What can you do to try to prevent/deter someone from stealing from you? An informal discussion with SPD was the spotlighted topic as the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network met last night at the Southwest Precinct.
Quick West Seattle Crime Watch reader report tonight – the search for a driver who hit a bicycle rider and took off:
Heading north on 35th SW, just north of SW Findlay at approx. 6:15 am. Driver took off in a black automobile of unknown model & make. Passenger side view mirror torn off during collision into bicycle and rider. If anyone witnessed this incident or has any information about the driver, please contact police.
Here’s the incident number to mention if you contact police with a tip – 15-62400. The person who e-mailed is the bicycle rider’s wife; no major injuries, she says, but he was hurt and had to be seen at urgent care.
Two car crimes start West Seattle Crime Watch today:
NON-STARTER: The photo is from “astounded & fuming“:
I live in the 5600 block of California ave SW and sometime between 6 pm and 8 pm Sunday evening someone broke into my Honda Civic, popped the hood and unbolted my distributor assembly, and stole it out of my car, which was parked in alley parking behind my building. It explains why my car wouldn’t start this morning!
STOLEN CAMARO FOUND: Just as we were about to publish a reader report about a stolen Camaro, we heard scanner traffic suggesting police were getting alerts to its whereabouts via the LoJack system. Shortly thereafter, police found it parked/ditched in High Point, not far from where it had been stolen overnight.
FROM THE ‘IN CASE YOU WONDERED’ FILE: Big but brief police response drew some attention this afternoon at Fauntleroy/35th/Avalon, even a few passes from a TV helicopter. Over before we arrived, so we asked SPD media relations: Officers thought they had spotted the suspect in a robbery outside West Seattle last week. But it wasn’t the person they were looking for.
BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS TOMORROW NIGHT: Next chance to hear from and talk with local police comes as part of tomorrow night’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. This agenda preview just arrived:
What can you do to help prevent property crimes? Why are thieves taking even inexpensive items from your yard or garage? CPT officer Erin Nicholson will be there to talk about prevention and answer your questions about these types of crimes that you can pass on to your Block Watch Groups.
SW Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske will provide an update on recent events in West Seattle and South Park. Please join us to review and/or learn tips and techniques that will make your home and property less-desirable targets for criminals.
The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct (Webster/Delridge), all welcome.
Just in case you are wondering about a police search in the Puget Ridge/Highland Park area – it follows two reports that might or might not be related. All we have right now is scanner information – first, dispatchers reported multiple calls from people who thought they heard possible gunshots in the Puget Ridge area (18th/Graham was mentioned). Police headed that way to look for any evidence of gunfire. (So far, we haven’t heard any indication they found it.) Then came word, in the same general area, of a vehicle fleeing police, and shortly thereafter, word of a hit-run crash near 18th/Holden involving a possibly stolen car, with people getting out of the car and fleeing. Police took one into custody and were looking for up to 5 others.
In case you’re tracking the charges filed against former gym owner Sam Adams, he was supposed to appear in court this week to answer them, but his arraignment has been postponed. New date, 8:30 am March 12th, King County Courthouse downtown. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced two weeks ago today that his office had filed criminal wage theft and fraud charges against Adams in connection with half a million dollars in allegedly unpaid taxes and wages related to his former athletic-club operations. Those included the West Seattle Club, which he bought during the Allstar Fitness bankruptcy proceedings in early 2013 and operated for a year and a half until relinquishing it to the building owner last fall.
West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen bicycle; prowler warning; plate swap; plus, newest example of how more info helped make a matchFebruary 19, 2015 at 11:11 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 4 Comments
Two reader reports start today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:
STOLEN BIKE: Sonya hopes you’ll be on the lookout for her bicycle:
Sometime in the evening of 2/17/15 at 10 pm to the morning of 2/18/15, my Ivory Raleigh with a pink stripe and two different tires was stolen from Fauntleroy Way SW and Hudson SW.
It’s been reported to police, so if you see it, please call them (and you can mention it in comments here too, but PLEASE make the call to police first).
POSSIBLE PROWLERS THIS MORNING: From Chris:
Just wanted to give Morgan junction residents a heads up. Around 9 am today there were two white men in all black with hoods and backpacks walking up and down 42nd Ave and Holly St, back and forth peering into cars and yards. Once they ran into a few pedestrians and realized the street wasn’t deserted, they called their third buddy who picked them up in a light blue 1970s Plymouth or Lincoln with a white vinyl roof. They slowly cruised the block once more and then rolled through the Thriftway parking lot. SPD said they’d send an officer to the area, I haven’t seen anyone yet. All three were white, in their 20s. Black pants, black sweatshirts. Car had a dog in the passenger seat too. Wasn’t sure of breed.
