West Seattle, Washington
Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes this morning:
GUNFIRE ON PIGEON POINT: Last night before midnight (while we were covering the “heavy rescue” crash in North Admiral), we heard police dispatched to reports of possible gunfire on Pigeon Point/North Delridge. This morning, a reader reports seeing a car with shot-out windows near 23rd and Andover, and we’ve just obtained details from SPD spokesperson Det. Mark Jamieson:
Last night, just after 11:00 pm, officers responded to several calls of shots fired in area of 23 Ave SW/SW Andover. Officers contacted witnesses who heard the shots. One person said they witnessed shots coming from a white car, another person stated it was a black car. Officers located a parked car in the 4000 block 23 Ave SW that had been struck by bullets. Officers found one shell casing and one bullet fragment near the intersection of 23/Andover.
No injuries were reported.
ARBOR HEIGHTS SUSPECT OUT: The man arrested after the Arbor Heights search on Monday morning, 28-year-old Matthew Melzer, is out of jail this morning after a plea bargain. According to Municipal Court records and the King County Jail Register, Melzer was cited for two counts of second-degree criminal trespassing (a misdemeanor) and pleaded guilty to one; the other was dropped and he was credited for time served, then released from jail at 8 am today.
READER REPORT – CAR PROWL: Just out of the inbox, from Jon:
I live between California Ave and 44th Street just off SW Hinds St. I awoke this morning to find my truck light on. Upon closer inspection, it appears that someone had rummaged through my truck as the console was open and things were strewn about the cab. Nothing appears to have been taken (as I don’t leave anything of value in there), but it’s frustrating nonetheless. If you live nearby, please keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
FOLLOWUP TODAY ON BELLEVUE POLICE’S ALKI RAID: Thanks to tips, we reported Monday on Bellevue Police arresting 2 at a house on 62nd SW. BPD told us it was related to a “series of burglaries” around the region and that more info would be forthcoming. Check back here on WSB later today, because we’re expecting to have that info soon – BPD is hosting a media briefing, with its police chief and Seattle PD Chief Kathleen O’Toole, at 11:30 am, announced with the intent “to discuss the dismantling of a major burglary ring in the region. The investigation that will be discussed is believed to be the largest burglary ring case in terms of loss value in the history of the city of Bellevue. Recovered stolen property and several seized vehicles will be on display. Some of the recovered items on display were stolen from a notable sports figure.” We’ll be there.
(ADDED) STOLEN TRAILER: As mentioned in the WSB Forums – be on the lookout:
2008, white, 5×7 TNT cargo trailer. Stolen from Fauntleroy & Othello between Tues Jan 24 9pm- Weds Jan 25 8am
No distinguishing marks or pictures, unfortunately. Lic # 7052VJ Washington
The trailer is completely FULL with my trade show display for working at the home & garden shows (backdrop, shelves, cookware)
Call police if you see it.
From tonight’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting – first one since before the holidays:
FIGHTING CRIME: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis said the new bicycle officers added to the precinct, mentioned at other recent meetings, will help police patrol proactively. They’ll be patroling outside the purview of 911 response, which means they can be deployed in areas that have been hot spots for problems such as car prowling.
Capt. Davis also said SPD is continuing to work with prosecutors and judges to help get repeat offenders sentenced to more time behind bars.
DEALING WITH HOMELESSNESS: Special guest was SW Precinct Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke, who is the CPT point person on homelessness-related matters.
City rules only allow SPD to do so much, Officer Wiebke explained – it’s up to nonprofits to deal with directly helping those in need. Police, ultimately, are there for the security of the public. A few minutes into his talk, someone brought up the campers and vehicles along Myers Way. Wiebke stressed that he and other officers do arrest people who are breaking the law, but it’s not illegal to be homeless, and not all unsheltered people are breaking the law. The people at Camp Second Chance, which is slated by the city to become an authorized camp, are overall “clean and sober” as per their rules, Wiebke said, but that’s not necessarily the case for the people living elsewhere along Myers Way. He, by the way, said CSC has about 30 residents, with a similar number of people living on the slope across the street.
RV residents, he continued, are not all law-breakers either. Some are employed and the RV just happens to be the only place they have to live. Some vehicles, meantime, had been associated with crimes, and they had been investigated, with, in some cases, Wiebke said, property seized. Overall, though, the city has a lot of rules on the books to be followed when police and other agencies deal with campers, and the discussion at the meeting veered into some of those details (here’s some of what’s on the books).
