Update: Police search in 35th/Myrtle area

August 31, 2014 at 8:39 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

8:39 PM: Just in case you’ve seen the police search near Myrtle Reservoir Park – police tell us they are looking for someone they had pulled over who turned out to have a warrant out for his arrest, and took off running.

9:04 PM: No arrest yet, but we’re continuing to monitor.

MONDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s an update.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglary suspect in custody

August 29, 2014 at 7:07 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

If you heard/saw the big police response in southeast West Seattle, it was for a report of someone breaking into an occupied home (added: near 21st/Barton) … and police are reported to have a suspect in custody. More when we get it.

The WSBeat: Four police-report summaries, starting with fruit theft

August 28, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 27 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*A Fauntleroy resident went out to his planting strip to harvest his organic pear crop and was dismayed to discover that all of the ripe fruit had been taken. He estimates that at least 50 pounds of fruit — worth $200 — was missing. A nearby citizen said she saw a man and woman in a white van picking the fruit. The van is registered to a Georgetown address.

Three more summaries ahead, including the case that began with a naked man and a tree:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Four police-report summaries, starting with fruit theft…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police investigating gunfire

August 17, 2014 at 8:43 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

No word of any injuries, but it appears that police have confirmed that was gunfire heard by many near the Delridge Library (5400 block of Delridge) a little while ago. Officers are still in the area investigating and one reported (via radio) finding shell casings. One nearby resident who called 911 tells WSB that dispatchers told her others had called too.

Election 2014: Despite (or because of?) park proliferation, Seattle Proposition 1 on losing side here

August 11, 2014 at 2:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle police | 35 Comments

checkbox.jpgAt week’s end, King County Elections published the legislative-district-by-legislative-district breakdown of the first night’s results in the August 5th election. Though the citywide total has been in favor of Seattle Proposition 1 – creating a Park District with taxing authority for extra parks funding that has previously come via levy – parkland-rich West Seattle is in the “no” column. West Seattle has the bulk of in-city voters in the 34th Legislative District (map), and the district’s opening-night vote was 42 percent “approve,” 58 percent “reject.” That was the lowest “approve” percentage of any legislative district with some Seattle voters; next lowest was the 32nd District (map) in northwesternmost Seattle, at 43 percent “approve.” The strongest support, meantime, was 63 percent “approve” in the 43rd District (map), which includes downtown, Capitol Hill, and Green Lake.

If you’re interested in other King County races’ election-night district-by-district breakout, it’s all in this PDF. No precinct-by-precinct breakout yet; the final vote won’t be certified until next week. (And again, what’s reported above is from a breakdown of the first count, made public election night, and does not include ballots counted and reported since then. The “approve/reject” gap has widened a little citywide since that first round; as of Friday afternoon, “approve” was ahead with 53.2 percent, while on Election Night, it was at 52.4 percent.

The WSBeat: ‘Hang up and drive,’ especially if you’re wanted …

August 4, 2014 at 2:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 45 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*In the 1500 block of SW Cambridge, a driver pulled over for talking on her cell phone was unable to provide the officer with her license or proof of insurance. What she *did* have were five felony warrants (totaling $65,000): Three for DUI and two for driving with a suspended license. She was booked into King County Jail.

*On Monday the 28th, the manager of an Alki coffee shop called 911 after checking the welfare of a patron who had been in the bathroom a long time. She opened the door, saw him with a belt around his arm and suspected he was injecting drugs. Officers arrived and questioned the man who, the previous day, had fallen asleep in the same bathroom. At the request of the manager, he was trespassed from the business. When a records check showed that he was wanted on a felony warrant by the King County Sheriff’s Office for residential burglary and trafficking stolen property ($50,075), he was booked into the King County Jail.

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: ‘Hang up and drive,’ especially if you’re wanted ……

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire investigation

August 3, 2014 at 4:40 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 32 Comments

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.