From recent police reports:
SUPERMARKET ROBBERY: As precinct Capt. Steve Wilske explained at this week’s WS Crime Prevention Council meeting, many incidents classified as robberies start as shoplifting. What happened last Saturday night at the Jefferson Square Safeway is one of them. A cashier told police a man walked past her with a bottle of vodka. She asked, “Are you going to pay for that?” He replied, profanely, that he didn’t have to. Another man then walked by with a 20-ounce Coke and claimed he’d already paid; the cashier knew he didn’t since she was the only one open. Finally, a third man tried to buy a bottle of vodka with a credit card that wasn’t working, possibly as a distraction. The store manager went out into the parking lot and while writing down the suspects’ plate, he told police, one of the three men got out, asked him, “Is there a f—ing problem?” and then said, “You’re going to die tonight,” before telling one of the other men in the car, “Get the gun.” The manager went back into the store and called 911. The three men are described in the report as black, 18-21 years old, 5’3″, 5’5″, and 5’7″, slender, and their car was a 2007 silver Toyota Camry.
BURGLARY NEAR LINCOLN PARK: Sometime between 10 am and 8 pm last Sunday, a house in the 7500 block of Fauntleroy Way SW was burglarized. The report says items taken included a TV, computer, and drum set; police noted that “every room in the house” and “every closet, dresser and cabinet” had been looked into by the burglar(s).
LICENSE-PLATE THEFT: This can be so subtle, it’s not noticed, so check your plates every so often. Last Friday in the 2300 block of Alki SW, a parking-enforcement officer called a patrol officer after finding a maroon BMW with plates that checked to a VW van owned by someone nearby (on Bonair). The BMW’s owner lived in the same area and didn’t know his plates had been stolen and replaced with the stolen plates. The police report concluded, “It appears someone stole the other plates to put on the BMW so they could take the BMW plates without the (owner) noticing.”
CAR STOLEN, THEN FOUND: A 1996 Honda Accord was stolen from the 6500 block of California SW in Morgan Junction last Friday night. It turned up in Tukwila on Monday night.
RACKS TAKEN: In the 4500 block of SW Hemlock, east of Lincoln Park, someone stole racks from a car in a driveway the night of February 9th/10th, a Yakima rack system including three bike mounts.
FOLLOWUP ON STOLEN-ITEMS REPORT IN LAST ROUNDUP: We’re getting more police reports with full narrative info these days via public-disclosure reports, with the help of an automated program written by Tim Clemans, who has been working with SPD on ways to get more information out to more people, faster. Here’s an example of how more information can make a difference: If you read this recent roundup, you might recall we mentioned a box of stolen items found in Gatewood, including a bowling trophy with a name on it. WSB commenter HelperMonkey was at the bowling alley a few hours after reading that item, happened to look up at the screen for the alley next to her group, and saw what looked to be the same name. She went over, found the man, showed him the story on her phone, and asked if it was him. It was. (Keep in mind, we published only the first and last letters of his six-letter surname.) We hope he has his items (which had been taken by SPD to put into evidence) back now, or will soon. What made the difference here was the name we got from the official report – looking back in our archives, we think this reader report involved the same items.
The same method of obtaining more reports which otherwise have NOT been routinely available also led to the much-discussed recent story about tax-time scam calls. Not a new scam, but there was a reason to warn people about it again, once we obtained a police report about someone who actually had been victimized.
We’re still only able to access a fraction of local police reports, so reader reports matter *massively* in terms of continuing to get the word out. And while we know some reports are shared on neighborhood-specific, non-public lists, it also helps to get that kind of information out more widely because criminals seldom restrict themselves to one particular neighborhood – what happens in Admiral might be important for Arbor Heights to know, etc. Send info to firstname.lastname@example.org any time. Thanks!
Last night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – as reported here afterward – SPD Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske noted that burglary and auto theft are down in this area. Above, one of the slides shown at today’s every-other-week SeaStat crime-stats briefing at SPD HQ shows the exact numbers.