Some attendees also wanted to know how to help the people at Camp Second Chance; Officer Wiebke said water is always needed, but that people could visit and talk with camp leaders to see specifically how to help.
The West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets on fourth Tuesdays most months, 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct. Watch the WSBWCN website for updates between meetings.
A 33-year-old man is in jail tonight, under investigation for the December holdup of a man using an ATM in South Delridge. Southwest Precinct police arrested the suspect yesterday afternoon near 15th and Barton. He was supposed to have a bail hearing today but he refused to go, so the judge had a probable-cause hearing without his presence and ordered another bail hearing tomorrow. The robbery happened the afternoon of December 18th at the Wells Fargo ATM at 15th and Roxbury. A man making a cash deposit was robbed at gunpoint; probable-cause documents say that after the robber left with the cash, the victim tried to use his phone to call for help, but the robber returned to grab the phone away. An investigation led to the identification of a suspect; police have been looking for him, spotted him, and arrested him. The same man was arrested in West Seattle in November after police spotted a package theft in process; it doesn’t appear he was charged in that case.
We have full details now on the arrest of two men in connection with the theft of the West Seattle Junction US Bank’s drive-up ATM early Sunday.
After we reported the theft on Sunday, a commenter from Lake City mentioned the arrest of two men and recovery of a vehicle – but we didn’t have the official information connecting it all until just now.
Bail was set at $200,000 for a 28-year-old Shoreline man and $75,000 for a 35-year-old Sammamish man.
Probable-cause documents say the theft happened just after 5 am, when a citizen called 911 to say a nearby building shook and that they saw a forklift being used to steal the ATM from the bank on SW Edmunds.
It was reported as stolen from a “nearby hardware store” – reportedly Junction TrueValue, a block away. We photographed it after a reader tip about police activity turned out to be the impounding of the forklift post-theft:
The police report says that video shows three people stealing the forklift by using wire cutters to get into a secure area at the store. The ATM was torn away from its spot in the drive-thru and loaded into “a stolen cargo van,” police say.
Just after 1:30 pm, the stolen van was spotted in Issaquah by state troopers. As our commenter wrote, a significant pursuit followed – with the van going the wrong way on one-way streets along the way – and eventually it was located in Lake City, with the ATM still inside. The suspects tried to run, “stripping off clothing” as they bolted, according to the report, but officers eventually caught them. Here’s the photo the commenter says shows the stolen van:
The probable-cause documents say the two suspects both confessed to at least some parts of what happened, including stealing the ATM. The 28-year-old man is reported to have told police that this was the 8th time he has stolen an ATM, and the report describes him as “an extremely active ATM thief”; the 35-year-old man claimed it was his first, and, the report says, “seemed proud he didn’t hit any other vehicles during the pursuit.” Both are reported to have confessed to trying to get into the ATM safe with a saw – but being unable to.
Both are due back in court on Wednesday afternoon. The third suspect shown stealing the forklift is apparently still on the loose.
For everyone who asked about the Arbor Heights police search early this morning – officers were gone by the time we got there in search of information, but we’ve just obtained details from the report, via SPD media relations. Around 6 am, a call about a car prowl in progress brought officers to the 3500 block of SW 112th. “Two car prowlers were said to have been chased off by one of the two victims,” Det. Mark Jamieson tells us. A K-9 team tracked the suspects to a nearby driveway, hiding “inbetween cars.” One got away; the other, a 28-year-old man, was arrested for investigation of car prowling and trespass.
10:03 AM: Thanks for all the tips about a police response near 62nd/Admiral. Turns out it’s Bellevue Police, who arrested two people, one in connection with a series of burglaries, one for alleged eluding, officers tell us at the scene. More info as we get it.
10:48 AM: The house where this happened is in the 3200 block of 62nd SW. Neighbors report hearing a loud noise as the police operation got under way – likely a “flashbang” or similar type of device. No injuries reported. We have a message out to BPD’s public-information officer seeking more info on the related case.
11:27 AM: BPD spokesperson Officer Seth Tyler says a news release is forthcoming but in the meantime, “I can confirm that Bellevue Police Detectives, assisted by the Bellevue Police SWAT team, were in West Seattle this morning and did arrest two individuals. The suspects are suspected in a series of home burglaries throughout the Seattle area, and were considered armed and dangerous. One vehicle was also impounded as a part of the investigation.”
