West Seattle, Washington
Four reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, plus upcoming neighborhood discussions about crime and safety:
RACIST GRAFFITI VANDALISM: Florentino reported calling Port of Seattle Police to report “disturbing racist graffiti” vandalism in one of the restrooms by the sandy area at Jack Block Park. Photos accompanying his e-mail showed messages in black marker including “white power” and a swastika. Florentino waited until Port police arrived to investigate; we followed up with the Port to ask if the graffiti had been painted over or cleaned off, and we’re told it has been.
SCHOOL BREAK-IN: Seattle Police confirmed to WSB this pm that they investigated a reported break-in at now-closed Schmitz Park Elementary early this am. According to Det. Mark Jamieson, they got a call from Seattle Public Schools security around 1:13 am saying they were “viewing” five suspects in the school’s main hallway – described only as “two white males, late teens, thin build; two black males, late teens and wearing backpacks; one white female, late teens, thin.” No one was inside the building when police arrived; nothing appeared “disturbed”; no sign of forced entry but they found an “unsecured door on the north side of the school.”
STOLEN CAR IN ADMIRAL: Tracey‘s car was stolen from SW Walker Street. Black Saab 93x. The message to us didn’t include plate info but we’re guessing it’s this one on @getyourcarback. See it? Call 911.
LIGHTING THEFT: Darren e-mailed with word of a theft outside his Alki home: “I’m writing to notify the blog that over the weekend, someone came through our private gate and stole our exterior ambient lighting (strings of bulb lighting over hanging our porch). We left for camping Friday afternoon and noticed them missing upon our return Sunday am. We live on 60th Avenue between Admiral & Stevens. I’ve notified the police, but since there was no witnesses and the value is less than $500, there isn’t anything they can do. Neighbors didn’t hear or see anything.”
CRIME/SAFETY FOCUS GROUPS: Once again this summer, researcher Jennifer Burbridge, who works out of the Southwest Precinct, is leading focus groups in the local “micro-communities” that have policing plans. She wants to talk with you about “knowledge of the micro-community policing plan project, interactions with the Seattle Police Department, crime and safety concerns, and suggested improvements for each of your unique neighborhoods!” Use this map to check if you’re part of one of these “micro-communities” (except for South Delridge/Delridge Triangle, which Burbridge says is not yet updated on the map).
Here are the focus groups scheduled so far, with links to their micro-community-policing plans – first one is tomorrow night:
-Wednesday, June 29th, 6-7 pm, Alaska Junction (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster)
-Thursday, June 30th, 7-8 pm, Fauntleroy (at the SW Precinct community meeting room- 2300 SW Webster)
-Monday, July 11th, 7-8 pm, Pigeon Point (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster)
-Wednesday, July 13th, 6-7 pm, High Point (at Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW)
-Monday, July 18th, 7-8 pm, North Admiral (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster St)
-Wednesday, July 20th, 7-9 pm, Morgan Junction (second half of the Morgan Community Association meeting at The Kenney, 7125 Fauntleroy Way SW)
-Monday, July 25th, 7-8 pm, South Park (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster)
-Wednesday, July 27th, 7-8:30 pm, Highland Park (at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting at Highland Park Improvement Club, 12th Ave SW and SW Holden St)
-Monday, August 1st, 6:15-7:45 pm, Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights (at the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council meeting at the SW Branch of the Seattle Public Library in the meeting room, 9010 35th Ave SW)
-Monday, August 8th, 6-7 pm, South Delridge/Delridge Triangle (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster)
-Wednesday, August 10th, 6-7 pm, Alki (at the SW Precinct community meeting room, 2300 SW Webster)
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight – first, from Pam, who’s on 47th southwest of The Junction:
Sadly this beautiful summer night has turned ugly for our family! After a great, exhausting, first day off from school, our tired family spaced out on a million details which resulted in my purse getting stolen from my car in front of my house.
Obviously it was stupid of me to leave my purse in the car, and what’s worse is that two sets of my car keys were in my wallet. To top off all of that absentmindedness, one of my kids left the back window open, so the big jerk crawled in the back window and grabbed my bag.
Our dogs were going crazy (as were all the other dogs on the block, we thought it was the mailman walking by), we heard a car alarm sound and didn’t realize it was ours because it was instantly shut off. (The thief reached in my bag, got my keys and turned the alarm off himself!)
Just a reminder to keep your head together this summer and don’t get too relaxed! Also- if you happen to see this bag in black, it’s mine and I would LOVE TO HAVE IT BACK! I’m angry and also so sad!
From BW on 37th in the Genesee area:
I wanted to let readers know about our mail theft and garage break-in so that hopefully it won’t happen to them.
On Saturday, a kind neighbor tracked me down online to let me know he had our mail. It was in a locked mailbox and the thief pried it open to get the mail.
Then, on Sunday morning, we discovered our garage had been broken into. There’s construction work going on at our house and all the builder’s tools were stolen as well as our own power tools.
