West Seattle, Washington
ROBBERY INVESTIGATION: This past hour, police have been investigating a reported robbery/assault at the Delridge/Orchard Shell station, per radio communication. The assault victim was reported to be the clerk. No other details.
BICYCLE FOUND: AC found a “black and white road bike in the bushes close to Luna Park … Give me a call to ID and I hope you get your bike back. 206 229 1027.”
HIT-RUN: From the inbox: “I’ve reported a hit and run accident 6/22/18 along California and SW Hanford st, at about 1:00 am. The vehicle who hit me and took off looked like it could have been a 1997 dark green Chevy SUV. If anybody witnessed the incident, please call 206-883-5326. Thanks.”
PACKAGES TAKEN: Carolyn shares the video recorded near Lincoln Park at 7:32 am on Friday:
About :30 in, you see a car drive by, then back up, with two people getting out to take boxes from a doorstep. She says the car was a red 4-door Chevy with its back right window smashed in.
OTHER BURGLARIES: The South Delridge burglaries we’ve been reporting on are far from the only burglaries in our area this past week. Some others now have narratives in the publicly viewable report files, so here are our short summaries:
*4700 block SW Charlestown: Around 10:30 last Monday night (June 18th), a woman came home and found a man in her apartment, holding her flat-screen TV. She told police she yelled at him and he put the TV down and took off. The victim’s boyfriend was asleep in a back bedroom while all this happened. The intruder was described as white or Hispanic, in his early 30s, wearing a dark gray hoodie and dark pants.
*1500 block Alki SW: Around 11:30 am last Sunday (June 17th), a neighbor called the resident to say his house had been broken into early that morning. The resident couldn’t find any sign of forced entry but discovered that “his four Glock pistols and his AR-15 style rifle” were missing. The rifle and one pistol were fully loaded, he told police. The neighbor described the burglars only as “two black males and a white female” who left in “a red Taurus.”
*1700 block Alki SW: Last Monday morning, police were called to a complex of seven just-finished townhouses. They were told a lock box containing keys for all but one unit had been stolen sometime over the weekend, and at least one unit – whose new owner had already moved in – had been burglarized.
*9000 block 18th SW: Overnight last Saturday night/Sunday morning, someone broke into the office of a “large commercial building,” stealing two safes and a computer. The safes were reported to have contained jewelry, cash, and documents.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
At a time of year when neighbors should be getting together for something fun like a block party, a gathering tonight at one South Delridge house was sparked by a series of burglaries.
So they gathered with pizza – and police.
More than two dozen people crowded into a bungalow living room on 13th SW a short distance north of Roxbury to hear from, and get answers from, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis.
Within the span of just a few blocks, since Sunday morning, four burglaries have been reported to police, he confirmed, while neighbors wondered if there might have been at least one more. (Our previous report on them is here.) In at least two cases, the burglar’s description was the same – a 6’2″, 220-pound black man who turned up in the house in the middle of the night, “young” but at least 25, clean-shaven, a gap in his op teeth, a “soothing” voice.
No one’s been hurt physically, but the experience was terrifying.
Capt. Davis promised more police presence; he said the night shifts are on orders to do “emphasis patrols” in the area. That doesn’t mean you can expect to see police just parked there – but they’ll frequently be in the area.
Should neighbors go out and walk around on patrols of their own? he was asked.
Davis said he wouldn’t recommend that – “arbitrarily putting yourself in harm’s way is not good.” He did recommend that neighbors stay in close touch with each other, Block Watch-style; they already do, he was assured (a major reason for the crowd in the organizer’s living room), including via their own e-mail list.
One resident said she’s leaving her lights on all night. The captain suggested contacting Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a home assessment that would lead to suggestions of other ways to beef up security.
What if your landlord doesn’t want to make the changes? “We can strongly recommend that they do,” Davis replied.
The neighbors’ questions continued. Would the burglar come back to the same house? “We’re not sure what this individual wants,” Davis said. One victim said he seemed lonely – seemed to be “looking for love.”
Some wondered if he lives in the area – there’s a “halfway house” nearby, neighbors noted; one said she had contacted people there but no leads so far.
A burglary detective is on the case and will be talking with each victim, Davis reassured the neighbors.
With the city-county line so close by, are police talking to the King County Sheriff’s Office? Yes.