Update: Police investigating South Delridge shooting; 2 people hurt in car, bullet hits parked van

July 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 34 Comments

(Photo added – SPD still investigating as of just before 5 pm)
2:36 PM: Police are investigating a report of shots fired in the 9400 block of 15th SW (map). No reports of anyone being hit/injured; radio communication monitored via scanner says it’s believed to have involved some kind of argument between people in a car and people on foot – we haven’t heard whether the shots came from the former or latter.

3:23 PM: Police reported finding at least one shell casing.

4:13 PM: Now there’s word someone WAS hit and wound up at Valley Medical Centerjust tweeted by SPD, which says the victim has non-life-threatening injuries.

4:56 PM: Just talked to police at the scene. The man previously reported as hit was in the car involved in the incident, which took him directly to a hospital, and that’s why there was no medic callout. Separately, a stray bullet hit a parked van behind a local business (The Live Butcher – photo added below).

No one was in the van and no one was hurt by that bullet, nor was the business itself affected. And as we write this update, an SPD Blotter post has just been published, saying a woman in the car was “grazed” by a bullet in addition to the man who was shot in the leg. Police are still on the scene looking for witnesses.

West Seattle 4th of July 2014: Night notes, including fireworks, stabbing, crash

July 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm | In Holidays, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 109 Comments

8:37 PM: As night falls, we’re starting a sort of live chronicle/open thread going here – anything of note that we hear about via scanner, text (206-293-6302), e-mail, etc. We start with another reminder that if you lose or find a pet tonight, once you’ve checked around the neighborhood, please send a note – pic if you have one, but not mandatory – to editor@westseattleblog.com, and we’ll put a listing on the WSB Lost/Found Pets page, which is already busier than other days of the year. Hoping for a safe night for all.

9:04 PM: Police are checking out a reported strong-arm robbery at the bus stop on Barton by Roxhill Park, per the scanner. The victim is reported to have said a group of 8 or so robbers “stole his fireworks” and then got on a RapidRide bus. By the way, police *are* being dispatched to some fireworks calls. We’ve heard addresses from Westwood to Alki.

9:27 PM: A dispatch to the 2700 block of Alki right now, with a report of someone putting fireworks in front of cars and on fences. Meantime, LS in Highland Park just sent this report about something earlier tonight:

Around 8 pm, I saw someone driving away very fast in a very loud white pickup, and looking back toward my mailbox seconds before it exploded. Police arrived about half an hour after I reported it, and are submitting it to the bomb squad. It was a sizeable bomb. Apparently the same person (same pickup) was seen after exploding something else in W Seattle (according to the officers). Hopefully someone will see the license plate and report this jerk.

9:54 PM: The fireworks dispatches/callouts on the scanner continue – addresses all over West Seattle. Also a few minutes ago, four people reported to be brawling near 61st/Stevens in Alki. Meantime, the fireworks on Lake Union are now less than half an hour away.

10:26 PM: “Chinese lanterns, falling into people’s yards” in the 2400 block of Alki. (Likely the popular “sky lanterns.) And now another strong-arm-robbery report, not far from the first one – someone saying they were knocked down by QFC at Westwood Village, and had their wallet stolen. Police got there quickly and now report “one in custody.” (Again, this is all preliminary information – we won’t be able to see the final reports before Monday.) Over on Lake Union, the big Seafair-produced fireworks show has begun. (**a few minutes later**) Brush-fire call at the former Genesee Hill Elementary.

10:45 PM: Fireworks on Lake Union are over. East Alki will be emptying out. But the unofficial shows continue. Someone just texted about “huge” fireworks visible somewhere near California/College in Admiral.

11 PM: Police are going to start “sweeping the beach” to tell people Alki Beach Park is closed (as of 11) and that it’s time to clear out.

12:52 AM: Much quieter out there; so far, no major incidents in West Seattle, though police and fire have been plenty busy.

2:08 AM: Missed the initial dispatch for the “assault with weapons” call at 64th/Admiral. A private ambulance was called, suggesting non-life-threatening injuries, and the call closed after about half an hour, so, pending further info, it seems to have not been major; will update when we find out more.