Also from today’s slide deck (which you can see in full here), a closer look at the recent robberies that victimized local students:
Slightly closer look at the two maps – the blue boxes represent incidents, the pink/red ones just show geographical reference points:
As Capt. Wilske said last night, no new incidents have been reported since last week – of course, keep in mind that school was out the first two days of this week – and extra police patrols are continuing TFN.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Southwest Precinct‘s commander says extra staffing to protect students – “double the staff on first watch” – will continue “for the foreseeable future.”
That was part of what Capt. Steve Wilske had to say at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. Other measures taken to try to stop the string of robbery/grabbing incidents include instant alerts that he is getting in the case of any crime in which the victim is a juvenile. Updates in the meeting included not only the recent incidents but also last weekend’s South Park homicide plus overall local crime trends:
A brand-new update on SPD Blotter reveals new details of the robbery-case arrest reported here over the weekend after an update was sent to local community-group leaders. Posted this afternoon by SPD Blotter’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:
Detectives say a 15-year-old student tried to rob two teens, stole a package from a West Seattle home, and then climbed out of the wreck of a stolen getaway car before rushing back to his high school earlier this month.
Police arrested the teen Friday evening for the string of West Seattle crimes on February 2nd. Around 9 AM, the suspect stepped out of a silver minivan in the 6900 block of 34th Ave SW and began following two 17-year-olds on the street. The suspect repeatedly demanded the pair of victims hand over their cellphones. When the teens refused to give up their phones, the suspect punched both boys in the face. The victims ran away and reported the incident to police.
About four hours after the attack, detectives believe the suspect stole a package of luggage off the porch in the 7100 block of 28th Ave SW, just a few blocks from the scene of the suspect’s attempted robbery. Witnesses described seeing the suspects speeding away from the scene of the theft in a silver minivan. Officers later found the empty minivan crashed into a parked car.
Police impounded the van and contacted the owner, who had reported it stolen. Detectives later searched the van and found cellphones and the luggage stolen from the 7100 block of 28th Avenue.
Detectives were able to tie one of the phones to the 15-year-old, and his 17-year-old victims were able to pick him out of a photo lineup. While police were at the suspect’s school investigating the case, security staff said they had seen the suspect running back onto campus shortly after police had found the crashed minivan nearby.
In this edition of West Seattle Crime Watch – a reader report and five incidents from recent police reports.
STOLEN BIKE: From Tyler:
Between 6am and 6pm, Monday the 16th, my blue Trek 1500 SLR Road Bike was stolen from a secured garage in my condo complex off California Ave near The Junction.
This bike was the first large purchase I made after saving up at a terrible job back in high school and has immense sentimental value. A police report has been filed. See attached flyer for a picture of me with my bike after STP.
If anyone in WS sees the bike (now with all white handlebars) with anyone but me in control of it, please email email@example.com…
… and contact police.
We’ve also read through a variety of recently obtained police reports, from a streetside-parking hit-and-run arrest, to a phone call that tipped its recipient to identity theft:
With the tax deadline just weeks away, the pace of scam calls is picking up. Two to warn you about:
REPORTED TO POLICE: According to a report filed with Seattle Police, early last Thursday morning, someone in the Admiral area reported getting scammed by a caller claiming to be from the IRS and “coerc(ing) her into purchasing Re-Load It cards and giving (the caller) the number over the phone. The suspect said this was to stop legal action for unpaid back taxes. (The victim) said she realized it was a scam after talking with her adult son. She immediately called the card company but was unable to stop the payment.”
READER REPORT: From Garry in Westwood, who recently found this voicemail via his land-line phone:
“Hello, we have been trying to reach you. This call is officially a final notice from IRS Internal Revenue Service … the reason of this call is to inform you that the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you to get more information about this case file. Please call immediately on our department number 360-362-4719. I repeat 360-362-4719. Thank you.”
I looked up the phone number on the web and it has numerous complaints relating to a variety of scams associated with government agencies and law enforcement, all with a similar “urgent” message. Wanted to pass this on to let others in West Seattle know they might be getting the same type of phone message.
HOW TO REPORT A SCAM, OR VERIFY A CALL: Lots of good info on this IRS webpage.
Police have arrested another suspect in connection with some of the recent robberies and attacks on local students, according to an update sent to community-group leaders today by Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske. He wrote that the arrest was “from the two robberies that occurred on 02-04-15.” Our archives don’t show any incidents reported that day, so we followed up; he described the case as “2 student victims who were walking home through High Point” and provided an incident number. No report comes up online except in Tweets by Beat, which indicates the incident was reported at school (Sealth’s address, 2600 block of SW Thistle, is listed). We’ll see what we can do to track down the report and more information about the suspect.