Will police talk with neighbors beyond those who have reported the crimes, just in case somebody saw something? Yes.
Has anything like this happened in any other West Seattle neighborhood? No.
In one case, the burglar bled from broken window glass, so that’s providing evidence that police can test, though Capt. Davis wasn’t certain how soon results would be available. Neighbors’ vigilance is the best way to help with the investigation, he said – “if you see something, say something … so we can get this individual off the street.”
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
EARLY-MORNING INCIDENT NEAR 20TH/BARTON: We got some questions today about an early-morning police search in the 20th/Barton vicinity. Following up took some time – the full report wasn’t available, but we did get some information from Southwest Precinct Lt. Steve Strand. Police responded to a report of “a person with a gun,” he says, and while that person got away, a second armed suspect – “a convicted felon” – was found and three guns, one stolen, were found too. A rental truck associated with the call was impounded, awaiting a search warrant. No one was shot, no shots fired, but someone “had been maced somewhere along the way,” Lt. Strand added.
GATEWOOD CAR PROWL: Caught on security video around 5:30 am, near California/Ida:
I don’t think it would have been visible from the street but apparently we left our minivan unlocked with the window down last night and this guy took the opportunity to make off with a couple of gift cards. … That black car behind him is what he pulled up in.
Police report # is 18-226065.
SOUTH DELRIDGE BURGLARIES: On Sunday and Monday, we reported on early-morning burglaries in the South Delridge area while people were home. No one asked police about them at last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, so we asked Capt. Pierre Davis if police believed they were related, and he said no. We heard from a worried neighbor this afternoon and she said police are now telling them otherwise – that at least two have similar MO’s, with the burglar coming into the resident’s bedroom. There have been at least four: Two reports in the 9400 block of 13th SW, early Sunday and early Tuesday; one in the 9200 block of 12th SW early Tuesday; and the one we detailed, early Sunday in the 9000 block of 11th SW.
CAR PROWLS: At least two overnight in 40th SW and SW Charlestown vicinity, per a brief texted reader report.
Two repeat-offender updates:
GREGORY L. THOMPSON: The Puget Ridge resident is now charged in the fish-theft case as well as with alleged witness intimidation, and he remains in jail with bail set at $325,000, a combination of current and previous cases. Charging documents tell the same story about the intimidation charge that we reported from probable-cause documents earlier this week – Thompson is accused of going to the home of the owner of a vehicle he is charged with stealing, and shooting out the vehicle’s window. But the charging papers also include new information about the saga of the stolen fish. Police found it while searching his house on a warrant related to the other case. Police say a purple Ford Explorer associated with Thompson left his house around 3 am Thursday and didn’t return until about quarter till 8 am (the fish theft is reported to have happened around 7:30). Early Friday, they served the search warrant at his house, but, the documents say, they actually arrested Thompson in White Center. At his house, the documents say, hundreds of rounds of ammunition were found as well as bb and Airsoft guns. Plus: “Detectives also located several large Styrofoam boxes marked Seattle Fish Company and at least 2 boxes containing 4 large cans of crabmeat stacked in the garage.” The charging document says this happened when Thompson was questioned about the fish:
Thompson initially denied ever being at the company. He later changed his story saying he was there and was with a friend named “Alex Harris” who had allegedly made a deal for the product. Later his story changed saying “Alex” was not with him. Thompson admitted to taking and loading several boxes into his truck and taking them to “Alex’s” place stating none of the product would be at his house. Thompson even went so far as to agree to recover the seafood from “Alex” if he called him.
When confronted with the fact detectives had located boxes of products from the Seattle Fish Company stacked in his garage and would like his consent to recover them, Thompson replied saying he would give consent if he could go home rather than being booked into KCJ, but otherwise no. A King County Superior Court addendum to the search warrant was completed and approved to recover the stolen seafood.
Thompson, police say, was never able to connect them with the mysterious “Alex,” who he said looked a lot like him. He remains in jail as of last check, and is due to go to trial later this month in connection with other cases.
NICHOLAS D. WATSON: When last we mentioned this repeat offender in a comment discussion, there was a warrant out for his arrest. Looks like police finally caught up with him. He is jailed in connection with three failure-to-appear warrants in two stolen-car cases and one burglary case, bail set at $125,000.
