Crime 3856 results

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Woman attacked south of The Junction

Two neighbors on the south side of The Junction contacted us today to let us know about this report from their neighborhood e-mail list. We are republishing it with permission:

I just wanted to let you guys know about some stuff that happened last night in front of our house between 9-9:15 pm.

A young Asian girl in her twenties was walking back to her car that was parked in front of the house when a man came out of the alley and approached her. He demanded her papers because he believed that she was a “commie.” After she refused, he violently pushed her to the ground. I saw this happen and ran outside to see if she was ok. At that time he said something and walked off and went down the stairs to 41st. I didn’t have a phone on me and didn’t report it but I told her that she needed to report it. I tried to get as much information out of her as possible but she was shaken up and wanted to get home as soon as possible. She regularly parks in the neighbor(hood) since she works in the Junction.

She later contacted me and gave me this description: ‘He was a middle-aged white male with glasses, long wavy black and white hair, wearing a t-shirt and khaki shorts. He didn’t seem taller than 5’9″. Didn’t seem drunk.’

Another neighbor encountered the man shortly thereafter and wrote:

He came down the stairs to 41st Ave SW and turned south. I was checking my mail right after a TV show ended at 9 pm. He approached me saying that he was just attacked by a group of Asians and that I shouldn’t go up the street (towards Safeway). … He was around 55 years old and my height 5’-9” with glasses. I didn’t notice his clothing. He kept saying that the attackers ‘weren’t like him and I’. I assume he was meaning white. He also mentioned something about the attackers not being citizens. It’s my opinion that he has a mental issue. He continued walking south on 41st Ave SW.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Stolen gray Civic; diapers and bike rack taken

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

STOLEN CAR: From Sharon:

Gray Honda Civic 1994

My boyfriend’s car was stolen from our parking spot. If you’ve seen this car around or have any helpful information, please contact (425) 238-7683 or 911. Thank you for your help!

When: Between Sun 8/13 11 PM and Mon 8/14 9 PM
Where: Parked in the alley between 42nd and California, SW Dawson and SW Brandon
Make/Model: 1994 Honda Civic, gray
Plate Number: ACS9183
Incident #: 2017-300892

STOLEN PACKAGE, AND BIKE RACK: Joyce says these happened the same night last week:

We had a package taken from our front door Sometime between Thursday evening and Friday afternoon. It was a large box so it probably seemed like a good pick. However, it contained 2 boxes of Honest Company diapers. If the thieves have a baby then maybe it was a good find. If anyone happens to see these discarded somewhere, please let me know.

Also, our bike rack was stolen from our car. It was a Yakima holdup 2. If you see anything resembling that it would be helpful to know. Thanks so much!

Joyce is in the Fairmount Park area.

FOLLOWUP: Ryan Cox charged with second-degree assault in Gatewood stabbing

(August 8th WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

39-year-old Ryan Cox has just been charged with second-degree assault, with a deadly weapon, in last Tuesday night’s Gatewood stabbing attack. And Cox’s bail has been set at $150,000.

The victim, 40-year-old Court Heeter, remains in the hospital, according to a comment from a family friend, recovering from multiple stab wounds. Cox also was taken to Harborview after the attack last Tuesday night, with what police say was a self-inflicted stab wound.

According to charging documents, “the defendant is unemployed, homeless, and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but does not take medication. He has been booked 28 times since 1997 and has had 26 warrants issued for his arrest.” The documents also include a more-detailed police-provided narrative that notes “Cox is a known transient, living in West Seattle, not only to the SPD officers that work in the Southwest Precinct, but to the citizens that live in the area.” That’s dated back to at least 2009, as we detailed in our Wednesday followup.

The narrative says that one witness saw Cox and Heeter arguing on August 2nd, and that they saw Cox pull a knife during that incident, though no one was injured. When Heeter was well enough to speak with police in the hospital last Thursday, the narrative says, he told them that he and his 3-year-old daughter were at a nearby gas station about a week earlier when Cox was there. Cox, he said, was yelling at everyone, including racial slurs. Heeter told police his daughter had become frightened and that Cox looked at them and said he better hold his daughter tight or he might get her. Hester said he told Cox to stop talking about his daughter and left. He told police he saw Cox again a few days later and tried to talk to him about frightening his daughter, but Cox started to yell. The night of the attack, Heeter said, he saw Cox walking near the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church and pulled into its lot, got out of his car, and yelled at Cox. That, he said, is when Cox lunged at him and started slashing.