Meantime, Capt. Wilske’s update adds, “We are continuing to work on the others. We are also working closely with the followup unit on the incidents involving the female students, and I will be continuing the morning emphasis patrols to increase early morning staffing as that investigation progresses.” Those incidents were the ones we reported here last Wednesday, along with information about the increased patrols. The arrest reported by the captain today is the second one in connection with the string of robberies dating back to mid-January; the first one was reported January 23rd, related to a California/Lander robbery attempt three days earlier.
P.S. Next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is coming up this Tuesday (February 17th), 7 pm – come hear from precinct leadership about the latest crime trends, and bring your questions. The precinct meeting room is off the parking lot, Webster just west of Delridge.
(WSB photo: Delridge north of Juneau. Most seriously damaged car at right, pushed up onto planting strip)
6:20 AM: Thanks for the tips about a police search under way in the 5900 block of Delridge Way and vicinity, including a K-9 team. They’re looking for a driver reported to have fled after a hit-run crash that damaged several cars. No description so far.
6:41 AM: A suspect has reportedly been found and is getting medical treatment.
From the WSB inbox – a car break-in victim hoping someone might find one or both of two stolen racquets:
I live in the Seaview neighborhood on 44th and my car was broken into last night. They stole a storage container with car cleaning supplies and they stole two tennis bags. One was a red tennis bag with a Yonex racquet. The other bag was my daughter’s – it’s a pink tennis bag with a white Wilson racquet. The Yonex is 11 years old and no longer made so while it doesn’t have any real value, it’s my favorite racquet.
Let police know (and mention it here) if you have found one or both. Meantime, we checked the SPD Tweets by Beat Twitter feed, which we feature on the Crime Watch page, to see if any other car prowls were reported today, and there are two – in the 9000 block of 16th SW and the 9200 block of 17th SW.
11:16 AM: Thanks for the tips about the helicopters. A police search is under way in the Chief Sealth International High School vicinity after, per SPD, a man “reportedly exposed himself (near Sealth) … and ran off.” Police add that they are “evaluating conflicting witness statements.” Earlier this morning, a significant police presence was visible in the area, following the three incidents reported by students yesterday. No description available yet, so we don’t know if this incident matches any aspect of the “flasher” report a few blocks east of Sealth on January 26th.
11:47 AM UPDATE: Just as we were on the phone with police seeking more details, they tweeted this:
2600 SW Thistle call:School staff reported lewd conduct by suspicious man, but did not see man expose himself. SPD Still investigating
— Seattle Police Dept. (@SeattlePD) February 12, 2015
There is some partial description info, Det. Drew Fowler told us: White man, 20s, gray shirt, black boots.
West Seattle Crime Watch: 3 incidents reported today targeting Sealth, Denny students; what police are doingFebruary 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 43 Comments
FIRST REPORT, 2:34 PM: Police are investigating three incidents reported in this letter going home to families of students at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School:
We want to share with you information right away regarding three independent incidents that were reported to have happened to our scholars today as they were coming to school.
First Reported Incident: A Denny scholar reported that while walking to school a Caucasian male, who appeared to be in his late 40s or early 50s, attempted to grab the student at the corner of Thistle and 25th Ave. SW. The scholar responded appropriately, moved to the middle of the road and notified both family and school immediately. Both family and Denny Staff notified the Seattle Police Department, who are actively investigating.
Second Report: A Sealth scholar reported that while walking to school that a Caucasian male, who appeared to be approximately 30 years old, attempted to assault and rob her. The scholar reported to school staff and Sealth staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department and the family. An investigation is ongoing.
Third Report: A Sealth scholar reported that, as she was catching a Metro bus by her home, a Caucasian man (appearing to be in his 20s or 30s) caught the bus with her and attempted to talk to her in a manner that raised concerns. When the scholar arrived at school, she reported the incident to school staff right away. Sealth staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department, who took the man into custody for suspicious circumstances and then released him because he had not done anything illegal.
The suspects of all three incidents are different men. The safety of our scholars is our top priority. The district has contacted the SW Precinct Captain to discuss the incidents and their increased policing efforts. We will continue to collaborate with the Seattle Police Department and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security to help monitor the surrounding area.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• Walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times
• If wearing ear buds, keep music down or one bud out
• Keep phones or any expensive items out of sight
• Immediately report anything suspicious to a trusted adult (school staff or family member)
More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website: seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm.