The garage was locked with a mammoth huge lock to prevent this but they cut through the U-shaped loop the lock was on so the lock just fell to the ground.
A policeman arrived within 10 minutes of me calling (YAY SPD) and said the incidents were likely not related. His suggestion was to create so many barriers that future thieves would move on from our house and if our neighbors did the same thing, thieves would eventually move on to other neighborhoods. He suggested security cameras, lights with motion sensors and a simple alarm on the door that would scare anyone off if the door was opened without the alarm being turned off first.
As for the mail, well, we’ve learned to be vigilant about removing our mail every day from the mailbox, even if it is locked.
And John near 34th and Andover reports a burglary attempt:
Wanted to report a possible attempted house break-in. Locked our door today leaving work and came home to find that the key wouldn’t even begin to go into the deadbolt. After trying several times, noticed a small bit of metal beginning to fall out, and I was able to pull out a cheap rake-style lock pick.
SIDE NOTE: Is your neighborhood having a safety-and-preparedness-enhancing block party for Night Out? It’s coming up fast – Tuesday, August 2nd. Here’s the official SPD info page.
(UPDATED 3 PM MONDAY 6/27 with police-report details on home invasion)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:56 PM SUNDAY: Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
HOME INVASION ROBBERY: This happened near 18th SW/SW Elmgrove [map] on Monday afternoon; the first we heard about it was when the victim e-mailed us days later, and the police-report details aren’t available online. But the victim wants to be sure the neighborhood knows about it:
It happened Monday afternoon at 2 pm. I was in my bathroom in the basement when he came in with a gun. He immediately asked me to FIND THE DOPE.
He had already been in the house when I was in the shower but he wasn’t finding what he thought i had. He led me to another room and told me again and again to find the DOPE.
I was shaking and begging him not to hurt me and somehow I found a backpack and that made him happy so he told me to lie on the floor and be quiet for 10 mins. … He took all my jewelry and electronics including phones etc. They took everything.
A neighbor told the victim about seeing a white truck in the alley and “watched 3 men in hoodies enter (the victim’s) yard.” That’s all the description information we have at this point; we’ll pursue the full police report tomorrow.
ADDED 3 PM MONDAY: Added details from the police-report narrative – The report says the robber was described as a black man, about 30, “dark baseball hat, satin-like green jacket that looked like a Sonics jacket.” No vehicle was mentioned. The victim’s husband was reported to have been home and asleep, and the robber might have entered through an unlocked door or window.
(back to original Sunday night report) LICENSE-PLATE THEFT: From Ross:
Last night (or possibly earlier), our license plates were stolen from our Honda CR-V that we rarely drive. It was parked on 37th between Juneau and Findlay. We’ve reported the theft to the police, but wanted to get the word out. A Washington D.C. license plate was swapped onto the back of our car.
MAIL THEFT: It happened to Sarah south of Westwood, and she has some helpful advice to share about reporting cases like hers:
A neighbor found my empty package on 26th Ave SW just south of Roxbury. Inside my rifled package was another empty envelope that belonged to someone who lives just off 26th on 106th Ave. I left their empty envelope on their doorstep with a note attached. My package was supposed to contain a scarf I ordered from Scotland. The other empty envelope looked like the person had attempted to use their own mailbox to mail a check or something worth stealing. I didn’t file a police report but did call the USPS Inspection Service on Saturday afternoon. After a brief phone tree, a lady answered and took my statement and said a file had been created for my case. She also said to alert other neighbors that reporting mail theft to them is a really good idea because the more complaints they receive, the more likely they are to open an investigation for our zip code, 98106. If anyone wishes to file a complaint they are encouraged to call Postal Inspectors at 877-876-2455 (press 3). Here is the webpage I used.
THANKS ... for sharing Crime Watch information. If it’s happening NOW – call 911! Then let us know, when you can. Our 24-hour tipline is 206-293-6302, text or voice. If it’s not happening now, e-mail is the next best thing, email@example.com – thanks!
One more abandoned-likely-after-being-stolen bicycle: The finder says, “This bike was apparently hidden behind a big shrub on my Alki property several weeks ago (neighbor thinks about six weeks). She just told me about it (this week). I don’t want to take it out yet as I don’t have a safe place for it. I plan to also contact the police.” So if this looks like one stolen from you – check with SPD and refer to the case number from when you reported it.
P.S. If you missed it – this Crime Watch roundup earlier this week included photos of three bicycles found around West Seattle.
Charges are now filed against both suspects arrested in West Seattle Tuesday night for allegedly breaking into a car on Alki and then waving guns and other items in two incidents including the car prowl’s aftermath. (Our original report is here; our first followup is here.)