2:47 AM: We’ve received a phone call from someone who says he was a witness. He says a stranger barged into a neighborhood party and stabbed one of the guests, then ran out. The caller alleges police were slow to show, and that the suspect – who he described as white, mid-30s, bearded, blondish-brownish hair, wearing a white shirt – was long gone. He didn’t have an update on the victim’s condition but did affirm the injury didn’t seem to be life-threatening. (added) Southwest Precinct Lt. Paul Leung did respond to our original inquiry and also said it was a private party, at which, he says, an “unknown person showed up and somehow got into an altercation with one of the guests. The guest was cut in the hand with a knife and the suspect left in an unknown direction. The injuries were minor. Everyone was intoxicated.”

4:06 AM: Reader report from Kristen:

Just want to report that there was a car crash here on Marine View and about a block south of 106th at about 2:44 AM – one that sent a Jeep off the road into a downhill bank. My household and I heard the screeching of tires and then a loud crash. We found a Jeep off the main road crashed in-between trees… but no one there. Apparently the driver and anyone else in the car split… we called the police and two officers arrived immediately. They’re towing the car and I suspect the driver will be notified accordingly (which makes it all the more silly that they would think running would be smart)…

Tonight is an especially perilous night because of the holiday, but people almost always come around the curve on MVD too fast, going north and south. This is not the first time we’ve known someone to take it too fast and go careening off the main road (we live on the part of MVD that dips below the main road), sober or drunk. I wish that drivers would be more cautious on the main road. Tonight was certainly a scary reminder that people need to be more aware that there is potential to careen off the road if they’re going too fast!

We’ll be checking with police to see if the car by any chance was stolen – which is sometimes the case when a crashed car is abandoned.

Here’s how Seattle Police are handling Alki Beach this week

July 1, 2014 at 10:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 23 Comments

(Photo by Don Brubeck)
What’s the police plan for Alki this 4th of July? We’ve been talking to Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who says that for starters, they’ve had additional patrols daily this week to “set the tone” for the 4th and also to guard against anything stemming from last Wednesday’s fight/stabbing. The precinct commander added that there are regular-duty officers specifically assigned to the beach, especially on third watch (evening and early am), and SPD continues “to use officers to close the beach at (11 pm), as well as requesting the assistance of the traffic unit and the parking enforcement unit when they are available to deal with some of the traffic congestion issues.” On the 4th of July itself, he says, “We will have a significant presence of both bike and foot officers starting about 4:00 pm on Friday. We are not planning to close down streets, particularly Alki, unless we have to for some reason such as clearing a path for the Seattle Fire Department. We will be continuing the emphasis on Saturday the 5th, and have it scheduled for every Friday and Saturday through the summer.”

The WSBeat: ‘Fast backup’; stuck in a cabinet; trapped in a tub; more…

June 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police, WSBeat | 22 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

This edition of our periodic feature The WSBeat contains summaries written from reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have not already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports, but that might at least answer the question “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*On the afternoon of the 20th, firefighters asked for a “fast backup” from officers as they dealt with a patient in the 7500 block of 32nd SW. Officers found the 38-year-old lying on his back, yelling and growling, with “about half a dozen medics and officers holding him down.” The man had fought with firefighters and injured one by grabbing and crushing his upper arm, breaking the skin in three places. The suspect, who has a history of drug-induced “excited delirium” incidents, was transported to Harborview. Officers are recommending that the suspect be charged with assault.

*On the 18th, in the 2800 block of 36th SW, a man took up residence inside a small cabinet discarded {“Free!”) on a corner. He provided incoherent answers to officers’ questions, and they felt it was best he be taken to Harborview for a mental evaluation–plus, they were concerned he might die (from “positional asphyxiation”) if he accidentally fell asleep inside the cramped quarters.

*On the 16th, Arbor Heights residents asked that officers check on the wellbeing of an elderly neighbor whom they had not seen for about a week. Officers noticed a full mailbox and papers on the porch. Getting no response to knocks, they decided to make a forced entry. They found the 77-year-old woman in the bathtub — alive — but gasping and unable to speak. It appeared she had been stuck for several days. She was transported to Harborview for care.