We will be following up with police to get more details.
4:07 PM: The location of the robbery attempt wasn’t mentioned in the schools’ note, but SPD tells us it was in the 2600 block of SW Trenton. So what are police doing? one community member asked us in e-mail. Southwest Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske is sharing this message with community groups – note that police do NOT believe these incidents are related to the previous ones:
We have had 3 incidents involving middle school to high school age victims today; from the descriptions these are not related to the earlier robberies, the last of which occurred a week ago today. We are going to continue the early-morning emphasis patrol where we are bringing additional officers that are assigned to this problem, and CPT officers will be the lead on working on the stairwell at 26th and Trenton SW, where one of today’s incidents occurred.
I have already contacted the followup unit that will work on today’s incidents, and offered any assistance they may need from the precinct to identify the suspect(s) from 2 of the three incidents today; one has already been identified by patrol officers who contacted him near the scene.
I will update you as things progress, this is a different series with a different suspect or suspect(s). In this series young female students are the victims, so whenever possible please have them walk together with friends so that they are less vulnerable, and if they have a cell phone have them call 9-1-1 immediately if they feel they are being followed or see someone they are worried about.
1:11 PM: SPD is searching in the Delridge/Trenton area for a possible burglary suspect. That’s what the heavy police presence is about. More as we get it.
1:14 PM: You might soon see/hear Guardian One in the area to help with the search. No official description from police.
1:23 PM: Partial description of the suspect: Buzzcut, 20s, gray backpack with yellow trim. A neighbor says police also said the suspect was described as white or Asian.
3:18 PM: The search ended without word of an arrest. We now know the burglary was in the 8800 block of 22nd SW.
ADDED FEBRUARY 17TH: Aerial video from the search, available via this new YouTube channel:
8:09 PM: If you’re in the Westwood/White Center areas, you might be seeing a big police presence, and here’s why: Seattle Police are joining King County Sheriff’s Deputies right now in the search for a man wanted for robbing the Roxbury Safeway, according to a dispatch monitored via scanner. We don’t know details of the robbery but the description broadcast to officers was: Black man, 25-30, black hair, 5’6″, blue scarf, dark jacket, blue jeans. We’ll add anything more we find out.
9:04 PM: No word of an arrest yet; store employees said they couldn’t comment on what happened. But we talked at the scene with King County Sheriff’s Deputy BJ Myers, who said the robber held up a checker inside the store and is believed to have acted alone; the search continues.
9:54 AM TUESDAY: Just checked with KCSO’s Sgt. DB Gates. No arrests so far; she also confirms that no weapons were involved, and no one was hurt. No injuries, no arrests, and no weapons. Early reports confirm what a commenter mentioned, that “it appears the suspect grabbed cash from the till when the drawer was opened.” And she says “some evidence was found” during the ensuing search, which included a K-9 team.
Even the reader reports include a Super Bowl “theme” …
A warning for neighbors – someone just stole my husband’s 12th-man flag out of our front yard :-( We were home and heard the dog barking, but didn’t check because she also barks at cats a lot. To get the flag, this person had to climb up our porch and take it off the roof in a highly visible yard. Took it all, including the rusty flagpole we use for our Seafair pirate flag. Particularly sad after we spent most of yesterday afternoon trying to find one in a store. Anyway, just a reminder to others that nothing is sacred, even on Super Bowl Sunday. Watch your stuff.
FOUND ITEMS: Melanie didn’t mention where these turned up, but if you have had any of the following stolen recently, check with police:
Some items were left on the parking strip between my house and my neighbor’s house. A report has been made to the police, and the police will come by and pick up the items: … Shoes, bowling bag (no ball), trophy (broken), black shirt, baseball-type cap (with golf logo).
If any more Crime Watch reports come in today, we’ll add them to this roundup, so check back later!
ADDED SUNDAY NIGHT: Almost missed this one from Brenda, sent Saturday night:
At 8 this morning went out and my CRV wasn’t in its usual parking place. Instead,
it was a little ways down the street, parked at an angle with the engine running. The front windshield was cracked by my club which they tried to remove. Car completely gone through with stuff everywhere. I don’t keep any valuables in the car and it appears as if nothing was stolen. They also opened my mailbox but nothing in it for them to take. Police notified and report taken. This was on the 9900 block of 33rd Ave., SW.