25-year-old Jory L. Preston and 19-year-old Justin M. Hoyt are both charged with second-degree vehicle prowl and second-degree theft. Preston also is charged with second-degree unlawful-firearm possession, as he is a convicted felon and not allowed to have a gun. The incident that led to the conviction, for domestic-violence assault, was covered here five years ago – Preston turned himself in at the Southwest Precinct after police, eventually including SWAT team members, sought him at a Delridge apartment building. He originally was charged with two counts of assault for a situation involving a former girlfriend, and struck a plea bargain, pleading guilty to one count, sentenced in September 2011 to the month and a half he had served by the time of the hearing. )
The charging papers filed today tell the same story detailed in our report last night on their bail hearing, with a few additional details – the amount of property they are accused of stealing is listed as more than $1600; also, police say Hoyt, despite having a Glock .380 semi-automatic handgun in his front pants pocket, did not have a concealed-pistol license. The charging papers say that while Hoyt has no felony record, he has convictions for being a minor intoxicated in public in 2013 and for hit and run in 2014. And while his bail was set at $100,000 in this new case, the jail register says he is being held without bail for a Cowlitz County warrant alleging failure to appear in a case of driving with suspended license. Preston’s bail remains at $100,000. Both will face arraignment next – no date on the docket yet, but likely week after next.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:54 PM THURSDAY: The two men arrested two nights ago for alleged car-prowling and gun-brandishing remain in jail tonight, hours after a judge set bail for each at $100,000.
Court documents from this afternoon’s hearing tell us more about the allegations against the two men, ages 25 and 19, both of whom are listed as living at Admiral District addresses.
The narrative says police were first called to Bonair and Alki around 11:40 pm on Monday night. A man told them he was walking along Alki Avenue when he heard the sound of glass breaking and saw what he described as two males hit a side mirror of a black Dodge Ram truck and then break one of its windows, taking items out of it, then getting into a white Ford F-150 pickup truck (described as having a white sticker on the back window) and leaving. The pickup’s owner and three friends were in the area and the witness was telling them what he saw when, the report continues:
… the driver of the F-150 drove north on Alki Ave. SW; as they passed the Ram, both occupants of the F-150 waved pistols at the group. Approximately three blocks east on Alki Ave SW, the truck did a U-turn and began traveling back toward the Ram and group of individuals. As the F-150 approached the group of individuals, the driver turned the headlights off and stopped next to the Ram. The passenger held a small black “Glock subcompact” pistol out the door and was banging it on the outside passenger door of the F-150, while the driver held up another black pistol. The group of individuals feared they were going to be shot so they all ran and ducked behind the Ram. The F-150 left west on Alki.
As I did an area check for the F-150, a road-rage call was aired, stating a vehicle was being followed by a white Ford F-150 with a sticker on the back window in the vicinity of 50th Ave. SW/SW Charlestown.
The officer went to that area but didn’t find the F-150. The officer talked to the victims, a man and woman, around 12:15 am, and this is what they reported:
They were parked on the north side of Madison Middle School talking in the car when a white Ford F-150 pulled up behind them and turned its headlights off. The passenger of the truck got out with a golf club in his hands and approached the passenger side of the vehicle (the two victims) were in. The driver of the F-150 approached the driver’s side with an unknown “metal” object in his hand, which may have been a large wrench. The passenger held the golf club up like a baseball bat and yelled for the two to get off their block. In fear of being assaulted, (the victims) drove off and the F-150 followed.
The woman told police she recognized the passenger but not the driver. Less than 10 minutes later, another officer noticed a white Ford F-150 at the California/Charlestown 7-11, matching the description that had been circulated among police. The report says the driver was standing by the truck, while the passenger was walking out of the store toward it. Police took them into custody; the 19-year-old suspect was reported to have had a Glock 42 in his left front pants pocket, with “4 rounds in the magazine (but none) in the chamber.”
The report continues, “There was a Glock 10mm pistol lying on the dashboard of the truck, golf clubs in the back seat, and miscellaneous tools in plain view throughout the vehicle.” Victims from both incidents came to the scene and, the probable-cause documents say, identified both men as the pickup driver and passenger involved in the earlier incidents. Both are under investigation for harassment and theft; the older suspect is under investigation for unlawful firearm possession, as he is a convicted felon, while the younger is also being held on a warrant from southwest Washington for driving with a suspended license. Both are due back in court tomorrow, and we’ll find out if prosecutors will charge them or whether they’ll be released with charges possible later.
FRIDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: Charges are now filed against the two suspects, 25-year-old Jory Preston and 19-year-old Justin Hoyt. We’ll have a separate followup later tonight with full details.
3:22 PM: The Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter has been over Alki/West Admiral while police have been responding on the ground to what sounds to have started as a suspected package theft – they had been tracking possible suspects along SW Lander. Now Seattle Fire is responding to a possibly related medical call at 56th/Lander. We’re still gathering information as we send a crew that way. More to come.
3:47 PM: Our crew has arrived and here’s what they have been told by police: No crime committed, after all. The people who were reported as suspected package thieves were carrying a package of firewood. The person who was hurt was the person who reported them, who slipped and fell and hit his head. Guardian One just happened to be up and around and that’s how they got involved, police said.