Ahead, eight more summaries, starting with two cases of predatory behavior:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: ‘Fast backup’; stuck in a cabinet; trapped in a tub; more……

What should you know about gangs? Here’s what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network heard tonight

June 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 36 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

How widespread are gangs in Seattle and what do you need to know about them in order to stay safe?

The lieutenant who leads the Seattle Police Gang Unit, accompanied by one of his detectives, spoke tonight to the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network, and debunked myths as well as answering questions.

It was the first time a West Seattle group had heard from Gang/Robbery/Fugitives Lt. Dan Whelan since April of last year, when he spoke to the WS Crime Prevention Council (WSB coverage here).

Click to read the rest of What should you know about gangs? Here’s what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains’ Network heard tonight…

Seattle officially has a new Police Chief: Kathleen O’Toole

June 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments


Kathleen O’Toole is being sworn in right now as Seattle Police Chief (update – live video feed is over, archived video added below), right after the City Council voted 8-1 to confirm her appointment (the “no” vote was Councilmember Kshama Sawant).

The official announcement notes that she “began work with the Boston Police Department in 1979 and has over three decades of experience as a police officer, Commissioner, Chief Inspector, and attorney.” She has listed her four top priorities as “1) restoring public trust, 2) restoring SPD pride and professionalism, 3) addressing crime and quality of life issues, and 4) promoting best business practices” and promises “during the first 90 days to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the police department, which would culminate in a plan of action with measurable goals and objectives.” The City Council, meantime, told her their major expectations – “focused and proactive crime reduction using evidence-based methods to reduce the most serious neighborhood crime problems; positively change the culture at SPD and attitudes related to the practice of collecting and reporting the required data for the six new policies developed as part of the Settlement Agreement; build community relationships in all neighborhoods with a consistent visible presence; and, prioritize buildout of the Business Intelligence System.” Chief O’Toole will be accountable for a $290 million budget and 2,000 SPD employees.

Update: Two police responses tonight, Junction & Highland Park

June 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 12 Comments

Lots of questions about two sizable police responses tonight. Here’s what we have found out:

(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
The response this past half-hour at California and Oregon in The Junction came in as a possible shooting, but that turned out NOT to be the case, according to Southwest Precinct Lt. Paul Leung, who says one person suffered minor injuries. WSB’s Christopher Boffoli reports from the scene that it’s a possible case of assault.

Earlier this evening, 9th/Highland Park Way was closed for a while; that was because of a major police response related to an armed robbery at an area business, Lt. Leung says. The suspect was seen going into another business; police converged, guns drawn, and arrested him.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE ON HIGHLAND PARK HOLDUP: SPD has just released more information on the Highland Park robbery – saying the robber held up the 16th/Holden 7-11 and then went to another mini-mart to buy lottery tickets with the proceeds.

Mostly quiet night, with a brief helicopter interlude

June 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

(Mostly cloudy by sunset – some drizzle, too. Photo by JayDee, from Upper Alki)
With the SPD promise of presence on Alki for potential last-day-of-school gatherings, we’ve been monitoring the situation since afternoon. Nothing major. We did see officers at the beach during our afternoon and evening drive-throughs. We ourselves had a bit of a close call just after sunset at Me-Kwa-Mooks, dodging a group of teens running back and forth in the street on Beach Drive. Not long afterward, the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter was over that same area for a bit and subsequently tweeted that they “assisted @SeattlePD near 56/SW Oregon with a large group of teenagers partying that took off into the woods. Patrol contacted them.” (Right after that, the helicopter headed north to Ballard, tweeting that they helped SPD handle “a large fight disturbance” at Golden Gardens.)