West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car, bike, flag, diapers; police’s advice on preventing/deterring car prowlsJanuary 31, 2015 at 12:55 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 11 Comments
The most recent reader reports – if you have information on these or any other cases, call 911:
STOLEN CAR: Federico‘s black Dodge Caliber, ANK8969, was taken overnight near California/Brandon.
(added) POSSIBLY STOLEN CAR, FOUND: Nicole reported it to police, but wanted to make note of it here too – a white 4-door Nissan Sentra, plate 035ZWO, at 35th/Henderson for more than 3 days, “contents are ransacked, bag of mail on the floor, body damage to passenger side, spare tire on front passenger side.”
(back to original roundup) STOLEN BICYCLE: Colton reports this was stolen near California/Hinds:
And a PS: “Only thing that’s different on the bike is that it now has a black seat post.”
STOLEN FLAG: On the eve of the big game, no less! Steve reports, “Sometime last night someone came up to our brightly lit driveway and stole my Seahawks flag that has been flying all season. The pole was in the neighbor’s yard…but no flag.”
CAR PROWLS: Emily reports, “Last night on the 1600 block of SW Massachusetts/Bonair/Sunset Avenue, two unlocked cars were gone through. Gloves and a flashlight were stolen, and an ignition was broken.” … Not far away, Melani reports, a trailer hitched to a truck was broken into … on the corner of Massachusetts and 44th.” Taken: Work tools, some heavy-duty, including a chop saw. … Earlier this week near 18th/Elmgrove, Alison reports, car prowlers took “two big boxes of diapers, about 250.”
(added) ANOTHER CAR PROWL: Just after we published this roundup, we got this from Russell, so we’re adding:
I just reported a theft from my truck parked on 41st Avenue SW near SW Monroe Street. The theft occurred between 10 pm last night (Jan. 30) and 8am this morning (Jan. 31). Most of my tools were left in place, however, a very expensive metering device was taken. It was in a black Pelican hard case. The meter is a GEM 2000 Gas Analyzer manufactured by Landtec North America. Serial number: 11456. Also taken was an aluminum clipboard with field notes in it, which I retrieved from a guy on 26th Avenue SW who called me to say it was in his front yard (my business card was inside), between the West Seattle Golf Course and Delridge Playfield. I filed the report with Officer N. Meyst, Incident #15-35175.
ADVICE FOR PREVENTING/DETERRING CAR PROWLS: From SPD’s Southwest/South Precincts Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon (who also discussed some of this at last week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting):
POLICE CHIEF HERE TUESDAY: Another reminder – 6:30 pm Tuesday at the SW Precinct (Webster/Delridge), you’re invited to Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole‘s first local “community conversation.”
(Delridge/Holden stairway where robbery is reported to have happened)
We had asked Seattle Police to confirm a report of another student robbery today. Now, we have details. Parents from Denny International Middle School are getting robocalls, and this has just appeared on SPD Blotter:
An armed robber pulled a gun on a teen and stole her backpack as she walked to school in West Seattle this morning.
The 13-year-old victim was walking down a staircase near 20th Avenue SW and SW Holden Street when a man approached her on the staircase, pulled out a gun, and told her to “give me everything you’ve got.”
The suspect patted the teen down looking for a cellphone and money. When he found neither, he snatched her backpack and fled. The teen walked the rest of the way to school and reported the incident. She described the suspect as a black male in his late 20s, muscular, wearing a purple bandana over his face, a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. Officers searched near the scene of the robbery, but were unable to find the suspect or the victim’s bag.
Police are working with Seattle Public Schools officials to ensure the safety of students on their way to and from school. If you have any information about this case, please call 911.
This comes two weeks after the first in a recent string of West Seattle robberies, though police have said they haven’t found a connection between any of the cases except for the two in Admiral. The first one was January 15th near Myrtle Reservoir, in which a 14-year-old was robbed of his backpack while heading to a bus stop near 35th/Myrtle.
1:48 PM: Denny IMS principal Jeff Clark has sent us the letter that has gone out to Denny and Sealth families. Note that the location is described a bit differently, and this one is the same that we heard in a bit of police-radio discussion:
Dear Denny and Sealth Scholars and Families,
We want to share with you information right away regarding a crime that occurred in our community this morning.
At approximately 7:15am this morning an eighth-grade Denny scholar was walking down the staircase at Delridge Way SW and SW Holden St. When she arrived at the stair landing, an African American male who appeared to be in his late 20’s came into view. He pointed a gun at her, patted her down, robbed her, and then let her go. When the scholar arrived at school, she did the right thing by reporting this to school staff right away. Denny staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department, who are actively investigating.