9:04 AM: Bicycle thieves seem to have been particularly prolific lately. Earlier this week, we featured four bicycles – three “found” (check the photos if you’re missing one), one stolen, and here’s another theft report, from Peter:
Would like to report a stolen bicycle from alongside my residence (5900 block of Beach Drive SW), sometime between 4 pm Monday, June 20, and 2 pm Tuesday, June 21. Bike is a Black 2005 Marin Muirwoods commuter bike, 24 speed, serial number C145GSB003. (I saw the abandoned bike postings from this afternoon, but none of them are mine.) The thief had to come onto private property to take the bike from alongside my house. Stock photo of bike (here).
A police report has been filed, and the bike is also registered on BikeIndex.org, and has been reported stolen to them.
ADDED 9:18 AM: This photo and report just came in from Melissa:
We live at 50th and SW Waite and someone went through our neighbor’s car last night, though they didn’t take anything. Our cars weren’t touched but we did find this on the sidewalk by our house – confirmed that it is not our neighbor’s- but maybe someone else is missing this from another prowling? It appears to be full of dog toys and pet care items.
What started as an Alki car-prowl report and continued with alleged brandishing of “guns and golf clubs” resulted in two arrests late last night, according to SPD Blotter.
On June 21st, at about 11:40 pm, officers responded to a report of a car prowl near Bonair Drive SW and Alki Avenue SW. A victim reported one of the suspects in the break-in had flashed a gun at the victim and his friends before fleeing in a white Ford pickup truck.
The victim told police he and his friends had returned to their parked vehicle and found the driver’s side window was broken. A bystander pointed out the suspects to the victim just before the two men rolled past them in a pickup truck. As the suspects drove by, the driver and passenger reportedly flashed handguns at the group. The truck then made a U-turn and came back toward the group, and the two suspects began shouting threats.
The victims ducked behind a parked car and the suspects drove off.
Officers took statements from the victims and photographed the prowled vehicle. As the officers were processing the scene, police received another report that two men in a white Ford truck had just brandished golf clubs in another incident near SW Charlestown and 50th Avenue SW. The original responding officers went with other officers to the new call in an attempt to locate the suspects.
Officers found the suspect’s truck parked at a 7-11 in the 3800 block of California Avenue SW and soon spotted the two suspects, ages 19 and 25, walking out of the store. Police discovered the 19-year-old was carrying a handgun in his front pocket, and also found a handgun, golf club and metal pipes inside the pickup truck.
Both suspects were arrested and booked into the King County Jail for felony harassment and theft. The 25-year-old, who is a convicted felon and unable to lawfully possess firearms, was also booked for unlawful possession of the firearm.
The two men remain in jail, according to the register; we’re checking on whether they’ll appear for bail hearings today or tomorrow.
5:06 PM: After multiple secondhand reports about this, we haven’t been able to track down the police report yet, but a warning seems to be in order about a robbery/theft reported in the West Seattle Trader Joe’s parking lot this afternoon. The first person to contact us said she is a friend of the victim: “My friend was robbed at approximately 1:20. She screamed for help and no one responded. Police later notified. Robbery: Man took her money, phone, credit cards, etc, while she was unpacking groceries, then another guy drove him away.” We have a followup message out to that friend asking about suspect and vehicle description, etc. Another friend says the victim posted on social media that the thief/robber was driven up, got out of that vehicle, grabbed the purse, and then got into another car to get away (but still no descriptive details). If we don’t get more info sooner, we’ll pursue it at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting.
6:43 PM UPDATE: We just spoke with the victim by phone. She says it happened in the center of the main lot, where she was parked not far from the exit onto Fauntleroy. The thief was a passenger in a dark-red or maroon older Ford Bronco/Explorer-type “smaller, older SUV with a squared-off back, 4 doors” that drove up next to her car. He got out, walked toward her “mumbling” – she’s a nurse so she says she wondered if he was OK – then suddenly, she says, as she was reaching for her last bag of groceries, he lunged into the back of her car, which was open, grabbed her purse, got back in his vehicle, and it left.
She describes him as “probably 5’5″, 5’6″, stocky, pale complexion, round face, stubbly,” wearing some type of hat, but she cannot recall anything about his clothing. The “strange mumbling” was his most distinctive feature, she says, adding that police told her the description and MO matched an incident elsewhere in the area within the past week.
Also, regarding the report that no one answered her calls for help after the theft, she said a woman did eventually come over and ask what she could do and offered her phone for the 911 call. The theft victim did talk with the store manager and staffers who she said came out, but she was told there are no cameras outside the store.
We’re heading to the Crime Prevention Council meeting now and if someone doesn’t bring it up, we’ll follow up with precinct leadership about the report that this was a repeat incident.
Four bicycles – stolen or abandoned/”found” – start off this West Seattle Crime Watch report:
VINTAGE BIKE STOLEN FROM SHED: From Marcella:
We live on the 6000 block of California Ave. Last week someone went through our cars in the middle of the night – didn’t get anything of value, mostly just looked through everything.
