West Seattle, Washington
That photo is from Nancy, one of two smashed-in vehicle windows she noticed at Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area late today. We’ve had other reader reports lately, and the SPD crime-report map shows nine car-prowl reports in the general Westcrest vicinity in the past month, though that’s likely an undercount, since some don’t report it and some file online, which takes a while to work through the system. While an SPD “car-prowl prevention” one-sheet mentions calling 911, Nancy says today’s victims tried that and were pointed to the non-emergency line, where they gave up while waiting (as we’ve been reporting, the call center has fewer 911 lines while renovations are under way and calltakers are in temporary quarters).
Don’t leave anything in your car; you might not be as “lucky” as one recent victim, whose backpack and wallet were stolen from her car – also via window-smashing – while she was walking her dogs; the backpack was found tossed aside at 14th and Barton, according to the finder, who contacted us while trying to locate the owner. The victim told the finder that hundreds of dollars were run up on the cards in her wallet before she got them canceled.
Two notes today on the investigations of illegal tree-cutting in north West Seattle’s Duwamish Head Greenbelt:
35TH SW ‘CLEAR-CUT’ SITE: No word of charges against anyone yet, but City Councilmember Lisa Herbold shared an alert that there will be “activity” the next two days at the site off the 3200 block of 35th SW, where cutting apparently done in January came to light in March. She says, “As part of the City’s investigation into the cutting of City trees near 3200 35th Ave SW, a contractor will remove blackberry bushes from the site on May 4th and 5th. The removal should reveal whether there are additional stumps, and will also help prepare the site for eventual restoration.”
ADDED 10:12 PM: Parks spokesperson Dewey Potter provided a few more details, saying the contractor “… will bring a large machine called a Spyder to the site of the trees cut … A crew from Kemp West will use the machine to clear the dense blackberries from the site. … The City’s investigation of the incident continues.” The work could start as early as 7 am.
(back to original report) SUNSET/SEATTLE SITE: As first reported here last Friday, the city also is investigating illegal tree-cutting on a Parks-owned slope beneath a popular unofficial roadside viewpoint. The investigation came to light because of a letter sent to area residents, asking if they had information on the cutting, believed to have been done in February. We subsequently had asked Parks how many trees they believe were cut; spokesperson Christina Hirsch now tells WSB that they’re expecting the number after a city arborist visits the steeply sloped site this week for an assessment.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch – first, from a reader in Westwood:
Just to put people on alert, the noises around your garbage cans might not just be raccoons…
Flasher (freak sicko) sharing one source of his insecurities late Saturday night near intersection of Cloverdale & 34th Avenue SW.
Between 1 and 2 a.m. on Saturday night (technically Sunday morning, May 1) a half hour of what I thought were raccoons messing around the garbage cans in the pitch dark outside my window, turned out to be a flasher exposing himself, etc. The distinction between raccoons and pervert was ultimately revealed when said Freak climbed on a garbage can and illuminated the . . . proceedings with a flashlight. Police came, Flasher gone, People can be very weird. Per police: keep blinds and curtains closed at night, motion sensor lights are a good idea, call police, & don’t go outside to investigate on your own.
Also on Sunday … an attempted car prowl in North Admiral. This was sent on behalf of the victim by a neighbor:
(Sunday) morning at 7:30 am, she stopped a guy trying to break into her friend’s car on 45th Ave. SW (between Holgate and Massachusetts). The guy was in a silver car with black convertible top (maybe). Heavy built, possibly Samoan, mid to late 20s with a beard. Wearing a hat (not baseball cap). She could not see his license plate…
He was trying to access the trunk of her friend’s Toyota Corolla parked in front of her house.. she yelled at him and he casually sauntered back to his car. Nothing was stolen.
They’re wondering if anyone else saw this suspect.
And from Qiong:
Hi, we parked on 59th & Lander about 3 hours (Sunday, May 1st from 11 am to 2 pm). Our windshield wipers were stolen.
Also from that area of Alki, we’re still working on a followup to Saturday night’s shooting. SPD media relations was not able to get us the report narrative today. Once we have it, we will also be pursuing SW Precinct comment on staffing plan for future weekend nights.