The charging documents also include Cox’s side of the story, claiming he was being “stalked” by the victim, as well as detailing tirades at the hospital. (added) Here are the documents – please note that they contain the racial and homophobic slurs Cox is alleged to have used after his arrest. They do not include names of witnesses or any other third parties besides police and prosecutors, which is why we are uploading them directly rather than transcribing as we would otherwise do. Cox is scheduled to be arraigned – to enter an initial plea to the charge – on August 28th.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business robbery; gym theft; mail stolen; bicycle taken

Four reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

BUSINESS ROBBERY: Bree at Alki Mail and Dispatch reports a robbery Friday evening:

I just wanted to warn other small businesses in the area to be vigilant and aware. Last night at 5:15pm we had a snatch and grab robbery in the shop. A man who appeared to be of Middle Eastern decent, about 6′ tall and around 180 lbs and I would guess to be in his 30s, came in and ordered a coffee. When my employee rang him up and the cash drawer opened, he reached over and grabbed the money from the till and ran out the door. Another employee bravely gave chase but was unable to catch him. He ran south along 47th avenue and was then picked up by a black male with dreadlocks in a red car, possibly a Honda, with plate # BCL23–. Police reports were filed and thankfully no one was injured and he only got away with $148 but I would hate for this to happen to anyone else!

GYM THEFT: From Julie:

When LA Fitness says they are not responsible for lost and and stolen items they mean it! Use at your own risk. My purse was stolen from the women’s locker room of the LA Fitness on Alaska between 5:30 and 6:30 pm Thursday Aug 10th. I was not the only one whose purse was stolen. Another woman came to the front desk to report her purse stolen too.

There was actually a staff member in the women’s locker room who was vacuuming during that time. Apparently she didn’t see anything. It would be nice if they had cameras in the workout area. At least they could review the footage to who was coming and going at that time. They are able to see who checked in at the front desk.

In case you’ve found a dumped purse – it’s a chocolate-colored Travelon – ironically, called the “anti-theft classic mini-shoulder bag.”

MAIL THEFT: Derek reported that in the 10 am hour Friday, “We just (in the past hour) got hit by a very brazen mail thief in the 9600 block of 25th Ave SW. 5’6″ to 5’8″ African American female, putting everyone’s mail into several reusable grocery bags,” wearing a “long-sleeved shirt and skull cap,” and, Derek adds, “working with a taller African American male with several grocery bags and a wheeled suitcase.” KCSO and SPD were both searching for the thieves, last seen headed north on 24th SW in the Westwood area.

BICYCLE TAKEN: From Colleen:

A man’s large frame black Trek Allant bicycle was stolen from the secure garage of our condo building in the 5000 block of California SW sometime between 1:30 pm Wednesday and 9 pm Thursday. It was cut from a secure wall mount. Serial number WYU074C6092K. Seattle Police Incident #17-295719. Please be on the lookout for this new bike.

FOLLOWUP: Gatewood stabbing suspect Ryan Cox again ‘refuses to appear’ for bail hearing

For the second consecutive day, Gatewood stabbing suspect Ryan Cox refused to appear for his scheduled bail hearing, according to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe. So another one has been scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday), and Cox remains in King County Jail, three days after he was taken into custody, accused of stabbing a 40-year-old West Seattle man multiple times after a confrontation at California and Orchard. The victim’s friends and family say he will survive. Prosecutors are expected to make their charging decision on Monday; as we detailed on Wednesday, Cox has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems for years.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 3 reader reports, including ‘Snack Shack’ break-ins

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:

SNACK SHACK BURGLARIES: We took that photo two months ago today, the day West Seattle Baseball proudly dedicated their long-awaited new “snack shack” at the Pee Wee baseball field in Riverview. today, WS Baseball board member and parent Zach Jones sent this reader report for Crime Watch:

The new snack shack at the Pee Wee Fields has been broken into twice in the past week. The first break-in happened last Thursday night 8/3 and again Tuesday night 8/8. The thieves broke in through side vents (which have since been secured with welded bars) and stole our iPad min, a small amount of cash, all of our snacks/food, and other miscellaneous items. They also destroyed our cash register.

They also tried to gain access through the side door by some sort of torch but were unsuccessful. There was a trail of snacks going east down the hill where there are several homeless camps. It’s likely that one of them has committed this crime. We have filed a police report with SPD.