The safety of our scholars is our top priority. After school today and before and after school on Monday, the Police, Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security, and school staff will be in that area.
You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are:
• walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times
• report anything suspicious to a trusted adult (school staff and family member)
More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website: seattle.gov/police/prevention/child/default.htm.
The letter is signed by Denny principal Clark and Sealth principal Aida Fraser-Hammer. We have more safety information in our report on this week’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, at which police talked about the robberies as well as how to best try to protect yourself.
P.S. Reminder that Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole is coming to West Seattle next Tuesday for her first “community conversation” here, 6:30 pm February 3rd at the SW Precinct (Webster/Delridge, just a block from where today’s robbery happened).
FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: We checked with precinct leadership and they don’t know yet if this one was connected to any of the others. Capt. Steve Wilske did say in a note to neighborhood-council leaders, “We will be focusing a significant number of on duty and off duty resources toward this issue starting Monday morning, and for the foreseeable future until we either make some arrests or see the incidents stop.”
@ West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network: Taking care of 35th/Morgan; personal-safety advice you can use anywhere…January 29, 2015 at 10:13 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Lessons on staying safe and updates on crime/safety concerns were offered at the first West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting of the year on Tuesday night.
More than two dozen people were at the meeting, not counting WSBWCN leaders Deb Greer and Karen Berge and four Seattle Police reps including precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon, and Community Police Team Officers Jon Flores and Erin Nicholson.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this afternoon:
BURGLARY SUSPECTS CHARGED: The two 20-year-olds arrested after a burglary west of The Junction last Friday are now officially charged, accused of ransacking the house while a resident hid in a closet; they were found hiding in a shed outside a house less than a block away. As we reported here on Monday, James Michael French (left) and Donchevell Delraye Williams (right) both have records, including assault convictions, and both got out of prison (in separate cases) the same day, less than 3 weeks before this break-in, according to what we found out via an inquiry with the state Department of Corrections.
Each is charged with one count of residential burglary. Charging documents say they were found with a bag of property stolen from the burglarized house, and that Williams had a folding knife clipped in his pants. He listed a Federal Way address; French had a West Seattle address listed in probable-cause documents but the charging papers say he told court personnel he had been “living in a drug house in Kent.” Both remain in jail; prosecutors asked that their bail remain at the amount set at their first hearing last weekend, $100,000 for French, $60,000 for Williams. They are due in court on February 11th.
CAR PROWLS: Car prowlers hit at least three vehicles along the Upper Fauntleroy/Gatewood line overnight, one of them ours. First, Mark has more to tell about what happened to his family’s vehicle – and what he found nearby:
My wife’s Honda CRV was broken into sometime last night. Nothing of value was in the car and nothing seems to be taken, although the contents were strewn all over. There was no sign of forced entry, so either the car was unlocked (not likely), or a jimmy tool was used. My wife is in the process of filling out an online police report.
In addition, we found a Suzuki factory-type car rack with 2 bike mounts on it lying on the parking strip across the street. This was dumped there last night as well, and I’m guessing by the same people involved in the car prowl. I imagine the rack was from a stolen car, or was stolen separately and ditched there. I’ve attached a photo of the rack. If someone claims it via a comment in the blog, I will make arrangements for them to pick it up.
This occurred near the California Ave SW and SW Thistle intersection.
We also reported our prowl online (here’s where to do that). No damage; only evidence was open glove box and center console, plus an ice scraper moved from door slot to floor, one small electronics cord taken, will cost about $3 to replace. We don’t have details of the third incident, only that a vehicle was prowled in the same general neighborhood. Car-prowl prevention was a topic, by the way, of last night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting; we’ll have that full report sometime tonight.
Yesterday, while walking home from school, a student was approached by a man in a newer model, gray minivan. A man drove up to the student, pulled off to the side, opened his door and exposed himself to her. This student ran away and reported this incident when she got home and then reported to the school today. Police were notified, took a report and description, and are now investigating. We do not have a license plate, but the description was a white male in his mid 30s, brown hair, wearing a white t-shirt and worn-out jeans, and driving a newer model gray mini-van. Our student did everything right, immediately getting away from the stranger, meeting up with a nearby familiar individual and reporting the incident to her parent, to the school, and then to the police.
The safety of our students is our top priority for Chief Sealth International. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times, as well as not talking to strangers or getting into their vehicles. Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child. More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website.