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries; mail theft; stolen car, found

June 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

From the SPD Police Reports map, the icons show burglaries reported over the past week. As you can see, Highland Park had a cluster, Isaac wrote to mention, and we have heard from one of the victims, Chris:

I want to let folks know that our house near 15th and Trenton was broken into (Tuesday) sometime between 10 and 2 p.m. No one was home. Whoever it was gained access through a backyard window that we mistakenly left ajar. We have a dog that usually barks at strangers but it didn’t seem to matter. The thief or thieves took
two 5th generation Nano iPods (one blue and one green) but curiously left other relatively easy-to-steal items behind. They did ransack our bedroom, which included emptying our dressers and closet. It was apparent that they went through our entire house. The police officer felt that from his experience these were kids who were looking for something specific (cash and drugs). Please remind people to make sure all windows and doors are locked.

In addition to the break-in at Chris’s house, here are the reported burglaries to which the icons on the map screengrab refer, north to south:
*Tuesday night, 1600 block of 46th SW
*Sunday afternoon, 4100 block of 52nd SW
*Reported Sunday but happened June 3rd, 3400 block SW Genesee (old substation building)
*2 break-ins early Sunday and early Tuesday, 2600 block SW Andover (WS Athletic Club)
*Tuesday afternoon, 5300 block Beach Drive SW
*Early Tuesday, 7700 block 10th SW
*Sunday evening, 8600 block Delridge Way SW
*Early Tuesday, 8600 block 12th SW
*Reported last Thursday but happened June 9th, 9200 block 2nd SW (unit at Public Storage)
*Saturday afternoon, 10200 block 47th SW

Ahead – stolen mail and stolen car, found:
Click to read the rest of West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglaries; mail theft; stolen car, found…

West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, report #1: New City Attorney’s Office precinct liaison

June 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

Short meeting tonight for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, and here’s a quick note for our first report: The City Attorney’s Office liaison for the Southwest Precinct (and South) is now Matthew York, who spent the past two years in the East Precinct. He succeeds Melissa Chin, who’s now working in Bellevue (but also attended tonight’s meeting). The precinct liaison role is explained here – the liaisons often work on community problems that go beyond clear-cut cases of crime, such as “nuisance houses.”. York told the WSCPC that most of his 12-year career has been spent as a prosecutor, “from traffic tickets to murder trials.” He joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2010 and supervised DUI prosecutions for two years until becoming the East Precinct liaison two years ago. Among the situations he’s working on now in West Seattle is the former “Nickelsville” site east of Highland Park, where he said squatters have taken up residence, and he expects fast action to clear the site. More from tonight’s WSCPC meeting later. (WSB photo by Patrick Sand)

West Seattle Crime Watch: 6 reader reports; car-theft prevention

June 8, 2014 at 4:15 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

Long report, but not because of a sudden crime wave – the reports have come in over the past several days. We start with information on crime prevention; the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network has published notes from the auto-theft discussion, featuring a guest from SPD, at its most recent meeting. You might be surprised to see how the Southwest Precinct’s auto-theft trends compare to other parts of the city, for example. It’s all on the WSBWCN site here.

That brings us to an attempted car theft reported by Nathaniel on Saturday:

Just wanted to let you know of an attempted auto theft of a 1994 Honda Accord from the 8500 block of 37th Ave Sw. They destroyed the ignition, couldn’t get it started, then ripped out the battery. Thankfully they left the beer in the backseat so it isn’t all bad!

Next – a stolen bicycle to watch for. John says it was stolen from his front porch on May 29th:

It’s a black Townie Electra with a leather “tank” bag. Contact police if you see it.

Two car break-ins to report. Dawn says hers was broken into Friday night in the 6700 block of 41st, “nothing major stolen” but she “wanted neighbors to keep an eye out and make sure doors are locked and alarms are on.” We also had a break-in report from earlier in the week in a Westwood carport:

I have an older Honda Civic and they popped my window out of the track and unlocked my doors to get in. I didn’t have anything valuable in my car. As far as I can tell nothing is missing… (but) They managed to drop their lighter in my backseat though so they must’ve really tried looking for something.

Missing a safe?