Lots of parents in West Seattle Baseball worked especially hard to raise money and hundreds of volunteer hours went into opening this for all the families of our league. It’s disappointing to put so much effort into this project and have someone ruin it. If any of your readers have experience with storage container security measures, please reach out to president.wsbb@gmail.com, we would appreciate any help.

Two other Crime Watch reader reports:

BACKPACKS & HAT STOLEN: From Shannon in Seaview:

We had our car loaded with camping gear for a camping trip and parked in our front yard just a few feet from our front door, and someone smashed the window, on 48th between Findlay and Juneau.

Luckily, they weren’t interested in our camping gear, but they did steal our backpacks. I suspect they probably ditched them once they realized there weren’t any electronics or anything easily pawned inside them. I am writing in hopes someone will come across them dumped in the bushes or something. One taupe-colored Camelback-brand day pack with first-aid kit inside and one blue and gray Kelty daypack with a Camelback, bright lime green North Face raincoat, and a baseball hat. The baseball hat is dark blue with a light pink script capital “I” on it. I really really want the hat back more than anything, for sentimental reasons. I can be contacted at mitts1212@yahoo.com.

PACKAGE THEFT: Anita e-mailed today to report, “We had a package stolen from (SW) Findlay yesterday sometime after 12:00 noon that was delivered by UPS … Don’t know if this is something going on with other people in the area or not.”

TALK WITH POLICE SATURDAY: Another reminder that Southwest Precinct police’s “Picnic at the Precinct” is part of the Delridge Day festival again this year – and it’s Saturday, 11 am-3 pm, at Delridge Community Center park (4501 Delridge Way). See you there.

GATEWOOD STABBING FOLLOWUPS: Fund set up for victim’s family; suspect refuses to appear at hearing

(Tuesday night photo by WSB’s Christopher Boffoli)

Two days after the Gatewood attack that left a 40-year-old West Seattle man in the hospital with serious injuries, two new developments, including the first hearing for the suspect. First, for everyone who asked how they could help the victim and his family – this crowdfunding page has been set up, identifying the victim as Court Heeter. From the page:

As many of you have heard, Court was the victim of a violent knife attack on Tuesday, Aug. 8, near his home in West Seattle. He sustained many life-threatening stab wounds and was fortunate to have Good Samaritans and first responders get there in time to save his life. He is now recovering in the hospital with his wife and family at his side.

Court is a strong man and is expected to recover from his physical wounds beautifully. He is indeed also a very lucky man to have survived an attack of this magnitude – we are so thankful he is here with us.

People are asking how to help. Meals are always thoughtful but in some cases can be disruptive to a household with small children that is already experiencing stress. In addition, a steady stream of visitors is overwhelming for this private family.

Obviously, there will be medical bills and other costs associated with this tragedy. As friends of the Heeter Family we are concerned about what lies ahead as he starts to work through what has happened.

Let’s come together and raise some money to ease any extra burdens we can for this family. Whether it be for a family vacation, medical bills, groceries, house cleaner – Whatever the Heeter Family needs money for let’s help provide it. Thank you for any donation amount or positive thoughts and prayers you can provide.

Again, the link is here.

Next – the hearing information, just in: As we first reported yesterday morning, police identified the suspect as 39-year-old Ryan J. Cox, who has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems, as detailed in this followup yesterday afternoon. After police first took Cox into custody at the scene of Tuesday night’s attack, he was taken to the hospital for what investigators said were self-inflicted stab wounds; last night, he was medically cleared to be booked into King County Jail, and this afternoon, he had what was scheduled to be a bail/probable-cause hearing. According to King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office spokesperson Dan Donohoe, Cox “refused to appear in court”; the judge ruled there was probable cause to continue holding him, and set a bail hearing for tomorrow afternoon. The document provided for the hearing has the same narrative information that we included in yesterday afternoon’s followup, with the addition of Cox’s claim that he stabbed Heeter – who police say was unarmed – in self-defense, claiming he had clashed with the victim the night before. The probable-cause document also notes that law enforcement does not want to see Cox released, because he is “very aggressive” and because the incident involved “assault with a deadly weapon.”

We will update again tomorrow after the second hearing.

GATEWOOD STABBING FOLLOWUP: The suspect’s past; the case’s future

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Not long after we started reporting last night on the knife attack that seriously injured a 40-year-old man, speculation about the attacker’s identity focused on one repeat offender well-known in the Morgan Junction/Gatewood area: Ryan Cox.

