3:25 PM: Just tweeted by Seattle Police: “Officers searching for black SUV near 16SW/SW Holden after suspect steals car w/ 10-month-old child inside.” Suspect/vehicle description from SPD: “Hispanic male, 20s, 5’7, very short hair driving black Ford Edge w/ 22″ rims.” Please call 911 if you think you’ve seen it or know anything about it.
3:34 PM UPDATE: Baby and vehicle have been found in White Center. Police are now trying to find the thief.
3:42 PM UPDATE: If you are in south West Seattle or White Center, you’re probably noticing at least one helicopter – this is what it’s related to – TV chopper for now, law-enforcement chopper Guardian One expected too. One of the choppers belongs to Channel 7, which tweeted an aerial view of the recovered SUV:
— KIRO 7 (@KIRO7Seattle) August 27, 2014
4:03 PM: According to radio discussion, police do know who they are looking for. Meantime, commenter Rachel reports what happened when the SUV turned up in White Center’s Greenbridge neighborhood:
I was in Dubsea Coffee when this was occurring. I noticed the black Edge parked in the middle of the road. People were honking at it as they tried to drive down the road. I thought it was bizarre that someone would park right in the middle of the street, but went back to working. About 10 minutes later, I decided to leave Dubsea and that’s when I saw a few people trying to look into the car. Someone realized that there was a baby in the car and opened the front door. That’s when the car started rolling backwards and everyone was scrambling to get out of the way. Finally, a woman jumped in and put the emergency brake on. A few seconds later, the police showed up and got a description of the perpetrator. A few minutes after that, another patrol car showed up with the father of the baby. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him grab his baby out of the car. I am so very glad that there were people around who noticed the baby on this hot day. The people who called 911 and acted quickly to report this should absolutely be commended.
4:19 PM UPDATE: SPD reports a suspect is in custody.
9:31 PM UPDATE: As noted in comments, TV reports included surveillance video of the theft – here’s one version of the clip. The man who was arrested was booked into King County Jail just after 7 pm and is being held for investigation of kidnapping and vehicle theft; three domestic-violence cases are listed in his entry on the jail register – one listed as violation of a no-contact order. and the other two as fourth-degree assault. We’re checking if he has a record beyond that.
9:54 PM UPDATE: The suspect, who turns 25 years old tomorrow, has a home less than a block away from today’s incident, according to court documents from the June case involving the no-contact-order violation. The case involved an incident in June at the home of the suspect’s girlfriend, in the Puget Ridge area – he allegedly took her car without permission, and, according to the documents, almost left with the girlfriend’s 7-year-old daughter in the car. The girlfriend tried to stop him from driving it away; the court documents say, he used a Taser-type device to hurt her. Her daughter got out of the car before he left with it; he later abandoned it, the court papers say, after crashing it into a utility pole.
West Seattle Crime Watch reports have included more than a few smartphone thefts, but never one quite like this. It’s believed someone threw a rock through a window in order to steal an iPhone – whose owner was asleep right next to it. According to the Seattle Police report summary, this happened early Sunday morning on 28th SW in Sunrise Heights. The victim said she had been sleeping on a couch when a football-size rock smashed through the window directly above her. She ran to check on the three young children who also were home; they were OK, so she went to get her phone to make a call – and couldn’t find it. She told police it had been plugged in to charge, on the edge of the couch, under the window. Glass from the broken window cut her hands and legs, so Seattle Fire responded for medical aid. Police had already been called by a neighbor who heard the breaking glass followed by the victim’s scream. Turns out the rock had been picked up from right outside the house, where it was used as a doorstop. The victim and police deduced the phone had been stolen once they tried to call it and found it was going immediately to voicemail; its owner said that’s not the way it was set when she had plugged it in. Police did not find the rock-throwing thief/thieves.
A purse-snatching victim got her purse back after chasing the man who tried to steal it at the bus stop by Roxhill Park. According to the Seattle Police report about the incident, categorized as a “strong-arm robbery,” it happened early Sunday morning, around 12:30 am. A Metro Route 21 bus driver saw it happen and called police on behalf of the victim, who said the would-be robber came up behind her as she was boarding the bus. He pulled her purse off her shoulder; she ran after him as he fled onto a trail into the park. According to the report, “the man didn’t run far before he threw the purse onto the ground and kept running southbound.” The victim got everything back, though her purse was ripped in the process, and her arm was scratched when the robber pulled it off her shoulder. Officers couldn’t find the robber, described by the victim as 18 or 19 years old, Filipino, “long black hair in the back,” 5-8, thin build, wearing a black vest, white T-shirt, and khaki pants.