From the WSB inbox this morning, three bicycle reports:
STOLEN BLACK BICYCLE: Ender says this Specialized bike was stolen in an Alki shed break-in Monday night:
This happened near 61st and Admiral. Any info, contact police and email email@example.com. (Added: Here’s the SPD incident # – 2018-223799.)
ANOTHER STOLEN BLACK BICYCLE: From Jessica:
We had a stolen black ‘Jaunt’ bike stolen last night or early this morning before 4:30am from our yard in the Gatewood neighborhood. It has silver accents with a rack on the back, black plastic fenders and a flower on the seat. It also had a small bag on the back with some bike wrenches and a combo lock… not in use at the time.
FOUND BLUE BICYCLE: Jean reports this one’s at 59th/Admiral:
We don’t have police-report #’s in any of these cases yet but will add any we receive on followup.
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
SCHOOL ARREST: Thanks to the Madison Middle School parent who forwarded the audio of a robocall sent to families by principal Dr. Robert Gary this evening. No accompanying e-mail so far as we’ve heard, so here’s our transcription from the audio:
At approximately 3:55 pm today, in the front of the school, near the bus area, a student was taken into custody by the Seattle Police Department. The situation that the person was taken into custody for was unrelated to any school situation that occurred at Madison. At this time, we don’t have any more information to share. This is a police matter.
After inviting parents to contact him if they have questions, Dr. Gary continued, “Once again, Madison was safe the entire day; the student that was taken into custody was taken into custody by Seattle Police, and it was a situation unrelated to Madison Middle School.” Police online incident lists don’t show anything with Madison’s address so far tonight, so we have no cross-reference on the incident, but will be following up tomorrow. (TUESDAY UPDATE: SPD tells us the case stemmed from a dispute between juveniles. We are still trying to find out more.)
Speaking of followups:
SUNDAY MORNING BURGLARY ATTEMPT: We were tracking multiple incidents early Sunday; one of them was a burglary dispatch to South Delridge/Highland Park. When we looked at the log this morning, we found only one potentially matching incident, and requested the report narrative, which SPD provided as follows:
We responded to a possible occupied burglary call at 90XX 11 Av SW. I contacted the victim, V/XXXXX, at the front door. She said she was asleep in her bedroom. The bedroom is on the N/E corner of the house. XXXXX had her bedroom window (north side) open a few inches.. The window has a lock to prevent it from opening further. XXXXX woke up to a light shining into her bedroom. She looked up and saw a hand reaching through her open window. The hand was moving the curtains a little to the side. XXXXX screamed to her daughter, XXXXX, to call 911. The male moved away from the window and walked out the front gate. He left in a S/B direction. XXXXX did not get a good look at him but described the suspect as a B/M wearing all black. Other units conducted an area search but did not find anyone in the area. We checked the window for fingerprints but did not find any.
This evening, Tweets by Beat – which is catching up from having been down much of the weekend – shows there was another “occupied burglary” call in the 9400 block of 13th SW a little later Sunday morning; we’ll have to pursue that report tomorrow.
GREGORY THOMPSON UPDATE: We reported last Friday on the arrest of 28-year-old Gregory L. Thompson on Puget Ridge; police said they recovered stolen fish while seeking Thompson in an unrelated case. No information on that case was available Friday but we’ve obtained the documents from his weekend bail hearing, which explain why he is being held for investigation of tampering. Police allege that last Thursday morning, he shot out the window of a truck he is charged with stealing, “in an apparent attempt to dissuade the victim from testifying.” His bail is currently set at $275,000 – $100,000 for the tampering investigation, the rest related to various cases in which he already is charged. Nothing related to the fish case so far.
Two items that seem to be more candidates for the “dumped and likely stolen” rather than our “lost/found/non-pets” section:
BICYCLE FOUND ON ALKI: From Mark:
A 19″ Raleigh C40 hybrid road/mountain bike was recovered along Alki (Saturday). Probably stolen. Respond with bike ID number and color scheme to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWIM BAG FOUND: From Todd:
We found this swim bag on our front lawn this morning. It’s sitting next to our front door for the owner. Our address: 4000 38th Ave SW
Two Crime Watch reader reports:
STOLEN CAR: A reward is offered:
I know it’s a long shot but please keep your eyes out- My husband’s car was stolen last night from our street in West Seattle (SW 40th Ave and SW Oregon). It’s a black Chrysler 300 with Iowa plates 599 WWI. Please contact 515-402-9823 with information.