While it hasn’t been mentioned here so far, we received this while covering the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting and are pursuing more information from police; we’ll add anything more we find out.
8:14 PM: One additional detail that was not in the school e-mail – the police report says the student wasn’t certain exactly where it happened, but it was “near” Delridge/Thistle, which is a few blocks east of the school. This is the first incident of this type that has surfaced in our area since last September.
Adrian and co-workers at Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) in Fauntleroy are thrilled to have Danny the Pig back – more than a year after the two-foot-tall decorative swine was stolen. Rich at Joe’s e-mailed us to say that someone had suddenly showed up with Danny, having found the pig and known it was stolen because of the story we published in January of last year. We stopped by for a photo and talked with Adrian, who said the man who brought Danny in said only that he was a construction worker and found the popular pig near where he’s been working. He didn’t want to say where that was, nor did he want to accept a reward (not even the case of bacon originally offered). So if you’ve missed Danny, go say hi! And note that he is now secured.
West Seattle Crime Watch: 3 reader reports, including not exactly the kind of loot a burglar can run withJanuary 27, 2015 at 11:29 am | In Crime, West Seattle news | 3 Comments
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this morning:
GARAGE BREAK-IN: From Kathy:
My garage was broken into over the weekend and a Lincoln Electric welder and cart were stolen.
Seems like a brazen thing to steal as it’s very heavy and the garage is on an alley that is pretty visible (between California and 42nd near Brandon). I reported it to police and just want this incident out there in case anyone has information.
MOTORCYCLE DAMAGED IN HIT-RUN: From Aaron:
My brand-new Ducati Monster 696 (with only 120 miles on it!) was hit (Monday morning) on California Ave SW, and the driver fled the scene. Three witnesses watched the driver hit my bike, but none were able to get the license plate.
The driver was a white woman in her mid-to-late 30s with shoulder-length or shorter blonde hair. Her vehicle is a silver Honda Pilot. She backed into my parked motorcycle, knocking it over its kickstand and onto its left side. The impact snapped off a mirror, bent the handlebars, and caused engine damage. And then she just drove away. This happened at approximately 9:15 a.m. on January 26, near 5440 California Ave SW, on the east side of the street just north of the Rapid Ride stop.
If you have any info for police, the incident number is 15-28651.
CARS VANDALIZED: John reports this happened Monday morning:
I woke up to an unpleasant sight … somebody had grabbed some large rocks from my neighbor’s front yard and completely shattered my driver-side windows of my ’04 Subaru wagon. They got both of the neighbors’ cars as well – both older Subarus. 6700 block of 39th Ave SW.
REMINDER FOR TONIGHT: As previewed earlier, Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske is expected to be at tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meeting – all welcome for crime/safety updates and networking to make neighborhoods safer, 6:30 pm at the precinct (Webster/Delridge).
(Reader photo from Friday afternoon; Williams is the standing arrestee, French is on the ground)
Bail was set over the weekend for both suspects arrested after last Friday’s West Seattle break-in at a 47th SW home where a resident hid in a closet until police arrived (WSB coverage here). The suspects, both 20 years old, have warrants in other cases so we’re naming them though the charging decision in this case won’t likely be made before tomorrow: $100,000 is the bail set for James Michael French, who has a North Delridge address; $60,000 is the bail set for Donchavell Delrae Williams, who lives in Federal Way. His warrant dates back to May 2013, in an assault case for which the paperwork is not available online since it’s out of Juvenile Court; court documents say Williams had prior felony convictions for assault and taking a motor vehicle without permission.
French’s warrant is from earlier this month, involving what the state terms as “escape” from community custody, the technical term for probation, related to a conviction for a 2013 robbery in Des Moines in which he hit a gas-station clerk in the face while robbing him at gunpoint and knifepoint. French’s history, according to charging documents in that case, had by then also included an attack that inflicted rib fractures on a 58-year-old man who had just had surgery, plus other convictions including robbery, assault, harassment, and drug violations, dating as far back as 2008, when he was 14. He pleaded guilty in the 2013 case and was sentenced in May 2014 to 22 months, which would have included time he had already spent in jail by then. Both French and Williams remain in jail, according to the register, and are scheduled for another hearing tomorrow afternoon.
ADDED 1:08 PM: We’re adding state Corrections Department mugshots for both suspects (French at left, Williams at right). According to a DOC spokesperson, both were released from prison on January 5th, serving time in apparently unrelated cases.
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