A particularly brazen business burglary tonight: Just as we were heading to Alki to find out more about tonight’s shooting, we heard from Dave McCoy, proprietor of Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) in The Junction, that someone had broken into his shop (42nd SW/SW Oregon). On our way back from Alki, we went by the shop to find out more. Dave told us the burglar(s) broke off the door handle and forced their way in, making off with 11 rods (that’s his photo above, showing where they had been). Though the alarm was set, that wasn’t enough to stop what apparently was akin to a smash-and-grab. The door and lock are already being repaired, as shown in our photo:
This comes just two weeks after thieves hit EWA while it was open on a Saturday afternoon, distracting an employee and stealing three reels. And it comes hours after EWA participated in the Junction Day of Giving, earmarking 10 percent of today’s proceeds for charity.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:29 PM: Big response heading to 57th and Alki for a reported shooting – a man is reported to have been shot in the hand. More to come.
9:35 PM: Crews arriving on scene confirm that the injury is not major. A silver vehicle might have been associated with the shooting.
9:53 PM: We’ve arrived in the area. Searching is centered by the Alki Playfield tennis courts/Whale Tail Park (Lander/59th SW). Heard on the scanner while en route, the victim was to go to the hospital via private ambulance, but was described as “uncooperative.”
9:59 PM: Police tell us at the scene that the victim is in his 20s.
They’re still looking for shell casings in the search area we mentioned above. We’re adding photos.
10:54 PM: Nothing additional from SPD so far. About 45 minutes after our first report, they tweeted
“(Officers) responded to shots fired call on Alki, found one man with non life-threatening injury to hand. Investigation ongoing” and that’s the only info they’ve published. See the comments below for multiple reports of what people in the area heard and saw.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city is investigating another case of illegal tree-cutting in north West Seattle’s Duwamish Head Greenbelt.
Seattle Parks confirmed to WSB that there is an “ongoing investigation” involving tree-cutting on city-owned land near a popular informal roadside viewpoint in North Admiral, at Sunset and Seattle.
Two area residents told us about a letter sent to “neighbors,” seeking information about the tree-cutting, which the city believes happened in February. One neighbor sent us images of both sides of the letter, which Parks spokesperson Christina Hirsch confirmed to WSB is authentic.
This is the photo in the letter:
Above that photo, the letter begins:
We need your cooperation to resolve an illegal use of park property: unauthorized treecutting in Duwamish Head Greenbelt. This tree-cutting violates Seattle Municipal Code 18.12.070 and the responsible person(s) are subject to fines to cover the cost to replace the trees and maintain them until they are established.
The second page includes this “ground-level” view of the site where the illegal tree-cutting happened:
The letter continues:
We need the cooperation of neighbors and concerned park users to be the “ears and eyes on the ground” to ensure the protection of our valuable open space, keep our park areas safe, and maintain a peaceful environment for all the public to enjoy.
If you have any information about who cut the trees, or if you observed any tree-cutting activity anywhere within the park, please phone me directly at 206-615-0932. Verbal information given can remain anonymous by request and is not subject to public disclosure.
Senior Property Agent, Seattle Parks and Recreation
We called Gholaghong after receiving the letter via text, and he indicated he was heading into a meeting but would reply with more information soon. We subsequently received a note from Hirsch only confirming that the letter was for real, that the investigation was ongoing, and that she was looking into the answer to our question about how many trees were cut.
A visit to Seattle/Sunset did not yield a firsthand view of the reported tree-cutting – the slope down from the street side is extremely steep, and the downslope view is blocked by overgrown including blackberry vines. County files indicate the city bought the 2 1/2-acre site for less than a quarter-million dollars in 1992.
We will continue trying to find out more about this case, which emerged one month after The Seattle Times first reported on a large-scale case of illegal tree-cutting in east Admiral, also in the Duwamish Head Greenbelt. We have continued to follow up on that case, but there is nothing new to report, and no word yet of charges.
