West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car; plus, how many police the Southwest Precinct has

March 30, 2015 at 6:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

First, in West Seattle Crime Watch, one reader report today:

STOLEN CAR: From Taylor in Arbor Heights:

Our 1999 red Jeep Cherokee was stolen from our driveway early this morning in Arbor Heights. We are at the 9600 block of 41st SW. Our neighbor reported a white Camry trolling the neighborhood around 4-5 am around when the paper gets delivered. Just an FYI for others.

The plate is in the @getyourcarback tweet. This is one of two auto thefts logged for West Seattle so far today; the other was in the 4100 block of 58th SW, but since we haven’t heard directly from anyone on that, we don’t know what type of vehicle was taken there.

Now, a side note. This Wednesday, the City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting looks at the state of SPD staffing around the city. And a report prepared for that meeting is already online, showing the numbers for all precincts, and what share of patrol staffing they have compared to what share of “911 call hours” comes from each precinct. See the report here; quick preview, the SW Precinct has the lowest number in both categories.

The 2 pm meeting Wednesday at City Hall also will include a 90-day update on the SPD body-cam experiment (which is only in the East Precinct) and the swearing-in of new Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

@ Block Watch Captains’ Network: Bike-patrol briefing & cybercrime

March 29, 2015 at 8:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 3 Comments

Along with being among the first to hear that Capt. Pierre Davis is returning to West Seattle as Southwest Precinct commander, the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network got a briefing this week on the precinct’s new bike patrol.

The guest was Sgt. Jim Britt (right), who is the sergeant for Frank sector (eastern West Seattle and South Park) and explained he is now the “bike sergeant” too – in addition to his ongoing duties, he is in charge of making sure the officers who are part of the patrol get equipment, training, etc. Because the bicycle patrol isn’t technically a separate unit, the officers will all still answer to their respective sectors’ sergeants.

The precinct will have at least two bicycle officers out each and every day on “second watch,” which is 11 am to 8 pm. Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith further clarified that means they have two officers with the flexibility to be deployed on bicycles – they have to have cars, too, as they can’t be taken entirely out of the loop for 911 responses.

Six officers in all will have bikes; Officer Scott Luckie and Andy Bass have had bikes for a while now, and, Sgt. Britt said, they also have been trained to become bicycle mechanics.

Click to read the rest of @ Block Watch Captains’ Network: Bike-patrol briefing & cybercrime…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspect in SE shooting arrested here; Guardian One visit; recognize this gutted truck?

March 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup starts with two incidents from last night:

SOUTHEAST SEATTLE SHOOTING SUSPECT FOUND IN WEST SEATTLE: Last night at 23rd SW/SW Brandon, police made a “felony stop” – guns drawn, as is SOP when someone in a pulled-over vehicle is suspected of a felony. We thought we heard, via scanner, the word “shooting,” but couldn’t find evidence of any West Seattle gunfire incidents last night, and couldn’t reach police for information.

After we contacted the Media Relations unit this morning, Det. Drew Fowler looked into this for us and discovered it was related to an incident in Southeast Seattle that was already on SPD Blotter; they’ve as a result just updated it to include the West Seattle angle: The original incident involved gunfire from three cars in the Rainier Beach area around 7:45 last night; nobody was hit. The car then pulled over at 23rd/Brandon matched the description of one vehicle seen speeding from the scene. Gang detectives arrested its 21-year-old driver, a Federal Way resident and convicted felon who police say they saw “ditching a gun at the original shooting scene,” for felony weapons possession, and booked him into jail. (The car was impounded.)

IF YOU HEARD GUARDIAN ONE OVER THE JUNCTION LAST NIGHT: It was NOT related to the incident above, so far as we know. They were in the area and helping SPD check out a report of “a large fight” in The Junction. The King County Air Support crew subsequently reported via Twitter that nothing was found.

ABANDONED, GUTTED TRUCK: Scott shared the photo, in case you recognize it:

An abandoned Chevy stepside pick up truck was discovered on SW 104th at 38th this morning next to AHES construction site. No plates, no engine, and the interior is gutted. City of Seattle notified through their Find it, Fix it app.

Capt. Pierre Davis returning to lead Southwest Precinct, West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network told

March 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

(WSB photo from January 2014)
Seems the Southwest Precinct is a place you just don’t leave forever. Its next commander, like two of its past three commanders, will be a Seattle Police leader who has spent time at the precinct before. That’s according to what the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network heard tonight from Operations Lt. Ron Smith, who told them his predecessor in that role, Capt. Pierre Davis, will return from the East Precinct to take over the SW Precinct in the aftermath of Steve Wilske‘s promotion to Assistant Chief.

Capt. Davis was SW Precinct operations lieutenant (second in command) for more than three years, and then served briefly in early 2014 as acting SW Precinct commander before Wilske’s arrival, which in turn followed Capt. Joe Kessler‘s second stint here, following 2 1/2 years at the helm for Capt. Steve Paulsen. … A formal citywide announcement of changes is pending. Lt. Smith told the Block Watch Captains it was fitting they be among the first to find out, given their volunteer service in keeping local neighborhoods safe. Their meeting also included a briefing on the new SW Precinct bicycle unit and tips on staying safe from cybercrime – we’ll write up that part of the meeting later.