And if you see it, call 911 first.
CAR PROWLS: From Sharon:
> Several cars on 34th Avenue SW, between Findley and Juneau, were broken into sometime between 6pm and midnight (Friday, 6/15). Tools and glove box contents were stolen. Be on the alert for car prowlers in the area. Police report has been filed.
(WSB photo, May)
One month ago, we reassured you that the future Best of Hands Barrelhouse would be keeping the iconic cow atop its building at 35th and Webster, while warning that it might disappear for a while for some sprucing-up. Part of its absence was unplanned, the Best of Hands crew says – it was briefly cownapped last week and taken to Chief Sealth International High School as what they say was a “senior prank.” They got it back but not without complications, according to this open letter they sent us today:
While we appreciate a good senior prank as well as the next person, I’m reaching out to the community here because in the process of stealing the cow, the kids broke one of the legs. Those who were involved with the prank also scaled our brand new electrical install in order to get on the roof (we now need to inspect this for any damage they may have caused). As many in this community know, we have spent over a year and tens of thousands of dollars bringing the iconic building up to code so that it can house a new endeavor. The actions of these individuals is highly disappointing, as it shows a complete disrespect for personal property, private property, and the West Seattle community at large. To add insult to injury, we had just finished cleaning and re-painting the cow the Monday before she was stolen. We will now have to take hours out of our busy schedules to do so again.
We know people have information about who is responsible for the prank, and we are asking them to step forward so we can hold the pranksters to account for their actions. If nobody comes forward, we will be getting the police involved. As for what the consequences should be for damaging our property and our landlord’s property (Clearview Eye & Laser), we have discussed compensation for the broken leg (and anything else that may have been damaged) and community service. We understand that these students will be graduating on Thursday, and would like to have a resolution before then. If college-bound, I don’t think dodging this responsibility will look good to the schools these individuals have applied to/been accepted to, as in this day and age, many colleges will revoke acceptance based on poor 4th quarter performance and extenuating circumstances.
We thank you for your time and help.
Best of Hands Barrelhouse
12:28 AM: Two things:
*If you heard “gunshots or fireworks?” noise around midnight, according to police radio communication, it was fireworks, 24th/Holden vicinity.
*Thanks for all the tips about a search in northeast Arbor Heights. We know it involves both KCSO and SPD but we’re not sure yet what started it, so we’re heading over to see what we can find out.
1 AM UPDATE: We have found multiple officers on 28th and 30th south of Roxbury. Two said the search was related to a convenience-store robbery but wouldn’t/couldn’t say where. We have gone by several stores, no obvious signs of trouble. A K9 team was out on 28th when we went through. That’s all we have – no descriptions of who’s being sought.
2:50 AM: Unrelated incident, so far as we know, but it’s still early-morning police activity, so we’re adding … the sirens in south West Seattle this time are because police are now looking for a burglary suspect in South Delridge. We missed the exact address but one of the containment points is 18th/Henderson. The description of the suspect so far is black, male, 6’2″, 220 pounds, no shirt, no shoes, possibly bleeding from broken window glass.
3:29 AM: Still searching.
5:34 PM UPDATE: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells us this started as a shoplifting attempt by three juveniles at the 28th/Roxbury 76 station minimart. They tried to steal some candy; “When they were stopped by the clerk, one of them produced a handgun and threatened to shoot the clerk.” The search never did turn them up.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:
STUDENT ROBBED: Thanks to the parent who forwarded the letter sent tonight to Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School families, about a crime that happened Thursday and was reported Friday:
We would like to let you know about an incident that occurred in the Sealth/Denny neighborhood that was brought to our attention yesterday. It occurred on Thursday afternoon at approximately 2:00 PM when a Sealth student was on his way home and was approached in a threatening manner by two youth from another school. They robbed him of his cell phone and made him take off his shoes but did not take them. The student and his parent reported the incident to the school yesterday morning and the police were called. They took the report and will follow up with an investigation.
No other details – the rest of the note to families consists of safety tips. We’ll be following up with police.