Another West Seattle business has been hit by burglars. This time, O’Neill Plumbing (WSB sponsor) in Morgan Junction. Tim O’Neill tells WSB that they “cut open a fence, punched out locks on trucks, and made off with several tools.” They have surveillance video and are offering a reward. First video shows the burglars’ truck arriving:
Second shows one burglar:
Third clip shows another:
The burglary happened early this morning at O’Neill’s headquarters at 6056 California SW.
That’s our video from Det. Scotty Bach‘s presentation last night at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network – looking at the car prowl/auto theft epidemic from an police perspective.
Det. Bach’s presentation was rather remarkable in that he began, as you’ll see and hear, with some frankness about what happens once a suspect is caught, as well as some insight into what he really does vs. what the public might think he does. “I arrest repeat offenders all the time,” he said – and he offered advice directly from one (end of the clip), while also showing “how things go out on the street,” as well as photos of a few local suspects they’re still trying to find.
He had statistics, trends, and much more. So far this year, for example, in all of King County, he says, auto thefts are up more than 18 percent – 2900+ compared to 2500+ during the same period last year. And in this area, “car prowls are off the hook,” he said. And he repeated what you’ve hopefully heard many times before: DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING IN YOUR CAR. Even if you think it’s “covered up,” thieves know that and will break in. Lock your car – thinking that leaving it unlocked is a deterrent, is a myth, he said.
He also mentioned the rise in license-plate thefts (take a look at yours at least daily!), as noted here in recent reader reports.
Our video, focusing on his slide deck while you hear from him offcamera, is 21 minutes and includes much more – it’s worth a listen.
Also at the WSBWCN meeting:
Southwest Precinct Capt. Pierre Davis started with the crime-trend update, including what he had said at another recent meeting, that south Highland Park, near Roxbury, has been hit especially hard with car prowls lately because the thieves work in teams and shift back and forth across the county line, depending on where they think they’ll find less law enforcement at any given time. He repeated the prevention advice – don’t even leave a jacket or other clothing on a car seat because thieves will assume it’s concealing something. And if you didn’t already know this, in response to questions, Capt. Davis confirmed that Westcrest Park and Lincoln Park remain high-prowl areas.
He also, as he did during the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting earlier this month, spoke to the ongoing gunfire incidents. Any suspected gunfire incident gets a police response, he said; most gunfire incidents have a reason – the people shooting are not just firing at random; sometimes it’s a drug deal that went awry, or some kind of disagreement between acquaintances. Nuisance properties often play into these incidents and the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office on known problem spots, he said.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network meets on fourth Tuesdays, 6:30 pm, at the precinct. Keep an eye on the WSBWCN website for updates.
SMOKING BURGLAR: A Monday burglary, reported to us via text:
We live in the Admiral area by California & Massachusetts St. Our basement was broken into … between noon & 5 pm. The person(s) entered through a window by breaking it with a rock. It appears nothing was taken but they’d smoked three cigarettes and left the cigarette filters on the floor of the basement. The police have been contacted.
WESTWOOD CAR PROWLS: From A:
This morning my neighbor knocked on my door to let me know that both of our vehicles had been broken into by smashing out the passenger window (in our off street apartment building parking lot.) At least 3 cars were hit at 2500 SW Trenton Street and the police did say there was another location a block away that had a similar problem last night. It happened between midnight and 7:30 AM, but none of us were woken by alarms.
Since receiving A’s e-mail, we also heard from Rich, also at that same complex, who says he was one of “6 or 7” hit overnight.
HIGHLAND PARK CAR PROWL: Jeffery reports:
My SUV was broken into last night between 9 pm – 7 am this morning. Vehicle parked in my driveway and my driveway does have motion lights. Doors were locked but when I was leaving for work this morning I found my all of the doors unlocked and the contents of the storage compartments were laying on the seats and floorboards. No windows were broken nor were the door locks tampered with. I don’t keep anything of value in my car but they did take around $25 in change and a large blue and black CD case with roughly 100 or so CD’s in it. I live in the 9400 block of 13th Ave SW in the Highland Park neighborhood. A police report has been filed.