This morning, we confirmed with police that he is the 39-year-old man who is in their custody, even as he remains hospitalized for what they described as self-inflicted stab wounds.

Cox has been in and out of the criminal-justice and mental-health systems for years. He first came to attention in West Seattle in 2009, when police asked for help identifying a man who had been on a vandalism spree, writing homophobic slurs on private and public property – not far from the scene of last night’s attack (police-released 2009 photo at right). But his criminal record dates to his late teens, according to online records.

Before we get into more about Cox’s background, an update on the victim:

Read More

UPDATE: Repeat offender Ryan Cox stabs a man and then himself in Gatewood, police say

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)

10:18 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are on the scene of what medical radio transmissions describe as a double stabbing at California and Orchard [map]. Two men, both around 40, are being taken to the hospital.

10:39 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is at the scene and reports that California is closed between Myrtle and Othello. The stabbings are reported to have happened out in the street.

10:55 PM: Though SPD has not yet commented at the scene, they’ve just tweeted that one man stabbed the other and then himself, so no one else is being sought. Seattle Fire says one man was transported with life-threatening wounds, one with non-life-threatening.

11:04 PM: While we are still waiting for a more-detailed account from police, multiple witnesses – at the scene and by phone – say the man with the life-threatening wounds was in his car when attacked by the other man. The car is reported to be the white SUV in our photo above.

12:20 AM: Police at the scene continue to decline comment, referring inquiries to media relations, so we likely will not learn anything more until later this morning. Christopher reports that as of midnight, the road was still closed as the investigation continued.

7:32 AM: So far, still no additional information from police. Meantime, a commenter identifying herself as the victim’s wife posted overnight that he was in surgery.

8:07 AM: Here’s the entirety of what police just posted to SPD Blotter, the first official information since one tweet late last night:

The male victim, age 40, is at Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries while the suspect, 39, is also at Harborview with non-life-threatening injuries.

On Tuesday, August 8th at 10:00 pm, Southwest Precinct officers responded to a call of a fight and stabbing near California Avenue SW and SW Orchard Street. Officers arrived and located both the victim and suspect. The victim had extensive injuries to his chest, head, and upper arms. Seattle Fire medics arrived and treated the victim at the scene and then transported him to the hospital. The suspect also had stab wounds to his thighs, which he stated occurred during the course of the attack.

It is unknown what led up to the confrontation, but witnesses interviewed at the scene confirmed that the suspect attacked the victim and that the victim was not armed. It is unknown what the relationship is between the two men, if any. Officers recovered a knife at the scene and submitted it into evidence.

The suspect was also treated at the scene and transported to the hospital, where he remains under police custody. Once the suspect has been cleared medically he will be booked into the King County Jail.

Detectives will conduct the follow up investigation.

This remains an active and ongoing investigation.

8:51 AM: As just noted in comments, police have confirmed to us by phone that the suspect, who remains in the hospital at last report, is Ryan Cox. WSB policy usually precludes identifying suspects until and unless they are charged, but given the neighborhood history with Cox, this is an unusual case and we are making an exception. That history goes back to 2009, when he was arrested in connection with graffiti vandalism involving homophobic slurs. At the time of his arrest, police said then, he was carrying a knife.

(added) It has been three years since he was last mentioned on WSB, after his release from jail following completion of a sentence for an assault case in which he pleaded guilty in 2013. As we mentioned in comment discussion below, we’ve checked city, county, and state records and no recent criminal cases were shown – the most recent case of any kind was a citation last December for “consuming/possessing open container of liquor in public,” according to the Municipal Court website. Before that, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing in August 2015.

ADDED WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Cox was booked into jail just before 8 pm tonight.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Open letter to a bicycle thief

Received today, from Byron:

My 11-year-old daughter’s bike was stolen today in the parking lot next to School of Rock on 41st Ave SW.

Her bike was a dark blue 2016 Kona Dew deluxe bike with a heavy steel basket. Serial number is 13i-1640. I will offer a $250 reward for the name of the person who stole it. I want the person who stole it. I want my daughter to see horrible people who steal will be punished. I want that a-hole paraded down Alaska Junction with a thief sign on.

You made my daughter cry because you wanted to steal a child’s bike.

I will have my retribution. I have reported it stolen to the police, bike registry has it stolen, all the bike shops in a 1000-mile area know it was stolen. You might as well throw the thing off a cliff because everyone knows it’s stolen. I will find you and you will apologize to my daughter.