Tuesday night at the Southwest Precinct, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets for the first time since before the holidays. You don’t have to be a captain – or even part of a block watch – to be there. Tentatively scheduled guest is the SW Precinct’s Community Police Team officer who focuses on homelessness-related situations, Ofcr. Todd Wiebke. The WSBWCN announcement explains there’s a chance he might be diverted – in which case, that will extend the meeting’s time for participants to talk with other SWP police and with each other. The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday (January 24th) in the meeting room off the precinct’s public parking lot at 2300 SW Webster.
Two incidents in West Seattle Crime Watch:
BANK INVESTIGATION: We’re still working to get details on a pre-dawn police investigation at US Bank in The Junction. After a texted tip that SW Edmunds was blocked off there, we found police putting a small forklift-type vehicle on a flatbed tow truck (top photo). They declined to elaborate on the investigation; we went back later and noted that the drive-up ATM is gone, with debris in view along with severed wires, and even what appeared to be a scorch mark on the pavement:
Whether it was stolen, removed after a theft attempt, or some other circumstance, we don’t know yet. One bystander said he noticed police there as early as 5:45 am. We’ll add whatever more we find out – but in the meantime, if you need a US Bank ATM, you won’t find one at the Junction drive-thru.
ADDED 2:16 PM: One more clue – the call is classified as “theft.”
ADDED 5:23 PM: Police confirm the ATM was stolen, and the forklift was used in the crime. No further details likely until we can seek the incident report Monday.
(back to original story) Also in Crime Watch:
PACKAGE THEFT THWARTED: This happened Thursday afternoon in Riverview – caught on security-cam video that was texted to us:
If you have any information on the would-be thief/vehicle, let SPD know and refer to case number 2017-023139.
(UPDATED with addition of surveillance video to Avalon 7-11 robbery report)
We start West Seattle Crime Watch with two reader reports:
IF THESE ARE YOURS … From Jeff:
I found two pairs of skis in the bushes near the top of the stairway that ends at SW Brandon and 37th Ave SW.
This stairway climbs east from the Fairmount Park playground. Since the skis seemed to be in good condition, I assumed that they were stolen and discarded. I reported the items to SPD and they have an entry on their Twitter feed that appears to indicate that they have recovered the skis as indicated below. I could not find a name on the skis and I am not sure how SPD would reconnect the items with their owners if the theft was not reported so I am attaching a picture of the skis in case someone recognizes their property. They should be able to recover them from SPD.
Now, from the SPD files, the newest reports available online with narrative information – we found five of note, two robberies and three burglaries. First, a report on an incident mentioned here briefly on Monday, at which time all we knew was that the Avalon 7-11 had been held up early that morning:
AVALON 7-11 HOLDUP: Just before 3 am Monday, police were sent to the 35th/Avalon 7-11. The clerk told officers he was mopping when two people came in, described as”two males with brown skin … both wearing all-black clothing.
One of the males was approximately 5’6″ with a slim build. The other suspect was approximately 6’3″ with a heavy set build … both males had their faced covered with red bandanas, and were wearing gloves.” The report says “the larger suspect pointed a black handgun at him and told him to “save your life” and “give me the balance” … (the clerk) obeyed the suspect’s demands and opened the registers. One of the suspects then leaped over the front counter, while the other suspect ran around the counter to the opening on the rear. The suspects emptied all of the cash from the registers … and placed the money into a paper bag that was sitting nearby. While the suspects were behind the counter, (the clerk) believes that they may have taken several cartons of cigarettes from the display case (and) other unknown items from a nearby aisle as well.” The report says one robber also demanded the “safe money” but the clerk didn’t have the code. The robbers then left. (UPDATED: SPD has released the surveillance video – added above. If you have any information about the robbers, call the SPD Robbery Unit at 206-684-5535.)
AT ANOTHER 7-11: Less than two hours later, the clerk at the South Delridge 7-11 “noticed two masked suspects walking up to the business” and locked the front doors. They tried to open it by pushing on it; then one suspect “pulled out a firearm and pointed it at (the clerk),” who ran to the back of the store to call 911 and hide. The suspects, meantime, left. No descriptive information in this report except “green handkerchief” around the suspects’ faces. Here too, police were expecting to get video surveillance footage.
Meantime, details on three burglaries are now available:
2900 BLOCK FAIRMOUNT AVENUE SW: Reported Monday morning, a garage break-in last weekend, with a rock used to break a window. Three tools were stolen but others were left behind.
9000 BLOCK 20TH SW: A construction-site burglary was discovered here on Monday morning. A worker arrived and discovered a garage gate open, a fence cut, and tools stolen.