One last reminder that car prowls and thefts are the spotlight topic at tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, 6:30 pm at the precinct, all welcome.
GRIEF COMPOUNDED BY CRIME: As if dealing with the death of a loved one wasn’t tough enough, a reader’s family is also dealing with a burglary:
Our mom passed away (last week) and her home was broke into sometime (between Saturday night and Sunday night).
I’ve gone there every day since she died. She had a lot of meds in her house, I’m thinking that’s what they were after, which makes us think whoever did this knows our story. Police came, and were wonderful. They think (the burglar[s]) may have been scared off. Nothing was taken.
The reader just wants people in the area to be aware – this happened in the general Schmitz Park vicinity. P.S. Seems also worth noting that next Saturday is the twice-yearly Drug Takeback Day, 10 am-2 pm April 30th. If for any reason you have no-longer-needed medication, drop it off at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster) front desk, no questions asked.
JUNCTION GUNFIRE FOLLOWUP: Though the incident still isn’t in the publicly accessible online system, we finally got SPD confirmation that gunfire evidence WAS found in the investigation of Sunday morning’s incident in The Junction. We just talked to precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith and he said a report in the SPD system shows that officers recovered three 40-caliber casings in the street in the 4500 block of 42nd SW and noted a “possible bullet hole found on a nearby towing sign.” No one was hurt and no other damage was located, according to the internal report; no suspects were found or arrested, but two vehicles described only as silver and “dark” were seen leaving the area right afterward. Why this information wasn’t in the report checked by the officer with whom we spoke at the precinct yesterday afternoon, he didn’t know. (The incident number, 16-141399, does not currently show anywhere in the publicly accessible system.)
REMINDER – NEXT CRIME PREVENTION/SAFETY MEETING … is tomorrow night’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, focusing on car theft and car prowling. 6:30 pm at the precinct – full preview on the WSBWCN website.
In West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:
SUSPECTED GUNFIRE IN THE JUNCTION: We’ve been checking on this after several inquiries about possible gunshots and arguing heard in the 3:30 am vicinity, near Capco Plaza at 42nd/Alaska in The Junction. No one texted or called when it happened, so we didn’t get to check it out in real time (so much is not on the scanner these days – 206-293-6302 is our 24/7 hotline), and the best we’ve been able to do is process of elimination: There were no medic calls on the Seattle Fire log, which means no one was hurt; no gunfire incidents on the SPD Twitter call log or SPD police-report maps. To go the extra mile in checking on it, we went to the Southwest Precinct to see if someone could check the report for us. The desk officer said he already had just checked on the incident at a caller’s request, and he said there’s nothing in the system about gunfire – which would mean no shell casings, no bullet holes – the final call designation was a noise disturbance related to a “party.” If we find out anything more, we’ll add it, but that’s all we have so far.
CAR BREAK-INS: Reader report from Kami:
Looks like WS was hit by more car prowls last night. Our car was broken into between 10-8am last night (in the 4000 block of) 36th Ave SW. Ping Zing 2 golf clubs were stolen in Bengals golf bag. Police said multiple other cars were prowled on the same block in the alley parking spots and garages. Remind neighbors to watch for cars entering the alleys that are not recognized and report anything suspicious.
Reminder – car prowls/thefts are the spotlight topic Tuesday night at the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, all welcome, 6:30 pm, precinct meeting room at 2300 SW Webster.
West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports – and a few more notes – tonight:
EARLY-MORNING CAR PROWL: From Katie:
Car broken into on 64th Ave SW, Alki neighborhood, at Hinds. A Hispanic man, 5’10”, found rifling through trunk, ran off when brother came out to his car. Had gotten into passenger cab and stolen a small bag with supplies and personal effects along with my paycheck. About 6 am today.