If you have a tip for police, Byron is still awaiting the report #, but the tracking number for starters is T17009156.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Return of the wheel-stealers

For nine years now, we’ve been hearing of wheel-stealers targeting Honda Fits here and there. This time, the photo and report are from Missy:


We’ve been having a high number of thefts happening in Alki recently. Just (Saturday) night my friend got all her tires stolen as she was parked between 62nd and 63rd Ave on Admiral Way … We’ve also had some mail stolen. Please put a warning out, if anyone sees any tires going for sale for a Honda Fit, to please let me know!

P.S. If you missed it over the weekend, Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge‘s newest newsletter is here – focusing on firearms, including a chance to get a free cable lock.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Casing; more tagging vandalism

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:

CASING: Laura reports this happened around 4 am near 50th & Edmunds [map]:

A car was driving south on my street (50th ave SW); the car stopped every few houses; two individuals got out, walked up to the houses on either side of the street and shined flashlights into the homes. Perhaps they were looking for open windows/easy access in this heat? I reported this to the police. A good reminder to secure windows if open.

We asked Laura for a description of the car; she says all she could see was that it was “smaller … maybe a hatchback, dark blue or black.”

TAGGING VANDALISM: Via Twitter, @unclebol reports taggers vandalized Gatewood Elementary (a city landmark featured in this week’s Seattle Times Then and Now column) overnight. Here’s how to report tagging/graffiti vandalism (and if you see it in progress, call 911).

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Tagging vandals strike big; how to fight back

FIRST REPORT, 12:45 PM: Thanks for the tips – we went to The Junction to check out reader reports about major tagging vandalism overnight, with huge tags painted in at least one bus shelter as well as multiple large tags on the bricks on the north side of the Senior Center of West Seattle. When we arrived, we found Mike already at work with a pressure washer, getting rid of the vandalism outside the Senior Center. There are other tags on various structures, and cleanup is obviously a big time and money drain for building owners, but the best way to deter more of this is to clean it up as fast as possible, police advise – whether by washing or paintover (and cleanup IS required). We had to leave The Junction before checking on the Route 50 shelter from which Rich had sent a photo showing a huge tag covering almost all the etched glass, but we advised him to call the Metro graffiti/vandalism hotline to report it for cleanup – 206-477-3850. The city also has a hotline for graffiti vandalism on public property: 206-684-7587, with an online report form here.

If you see a vandal in action anywhere, call 911as this city webpage notes, vandals have to be caught in the act to be prosecuted.

P.S. What you think you know about graffiti/tagging vandalism is probably wrong, as the Seattle Police detective assigned to that beat told the WS Crime Prevention Council in a briefing we covered a while back.

3:53 PM UPDATE: We went back to the Senior Center to check on progress – Bradi had joined Mike in the cleanup:

We also talked with Lora Swift, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, which has offices across SW Oregon from the Senior Center. She said they are strategizing what to do with a few other vandalized spots, like a streetlight pole kitty-corner across California/Oregon with big black spraypainted lettering.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car window smashed

Just out of the WSB inbox:

Our locked car in our alley just had rear window broken. My husband heard the black 4 door import car with approximately 4 white adult males cruise the alley. He walked outside and they drove off, only then did he realize the rear window was broken. Police have been notified. Thanks for costing us money we don’t have!

We live a block south of Admiral.

Police reiterate, call 911 if you see a crime or suspected crime in progress.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car, bicycle stolen

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight.

STOLEN CAR: Shelley says she’s been walking around hoping to spot the car ditched somewhere … it belongs to her daughter, who’s been serving in the Peace Corps. Maybe you’ll spot it:

I’ve been parking along 41st for about a year now and first, my Camry had been broken into twice and then I sold it. So, while I was inbetween cars, I decided to get my daughter’s first car all set up and running great for her return in December from the Peace Corps. I had mechanics fix quite a few things and had it running good and looking nice and then…my HUGE mistake parking it along 41st where it was outright stolen last night WITH a club locked to the steering wheel and ZERO items inside. Nothing. It is a red 1998 Honda Civic with license plates ANT5326.