8200 BLOCK NORTHROP: Someone returning home here on Monday evening discovered front-door damage – broken wood around the deadbolt. Nothing appeared to have been stolen.
Toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting: The Southwest Precinct has new bicycle officers who, among other things, are tasked with patroling for car prowlers. That’s still the biggest crime problem in our area, so the precinct is hopeful this is a new way of making a dent in it.
As always, the heart of the meeting was the opportunity for attendees to discuss neighborhood crime/safety concerns. Most of the three dozen or so attendees were there because of concerns related to last Thursday’s stabbing (WSB coverage here) at a house in the 6700 block of 18th SW on Puget Ridge.
The suspect is still at large, confirmed precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, and the investigation continues. Some attendees who identified themselves as parents and PTA members at nearby Sanislo Elementary wanted to know why the school hadn’t been in lockdown while police were searching that afternoon. Capt. Davis said he and Operations Lt. Ron Smith would see what they could find out about how that decision was made.
Others pointed out that this wasn’t the first trouble at the house in question, reminding police that it had been brought up at a Crime Prevention Council meeting about a year and a half ago. Taking action against “nuisance houses” is not a fast process, Lt. Smith noted, saying the precinct is aware this is a trouble spot. Community Police Team Officer Jon Flores will be out to talk to neighbors, he promised, to figure out what steps can be taken next.
The scheduled guest for the meeting, scheduled to talk about “active shooter” situations, was a no-show. So that made extra time for the community-concerns discussion. Next WSCPC meeting is set for February 21st, 7 pm, at the precinct (2300 SW Webster).
The man convicted of murdering Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton (right) in 2009 has died in prison, according to multiple regional-media outlets including The Seattle Times. Officer Brenton’s murder hit hard in West Seattle because of his roots here, including graduating from West Seattle High School in 1988. According to The Times, the Department of Corrections says Christopher Monfort, convicted in 2015 of killing Officer Brenton and wounding his partner Officer Britt (Sweeney) Kelly, was found dead in his cell this morning at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla. He had been serving a life sentence. Monfort was found guilty of another crime that had a West Seattle connection, firebombing the city’s Charles Street yard, destroying vehicles including what was at the time our area’s Mobile Precinct, not replaced until a little over a year ago. According to today’s reports, Monfort’s death did not appear to be suicide. He had been a paraplegic since being shot during his arrest in Tukwila the day of Officer Brenton’s memorial.
2:56 AM: Police are looking for a suspect in a shooting at 16th/Holden in Highland Park. According to scanner traffic, the suspect is about 6 feet tall, unknown race, thin build, wearing a red mask, black coat, black shirt, unknown color gloves, carrying a shotgun. The victim is reported to be an employee at the 7-11 – no information on condition so far.
3:28 AM: Police have been searching with a K-9 but no arrest reported so far. Here’s what our crew at the scene has founded out: The man who is hurt is the on-duty clerk; his injuries are not life-threatening so he’s being taken to the hospital by private ambulance (as shown in our top photo). The front door was apparently locked and he refused to let someone in, who then took out a shotgun and shot through the glass – the clerk’s injuries are apparently from broken glass as much as pellets. Detectives are joining the investigation.
Two reader reports and one police report in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
FOUND BICYCLE: From Mark – “Found a black Roadmaster bike today along Harbor Avenue. Probably stolen. If yours, email to email@example.com”
SMASHED WINDOWS: An alert from Allison, if you live near 16th/Trenton in Highland Park – “In the last 2 days I’ve seen my two immediate neighbors with the driver-side windows on their cars smashed.”
And from the SPD report files, this burglary attempt from last Thursday night has narrative information available:
ALKI BREAK-IN THWARTED: Police were called to a building in the 1200 block of Alki Avenue SW around 10 pm and arrived to someone running up to their car yelling, “They went that way!” They explained that the two people running away had tried to break into the apartment above theirs. The witness heard a “loud bang” and went upstairs to find that someone had tried to pry open a deadbolted door. The suspects were then seen leaving the building; they were described as “a white male, wearing a white snow jacket, black jeans, a white head scarf, and white Adidas tennis shoes (and) a white unknown sex suspect, wearing a white snow jacket and light-colored jeans.” Two crowbars were found on the ground nearby. Police were working with management to get a copy of surveillance video that shows the suspects.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 3:48 PM MONDAY: Moments after we published a Crime Watch roundup, this happened – a big police response at the 35th/Holden gas station. Thanks for the tips! Per the scanner, officers recovered this stolen Honda Accord:
We don’t know yet if there’s anything more to the case than “stolen/recovered car,” but even if there isn’t, the sizable response is standard – since motor-vehicle theft is a felony, it requires what is referred to as a “felony stop” (guns drawn).
