a partial description so far – dark shirt, jeans, multi-colored bag, last seen walking south on California SW, might have then gone on to a 4-door champagne-colored compact car. If you have any information, call 911.
1:07 PM: No word of an arrest yet; no additional descriptive information, either, but we’re trying. Checking our archives, this is the first West Seattle bank robbery in more than a year; last one was in Morgan Junction in May 2014.
From the WSB inbox: Jim hopes you will keep an eye out for his dark green 1995 Saab 900S, stolen in front of his house in the 4000 block of 47th SW Thursday morning around 1 am. Plate includes the letters YLC. If you see it, call 911.
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