THIEVES HIT YARD, VEHICLES: Deanna says this happened “sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday”:
They went out into our backyard and stole lawn mower, weed whacker, step ladder, and a few small decorative items. 5000 block of Delridge Way SW. (Also) Our neighbors’ car was broken into parked next to our house, and our neighbors’ truck (a few townhomes down) was also broken into. They’re around 5100 Delridge
BIKE FOUND, BIKE STOLEN: First, Dawnee in Highland Park wonders if this might be your stolen bicycle:
Hers was stolen two days ago, not the first time she’s been hit by theft. Hers is a red, SE Palisade 21-speed women’s bike, taken from 18th/Cloverdale.
ITEMS FOUND ON GATEWOOD ROAD: A reader found these on Thursday:
On leaving my home at the top of Gatewood Road at 12:30 pm … I noticed two bags sitting on top of our rockery. There were multiple empty Trader Joe an Goodwill bags except for one which contained a set of keys (6 total including car keys and car alarm) and maybe house keys? Also eyeglasses and sunglasses in a case with a $5 bill inside; a headband was on the sidewalk also. Also a small Panasonic car radio remote and several items I can’t identify.
Sound familiar? Let us know.
OTHER FOUND ITEMS – MAYBE STOLEN, MAYBE NOT: In case you’ve missed previous mentions, we’ve added a new section to the WSB Forums since our technical changes earlier this year, a “West Seattle Lost/Found” section for everything but pets (who’ve had their own Lost/Found section on WSB for eight years), after frequent requests. While the mentions above seem to likely have been dumped by thieves, it’s not always easy to make that judgment, so if you find something and you’re not sure, that’s where to post. One item added today: An iPad found in Sunrise Heights.
NEXT CRIME/SAFETY MEETING: Another reminder that the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting on Tuesday will feature, in addition to a crime briefing from Southwest Precinct leadership, special guest Detective Scotty Bach, with info about car prowls/thefts. Somebody from your neighborhood should be there, even if you are Block Watch-less. 6:30 pm Tuesday, precinct meeting room on the parking lot off Webster west of Delridge.
12:35 AM: If you’re seeing/hearing Guardian One in the White Center/Highland Park area – there’s a search under way related to a shooting reported at 15th and Roxbury.
12:41 AM: In medical communications between emergency personnel, the victim is described as a man around 40 years old who has been shot once in the leg. At least one armed suspect was reported to have fled eastbound along Roxbury. The victim is about to be taken to Harborview via Seattle Fire Medic 32.
1:43 AM: As we noted in comments, this is the third 15th/Roxbury shooting in less than a month, all involving someone getting shot in the leg. The ground search was still under way as of our quick check of the area a little while ago, with both SPD and KCSO involved. The 15th/Roxbury gas station/mini-mart appears to have been the scene, at least judging by the stringing of crime-scene tape (photo added above).
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: Summary and added info from King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Sgt. Cindi West:
On Saturday morning just after midnight we responded to a shooting at the White Center Mini Mart at 1505 Roxbury.
When we arrived we found a 40 year old Seattle man on the east side of the building shot in the upper thigh. Witnesses said there may have been a verbal altercation between the victim and 3 males just prior to the shooting and it is believed one of the males shot the victim.
The 3 were last seen running from the scene and were described as:
#1. Black male, late teens to early 20’s, approximately 5’10”, stocky build, dark smooth skin, a 4”afro, last seen wearing a dark blue Adidas jogging suit jacket, dark colored jeans and white tennis shoes.
#2. Black male, late teens to early 20’s, approximately 5’10”, thin build, with a “short afro,” last seen wearing a black and white checkered flannel shirt that appeared to be insulated, dark blue jeans and red tennis shoes. He was also wearing green and yellow billed baseball cap.
#3. Black male, late teens to early 20’s, approximately 5’10”, thin build, “short afro,” last seen wearing a dark colored sweater, pinstriped grey or beige khaki’s and white tennis shoes.
The victim was taken to Harborview in serious condition.
At this week’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, police said car prowls remain rampant. And we have more to report here:
INSTRUMENTS STOLEN: Maggie e-mailed that image along with her report that this happened in The Triangle:
My partner and I are musicians who were traveling through Seattle this week, visiting family, and had our car broken into and all our instruments stolen. Among the stolen gear was a rare parlor guitar, handpainted with no maker/label, from the early 1900’s. We are hoping it will surface at a pawn shop or music store somewhere so we can get it back… any help getting the word out would be so appreciated.