UPDATE, 11:10 AM TUESDAY: We followed up this morning with SPD. What ended at the gas station started at Westwood Village, where an officer spotted the stolen car, alerting others along the way, and finally catching up with it. Its occupants, who were taken into custody, “had stolen credit cards and IDs” in their possession, per SPD.
Three reader reports plus a quick note from the online SPD files, and a reminder:
STOLEN BIKE: From WB:
Sometime on the evening of 1/15/17 and the morning of 1/15/17 my locked bike (Cannondale M400) was stolen off a second floor landing of my apartment building. California and Andover. Black/Dark Green. Commuter bike with rack. Serial #06526B5M16.
If you have info on it – refer to police report #2017-900426.
BIKES FOUND: Lewis sent this photo, reporting: “Just spotted these two girls bikes halfway up the staircase near Andover and 21st SW. They were in the trees off to the side of the staircase (visible from the stairs) if anyone is looking for them”:
(They might be the same ones shown in this report – though we published that two months ago.)
BAG THEFT AT BAR: From Jordan, who hopes you will keep watch for some of the stolen stuff:
(Saturday) night (1/14) my bag was stolen from the bar at West 5. This happened between 8:30 pm and 11:30 pm. My partner and I were sitting closer to the middle of the bar, near the serving station. I had my jacket and my bag hanging from the hooks under the bar in front of my bar stool. I am guessing my bag got swiped in the short time that I was gone to the restroom. My boyfriend was sitting next to me the whole time, but he had his back turned talking to our friend who was sitting to our left while I went to the restroom. Neither of them noticed anyone come up and take it, nor did any of the staff. However, it was quite busy and loud, especially around the bar area, where people were coming and going, so it’s not so surprising that someone could have swiped it and not drawn attention to themselves. As soon as I noticed it was gone, the staff helped me search for it, including walking out in the alley behind the bar to see if someone dumped it since I don’t keep much of value in my bag.
The content of my bag included: A black plaid scarf, a silver ring, my light-up knit gloves, my fingerless/mitten gloves, a portable phone charger, an umbrella, prescription sunglasses, and a bottle of non-narcotic prescription medication. The most expensive items being my sunglasses and medication. I never keep my wallet, phone, or house keys in my bag and that paid off. I am shocked that this happened, especially at West 5. We are regulars there and we know all of the staff and many of the other regulars. This is the last place I would have expected something like this to happen and it’s an important reminder to never let your guard down and always keep an eye on your stuff. I did file a police report online and I am awaiting a response. The total to replace everything is going to be around $500. If anyone happens to see my messenger bag and other things dumped somewhere, let me know.
And from the online SPD files:
STORE HOLDUP: According to the police-reports map, the 7-11 at 3280 SW Avalon Way was held up just before 3 am today. The report’s narrative details are not available online yet, so that’s all we know.
WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL REMINDER: As previewed here on Saturday, the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council DOES meet tomorrow, and that’s where you can find out more about crime trends, get answers to questions about crime/safety concerns, plus see the guest presentation about “active shooter” situations. 7 pm Tuesday (January 17th), Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – reader reports plus incidents from the SPD files.
CHECK YOUR CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS … if you have used cards at gas stations lately. This is from Kathy:
Got a call from Discover Card yesterday to tell me they had detected fraudulent activity on my card. Turns out that the last place I used the card was on Thursday at the Safeway Gas Station on Admiral Way (first pump on the left.) Looking back at the charges, even though I filled the tank, I was only charged $1 by Safeway! Then, yesterday morning a charge was made to my card for a “donation” to an entity I’ve never heard of. Discover is not charging me anything, and is sending me a new card, but I do want to put out a warning to potential victims. I spoke to Safeway, and they said they’d bring it to the attention of their manager, who won’t be in until Monday!
If you have gotten gas at the Safeway pumps in the last few days, I would suggest checking charges on whatever card you used to make sure you haven’t been ripped off.
It’s a good idea to check your credit and debit card accounts online between statements, as this could happen almost anywhere.
EGG VANDALISM: Bri’Anna e-mailed to report: “Our pickup was egged overnight [Wednesday/Thursday] while parked on the 4100 block of 25th Ave SW. Unfortunately, it froze to the vehicle. SPD did not take a report, but we thought we would give our neighbors a heads up. (Sooo many egg/chicken/fowl puns, and my mind is blank! I’m THAT frustrated with this.)”