(Monday) morning, our shed has been broken into. The only think stolen was my bike – a vintage red/white/blue Huffy from the ’50s that my dad had refurbished. It is probably too small for anyone to ride or worth much money, but it was very meaningful to me. Please let me know if anyone sees it.
Now, three bicycles that have turned up, apparently abandoned, which tends to mean “stolen and dumped”:
If any of those bicycles might be yours, let us know and we’ll connect you.
We also have one non-bicycle-related Crime Watch reader report:
‘BAD NEWS AND GOOD NEWS’ … is how Russ slugged this:
Bad news: someone prowled one of our cars on Saturday night in the 10200 block of 39th Ave. SW. (Shame on us for apparently leaving it unlocked.) Several items were missing, although nothing of particular economic or sentimental value.
Good news: a gentleman who lives of 31st Ave. SW appeared at our door after finding the stolen items dumped in his yard. Kudos to you, sir — although we regret we didn’t ask your name!
It appears that the thief (thieves?) decided that our possessions weren’t worth keeping; everything taken from our car was recovered.
However, there was one item that was not ours: a small black coin purse. (Update: See the photo in this WSB comment.) It’s completely empty, but someone out there may want it back. If so, they can e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
And we’ll mention it one more time – TONIGHT is the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, best place to bring your neighborhood concerns/questions directly to Southwest Precinct leadership. WSCPC president Richard Miller also has booked SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey as the special guest, with a plan to discuss 911 operations. 7 pm, SW Precinct, 2300 SW Webster.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, a painful reminder that even the trunk isn’t a safe place to leave valuables in your vehicle. Gabriel reports: “My wife’s car was broken into around 11 am at the larger Lincoln Park parking lot. They shattered the driver’s window and stole items from the trunk (purse, credit cards, etc.). There were a lot of people around, but if anyone saw anything, they ignored it. … Small black leather purse, small black wallet were taken. Credit cards and a birth certificate were the main items of value (out of town traveler) taken. Several charges in West Seattle (Big 5, gas station, Home Depot) were made before the theft was discovered.” Police have said that car prowlers in parking lots can move quickly and stealthily without others nearby realizing what’s going on.
P.S. Another reminder that your monthly chance to bring crime/safety concerns to local police is this Tuesday (June 21st), the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster). SPD’s chief operating officer Brian Maxey is the scheduled guest, focusing on SPD’s 911 system.
Five West Seattle Crime Watch reports:
TONIGHT – RING GONE AFTER SOLICITOR LEAVES: Danielle believes her engagement ring, left on the shelf in her bathroom, was stolen by a solicitor a little over an hour ago in the Fairmount neighborhood, near 38th and Raymond. “Around 7 pm a young black male wearing a bow tie and feminine backpack came to the door to sell magazines. My fiancé naïvely let him in to use the bathroom while he wrote a $25 check. I now realize my engagement ring that I had taken off to garden and left on the bathroom shelf is missing. Please keep an eye out for this person and do not give him any money. Please call the police immediately.” We asked for further descriptive information before publishing this and she replied:
Height: probably 5’10”
Clothes: button-up shirt (white) with a bow tie with a sweatshirt on top. He was wearing a backpack that reminded me of one I’d seen at Forever 21 in the women’s section (might have been floral). May have been wearing a hat but we can’t remember so we can’t really remember what his hair looks like. Definitely black hair though.
Side note – we’ve had a few questions about door-to-door sellers in general recently. The second half of this SPD Crime Prevention newsletter from 2013 recaps the rules, as well as police’s advice.
WHEEL STOLEN: From Michael in Seaview:
We live at 46th Ave SW and Findlay. Thieves stole one wheel this morning off our car, and almost had a second (picture attached).
Removed the lug nuts from both and from all appearances the front one fell back to rest on the loose wheel since the jack was not set up well. From talking with the neighbors across the street it sounds like it happened around 10:30 this morning. Usually we have a fair amount of traffic and it sounds like people might have mistaken it for us working on the car.
HIT AND RUN: From Brad:
This morning at 1:10 am, my Jeep was hit and run by a yellow / light color medium sized pickup. This pickup truck was drifting up the corner of Spokane Street and then the corner of 58th and Hillcrest when the impact occurred. They fled the scene up Hillcrest, which turns into Charlestown.
This yellowish pickup will have front damage and a headlight out. In the broken glass debris is a ‘Made in the USA’ stamp. So, either the vehicle was made in the USA, or the headlight was. If anyone sees this damaged vehicle, please notify police (and refer to) incident # 16-216446.
3 CAR PROWLS, 2 REPORTS: Meghan reports two on Thursday in the 2100 block of Fairmount Avenue: “Luckily, there was nothing of great value in either vehicle; however, they did rifle through personal items (mail, address books, etc).” And Kristiana reported on Friday: “Reporting our second car break in 6 months. Nothing valuable to take in our car but they tossed the contents all over our seats and made off with a phone cord. Sigh. … We’re at Spokane and 48th. Car was parked on street in front of house.”