Might even be the one reported stolen recently in the 29th/Trenton vicinity, reports Kezia, who read about that burglary and wondered if the safe found at 26th/Trenton was the same one. It was reported to police and eventually disappeared, though the finder isn’t sure if it was taken away by officers or someone else.

And from Matthew, who wondered if this happened to anyone else this weekend:

(Friday night) at about 10:55 pm whilst watching a movie, my fiancé & I heard two strange thuds and turned our movie on mute to run outside & see what caused the noise. It appears someone egged our home (3 eggs total, from what I can tell). We live at the 3200 block of Walnut Ave SW, just a block from WS High School.

Update: Police took 2K+ plants from North Delridge warehouse, left 45, say dispensary operator and SPD

June 4, 2014 at 1:34 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 43 Comments

(Screengrab from @raincitycannabis Instagram feed)
While we await more information from Seattle Police on why they raided a North Delridge warehouse – as reported here Tuesday afternoon – we’ve spoken with the man who says the operation was his: Matthew Segal of Rain City, which has dispensaries in Rainier and Magnolia, says he is mystified as to why his operation at 28th/Yancy was raided. He has posted photos on Instagram showing the aftermath; we found him after a tip about the photos. [Editor's note: They are now showing as "unavailable" from the embed mode; we're substituting an earlier screengrab above.] He says more than 2,500 plants were growing, and that police told him he could keep 45 – the amount allowed in one “collective garden.” Segal says the raid happened without warning, and that there have been no arrests, and no explanation. He says he was working with the state Liquor Control Board on licensing this location as a legal growing site for the recreational-marijuana business, and that he is registered with the state Labor and Industries Department as a cannabis grower.

He says Rain City serves 4,500 patients/clients. But he acknowledged that the amount of allowed plants at a facility like this is a “gray area,” as much of the medical-marijuana industry has been for the past decade-plus. All he knows for now, he told us, is that he got a call yesterday “saying that police were at my warehouse … and then I came down,” and found the plants being removed. He says he had been growing there for three years and was buying the building (county records show him listed as its owner since a $1,050,000 purchase in March) . He hasn’t decided on his next steps, but hasn’t ruled out legal action, while saying he’ll “figure something out” about how to get a supply to stay in business. “I just don’t understand, it really … it’s going to haunt me.”

Meantime, we checked again with police this morning, seeking more information beyond what Narcotics Unit Captain James Dermody had told us at the scene yesterday; SPD spokesperson Det. Renée Witt said they were still gathering information to share with media. We’ll update this story whenever that information is available.

4:47 PM UPDATE: We stepped away from the desk for a few minutes, and that’s when the SPD Blotter post went up. New information includes police saying they searched two homes, one of them in West Seattle, as well as the 28th/Yancy warehouse:

After receiving complaints from neighbors about an overwhelming smell emanating from a large marijuana grow operation, the Seattle Police Narcotics Unit and Anti-Crime Team officers served a warrant — signed by a King County District Court judge — at a home and a warehouse in West Seattle and another house on Beacon Hill Tuesday evening, and recovered what detectives say is an unprecedented number of illegally-grown marijuana plants.

After police began an investigation into the two homes and warehouse — in the 2400 block of S. Morgan St, 6500 block of 44th Ave SW and 2600 block of SW Yancy St respectively — detectives learned the three illegal marijuana grows were operating under the guise of a medical marijuana collective and were growing far more plants than allowed under state law.

The West Seattle warehouse had more than 2200 plants alone, well over the 45 plant limit allowed for medical marijuana grows in Washington. Police seized 206 and 227 plants at the two homes.

All told 2663 plants and 86 pounds of processed marijuana were seized during the operation.

Detectives say this is the largest illegal marijuana grow operation they can recall investigating.

Police also believe the owner of the grow operation was harvesting marijuana from the grow operation and selling it through a dispensary — which he also owns — violating the state’s regulations on collective gardens.