Our latest West Seattle Crime Watch reader report is a case of auto theft, reported by a resident whose visiting relative was the victim:
My aunt’s car was stolen from the PCC parking lot on California Ave. this past Sunday (8.17) around 5 pm (she was in the store for only 20 minutes). A police report was filed right away.
* 1998 Toyota Camry
* Green – not the forest green, but a more bluish green
* WA License # – AJU 4715
* Scuffed left front fender from scraping white posts – large enough to be noticeable
* NPR sticker in rear window – right side
Please call 911 if you see it.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:04 AM: Thanks to the tipsters who reported a hit-and-run crash early this morning on 44th between Andover and Charlestown. Both reports came in via text, and one included these photos with the explanation, “Stolen car hit a parked car.” The reportedly stolen car is actually the pickup truck in the photo above, and the car it hit was a small SUV.
No injuries reported. We’ll check later this morning to see if anyone was caught.
ADDED 5:53 PM: There are at least two reports related to this incident, and while Seattle Police Media Relations was unable to access, yet, the one with details about the crash itself, they were able to provide the one that dealt with alleged liquor violations by two teenagers believed to have walked away. Ahead, info from that report:
8:34 PM: For the second night in a row, police are investigating reported gunfire in North Delridge. This time, according to an SPD tweet a few minutes ago, it’s reported near 23rd and Juneau (map), which would be near the north side of the Boren campus, which will be housing two schools, K-5 STEM and Arbor Heights Elementary, as of next month. As in last night’s case – around the same time of night, near Delridge/Brandon – so far, no injuries reported.
8:53 PM UPDATE: A woman who says she saw it happen told our crew the shots were fired from a red car heading north on 23rd just north of Juneau, and were aimed at four young men walking on the street. Again, no injuries reported.
They’re looking at bullet holes in at least two parked cars, one of which has a flat tire (photo above); police won’t say how many shots they think were fired, but the witness thinks it was at least 10.
Just in via SPD Blotter:
A coffee-shop employee was beat up and robbed in the North Admiral neighborhood Monday morning while he waited for the store to open. The victim got to work, near 41st Avenue Southwest and Southwest Admiral Way, about 4 am, before the manager arrived. After he sat on the steps to read a tablet computer, three men approached and asked for money. The victim said he didn’t have any and the men began hitting him in the face and head. The robbers took the victim’s tablet, cell phone and bag, then fled. Officers arrived quickly and surrounded the area but did not find the (robbers). Medics treated the victim at the scene and gave him a ride home.
Though the item doesn’t identify the coffee shop, the only one at that corner is the Admiral Starbucks.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:19 PM: If you’re noticing the police response in the Delridge/Cambridge area, police are searching for at least one suspect in an armed robbery. The Guardian One helicopter is expected in the area shortly helping with the search.
ADDED 12:26 PM: Just talked to SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler. The Tienda Super store in the 9400 block of Delridge was held up by two men who came in through its back door and stole cash at gunpoint. No one was hurt. Police are still searching for the robbers, both described as black men in their 20s, one 6’2″ with “facial scruff,” balding, gray hoodie, black pants, the other 5-6, thin, wearing a blue “do-rag,” white T-shirt, blue jeans. One robber was carrying a black backpack. If you have any information, call 911.
4:27 PM: Just checked again with SPD. Nobody in custody so far.
Erin‘s home near Camp Long was burglarized, and she’s hoping you will watch for particular items in case they turn up somewhere:
I just wanted to let the community know that our house was (burglarized Wednesday) sometime between 9 am and 1:30 pm. We are on the 5200 block of 35th Ave SW. [map] They entered by kicking in the back door — pretty brazen for having the neighbors so close. Nothing enormously valuable was taken; they only took passports and birth certificates and some really cheap jewelry, which unfortunately happened to be in some precious-only-to-me jewelry boxes. They also took my late grandmother’s wedding ring.
I don’t have any hope of finding the passports or ring, but if people see the jewelry boxes, I would be really grateful to get them back. One is wooden with an inlaid violin on the lid and a key to lock it. The other is purple wood with an inlaid flower on the lid. Both are music boxes. Thank you for being such a supportive community!
The convicted sex offender charged in a recent West Seattle “flasher” incident and under investigation in at least two others was back in court today. 37-year-old Duane Atwood pleaded not guilty to the charges of felony indecent exposure and failing to register as a sex offender. His lawyer’s request to restrict the news media from photographing Atwood’s face was granted. His next court appearance is set for September 16th; Atwood remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail, and while his lawyer did not ask the judge to reduce it, they reserved the right to make that request in the future.