REMINDER: If you have neighborhood crime concerns to bring to police, next Tuesday (June 21st) is the monthly West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), with guest SPD Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, focusing on questions and concerns about the 911 system.
Just out of the WSB inbox:
I wanted to report something that happened to me Friday night as I was walking on Myrtle by the playfield at 31st. It was around 11 pm and I was walking alone west on Myrtle. A red SUV (Mazda, I think) drove up 31st to Myrtle and idled at the intersection. Two young men, late teens or early 20s, slight build) got out and walked across the street and came quickly up behind me. I turned to face them and the one closest to me punched me in the face and told me to hand over my money. I fell back on the lawn of the house I was in front of and kicked out at him, screaming, “I don’t have any money, get the f— out of here! I’m calling the cops.” The two guys ran back to the car and then peeled out and turned the corner to drive south on 32nd. Although the lights were on in most of the houses and a dog started up barking, nobody came out of their house to help me. I called the police and they took down my account and escorted me home.
We asked the victim, who didn’t want to be identified, if she is physically OK; she replied, “Face hurts but he got me in the back of my jaw near my ear, so no teeth loose or anything.”
The incident number for the attack, categorized as strong-arm robbery, is in this tweet, if you have any information for police.
If you’ve been wondering what’s going on with the investigation of the illegal Duwamish Head Greenbelt tree-cutting in East Admiral – City Councilmember Lisa Herbold confirms it’s continuing, and that criminal and civil action are both possible. From an update she published today:
… The Seattle Police Department is continuing its investigation to determine if there is probable cause for criminal prosecution and will prepare a case to submit to the King County Prosecutor. The King County Prosecutor has jurisdiction over criminal felony prosecutions. The Police Department has conducted interviews and distributed flyers in the adjacent neighborhood for any information or leads. Last month, the Parks Department removed blackberry bushes for evidence of any previous cutting beyond the recent example, but didn’t find any additional tree cutting.
Separately from this effort to prepare a potential criminal violation, the City Attorney’s Office is also working to pursue potential civil action. It is likely that the office will issue one or more demand letters in the next few months, asking potentially responsible parties to pay the City damages and fines. If the King County Prosecutor declines to prosecute, the City Attorney’s Office may – at that time – decide to pursue a criminal action. Responsible parties may (1) be required to pay the City damages, civil fines and penalties, including restoration work, and also (2) face criminal penalties. It appears that the City has between 18 and 30 months during which to timely file a court case.
The City Attorney’s Office and Seattle Police Department are reluctant to publicly disclose additional information or additional specifics on their timeline as they believe that doing so could limit the effectiveness of the investigation and any prosecution or civil actions. …
Herbold’s update continues with details of the laws that could apply, and potential penalties – read it in its entirety here.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:
STOLEN CAR: Rebecca‘s neighborhood in Gatewood has been hit again by car thieves. Her car was taken two months ago; we published her report, and an observant neighbor spotted the car nearby. Tonight, she says, two sisters visiting the neighborhood reported someone stole their car just feet from where Rebecca’s was taken in the 3900 block of SW Elmgrove [map]. It’s a 2009 Nissan Versa, baby blue, WA plate ending in 632, “trim near driver-side door hands loose near keyhole.” Call 911 if you see it.
DOORSTEP THEFT: In the 9000 block of 4th SW [map], Sheila reports a doorstep theft last night:
Our neighbor returned a car battery recharger he borrowed, left it on the front step at 10 pm. We have video of a man quickly walking up the front walk at about 11:20, grabbing the small pouch with the charger in it, and walking quickly away. I’ve reported to police. … The guy was wearing a hat so can’t see his face. Short, apparently dark hair is best we’ve been able to make out. Coat with bright tape (like safety jacket) and high-top sneakers.
P.S. Reminder – this month’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is next Tuesday (June 21st), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster; map).
P.P.S., ADDED FRIDAY MORNING: WSCPC president Richard Miller tells WSB that the guest on Tuesday will be SPD’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey, who will be able to speak about the operations of the 911 Center, among other topics.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports to share this afternoon. First, posted by SPD Blotter‘s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
A complaint about a sleeping passenger on a shuttle bus Wednesday led police to arrest an armed felon with a stolen handgun.
Officers Michael Sudduth and Todd Wiebke boarded the bus in the 1600 block of Harbor Avenue Southwest around 3:15 PM, approached the slumbering suspect and asked him to leave. The man waved them off and went back to sleep.
Officer Wiebke once again tried to rouse the man, shaking his shoulder, but the man stirred only stirred enough to roll over onto his side, revealing a handgun in his waistband.
Officers quickly arrested the man and took his gun. Although someone had tried to destroy the gun’s serial number, officers were still able to decipher it, leading them to discover the weapon was reported stolen last year in Kent. Police also learned the suspect is a convicted felon, unable to legally possess firearms.
Police booked the man into the King County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of stolen property.