OFF-LEASH AREA ALERT: Two readers reported seeing/hearing evidence of multiple car prowls in recent days at the Westcrest Park Off-Leash Area, and the police-report map confirms it.
DETECTIVE AT WSBWCN NEXT WEEK: Also on the topic of car prowls/thefts, Seattle Police Detective Scotty Bach is the guest at next Tuesday’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting, sharing expertise on prevention and deterrence. 6:30 pm (April 26th) at the Southwest Precinct, all welcome.
One more reader report:
BIKE FOUND – STOLEN? From Steve, the photo and report:
Early in the morning of April 19th, a bike appeared in the alley behind 63rd Ave SW on the North side of Admiral. It is a Raleigh M20 Aluminum frame Mountain Sport Bike (2005?) with Shimano cranks and shifters.
Steve shared additional details that the owner would know – if this is your stolen bike, let us know and we’ll connect you.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Gunfire was the first thing our area’s top law enforcer brought up as tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting began.
CRIME TRENDS: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis opened the meeting with his crime-trends briefing, as usual. “As of lately, there’s been a lot of shots-fired incidents, there’s reasons behind it … it is alarming,” and community members “are quite tired, and I don’t blame them one bit.”
Once shots are reported, “we do take them very seriously, our officers go out and investigate … if there’s physical evidence that can be confiscated and taken to a lab, we do that .. there’s a whole unit that does that to see if there’s a nexus between different areas of the city (and other cities). … There’s shots-fired evidence we can link to various crimes throughout the area.” According to Capt. Davis, gangs and drugs are what’s most often involved “and we’re quickly putting together the pieces as to who’s who.”
He mentioned one particular trouble spot – a mile-plus of 16th SW, from the 6900 through 9000 block. South Park (which also is served by the SW Precinct) is being plagued by gunfire incidents, too, and so, he said, patrols have been stepped up, even including SWAT officers and the Anti-Crime Team. But they can’t patrol around the clock, he warned: “Obviously these individuals are smart enough to know if you’re shooting when police are around, you’re probably going to get caught … I wish I had enough officers to have out there 24/7 but that’s not the case.”
A resident of 21st SW in Puget Ridge spoke up at this point to say she had heard gunshots for three nights.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports this afternoon:
WARNING FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES: Emerald Water Anglers (WSB sponsor) proprietor Dave McCoy says two thieves hit his store on Saturday, “worked as a team, distracted our one employee as the other hid and stashed in his fanny pack some high end merchandise.” – three Hardy fly reels, two Featherweight 4/5s and a Marquis 2. The only description is 20-40 years-old, dark complexions, no surveillance photo at this point; we’ll add any additional descriptive information we get.
STOLEN SUBARU: Melinda reports a stolen car in the North Shorewood area:
I would like to report our 2005 Silver-Gray Subaru Outback, 920ZID, stolen last night from the 112th and 26th Ave SW area (a few blocks south of Westwood Village). Last seen around 11:00 pm in our driveway in front of the house. Inside the car was assorted baseball gear belonging to our son and associated with West Seattle Baseball Club and Baden baseball club.
And from Sunrise Heights, Jay reports:
One of my neighbors had a TORO brand mower stolen off the top of their van between 5:00 am and 6:00 am this morning. The van was parked on 35th in front of Trinity Church, and the mower was well-secured with straps that were cut. It’s believed that the person(s) that took it headed north on 35th, but we have no information to go on at this time.
Again, as we’ve been mentioning, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council’s next meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday, April 19th) night, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (Webster/Delridge) – bring neighborhood crime concerns and questions for local police. There also will be a discussion of parking enforcement – so if you have questions/concerns about that, bring them too.