We first reported Atwood’s arrest almost three weeks ago; police tracked him through license-plate information given by a woman who reported that she was called over to an SUV parked near Cormorant Cove Park on Beach Drive, and saw a man inside it, exposing and holding his privates. We originally learned of her case via her comment on one of our reports about two similar incidents days earlier. While he posted bond and got out of jail the day he was arrested, his bail was raised and he was re-arrested the day charges were filed, and has been behind bars ever since.
Atwood is a Level 2 Sex Offender because of a 2001 conviction for a burglary/arson with sexual motivation. At the time of our first reports on this case, we didn’t have much information on that case, because King County’s online court records don’t go back that far. The case was very briefly summarized in the charges filed against him last month, but that still left many questions unanswered. We have since obtained dozens of pages of court documents related to the case, from the original charges to the plea bargain to the sentence.
In the middle of the overnight downpour, we heard a bit of scanner traffic about car pieces in the street near 59th/Admiral. This morning, the inbox brought the rest of the story – Chris sent that photo and word that someone hit his car and his neighbors’ car in the 5700 block of Admiral (map) around 12:30 am: “Lots of damage. My car likely totaled. Cars were parked and no injuries though would not be surprised if driver injured. Looking for any witnesses.” If you have any information, contact police and refer to incident #14-267781.
Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch today. First, a stolen car to watch for, taken from 18th SW in the Highland Park area:
We’d be grateful for any help the community may provide in locating the vehicle. It’s a black 2008 Mazda 3 4-door, license plate 863DWG (Oregon). There are some identifying stickers on the vehicle as well: a “Seattle U Law” sticker, and a “Boise State” sticker. It was stolen between the evening of Thursday 8/7 and the morning of 8/10, when we went out to look for it.
As noted in the SPD @getyourcarback tweet about it, call 911 if you see it.
Also keep watch for two bicycles stolen from Alki. From Ara:
Two bikes were locked to a bike rack at the east end of Alki on Saturday at about 5:15 PM. Bike racks on the water side of Alki Ave SW at 55th Ave SW. The lock was cut and the bikes were taken in broad daylight.
2010 Cannondale Synapse Road Bike – Blue Frame, Size 58:
2013 Cannondale Althea Hybrid Bike – Black Frame, Women’s size Tall:
The bikes have traveled with us from coast to coast. They are very loved and important to us. We would love to have them back. Reward and good karma available. Please contact email@example.com with any information. Thank you.
Last but not least, a hit-run driver wound up in a yard in the 6300 block of 23rd SW early Sunday and damaged a “stock tank” planter that was growing lettuce and kale.
The planter’s owner says the car’s fender was left behind, “complete with blue-green paint.” It’s now with SPD as evidence, but if you know someone with a car or small SUV that suddenly showed up with a missing fender sometime Sunday (or later) … a police report has been filed.
Thanks to the tipsters who texted/e-mailed about police activity on Beach Drive this past hour. We checked with Seattle Police’s Det. Drew Fowler, who tells us that one “juvenile” suspect is in custody after a purse-snatching incident. Information is still preliminary, but the police log shows that a woman reported someone had stolen her purse and phone around Weather Watch Park (Beach Drive/Carroll; map), and she or someone else was in pursuit. One person was taken into custody.
Those icons represent auto thefts in West Seattle in the past week – it’s our screengrab from a custom view of the SPD Police Reports map (you can follow that link and click individual icons on the “live” map there if you want specific locations/times). In addition to the 14 thefts on the map, we know of at least one more just today, because of this note from James:
My brother in law had his black 1999 Honda Civic, plate AND3427, stolen from the 9000 block of 34th Ave. If anyone sees it or reports an abandoned vehicle we would greatly appreciate if you would let us know.
Though the theft’s not on the map yet, it IS on the SPD @GetYourCarBack Twitter feed, which advises calling 911 if you spot a known stolen car. This area tends to average one a day, so this past week’s thefts are about twice the usual rate.
One more reader report today, from Shannon:
Just wanted to inform our neighbors that my car has been ransacked 3 times in the last month..I do leave my doors unlocked and nothing inside as we have had windows broken before. Everything was gone thru but nothing taken each time. CD’s, Stereo, change all left each time … 8100 block of 15th and Elmgrove.
Maybe you saw it on the SPD Blotter – a bizarre rampage of sorts on Wednesday that started in West Seattle and moved into other parts of the city before the suspect was arrested. We followed up today in search of specifics which were missing in that overall summary but were contained in the partial report we obtained. The 37-year-old suspect, shown in public databases with a West Seattle address, was reported to have started by showing up outside Providence Mount St. Vincent, ranting and yelling first about the facility and then, “about North Korea,” in a manner described by one witness as “almost mad or crazy.”