JEEP CHEROKEE STOLEN: From Kala:
My Jeep was stolen in West Seattle last night around 11 pm near South Seattle College. I am out of country for two more days, I have friends and family looking out and contacted the police but need all the help I can get! It is a white ’92 Jeep Cherokee, I have attached a recent photo.
I have various things in the Jeep, clothing, camping items, etc., but not too worried about those. All paperwork is in the Jeep (not smart on my side). Hopefully can find in one piece.
(Update: Plate BBA7439 … Monday update: Found in Burien.)
PACKAGE TAKEN: Security video from the 6700 block of Beach Drive:
The sender says they have verified that this was not a retrieved misdelivery. If you recognize the person in the video, the police report # is 18-218524.
One more early-morning incident that woke up more than a few people early today – suspected gunfire heard in South Delridge, Westwood, and as far north as Sunrise Heights. This security video is from a camera near 17th and Cloverdale. We couldn’t find a police report number showing that any evidence of gunfire had been found; if anyone reading this knows of a related report number, the video’s owner was wondering how to call it to police’s attention in case the vehicle seen going by in the background was related. Meantime, just a reminder, if you think you hear gunfire, call 911, because the more calls they get, the more chance they have of figuring out where it happened and if there’s any damage/evidence.
10:25 AM: Police are searching for a suspect in what they call a case of domestic-violence gunfire. It happened a short time ago in the 6500 block of 16th SW. They’re asking that everyone avoid the area. Per scanner, the suspect was described as a white man with a shaved head and red beard, possibly in a white Jeep Cherokee.
10:35 AM: Our crew reports 16th is closed to traffic in the 7000 block on the south side of this investigation. And just tweeted by SPD:
Police actively searching for Patrick Shephard, a white male, 6'2", thin build, wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, also has a neck tattoo. Call 911 if seen.
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) June 15, 2018
10:49 AM: Now per scanner police are headed for a nearby greenbelt to investigate a report of a possible body and gun – we don’t know for certain whether it’s related but there’s a fire call too. Also, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) has sent a text alert that it’s on lockdown. And Metro has sent a text that it’s not serving the campus right now.
10:59 AM: Police confirm via Twitter that they believe the body is that of the suspect they were seeking and that he appears to have died by suicide, in the West Duwamish Greenbelt.
11:16 AM: As a commenter noticed, the location of the SFD response related to the body discovery keeps changing (most recently 13th/Holly). That’s because it’s taken a while for SFD to find the best path into the greenbelt.
Meantime, Metro continue to route transit out of the area, including Routes 125 and 128. We’ll update whenever that gets back to normal.
11:40 AM: We talked to police at the scene; they say this started with a confrontation between the suspect and an ex-girlfriend; he started firing shots into her house. No one was hit, according to police, but other people were home too and some, police say, even jumped out of a window to get away.
11:54 AM: SSC is back to normal operations and so is transit in the area, which means 16th has reopened.
Early this morning, police were back at the Puget Ridge home of repeat offender Gregory Thompson in the 7100 block of 18th SW. We’ve reported on him previously in connection with previous arrests including this case in February in which guns and drugs were recovered. This morning, police confirm to WSB that while they were at his house in connection with an unrelated case, they recovered most if not all of the fish stolen from Seattle Fish Company, in the Thursday morning heist reported here last night. The King County Jail Register shows Thompson was booked this morning for investigation of tampering. We don’t have details yet on that case but will add anything more we find out.
THURSDAY NIGHT: That screen grab is from security video that Seattle Fish Company in The Junction (4435 California SW) told police shows someone stealing $6,000 worth of newly delivered fish early today. The report texted to us said the fish was taken right after Ocean Beauty dropped it off around 7:30 am. If you have any information, the theft report filed with police is 2018-216072.
FRIDAY MORNING: The fish has been recovered; here’s our followup.
Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis offered an update on the June 2nd Alki Avenue murder toward the end of tonight’s precinct meeting about beach noise enforcement (separate report to come). “This was an altercation between two individuals and their conflict resolution … slipped to the point where it got physical,” and a deadly stabbing resulted. “It could have happened anywhere,” he stressed, adding that SPD emphasis teams were in the beach area and got there quickly, though not quickly enough for an arrest. Detectives continue working the case. The victim, 22-year-old Jonathan C. Pecina, was remembered at a memorial service in Everett last Friday.