Another auto-theft reader report tonight – this one is from Andrea in Gatewood:
2007 Black Audi A3 2.0T 4 door hatchback with tan interior stolen from 3500 block Rose St and 35th Ave sometime after 11 pm (last night). WA AJU7551. Faded West Seattle Soccer sticker on back window. Car was in front of our house; neighbors heard nothing.
This theft is one of the 10 currently in view on the Seattle Police crime-report map in default view (our screengrab below is for the view that was sorted only to show this category of crime) for reports filed over the past week:
We don’t know what types of vehicles for the five incidents on which we have not received reader reports, since the map only shows the location and date/time reported, but the locations are, north to south:
*Thursday afternoon, 3200 block Alki SW
*Friday evening, 5700 block SW Winthrop
*Saturday 4/9 (reported Sunday 4/10), 3700 block California SW
*Wednesday morning, 4500 block 45th SW (white Ford van; reader report here)
*Sunday night 4/10, 5900 block 36th SW (black VW Passat; reader report here)
*Thursday night, 5900 block Beach Drive SW (gray Mercedes; reader report here)
*Wednesday afternoon, 6300 block 39th SW
*Thursday night, 3900 block SW Elmgrove (reader report here – found quickly)
*Saturday night, 3500 block SW Rose (the one reported at the start of this story)
*Wednesday afternoon, 8400 block Delridge
P.S. Reminder that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s next meeting, featuring your chance to bring up neighborhood concerns/problems with local police, is Tuesday (April 19th), 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (Delridge/Webster). After that part of the meeting, the spotlight topic this month will be parking enforcement.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports this morning:
OVERNIGHT GUNFIRE: We checked with police to find out if overnight reports of possible gunshots in the Admiral and High Point areas led to any confirmation of gunfire. According to Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, “a few casings” were found at 35th and Raymond, but “no known property damage, injuries, or verifiable witnesses to our knowledge at this time,” and “nothing else from any of the other locations where people reported hearing what sounded to them to be shots being fired.”
COAT STOLEN: A resident at 17th and Cloverdale says a coat was stolen from her car in front of her house between about 8 and 10:30 last night, a “women’s navy Barbour coat with hood and red interior in a size small … the suspect left another article of clothing on the sidewalk, presumably something he/she did not find as interesting.” She thinks that after grocery-shopping late in the day, “I had forgotten to doublecheck all car doors were locked.” Please comment, or let police know, if you happen to see a coat like this tossed aside somewhere.
Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch as we move into Saturday evening:
WHAT GUARDIAN ONE WAS DOING OVER SOUTH DELRIDGE: Thanks for the tips. The Guardian One helicopter has just left South Delridge airspace after helping with an auto-theft case. No other details yet – we had to track down an SPD officer on the ground just to find out that much, since we weren’t hearing anything on the scanner but people kept texting about the helicopter overhead. (Thanks! 206-293-6302 any time.) If we find out anything additional, we’ll update.
OVERNIGHT CAR PROWLS: One reader report today, from Sarah:
Just a quick report that both of our cars were rifled through last night sometime between 10 pm and 6:00 am. The cars were both in our driveway on SW Winthrop St [map]. Nothing of value was taken but a bag with gym clothes was returned to us from Seattle Police this morning.
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL MEETING: WSCPC president Richard Miller sent word today of the spotlight topic for Tuesday night’s meeting (7 pm, Southwest Precinct, Delridge/Webster): “Parking enforcement issues: People will be able to get answers about and make comments or complaints about parking-related issues.” And as always, police from the precinct will be there to talk about crime trends and listen to neighborhood concerns.
Four reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch, and a followup from a car theft reported this morning:
ALKI CAR PROWL: From Amy:
When I got into my car today at 2:00 PM, I noticed it had been broken into. I don’t know if it happened on Thursday night or this morning. The car was parked on the street on the 3100 block of Alki Ave. SW.
The door by the driver’s seat was unlocked, though I am always careful to lock it. No visible damage was done and nothing was taken (I don’t keep any valuables in the car), but it was clear the car had been searched (the trunk was popped open, the glove compartment and ashtray were open).