We had had it stored in a driveway for the last year in Shoreline and I just thought it would be nice to get it running and up to snuff for her when she returns…and now this. It was her prized first car that she had worked hard and saved her own money for, and it was FINALLY running right. I’m just sick about it. What I’ve noticed lately is that there are way less cars all of a sudden along 41st and wonder if others have had their cars stolen? How would we know this without getting the word out. Usually this part of 41st off Edmunds Street is packed with cars and yesterday and today there were tons of open spots. No towing going on either. The police checked for me when I reported it this morning. So, it was stolen between 8 pm 8/1 and 7 am 8/2 as I had checked on it each time I walked my doggie to make sure it was fine there have been so many break-ins of late. If they only knew what they took, it’s more than a car to my daughter and I’m just sick that it was on MY watch. How could folks be so callous and selfish knowing they are taking a substantial investment from somebody they know nothing about?​ ​Anyhow, it is a longshot, but it’s a nice, clean and straight shiny red car with newer tires and a white W in the back rear window.

STOLEN BICYCLE: From Kay:

I rode my bike home from Colman swimming pool to my house (in the 9000 block of) 4th Ave SW, left bike in driveway by garage, came in to change clothes, came out to put bike into garage and it was gone. This was between 1:30 – 3 PM Monday, July 24. Bike had Danish bike basket (with carrying handle and hooks to go over handlebars). In basket was cloth bag with bike gloves, bike lights) Under seat in pouch was a red bike cable with lock. If anyone sees the black Bianchi RC women bike with the bike basket, please call 206-720-4024.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: More bicycle thefts, plus a car break-in with outdoor gear stolen

Earlier this week, package thefts were rampant, and right now it seems to be bicycles – be sure yours is secured. In addition to the two stolen bicycles in this earlier item, we’ve received these three reader reports since then:

JUST IN – BIKE THEFT IN RIVERVIEW: Dannie texted this moments ago: “A 20-30 something (person with) longer-blonde-dyed hair, black spaghetti strap tank top, black baggy pants, overnight bag, stole my husband’s black mountain bike from in front of our home. SHE WAS LAST SEEN RIDING SOUTH ON 12th AVE SW.” Dannie called 911 and says police are currently searching too.

BIKE THEFT IN ARBOR HEIGHTS AREA: Jon says his wife’s teal Cannondale bicycle was stolen between 8:30 pm last night and 12:30 am today. “It has an older made-in-the-USA frame and a heavy-duty double-kickstand. If you find it, please let us know, 206-915-9721.”

CAR BREAK-IN: Received today from Michael, who was visiting West Seattle when someone broke into his car: “On the evening of 7/28/17 or the early morning of 7/29/17 my vehicle was broken into in front of my friends’ home while I was house sitting for them. They live on 20th ave SW. The contents taken included a orange North face pack (Terra 65L), a black diamond tent (mega mid), a Kelty sleeping bag (cosmic 20), a two tone blue Outdoor research jacket (diode), a red Outdoor Research hard shell jacket (Whiteroom) and a orange neo air xlite thermarest sleeping pad. The case number is 17-277635. My number is 4106523961. I work as a guide and an outdoor educator for youth so this person is messing with my livelihood.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Three bicycles stolen, 1 recovered

Three bicycles were stolen from Mark‘s garage in North Admiral Thursday night/early Friday. One has since turned up in the Junction QFC dumpster, spotted by employees – intact – and reported to police, with whom he already had filed a report, so that’s how he got it back. The other two are still missing:

#1 – Silver/gray and blue 2014 Giant Trance 27.5 1, serial number starting with GR313, XL frame, wide tires. Mark notes that the “bike’s rear wheel was in my possession when it was stolen, so if it shows up, it will either be missing a rear wheel or have mismatched wheels – should be easy to spot.” Photo:

#2 – Silver/gray and red 1998 Giant Iguana SE, L frame, wide tires. Mark notes, “This is a 1998 Iguana with some of the original Rock Shox, so it’s pretty easy to spot. Has been updated with bar ends, deeper-dish Vuelta wheels, and outfitted with a rear rack and bag + fenders for commuting.” Photo:

If you see/find either, contact police and refer to incident 17-276013.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Packages, contents tossed

This week’s big West Seattle Crime Watch reader-report topic has been package theft – both the thefts and the discovery of discarded boxes/items. Here are the latest:

PACKAGE FOUND: From Kathrine in The Junction:

I found an open USPS package in a bush while I was out walking my dog today and I would like to return it to its rightful owner. The box was open and the shipping address was torn from the box, other that I can make out “Oregon St.” The return address is from Myrtle Beach, SC. If someone can give me the name of the person who shipped the box, I’d be happy to return the package to its rightful owner. The box contains a rather expensive handbag. Or if someone can describe to me what the handbag looks like, that might work as well……

If it might be yours, let us know.