SOUTH ADMIRAL GARAGE THEFT: A reader alarmed by the Ring version of this SPD auto-tweet for an “occupied burglary” last night in the 3200 block of California asked us about it. We checked with SPD today. Det. Mark Jamieson says that the system shows, “Officers responded to a report of a theft from inside a secured parking garage … The theft allegedly happened 5 days ago (possibly a car prowl?) Officers could not locate the reporting party despite several calls back. If victim calls back we’ll respond to take a report.”
GATEWOOD BURGLARY: Via e-mail this morning:
We live a block from (The Kenney) just off of Fauntleroy Way; at some time between 2 AM and 5:30 AM on Thursday (June 7) a thief entered our home through a first floor open window. I’m embarrassed to say it but I know when it must have happened because I was asleep on the couch at the time and must have been in plain sight of the intruder (and I’m the one naive enough to think I could leave that window open.) I suppose in one sense it might be lucky I slept through the whole thing , only discovering what had happened when I awoke and saw the window screen pried off and a number of things stolen.
HANSEN VIEW REPORTS: From the neighborhood near Providence Mount St. Vincent, Block Watch captain Karen Berge (who you also know as co-founder of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network) has an update:
Our Hansen View Block Watch area experienced another vehicle theft recently, as well as two detached garage break-ins. The two garage break-ins took place this weekend in the 5000 block of 36th off the alley shared with those on 35th. … another neighbor found “loot” stashed in the alley behind their home… it all eventually came together, and the loot turned out to be a combination of items from both locations. Key point here are that the perp(s) cut through a lock on one of the garages, not padlocks or cables attached to the locks. Also, the car theft a week or so earlier took less than 30 seconds to steal, although it was locked…and the car that was stolen had been stolen in late April, then recovered (’99 Legacy Outback).
Received via text from a resident in the 3700 block of Belvidere [map]:
Last night at 1:20 am while I was asleep on our downstairs couch, lights on, TV blaring. I was awakened by someone starting to enter from our sliding back door. As I jump up to see if it’s an animal, I’m startled to find a 5’10-6ft white male trying to enter our home. I stand across from him paralyzed, realizing there is nothing keeping him from entering. I’m 8 months pregnant and fully aware that I cannot move quickly; my husband and 2 year old daughter are asleep upstairs. I start to scream for my husband, the man continues to stand at the door, poised to come in as I continue to scream. Finally, my husband wakes up and upon hearing my husband’s voice he begins to leave. Police arrive at 2:20, explain they had cleared the area, but found no one. The brazen way this man entered and occupied home, and probably would’ve still proceeded if he could validate I was home alone. Which makes this particularly threatening.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
ADMIRAL STABBING CASE UPDATE: Today brought another hearing for Kierra Ward, in jail in lieu of $400,000 bail since last October, when she was arrested and charged with attacking a woman out for a walk with her baby in Admiral. Ward’s trial has again been delayed, this time because, court documents say, a mental evaluation has been requested, as her defense lawyer plans to contend that she was insane at the time of the attack. The order resulting from today’s hearing also says she will be evaluated for competency to stand trial. The results should be available before her next scheduled hearing July 13th.
Also in Crime Watch, one reader report from the inbox:
CAR BREAK-IN: Jackie e-mailed to report, “I just wanted to make my fellow neighbors aware that my car was broken into last evening in the Fauntleroy/Arbor Heights neighborhood. I lived in Capitol Hill for years and never had an incident, but apparently, West Seattle is different. The break-in occurred between the evening of 6/7 to the morning of 6/8. Please make sure to be vigilant and not have any personal belongings in your car.”
Tria‘s car is the latest stolen vehicle that you’re being asked to watch for: “Black BMW 328i, 2008; car was stolen from 9200 block of 17th Ave SW in West Seattle sometime after 1:30 am. Plate BMJ8962.” If you see it, call 911.