From the police-report files, which we check daily to look for the newest reports published with details (narratives), five burglaries/attempted burglaries that were all reported in West Seattle last Monday (January 9th):
8100 BLOCK 9TH SW: A resident was away from home between 1 pm and 2:45 pm and discovered someone had forced open the back door, ransacking several rooms.
8800 BLOCK 9TH SW: In the same time frame, with the same method of entry, on the same street, another burglary happened about half a mile south. The family at this house got notification from its alarm company. The burglar(s) had ransacked rooms and left drawers open; a jewelry box and camcorder were missing.
3900 BLOCK 39TH SW: This also happened Monday afternoon. The resident was looking at a security camera while away from home after getting an alert around 1:20 pm, triggered by a motion center. The resident saw a “black male suspect” in black ski mask, gray sweatshirt, and black pants, walking “under the elevated back porch,” the report says, then looking into a back window before walking away. The resident believed a rear window screen had been removed, but it didn’t appear the residence had been broken into. Around the same time, a nearby resident called police to report two men – one of whom matched the prowler’s description – looking at houses from alleyways near 39th SW and SW Andover.
4900 BLOCK SW DAWSON: Residents told police that sometime between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, someone broke into the house and ransacked two rooms. Jewelry and a laptop were missing. The first hint they had that something was awry was that their dog didn’t greet them upon their return – they found the dog in one of the bedrooms, door closed, and they never put the dog there.
7300 BLOCK 44TH SW: Just before noon, police were called to investigate a construction trailer in this block. They were told that it had been burglarized, with a padlock cut to get in, and six power tools were missing.
It takes a while for report details (beyond location/time) to show up on the SPD website, so reader reports are helpful, so we can help get the word out faster – once you’ve called SPD, if it’s breaking, text/voice 206-293-6302, or e-mail info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Four reader reports to share this afternoon:
STOLEN CAR: Matt‘s brother’s car was stolen today on 34th SW: “It was a green 1996 Honda Accord. Lic # AUK3613. The car is from Victoria B.C. and has a ‘Honda City Victoria’ license plate outline. It also has a ‘Sub Pop’ sticker on left side of the back bumper.” Call 911 if you see it.
STOLEN BICYCLE: From Chris:
My bike was stolen from our secured entry garage in the Alaska Junction (44th, between Alaska and Edmunds). Reported to SPD (2017-13425), and on bikeindex.com. I don’t know when the theft occurred, but I believe it was sometime between (Tuesday) night and (Wednesday) afternoon.
Bike is a 2015 Marin Lombard Elite 52cm (like this, except I had wrapped my handlebars in teal tape).
CAR PROWL FRUSTRATION: From John:
My wife’s car had the side window broken on Monday late afternoon, Lincoln Park South lot.
She’d semi-hidden a small backpack with a laptop, so that’s history. She just walked through that same parking lot this afternoon and noted four more fresh piles of shattered window glass – in addition to hers from Monday.
The SPD officer who took her report was sympathetic but resigned to this never-ending nuisance. I’d like to think that some special enforcement could be done in West Seattle where car prowls are endemic, like Lincoln Park’s middle and south parking lots. I’d think a few arrests here and there could slow the pace of this crime and perhaps even result in the criminals reconsidering their acting with impunity in the usual locations.
It just doesn’t seem like this cool community should have to put up with petty crime running rampant.
There have been arrests – but one challenge police and prosecutors have identified is that car prowling by itself is a misdemeanor and so that doesn’t necessarily keep the suspect behind bars for long unless there are other factors in the case, such as an arrest warrant already out for them.
PACKAGE-THEFT VICTIM’S THANKS: From Nathan:
I just want to say thank you to one of my excellent, anonymous, neighbors. Today I came home from work to find an opened package on my porch. The contents were on top of the package, and a note said it was found nearby, shredded and the contents strewn about. It was signed, “your neighbor on 48th”. This was near Hanford and 47th. Apparently the would-be thief didn’t think the $8 ethernet cable jacks I ordered could be traded for heroin or crack. The nice gesture of my neighbor restored some faith in humanity …
1:23 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing a major Seattle Fire/Police response in the Puget Ridge area – there’s an “assault with weapons” response in the 6500 block of 18th SW. No other details so far.
1:29 PM: Still no information about who was injured and how, but police are looking for one suspect – the partial description on the scanner is white, male, 6 feet tall, thin, no shirt.