SUNRISE HEIGHTS CAR PROWL: From Morgan:
Unfortunately sometime last night/ this morning our neighbors’ SUV had its window smashed in. Nothing was in the car, so nothing was taken, but it was rifled through. This happened on 34th Ave SW between Webster and Holden. The police have been notified.
HIT-RUNS: A resident of SW Findlay between California and Fauntleroy says their car suffered hit-run damage around 5:30 am and while they don’t have enough evidence to put out a call for a certain type of car, theirs is “light gold/tan” and should have some front-passenger-side damage. They also wish the many drivers who use the street as a cut-through would please slow down.
FOLLOWUP – CAR FOUND: Shortly after we published a Crime Watch report this morning about two stolen cars, we heard from a neighbor who had spotted one of them. Rebecca‘s red Subaru wagon turned up just blocks away from where it had been stolen in Gatewood. She said it was “a mess inside,” but drivable, and shared these words of thanks:
Thank-you, neighbor Bonnie, for reading the blog and reporting back. I feel lucky to live in a community like West Seattle. Thanks to Officer Houston (sp), who came knocking around 3 hours of initial report (I did not even think they would send an officer out for a car theft). And a big shout out to the West Seattle Blog, which serves such a critical role as a conduit of information and a forum for the West Seattle Community. You are the best!
As far as we know, the gray Mercedes also reported stolen this morning hasn’t been found yet.
9:17 AM: The morning began with two stolen-car reader reports. First, from Rebecca in Gatewood:
I just wanted to alert the neighborhood that our car was stolen (parked on the street in front of our house) during the late night/early morning of April 14-15th, between 10 pm-6 am. It is a 1995 red Subaru wagon with a bumper sticker ‘Art Saves Lives’. Lots of nicer, newer vehicles parked on the street, but ours was most likely easy to break into. If you see it, please contact the police. Another reminder to be on alert. Report any suspicious activity.
And from Pamela:
Sometime early this morning, our 2015 dark gray Mercedes SUV was stolen from our driveway on Beach Drive. 2 bikes were left at the top of our driveway, I assume from the thieves.
We’re checking back with both to get the license-plate numbers – although, as with the vehicle in this case last week, thieves can and do swap plates. Please call 911 if you see either of these stolen cars or a vehicle you suspect was stolen and dumped – they are often just used as transportation between crime scenes rather than as something to strip or sell for monetary value.
9:46 AM: Two updates – first, we’ve been alerted that Rebecca’s car has been spotted, not far from where it was taken. The finder has called police, and we’ve e-mailed Rebecca. Second, we have the plate and a little more description for Pamela’s stolen vehicle: 2015 Mercedes ML350, license plate AZE7438.
Back on Tuesday, we brought you first word of a Bellevue Police raid at a house in Highland Park. BPD didn’t have a lot to say that day, but now they do:
Bellevue police Tuesday arrested five people suspected of being part of a large identity theft ring that allegedly operated out of a residence in West Seattle. Investigators with the department’s Special Enforcement Team were conducting surveillance on a residence in the 9400 block of Ninth Avenue SW in West Seattle when they saw two people leave the residence and get into a stolen car.
After obtaining a search warrant for the residence and vehicle, they arrested five people in the residence, including the two who had gotten into the stolen car earlier. They arrested the suspects, two women and three men, on suspicion of crimes including possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property and identity theft.
During the search of the residence, police found credit cards, Washington drivers licenses and personal and financial documents of dozens of people. They also found and seized equipment used to make fraudulent identifications and financial documents.
In the stolen vehicle they found multiple crowbars, suspected stolen credit cards, gloves, screwdrivers and a brass knuckle-shaped stun gun.
(Bellevue Police photo)
Multiple shaved keys and narcotics were recovered inside a small backpack that officers had observed one of the suspects place inside the vehicle. A stolen credit card was also recovered from the center console. Investigators were able to link the stolen vehicle and one of the suspects to an April 7 vehicle prowl in Bellevue.
Investigators are contacting victims, including multiple Bellevue residents, and the investigation is being forwarded to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of charges.
We’ll keep an eye on the case to see if any local crimes turn out to be part of it.