The suspect, 28, is still in jail as of this hour; we’re checking to see if he has a bail hearing this afternoon, and will update with any additional information. (4:59 PM UPDATE: His bail is set at $75,000. His last known address, as listed on documents submitted for the hearing, was in White Center; the jail register shows this is his fourth booking in just under a year, following bookings for drug cases, an assault case, and at least one failure-to-appear warrant.)
Second, a followup to the case of the missing art, reported here last week – art that was supposed to be shipped back to local artist Rebecca Woodhouse after a California exhibit instead was labeled with someone else’s name; that person picked it up and did not respond to repeated inquiries, so police considered it theft (yes, state law says that can include misdelivered items).
Rebecca tells us finally heard from a relative of the man who picked up her art – and learned he’s been in jail since a week after the art was picked up on May 16th. This week, the detective on her case retrieved it and got it back to her; one box had been opened, she said, but the artwork was intact and undamaged.
10:03 AM: Thanks for the tips about a big police response at Cal-Mor Circle in the 6400 block of California SW. Officers responded to a report of a gunshot in the building. No reports about any victim(s) so far. But SPD confirms SWAT is being called out. We are at the scene and working to find out more.
10:16 AM: Some of the building’s residents have been evacuated. Also, police are closing off the California/Fauntleroy intersection.
10:29 AM: Avoid the area – California is blocked off between Holly and Graham, Fauntleroy about one block each side of California, and the side streets you’ll be detoured onto are mostly one lane because of parking on both sides.
By the way, if you’re seeing/hearing the helicopter, it’s TV, not law enforcement.
10:42 AM: To be clear (in response to questions in comments), there is no one “on the loose” or being sought here. Police have confirmed that the person they are focused on, who they believe fired a shot, and who they’ve apparently had contact with before, is in his apartment. Again, please stay away from California/Fauntleroy because police have it blocked off until this is resolved.
10:57 AM: The person is in custody. The roads will be reopened shortly. No injuries reported.
11:18 AM: Bus reroutes (128, C Line) also lifted. We’re still at the scene waiting to ask police a few more questions.
11:23 AM: The person who was taken into custody will be taken to Harborview Medical Center to be evaluated. Meantime, the building’s residents are being allowed back into their apartments. We don’t know yet if a gun was found.
1:44 PM: We just checked back with SPD. So far, no gun or related evidence found, but the incident “remains under investigation.” (Also, we’ve added a few more of our photos from this morning.)
Two incident reports from readers – first, from Libby:
(Saturday) at 1:45 pm, my husband, kids, and I were merging onto I-5 south from the West Seattle Bridge. We were in the merging lane when, seemingly out of nowhere, we saw a giant wooden doghouse fly out of the back of a navy blue pickup truck and bounce onto the freeway. The body of the house bounced up 8 feet into the air and then landed behind a semi truck in the middle lanes while the roof flew onto the freeway directly in front of our car. My husband attempted to swerve to avoid it but did not want to risk getting hit by oncoming traffic in other lane so was ultimately forced to drive right over the structure which caused tremendous damage to our white Subaru Outback. We pulled over at the next exit (Michigan exit) to call 911 about the debris and the possible aftermath. We were told a state trooper would call us back to get a statement. As of (late Saturday night), no call has come our way.
We never got a license plate of the driver of the truck and would like to know if anyone else witnessed this. It happened in just seconds and we weren’t fast enough to grab plates. There were several cars behind us coming off of the West Seattle bridge to merge onto I-5 south and if anyone at all has any information we would so appreciate it.
We can be reached at 206-782-9671 call/text (Jay) or by email at email@example.com
Highland Park resident here, wanted to shoot you guys a heads-up about a weird hit and run outside our home to our two cars on 13th between Elmgrove and Kenyon – one car had the side mirror removed (no other damage, and the mirror is nowhere to be found, so whomever removed the darn thing either ACTUALLY removed it, or hit it and cleaned up after themselves), and the other car was hit with such force it shoved the rear wheels up onto the curb. No other vehicles on the road seem to be damaged, but there’s suspiciously little debris in the street. No bueno.
That was reported on Saturday morning.
Just in from Seattle Police, via SPD Blotter:
Police arrested a 16-year-old Friday in West Seattle after he reportedly showed off a stolen handgun to his friends before trying to ditch it near a school.
Just before 9:30 AM, police received a report that the suspect was showing off a handgun to a group of teenagers in the 8600 block of 24th Avenue SW and SW Cloverdale. According to a 911 caller, the suspect had flashed a handgun in his waistband, pulled out the clip and then pulled the trigger of the empty weapon.
Police notified nearby Denny Middle School and Chief Sealth High School about the incident and began searching for the 16-year-old. Within nine minutes of the initial call, officers found the gun stashed in some bushes in the 8400 block of 26th Avenue SW and discovered it has been reported stolen in Snohomish County. Police found and arrested the 16-year-old minutes later and booked him into the King County Youth Service Center for unlawful possession of a firearm.