Detectives left 45 marijuana plants at each location, along with 72 ounces of processed marijuana and growing equipment, and let the growers at each site select which plants they wanted to keep. Detectives were interested only in bringing the operation back under the limits of state law, and in addition to leaving plants and equipment at the scenes, also opted not to book anyone involved in the operation into jail.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police raid in North Delridge

June 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 25 Comments

Even though marijuana is legal in our state, that doesn’t mean every use is legal, or that every plant is legal. This afternoon, a tip about a police raid in North Delridge led us to this scene near Yancy/28th, where police say they have found an allegedly illegal marijuana-growing operation. It generated so many complaints, they told us at the scene, they obtained a search warrant. Seattle City Light also arrived to cut off power. We’re expecting more details later.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Teens arrested after early-a.m. burglary

June 3, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 87 Comments

Police arrested two teenage girls after a Westwood resident reported chasing burglars out of his home early this morning. According to the report we just obtained from police – thanks to the neighbors who told us about the early-morning search – the resident had arrived home at 3:50 am, walked in through his carport, but didn’t lock the door behind him. After about 15 minutes, he went downstairs and found two intruders in a “study area” off the carport. He yelled; they “giggled and ran out the door” – with four laptops, a wallet containing cash and cards, and an iPod. A K-9 team joining the search found the suspects – girls, 15 and 16 years old – “hiding under a porch a couple blocks away” near SW Elmgrove and 30th SW (map), with “an empty wallet … at their feet” – identified by the victim as his. Police then found the stolen laptops and cards in a backpack “hidden in a container (with) some rocks piled on top of it” in a nearby yard. The backpack also contained a purple iPod that didn’t belong to the burglary victim, whose gray iPod remained missing. After the suspects were taken to the precinct, the report says, they were searched; one had $87 in cash in her sock. One suspect also was found to have a “no bail” warrant out for her arrest in a theft case; both were booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of burglary.

Body found in Lincoln Park confirmed by police as suicide victim

June 2, 2014 at 10:31 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 39 Comments

We’ve received several questions about a large medical callout in Lincoln Park tonight. It closed before we got there – and unfortunately, we’ve learned, that’s because, as confirmed by a Seattle Police tweet, the person was dead, and there was nothing that medics could do. We followed up with SPD spokesperson Officer Drew Fowler tonight and he says they investigated and determined it was a case of suicide.

Every time we report suicide, we include this reminder: For anyone with thoughts of suicide, help is available through the Crisis Clinic, 24 hours a day – the hotline is 206-461-3222.

ADDED TUESDAY: As noted in the comment discussion, and confirmed by a school memo forwarded to us by multiple readers, the victim was discovered by students from Holy Rosary School who were at an event in the park, and that it, as you would expect, was a traumatic experience. In the memo, principal George Hofbauer wrote, “When something like this happens, the Catholic Schools band together. The High Schools, along with some grade schools, are sending their counselors to Holy Rosary today. The counselors will meet with each class. They will then be available for one on one meetings with children and staff who feel they need to talk privately.”

Update: Missing man found ‘safe and sound’

May 31, 2014 at 5:10 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 17 Comments

(UPDATED 4:29 AM SUNDAY with word that he’s been found)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 5:10 PM: Have you seen this man? Seattle Police are trying to find him :

Seattle Police are looking for this developmentally disabled male. He was last seen this afternoon at 12:30 pm, riding a blue bicycle on Alki beach. He is a 26 year old mixed race male, wearing a gray T-shirt with “West Seattle High School” printed on the front. He was also wearing brown/blue plaid shorts and sandals. Please call 911 if you see him.

(Photo added, 5:29 pm)

8:55 PM: He is still missing, according to SPD, which has just tweeted the alert citywide, adding that the missing man’s name is Vincent.

11:14 PM: No updates, but it appears Guardian One revisited West Seattle to help take a look this past half-hour:

4:30 AM: SPD says the search is over – and ended a ways away:

4:49 AM: And we also have confirmation from Southwest Precinct Sgt. Neil Larkin that Vincent’s been found “safe and sound.”