A hit-and-run driver damaged two vehicles belonging to one Seaview household between 1 am and 5 am this morning – and the victims have collected enough debris to “get a part/model number,” traced to an early 2000s black Toyota 4-Runner, so they’re hoping you can help find the vehicle. The debris left behind included a “newer Toyota center hubcap/cover with logo on it”; it likely would have “emerged southbound out of the alley between 50th and 51st onto Hudson, heading west.” See anything in that area? Know of a vehicle matching the description that suddenly has damage it didn’t have last time you saw it? Contact SPD; the victims have filed a report (and have given police the information about the debris, too).
Several people have texted about a large police response in the Admiral area, in the 4300 block of SW College. Here’s what we know: It’s being investigated as some kind of an assault. The victim is being treated; a suspect was being sought; it was initially described as a case of domestic violence. That’s all we know, pending a call back from police.
ADDED: We finally heard back from police late in the day – a voice-mail message, while we were covering a hearing, so no chance for followup questions, and we don’t know the victim’s condition but one thing to add: The response was so big at least in part because there was a report the suspect was armed with a knife.
Just out of the WSB inbox, from Cathy:
My 1999 blue, 4-door Honda CR-V was stolen last night from 44th Ave. near Findlay. It has a bike rack on the back attached to the spare tire. License plate 230UZC. Please help – I love this car and besides that, can’t get to work.
If you think you’ve seen it, call 911.
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon – first, from Kristy:
Saturday night (8/2) around 10:15 pm I was driving north bound on 35th Ave SW when, at the Roxbury intersection, a brown two-door older car blew through his red light heading west and t-boned my black toyota prius. If anyone has information, please contact police (incident #14-254719). He backed east on Roxbury after it happened and then took off. His car sustained front end damage and we did get a partial license plate thanks to a helpful witness (who thoughtfully stayed with me until police arrived).
Thanks so much, West Seattle!
Not far south, Fumiko in Arbor Heights says package thieves have hit:
My friend suggested that I contact the blog and let you know that I had one package stolen from my front door step on July 23rd (USPS confirmed delivery on that day) and also about 6 months ago I had another package stolen from the same location. I live on 35th near 100th.
We’ve had several reports of what sounded like rapid gunfire in the past half-hour somewhere near High Point/Sunrise Heights/Gatewood. Police had been investigating for a while before one officer finally reported (as monitored via scanner) finding a shell casing. This was after a dispatch to go check out an alley off the 7300 block of 35th SW, but we don’t know for sure if that’s where it turned up. No reports of anyone having been hit/hurt, so far.
(UPDATED mid-evening with video of SFD briefing, aftermath photo, SPD infolink)
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
4:01 PM: Firefighters are just arriving at a home in the 7300 block of 16th SW (map), and say they are seeing flames. They’re blocking 16th at the fire scene. More to come.
4:09 PM: Though it’s not confirmed arson, witnesses are reported to have told police/firefighters they saw fireworks thrown toward the house before the fire – the initial description was broadcast as three “Hispanic-looking” teens/young adults, all dressed in different colors of gray, with backpacks. We’ll be asking authorities at the scene about that. Meantime, firefighters continue arriving.
4:18 PM: Added the first photo from our crew at the scene. No flames visible now but lots of smoke. (Added:) Police tape is now up:
4:31 PM: A neighbor tells WSB they heard a loud “bang”-type noise and were calling 911 when they saw the smoke. Meantime, police and firefighters have moved us further back from the scene than usual – not because of the fire, which seems to be mostly out, but because of the investigation. So far, no word of injuries – or arrests. Meantime, per scanner, the descriptions have changed/evolved – so what was mentioned earlier may no longer be accurate; they’re continuing to search (if you see anyone/anything suspicious, please call 911).
4:50 PM: Though the firefighting is wrapping up, 16th SW is still closed in the Webster-Othello vicinity. The incident commander confirms no one was hurt, but damage is extensive; the official investigation into its cause continues. Also note, Route 128 is rerouting as a result of the closure. (Added: Also Route 125.)
6:18 PM: This is now confirmed as an arson investigation, and we’re now told 1 person suffered a burn injury. (Added: Our video of SFD spokesperson Kyle Moore‘s early-evening briefing at the scene:)
6:56 PM: Here’s what SPD Blotter has to say about the investigation.
Also – 16th SW has just reopened, which means bus routes are back to normal.