PACKAGES TRASHED: From Manya in Gatewood:

Came home from work (Thursday) and one of my packages was partially opened almost as if someone saw what was in there was of no interest (curriculum books). Then my downstairs neighbor stopped by and said that they found packages from another neighbor opened and the contents thrown all over the alley and possibly some things stolen. Following that, 3 police cars showed up across the street (the owner of the packages in the alley) and the report is that they saw someone in their backyard and it’s most likely related. Hoping more awareness will help either catch the thief or at least help others be on the watch for their own property.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Package-theft evidence dumped

Received from Sheridan a short time ago:

Just witnessed two people in a vehicle dumping the boxes of stolen packages in the alleyway behind my house near 22nd SW & SW Cloverdale. Reported to Seattle Police along with car’s registration number. Was a light blue/silver Honda CRV.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Delridge robbery suspect nabbed 20 miles away; package thief on cam; more

Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports, starting with a robbery arrest far from the crime scene:

ROBBERY SUSPECT TRACKED TO FEDERAL WAY: Published on SPD Blotter tonight:

Just after 2 p.m. this afternoon, Southwest Precinct police officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at a bus stop near Delridge Way and Kenyon Street. The teenage victim reported to officers that a teenage suspect brandishing a handgun approached him, stole his iPhone and ran away.

Police called for a K9 officer in the hopes of tracking the armed suspect nearby. Those efforts did not prove fruitful. Fortunately for police, the suspect also left an electronic trail.

Using the phone’s location software, Officer Ernie DeBella followed the e-trail to Burien and then later to Federal Way. Officer DeBella successfully tracked the phone to an occupied silver minivan and called for back-up. With assistance from King County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Way Police Department, officers stopped the minivan. All four passengers got out and ran, but didn’t get far, and were detained by police.

The victim called his iPhone and officers could hear it ringing inside the mini-van on cue. Officers could also see a handgun in the minivan’s interior.

Three of the four occupants were interviewed and released from the scene. The fourth occupant, determined to be the robbery suspect, remained with officers. While they were questioning the suspect, a recent crime victim approached officers and reported that he recognized the teenage suspect as the person who had robbed him the day before. Federal Way Police will continue to investigate that robbery separately.

Officers impounded the minivan pending receipt of a search warrant. Officers transported the suspect back to Seattle and booked him into the Youth Service Center.

Also tonight, two reader reports, both related to mail/package theft:

PACKAGE THIEF: From Brittany in High Point, with frame grabs from security video:

A package was stolen off my front porch in West Seattle at 12:29 pm today.

If you see this navy blue car (possibly a Ford Focus 4-door sedan) or this person anywhere, please let me know.

This has already been filed with the Seattle Police Department.

If you have any info, the SPD incident number is 17-274738.

AFTERMATH OF PACKAGE THEFT: From Ray, also in High Point:

Boxes from two blocks away made it to 34th and Graham. Happened between 12-1 on 7/27.

Looks like they choose a driveway to turn into and dump the boxes.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Burglary interrupted, and 4 more reader reports

Five reports in Crime Watch this afternoon:

RESIDENT THWARTS BURGLAR: From Marie:

Burglar interrupted by homeowner in 6500 block 36th Ave SW Tuesday, about 5:45 pm. Suspect entered 2nd floor bedroom by pushing in screen on open window, after climbing up onto balcony off bedroom. After vaulting off balcony and running up alley, suspect came back and fled off of red/white Honda ‘crotch rocket’ motorcycle that he had left behind. Motorcycle possibly stolen, as ignition switch has been tampered with, and it has temporary paper license plate. Suspect is white, between 6’2″ and 6’4″, early 30s. Anyone with further information or whose motorcycle matches description please contact SPD, incident #17-272237.

BREAK-IN ATTEMPT: Deena shares this video, also from Tuesday:

Someone came to my house and tried to gain access while I was at work. The man came right up to my door and tried the handle. Luckily it was locked! He then knocked. Well, my camera caught it all! along with audio where you can hear him try the handle.

He was startled when my camera alerted him. He moved backward and started fanning himself with his bogus flyer.

This happened near Delridge Way/SW Thistle.

PACKAGE THIEF ON VIDEO: From Kelly:

We had a package thief in our neighborhood; our mailman saw her stealing packages and confronted and she fled on her bike.