We confirmed this afternoon with the DEA that a West Seattle raid early today was part of a regional “drug-trafficking ring takedown” by multiple agencies. A reader asked us about police near 20th and Holden in the 6 am hour; when we heard about the regional operation, we asked whether that location was part of it, and learned it was. We don’t know yet how many arrests – the reader reported seeing “several people in handcuffs” – but here’s the full news release about the regional operation:
In the fourth major drug trafficking ring takedown in as many months, federal, state and local law enforcement officers fanned out across King, Pierce, Snohomish, Skagit and Thurston Counties to execute search warrants and arrest more than 35 members of a drug trafficking organization, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. Today’s arrests are the fourth takedown in a series of cases aimed at reducing drug and gang violence in Seattle, South King and North Pierce Counties. Those taken into custody today (appeared this afternoon) in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
“Over the last four months, more than 80 drug dealing conspirators moving meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl have been taken off our streets where they preyed on destructive addictions and used gun crime to further their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes. “For more than a year, local police worked with federal partners to build these cases, with the goal of addressing the shifting crime problems in South Sound communities.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed U.S. Attorneys to deploy their resources to identify and address ‘hot spots’ of violent crime. Working with local law enforcement across the South Sound, federal law enforcement identified Seattle, the Rainier and Kent Valleys, and North Pierce County as an area of concern for drug and gun crime. Today’s takedown comes on the heels of three other law enforcement efforts involving wire-taps and surveillance to dismantle sophisticated drug trafficking rings linked to violence in those areas. The first takedown involved five defendants trafficking crack cocaine in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood; the second, in March resulted in twenty arrests of heroin and meth traffickers operating primarily in South King County and the Tacoma area; and in May, a third takedown dismantled two criminal groups trafficking methamphetamine in south King County.
“DEA is in a race to save lives,” said Keith Weis, the Special Agent in Charge for the Pacific Northwest. “These strategic operations have stopped some of the most violent criminal groups operating throughout the Puget Sound Region from pushing dangerous drugs onto our communities most vulnerable members facing life or death struggles against addiction.”
“The FBI is committed to holding violent gang members accountable for their actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Office. “The level of violence committed by these individuals has been detrimental to the South Sound community for years. Today’s arrests mark a major step toward addressing this problem.”
According to records filed in the case, conspirators trafficked cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, illegal marijuana and fentanyl. Associates of some of the traffickers arrested today were shot and some killed in various shooting incidents in both Seattle and south King County. On the wiretap law enforcement heard conspirators talk about various shootings after they occurred, including the September 4, 2017 shooting outside a Renton hookah lounge. Among other things, conspirators discussed getting firearms after being shot at by rival gangs.
Taken together, these four operations resulted in the seizure of 75 guns, more than 95 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 32 pounds of heroin, more than 7 pounds of cocaine (both crack and powder) as well as ecstasy and fentanyl. More than $327,000 in cash and 22 vehicles also were seized.
In addition, today alone law enforcement seized 12 pounds of heroin, more than 2 kilos of cocaine, a pound of methamphetamine, 124 pounds of marijuana, 41 firearms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash.
“Today, hundreds of law enforcement professionals came together to make our neighborhoods safer, taking criminals and drugs off the street and possibly saving lives,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “As a former Narcotics commander, I recognize the tireless work that goes into these investigations. Together with our federal and local partners, we have orchestrated one of the largest investigations in recent memory. A special thanks to the FBI, DEA and the US Attorney’s Office. This level of collaboration is unprecedented.”
“The U.S. Marshals have always believed in the power of collaboration, and the effectiveness of combining the resources and expertise of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for the common good. Today, that tradition of collaboration continues and we are proud to be a part of it”, said Acting U.S. Marshal Jacob Green.
The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The defendants in these cases face a variety of drug and gun charges. The penalties range from five years in prison to a maximum of life in prison depending on the pertinent charge.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was led by the Seattle Police Department Gang and Narcotics Units, FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Other agencies providing investigative assistance include ATF, USMS, and the U.S Bureau of Prisons.
Today’s searches and arrests involved agents and officers from: DEA, FBI, ATF, HSI, USMS, SPD, Auburn Police Department, Bellevue Police Department, Bothell Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Des Moines Police Department, Everett Police Department, Fife Police Department, Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), Kirkland Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Marysville Police Department, Monroe Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Mukilteo Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), Renton Police Department, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Snohomish County Drug and Gang Task Force, Tacoma Police Department, Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, Tukwila Police Department, U.S Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Department of Corrections, Washington State Patrol, and the Yakima Police Department, and the following regional SWAT teams, SPD SWAT, Valley SWAT, North Sound Metro SWAT, Region 1 SWAT, Pierce County Metro SWAT, King County Sheriff’s Office TAC-30, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, and Bellevue SWAT.