Update: Police/helicopter search in Lincoln Park area

May 30, 2014 at 11:06 pm | In Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 37 Comments

11:06 PM: The Guardian One helicopter is on the way to join Seattle Police in a Lincoln Park-area search. We’re still tracking down details but wanted to let you know that’s what’s happening, in case you see/hear the helicopter (or are seeing police on the ground).

11:15 PM: They’re looking for multiple suspects, one of whom was described as armed with a knife, last seen running into the north end of Lincoln Park. There’s a K-9 team in that area too.

11:32 PM: They’re still searching the park. Still no word on the nature of the call; all we know for sure is that there have *not* been any major-injury incidents in the area tonight.

11:47 PM: Basically the helicopter – which has been circling for a full half-hour now – is helping point police to just about anyone in the park/vicinity.

11:57 PM: Possible suspects found in the park, toward its central area.

12:06 AM: They’re still working to figure out if the possible suspects are who they’re looking for. And via multiple sources and bits of information, we believe this all started with a business robbery.

12:14 AM: Chopper has moved on – but the case isn’t necessarily closed yet. Their tweet confirms this is a robbery case:

12:23 AM: Seattle Police add that it “started as a shoplift call in 7400 block of Fauntleroy – male suspect drew a knife and fled into Lincoln Park.” (That’s the mini-mart/gas station across from the north end of the park.)

Followup: Seen a damaged ‘light metallic blue’ vehicle? Possible clue in low-bridge hit-run

May 24, 2014 at 9:53 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 1 Comment

(Thursday night WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli)
New information from Seattle Police might help solve the Thursday night hit-run that injured a bicycle rider at the east end of the “low bridge.” It was added to the original SPD Blotter post last night; we added it to our original story but in case you didn’t go back looking for an update, here are the new details:

Detectives have reason to believe the suspect vehicle is light metallic blue and is missing the right-side mirror. The vehicle should have damage to the front bumper as well as heavy damage to the windshield. The suspect’s vehicle had been traveling westbound at the time of the collision and likely continued over the lower bridge and into West Seattle. Detectives are asking anyone with information to please call TCIS Detective Andrew Norton at (206) 684-8934.

Please do call that number with ANY information – don’t post it in comments; thanks. (In case it helps with time frame, the original SFD dispatch to the incident scene was at 9:17 pm Thursday night.)

Kathleen O’Toole announced as next Seattle Police chief, will be first female SPD chief if confirmed

May 19, 2014 at 10:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 19 Comments


Mayor Murray has just appeared at City Hall with his choice for Seattle Police Chief, Kathleen O’Toole, who will be the first female SPD chief if confirmed.

Speaking after Murray’s announcement, O’Toole said she has four themes:

*Public trust - “work tirelessly to restore” (it)
*Restore department pride – “if people make honest mistakes we’ll stand by them”
*Crime and quality of life – “I think we need to develop a plan for each neighborhood in this city,” including violence prevention
*Good business – “we’re running a large organization … we need to do it efficiently and effectively as possible”

In questions post-announcement, she said she hopes to visit the precincts often. “No one person can change this organization – it will be a collective, collaborative effort,” she added. And she called the job “the icing on the cake [for her career] not a stepping stone. … I love the fact that this city is an innovation city, second to none.”

As of this writing at 10:19 am, she’s still answering media questions (live stream here; we’ll add the video when it’s available later). You can read more about her in this recent Seattle Times (WSB partner) profile.

ADDED 4:45 PM: As promised, city-produced video of the announcement:

The mayor’s news release is here.

ADDED 5:57 PM: Read even more about the new chief, including the fact she doesn’t drink coffee, on SPD Blotter.

Seattle Police SWAT team in The Junction: Just training, but …

May 15, 2014 at 11:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

When Judy asked via Twitter why Seattle Police SWAT officers are in The Junction, near 42nd and Oregon, we suspected they’d come for training (the to-be-demolished homes in that block have been used for it before); as our crew discovered, that suspicion was correct. The team has a request, though: If you parked along 42nd in the area (4400 block, north of Oregon), please go move your vehicle(s) ASAP …

… they need the space!

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