Please be on the lookout for these two stolen vehicles reported by WSB readers, and call 911 if you see either:
STOLEN CAR: From Thad, “… my 91 Blue Honda Civic 4-Door was stolen last night between 10 pm and 5 am from around 34th and Trenton st. It has been reported to SPD.”
STOLEN MOTORCYCLE: Justin just let us know about a motorcycle stolen from the Link Apartments garage (38th/Alaska) in The Triangle two weeks ago, “silver 2003 Harley Davidson V-Rod motorcycle, MN plate, license #88-686MD,” July 14 or 15th, when, he says, the garage door at the building was broken and stuck open overnight. Police have a report on this too.
West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘Flasher’ suspect Duane Atwood charged, re-jailed, under investigation in other casesJuly 30, 2014 at 4:46 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 79 Comments
(ADDED THURSDAY MORNING: 2002 mug shot from state Department of Corrections, at right) 37-year-old Duane Atwood, arrested in connection with a “flasher” incident on Beach Drive last week, is back in jail, charged with two felonies – indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender – and court papers say he is expected to be charged in another case soon. We first reported on his arrest last Saturday; his bail was set at $100,000 and, after posting bond, he was released that night, with a court date set for this afternoon. At today’s appearance, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office tells us, Atwood’s bail was increased to $250,000 and he was re-arrested. Court documents include more information on this case and on the conviction that led to his status as a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender, and they say he is under investigation for the two recent, similar incidents – both also reported here (July 15th report here, July 18th report here) – as well as an unrelated crime last year.
One more nudge: One week from tonight, thousands of people all around the city will be out having block parties, as part of Night Out 2014 – the official time slot is 6-9 pm Tuesday, August 5th. Provided you’re not on a major arterial, if you’d like to close your street for the occasion, you need to sign up – here’s the place to start. As we do every year, we’ll be out covering West Seattle’s Night Out, and we’re always happy to hear where you’re having your party, so we can stop by for a photo and add your neighborhood to our coverage – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday I found that my car was stolen from the front of my house on the 5000 block of Beach Drive SW [map] between 11:30 am-8 pm. A report has been filed already. The car was a white 1998 Acura CL 3.0, license 609-MMM. If anyone notices anything, could they please contact me at email@example.com, or police.
A hearing is set Wednesday for the man arrested Friday night in connection with one of the recent “flasher” incidents. As reported here on Saturday, the 37-year-old man was jailed for investigation of indecent exposure and failure to register as a sex offender. We’ve learned a bit more about the case today, now that we’ve been able to check with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
This incident happened last Tuesday evening near Beach Drive and Orleans (map). The victim (whose comment here is the only reason we knew about the case) is quoted as telling police that she was walking north on Beach Drive when she saw a Nissan Pathfinder parked northeast of the intersection. A man inside yelled over to ask her if she knew where Hanford Street is; she walked closer and saw through its front windshield that he was exposing, and holding, himself. She walked away, making note of the license plate and other descriptive factors. Police responded and went to the Admiral-area home of the car’s owner, who told them his son had been driving the vehicle, a 1998 silver Pathfinder, parked there and still warm (though the suspect was not found). After further investigation, the suspect was arrested on Friday. The probable-cause document makes note of the two similar incidents in West Seattle over the past two weeks – one in Admiral on July 15th, in Gatewood on July 17th – but does not say if he is officially suspected; we’ll see what happens if and when charges were filed.
His status as a Level 2 sex offender is related to what’s described as convictions for arson and burglary with a sexual motivation in 2000; the court documents are not available online so we don’t have details of the case. He was reported to have moved out of state in 2007, apparently to Idaho, where he was found guilty of failure to register in 2008, and should have registered within three days of returning to this state, which might have been as long as two years ago. Since he was arrested Friday, a bail hearing was held Saturday, and bail was set at a total of $100,000; the suspect posted bond and was released from jail afterward, and is due back in court Wednesday afternoon, by which time we might know about charges in the case.
TUESDAY EVENING UPDATE: The suspect, Duane Atwood, is now on the sex-offender registry, so we are identifying him with this public information now published on the county website. No photo with the listing, though.
Two more quick West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight – From LS:
I just discovered my car was stolen from my driveway in Highland Park (police report was just completed) either last night or this AM. It’s a teal 1993 Honda Civic EX coupe. Please post to the WSB so that if someone sees it they can contact the police.
And from Gretchen:
I found the face of a Mercedes radio/navigation system on the corner of 18th and Thistle. I contacted police and they came to pick it up. Incident number 14-244731.
P.S. Is your block signed up for a street-closing Night Out party? If not, go here. The big night – Tuesday, August 5th – is only a week and a half away.
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