1:34 PM: The incident is now described as a stabbing. If you’re hearing a helicopter in the area, it’s TV.
1:54 PM: SFD says the victim is a 34-year-old man taken to the hospital with a stab wound in his thigh.
2:26 PM Police still have 18th SW blocked in the 6500 block.
2:53 PM Update from SFD – victim’s wounds are more serious than first reported – now described as life-threatening.
In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight:
INVESTIGATION AT RITE-AID: After reader questions, we went to the Junction location to look into this police response:
Between talking with police and hearing scanner traffic, here’s what this boiled down to: They had received a report that someone seen in the store resembled a suspect in a robbery at another drugstore in the region. They were questioning someone when we stopped by; we don’t know the resolution, but did want to mention what the response was about. 9:51 PM UPDATE: We talked with precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith at tonight’s Fauntleroy Community Association meeting. He said the person was arrested in connection with three incidents he referred to as “pharmaceutical thefts,” two in West Seattle, one elsewhere.
STOLEN CAR: Sometime between Friday night and Monday noontime, Vi‘s black 4-door Nissan Maxima was stolen from an apartment parking lot behind the Staples store at Westwood Village. License plate BBY1722 in a Car Pros frame:
–It has a broken antenna, with about 8 to 10 inches left of it on back right trunk!
–Left rear red reflector part taillight half broken out.
I had my toddler’s bike in back seat, visible but w/a larg sweatshirt over much of it. Also had a rolled rug there. It’s trunk had Many toys, a CARS pillow, Kylo Ren scooter, helmet, car toddler and booster seat, among several other items. So much lost…
CAR BREAK-INS: From Tiffany: “My husband and son were at basketball practice (last night) at the Fauntleroy Y. When they came out at 6 pm, our car along with 4 other cars had windows smashed. Thieves took my sons back pack and lunch box, go figure. Cops were called, but they said they wouldn’t come and should just file a police report online.”
FOUND ITEMS: A reader “recently found a CD/DVD case FULL of about 200 movie DVD’s on my property. Looks like a potentially abandoned car prowl stash.” Here’s a photo:
They weren’t able to turn it over to police, so they still have it in possession, so: “If the owner can identify one of the first 8 or 16 titles in the case, I’d be satisfied that it’s theirs and return it to them. There is also a page of handwritten sheet music inside the case as well that they can identify to take possession.” If this is yours, contact us and we’ll forward your info.
FROM THE SPD REPORT FILES: A narrative published today has information about a break-in at Marination Ma Kai last Saturday at Seacrest Park. The officer wrote that a proprietor opening the business on Saturday “saw that a bench that sits in front of the business had been moved … the window behind the bench was open and and unknown person had entered the business through the window.” The burglar(s) apparently had gone through the area around the cash register, but nothing was in it but some “loose coins,” and those weren’t even taken.
4:14 PM MONDAY: Just found this while going through police reports looking for the newest ones published with narratives:
A 17-year-old girl showed up in a hospital emergency room on Saturday afternoon with a gunshot wound. East Precinct police were dispatched. They talked to the victim’s boyfriend, who they found “pacing outside the emergency room.” The report says he told them it happened in his car at 27th SW and SW Cambridge [map]. He and his girlfriend were in the car with friends of his; one friend, he said, had a gun and while saying “something similar to ‘we’re going to be brothers for life’,” racked the slide on his pistol, and it fired, going through the front passenger seat and through the girl’s chest. They drove to the hospital. Police talked to the girl just before she was taken into surgery and reported that “she made statements consistent with the gunshot being accidental.” They found a bullet hole, bullet, and blood in the car, which was impounded. Police later met with the man whose gun fired; he was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for investigation of assault.
ADDED 9:54 AM TUESDAY: We now have the probable-cause document from the 18-year-old suspect’s bail hearing Monday afternoon. He is a Rainier Valley resident and was released on personal recognizance. The document says that he told police a different story about the gunshot – that he got into the car, noticed a gun on the floor, picked it up with the intent of throwing it out the window, and that, he said, was when it went off. He said he then gave it to his brother, who also was in the car, and told him to get rid of it, adding that he doesn’t know what happened to the gun. He has no criminal record in online statewide files.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes this afternoon, both from local parks:
RECOGNIZE THAT BICYCLE? James Lohman from Seattle Parks sent the photo, saying the bicycle was found while Parks was cleaning up an abandoned camp “on the back side of Camp Long right off Brandon Street.” Now they’re looking for the owner. If it’s yours, or if you have a lead on whose it might be, you can e-mail James at email@example.com.