In addition, the operations were conducted with the support of the FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) and SWAT teams from the FBI’s Salt Lake City, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Denver field offices. DEA’s Special Response Team’s (SRT) from Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, and San Diego assisted in today’s operations. This investigation was supported by Northwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and the Special Operations Division (SOD).
The DEA also told us warrants were served at three White Center locations – in the 9700 block of 9th Place SW, 10600 block of 4th Avenue SW, and 1400 block of SW 116th.
WOMAN INJURED BY MASKED ATTACKER WITH CONFETTI GUN: Thanks to Kim for the tip on this and the photo. We didn’t make it to Westwood Village while this was unfolding but obtained the police report today. A 35-year-old man is in King County Jail today after being arrested Tuesday afternoon for investigation of assault. Police say he was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and “soccer shin plate armor (plastic), with other various plastic armor plating underneath everyday clothing,” while walking on the east side of Westwood Village shooting people with a confetti gun. Seattle Fire checked one woman for minor injuries after she reported being hit in the eye. This was the suspect’s fourth booking in less than a year.
SIGNATURE SQUABBLE: Sorry to say, SPD tells us no report resulted from another Tuesday afternoon incident we briefly, and popularly, mentioned on Twitter, after hearing about it on the scanner:
And now, scanner: "An (incident) that could only happen in West Seattle – two signature-gatherers are in a shoving match outside Trader Joe's" (Actual quote)
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 5, 2018
The few lines in the SPD system say that a “petitioner” – it was not specified which campaign they were gathering for – was arguing with people, and the manager called police, who said the person could be “trespassed” (required to leave, and stay off the premises) if the situation persisted. Officers left and a while later, there was another call, but the manager called back and canceled before they arrived.
Two reader reports:
PLAGUED BY PACKAGE THEFTS: Kelli at Zippy Dogs in north Morgan Junction writes:
We are located over in the 6000 block on California Ave between Graham and Raymond streets. Our townhomes and businesses are having packages stolen on a very regular basis. The pictures show their faces, body type, build. White male, 20’s, heavy tattoos, he wears beanies and cap, sometimes has backpack. White female, 20’s, longish brown hair, she seems to be the lookout and he grabs packages. She helps carry the loot.
(Monday) they were carrying 3 bags stuff full of packages and a Rite Aid rolling basket loaded with their packages. These two yahoos have been caught stealing packages on our security cameras and (Monday) we followed them down California Ave while they walked to McDonald’s; unfortunately, the cops were shorthanded and busy and never made it to the scene for an hour and a half. They were long gone. They hang out at the Juneau Market (California and Juneau) and McDonald’s (California and Holly). They are very active, and walk up California Ave and nearby alleys, side streets and through a lot of townhome complexes that are easy targets especially if they have access to alleyways.
They have provided all their photos and videos to police, whose report number from Monday is 18-202147.
VANDALISM: Received via text:
My name is D and I was getting ready to work when I found my car, a Honda Fit, vandalized on my carport behind Pagliacci Pizza.
The gas door and lid were torn off, heavy scratches on the rear quarter panel and flattened tire.
There’s blood spots around the tire; the person might be hurt.
From Tim at West Seattle Runner (WSB sponsor), a request to look for “random items” taken in a car prowl last night, including one of sentimental value:
A partial list includes a collapsible plastic crate (black and grey) that had a few qt cans of paint, some books on running, a zippered clear bag that had a bunch of little things inside, including some replacement plug ends for extension cords, some maps, CDs, small little tools, and other misc. stuff, and a small 12v tire inflator. They took everything out of our center console, which ironically included a tiny book of the Constitution.
Also in the console was a few CDs, one of which was from our friends memorial. It was all of her favorite songs and had “Andrea” written on it. The Andrea CD is the only thing we really want back, the rest is all replaceable.
I assume that the thieves will dump most of this stuff somewhere since they can’t sell it for drugs, so we ask people to look out for a pile of these things. Keep whatever you find, but please let us know if you find the Andrea CD, we would really appreciate it.