(UPDATED 5:04 PM with new information on burglary suspect)
In West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED, WITH DOG: A burglary suspect who neighbors believe is the door-trying “prowler with pooch” shown here in mid-May is due back in court today. After a tip that the suspect had been arrested Monday afternoon in the 9400 block of 24th SW, we followed up on the case: Police say a realtor found the 36-year-old woman and her dog inside a house listed for sale. Probable-cause documents say she appeared to be under the influence of drugs and begged officers not to take her dog; though she suggested someone who could come get it before she was taken to jail, that person was unreachable and the dog was taken to the shelter. The suspect, who gave a Burien address, has a long record of property crimes, including at least two featured here, but has never spent time in the state prison system (we checked to see if they had a mugshot, to compare to the “prowler with pooch” video). Her bail was set yesterday at $25,000 and we’ll be checking to see what happens today. According to the police report, the house on 24th SW had not been entered forcibly, and it hadn’t been determined whether anything was stolen.
ADDED 5:17 PM: The suspect is now charged with criminal trespass, so, per our policy, we can identify her: 36-year-old Jessica A. Detrick. Her bail is now $1,000; if still in custody, she is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow morning. Detrick figured into two cases we reported here in 2013, both with the same accomplice, Sean Jeardoe, who
is currently in was recently released from prison: They were both arrested in a Morgan Junction parking lot in July 2013 after a WSB reader spotted him in a pickup truck reported here as stolen.
They were not charged at the time, though he confessed to multiple burglaries, but he was charged after they were arrested on Vashon Island two months later. As we reported at the time, investigators believed they were “responsible for up to 22 burglaries, 4 gun thefts, 3 auto thefts, and other crimes.” He reached a plea deal and was sentenced to 4 1/2 years including mandatory drug treatment; court records do not show any evidence Detrick was ever charged. She does appear to have had some arrests in the ensuing two years, but no felony prosecutions. (Friday afternoon update: She’s been released from jail.)
(back to original report) GUNFIRE/CRASH FOLLOWUP: Since Monday, we’ve been trying to get the report narrative on the 10th/Roxbury incident we covered Saturday afternoon. We confirmed that while both Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Office responded, the investigation is a KCSO case. Media-relations officer Sgt. Jason Houck talked with detectives, who are still looking for tips/witnesses, and provided this summary/update:
Two vehicles were involved in a running gun battle. Per witnesses, there were at least two people in each car. The car being chased, a gold-colored Buick, collided head-on with a car going west on Roxbury.
This led to several other collisions. The car following the Buick was described by a witness as a black Chevy Impala. It fled from the scene. The occupants of the Buick fled from the scene, but the driver returned a short time later. Several fired cartridge casings were recovered. Although there were several people injured during the collisions, no one has been found with gunshot wounds. No arrests have been made.
Anyone with information about this shooting can leave information by contacting 206-263-2090 – Major Crimes Unit
KCSO would not release the full report narrative, saying its policy is not to do so with open cases, even if a public-disclosure request is filed (which we did), so this is the entirety of what we have so far.
POSSIBLE GUNFIRE: Just in case you were wondering – we got one report late last night of possible shots, heard from 14th/Kenyon; when they called 911, they were told others had called in, too. Police responded but, according to Lt. Alan Williams, did not find any evidence of gunfire (shell casings, bullet holes, etc.) and didn’t find anyone who had seen someone firing a gun.
CAR PROWLS CONTINUE: We’ve reported before on car prowls in the garage at Spruce, the Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th building that houses apartments and LA Fitness. A frustrated gym employee contacted us today, saying break-ins are continuing there and on surrounding blocks, concerned that their employer is getting the blame but shouldn’t be. The employee says the garage does not have adequate security. The online police-report map does not not show a recent concentration of prowls there, but we’ve heard this anecdotally from multiple sources including this one (if your car is broken into, please report it, wherever it happens, even if nothing is taken).
HIT-RUN – SEE ANYTHING? From Daniel:
My 2010 Subaru Outback was side swiped the afternoon of Sunday, June 5th . It was sitting in front of my house, at the corner of 42nd Ave SW & Spokane St SW. No note was left. It was hit by a blue SUV or light truck. Damage is to passenger front and rear door (estimate of damage is $1756.00). A police report was filled with the Seattle Police (case #2016-200484).
Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight. First one’s a followup, from Sarah:
Remember the Gibson guitar and Fender amp that were stolen out of my son’s car? They were recovered by the police after the robber tried to sell them this week at a Capitol Hill pawn shop! We had serial numbers that we had given to the police pawn shop squad (a very important step: make sure that happens so that they alert pawn shops). We are very happy and relieved! The broken car window was a $50 deductible, but all things considered, a good outcome to what had been a very no-good bad-day two weeks ago.
Second, recognize this potentially stolen-and-abandoned bicycle? Amy sent the photo:
She says it’s been parked on a sidewalk near EC Hughes Playground, and that it has a broken chain. If you recognize it, let us know – comments or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third and final, a new round of safety advice from SPD, in the latest newsletter from Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon. Read it here as a two-page PDF.