WESTCREST WINDOW-SMASHING: This report is via e-mail from Amy:
Yesterday, 1/9, after exploring Westcrest Park to earn their “local explorer badge” for Cub Scouts, my husband, 6 year old son and four other families came back to find all of their cars with smashed windows! This happened around 2:00 at Westcrest Park in the upper parking lot. All cars were rummaged through, but no personal belongings were taken. The police were called, but at this time there are no leads. There are no security cameras at the park even after all the improvements the city has put into Westcrest recently. It’s sad that now 5 families have to repair the damage at our own expense…just imagine all the good things the Scouts could have done with this amount of money! What started out as a fun nature lesson for the kids turned into a frustrating and frightening experience.
In West Seattle Crime Watch – two reader reports, followed by five summaries from police reports:
FOUND BICYCLE: The latest “likely dumped” bicycle to turn up is in Gatewood. From Tracey:
Just wanted to alert the blog readers that a (likely stolen) bike was left in the alley between 38th and 39th just south of Warsaw yesterday [map]. It’s a smaller Schwinn Ranger, purple with turquoise accents. The seat is missing so for now we’ve just left it there. Hoping an owner might want it back.
FOUND ITEMS: Via e-mail today, from a reader wondering if it’s crime evidence:
Purse, clothing, fetish accessories, and used syringe found on pedestrian stairway leading from SW admiral to SW Spokane St. At 12:25pm on Sunday, Jan. 8th. Police notified.
The next five items are from the police-report files – the most recent Southwest Precinct report narratives made public online. They are from incidents December 31st and January 3rd. Our summaries are written from those five narratives:
CAR-PROWL ARREST: Around 8:45 pm on January 1st, police got a call about a theft and fight involving three people at 15th SW and SW Barton, with someone suspected to be armed with a knife. When police arrived, they were told it all started with a car prowler spotted inside a vehicle parked in the 9200 block of 14th SW. When asked what he was doing in the car, the person allegedly pulled a small knife out of his pocket, and then ran away. Another person came out and said she had taken photos of the suspect. A K-9 search followed and a suspect who matched the photos was found in the 9000 block of 15th SW. The report says that he was wearing a small backpack in which “officers located two multi-tools with knife blades, along with bolt cutters, multi-tools and a headlamp. All these possible car prowl tools were later placed into evidence at the SW Precinct. Also in the backpack officers located a keychain with two Subaru keys on it.” He turned out to have an arrest warrant out for another prowling case and was eventually booked into jail.
SHOT FIRED INTO STORE: A nighttime clerk was cleaning up just after 2 am on December 31st in the 9200 block of 35th SW (the business’s name and exact address are redacted on the report). The front door was locked. The clerk looked up and saw a “male,” his face covered, standing in front of the door, pointing a gun at the clerk, demanding that the door be opened. The clerk ran to another room and called police; just as they arrived in the area, the man fired a shot through the glass door and ran away. The first officer arriving heard the shot and recovered a casing. The clerk could only describe the gunman as “a possible black male, about 5’6″ and very thin,” no clothing description. Police brought in a K-9 team to search but didn’t find who they were looking for.
GROCERY STORE EMPLOYEE INJURED: Around 11:30 am on December 31st, police were called to the Junction QFC, where employees were reported to be holding a man down on the ground outside. They were told that the man had been “verbally harassing random customers,” as described in the report, and was asked to leave the store. He then hit a store employee with a full can of what the report identifies as “Steel Reserve, an alcoholic beverage.” The employee had “swelling and redness around his left temple … (but) declined medical attention.” The suspect, who was arrested, claimed he was assaulted by the store employee while trying to buy the beer.
BURGLARY #1: Last Tuesday evening (January 3rd) in the 7700 block of 30th SW, a woman called police to say that she had gone to check on the home of her deceased father and found a security alarm going off, then discovered the back door had been forced open, with pieces of its damaged frame on the floor. She thought some items had been stolen, though another family member said that couldn’t be confirmed.
BURGLARY #2: Also last Tuesday, a woman living in an apartment in the 200 block of SW Roxbury woke up that morning and, she told police, realized someone had removed items from her wallet. The report says her driver’s license, food-stamp card, money, and “a memento card” were missing. The wallet was under her pillow when she went to sleep but she didn’t notice or hear anything – nor was anything else disturbed. Police found no sign of forced entry.