I was able to capture video of her stealing our packages. This is in the Admiral area by Madison Middle school. Stealing packages in broad daylight. She found a spot in between houses and opened packages and dumped a lot of goods, but we could not locate our stuff.

No police report # yet; Kelly says officers had not yet responded despite being called twice.

CAR PROWL: From Z:

Car break-in on Hill St and Walnut Ave SW. Entire car was rummaged. A few gift cards were stolen.

And from our neighbors in South Park:

SOUTH PARK BUSINESSES VANDALIZED: We’ve heard of at least two cases of business windows being broken in South Park recently, including this report we received via e-mail today from the new La Toscanella near 3rd and Cloverdale in west SP, with a photo:

Community advocates in South Park have been demanding help and Councilmember Lisa Herbold just announced she is asking SPD for prevention resources and to either hold or attend a public meeting to talk about community safety.

Former West Seattle bank-branch manager sentenced to prison for embezzling $500,000+ from ‘vulnerable victims’

Four months after pleading guilty to two counts of an eight-count indictment, a former West Seattle bank manager has been sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison. Here’s the announcement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

The former manager of a JPM Chase bank branch in West Seattle was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 54 months in prison for embezzling more than half a million dollars from the accounts of elderly customers, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes.

Roberta Castillo, 43, acted as a trusted friend and financial helper to various elderly customers of first Washington Mutual and later Chase after WAMU was sold. These elderly clients trusted Castillo to assist them with their financial affairs. Instead, she stole their funds by manipulating the electronic records at the bank, committing identity theft with their personal information, and using innocent subordinates to make it difficult to track the disappearing funds. Chase has agreed to restore the funds to the customer accounts. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour said Castillo had preyed on “vulnerable victims,” and asked to be updated that Chase had made the victims whole.

“This defendant stole from her elderly victims when they were most vulnerable – after the loss of a spouse, while battling illness or dealing with the challenges that sometimes come with age,” said U.S. Attorney Hayes. “In one instance, she stole more than $350,000 from the estate of a deceased customer. This defendant’s shameful behavior deserves substantial punishment.”

According to records filed in the case, Castillo began working for what was then Washington Mutual in the late 1990s. She started as a teller and worked her way up to being a branch manager in West Seattle. Along the way Castillo worked with many customers who, as they aged, came to rely on her for their financial services. With access to their accounts, Castillo drained resources from at least three different sets of clients. Castillo was embezzling as much as $20,000 per month. She drained $364,000 from an overlooked CD in the account of a deceased client; she made 37 unauthorized transfers totaling more than $140,000 from the accounts of an elderly brother and sister; and she committed identity theft against another client opening and using a credit card in his name and getting cash from his line of credit. Castillo used the money to pay her bank loans, routine expenses such as manicures and gas, hotel rooms, airplane tickets, a cruise, and for bail money for a boyfriend in trouble with the law. In the wake of the thefts some of the victims have struggled to pay bills or make necessary home repairs.

In addition to the prison sentence, Castillo will serve five years on supervised release and is ordered to pay restitution of more than $500,000 to Chase.

The case was investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Roe.

After receiving the announcement, we asked which branch Castillo had managed in West Seattle. According to the sentencing-memo document in the case (which contains many more details of her crimes), Castillo managed two Chase branches in grocery stores. Other documents say her crimes happened between 2011 and 2014.

ONE WEEK UNTIL ‘NIGHT OUT’: Still time to plan and register your block party

Exactly one week away from Night Out – the first Tuesday in August, when neighbors around the U.S. organize block parties to celebrate community collaboration toward safety and crime prevention. We have another update from Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Burbridge:

As of today, the SW Precinct has 214 registered events!! 2nd-highest number of events of any precinct in the city of Seattle!

Be sure to get your event registered [scroll down this page] before registration closes on Monday, July 31st, at 5 pm!

During the registration process, it will ask if you would like visits from the Police Department, Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management and/or Elected Officials. Please make sure to pay attention to these boxes, as these questions give us helpful information when planning visits. However, due to the high volume of requests – we cannot promise a visit but we will do our best to visit as many events as possible through the evening!

If you have any questions about Night Out – please contact me, your SW Crime Prevention Coordinator, at Jennifer.Burbridge@seattle.gov.

Registering is most important so you can close your (non-arterial) street.

P.S. If you’re planning a Night Out party, let us know if we can stop by for a photo (thanks to those we have heard from already) – editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

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