West Seattle Crime Watch: 1 injured in early-morning Alki shooting

March 22, 2015 at 1:19 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 11 Comments

1:19 PM SUNDAY: Finally just confirmed some information about a shooting on Alki early today. Usually, a shooting leads to an “assault with weapons” Seattle Fire callout and that’s our first hint; this one didn’t, and no texts had come in (206-293-6302 any time!), so we’ve been trying to reach police for info, after a couple of e-mail questions came in later in the morning. It happened around 1:30 am in the Alki SW/Marine vicinity. People heard gunfire, multiple shots, including uphill in Admiral. No victim was found at the scene – but hours later, we just confirmed with Seattle Police, they were notified by Everett Police that a victim had shown up at an Everett hospital with a leg wound. No other details of circumstances, so far.

11 AM MONDAY: SPD Blotter has just published an item about this. We have received video of the incident from a witness and will be publishing that shortly in a separate followup.

@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: What’s up, what’s down, what’s new + Force Investigations Team guest

March 19, 2015 at 1:53 am | In Crime, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 1 Comment

From the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s meeting at the Southwest Precinct on Tuesday night:

No new commander announced for the precinct yet, one week after the news of now-Assistant Chief Steve Wilske‘s promotion, which came one year after his SWP arrival. Operations Lt. Ron Smith, who’s in charge of the precinct in the meantime, said he isn’t seeking the position.

CRIME TRENDS: Lt. Smith led the customary briefing. Auto theft is up; burglaries are down. And as has been widely reported, including here, strong-arm robberies are up – if you don’t know the definition, “no weapons implied or used, but that doesn’t make much difference to the victim,” as Lt. Smith put it. He also discussed how incidents get classified as robberies if they aren’t the stereotypical case of a criminal coming up to a victim and demanding something; in particular, the shoplift-turned-robbery type of case was discussed.

Community Police Team Officers Jon Flores and Erin Nicholson got up at that point to get into more detail.

Click to read the rest of @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: What’s up, what’s down, what’s new + Force Investigations Team guest…

VIDEO: Police Chief O’Toole ‘continues the conversation’ in West Seattle

March 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

(UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING with our full video of event)

6:58 PM: About 70 people are at the Senior Center for SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole‘s encore appearance. We can’t live-chronicle it due to chairlessness but we are recording video and also tweeting (you can view without being a Twitter user) at @westseattleblog. (Added: Some of what we tweeted during the meeting, focusing on the WS-specific questions/answers)

*Note, the exchange above with Deb Barker and Chief O’Toole, regarding 911 responses to non-major incidents and whether SPD needs more officers, starts at about 42 minutes into the video. She had said earlier in the meeting that while her former city, Boston, has a comparable population, its police force is more than 800 officers larger. She also discusses an ongoing study that will result in a report to the mayor on what would be the appropriate size of the SPD force, and says that’ll be out in the summer.

The meeting continued:

(Added … From the final half-hour of the meeting:)

Herbold also asked O’Toole if she’s considering using civilian community-service officers; the chief said she “loved that idea.” And she said she had met earlier with Somali families in High Point who told her that they would like SPD to have a community liaison for their community; O’Toole mentioned they are still reviewing candidates for the East African community liaison. Co-moderator Pete Spalding then read an audience question on the same subject, to which O’Toole added that the East African Advisory Committee is being re-established as well.

Another City Council candidate was at the microphone as well:

Helmick elaborated regarding the Westwood-area problems on which the community council she chairs has dealt with Wilske and the precinct. She then asked a question about a friend of hers whom she said had applied to become an officer but had been told she didn’t appropriately answer a question about how to handle a difficult situation. O’Toole suggested that Helmick’s friend contact her so SPD could “talk to her and figure out what went awry there.”

8:26 PM: The meeting’s over. Uneventful – no disruptions, lots of questions, lots of answers. People are lingering to talk not only with the chief but also with now-Assistant Chief Steve Wilske, who will be “hand-pick(ing)” his successor as Southwest Precinct commander, though no timetable has been mentioned.

THURSDAY MORNING NOTE: Update – here’s the video. Update 2 – as of 10:29 am, it’s embedded atop this story, too. Update 3 – as of 12:18 pm, we have added highlights from the final half-hour of the meeting.

VIDEO: Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske promoted to Assistant Chief

March 11, 2015 at 7:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 9 Comments

(WSB photo added 1:17 pm, from City Hall announcement this morning – see updates at end of story)

7:47 AM: Before Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole returns to West Seattle tonight, she’s formally introducing her new command staff downtown this morning. One of the new Assistant Chiefs is Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, as announced via SPD Blotter this morning. From that announcement:

Steve Wilske, currently the commander of the Southwest Precinct, has served for more than 28 years with the department in a variety of roles, including Homicide and Crime Scene and Use of Force investigation. At Southwest, Steve brought his CSI background to bear, as he pushed the importance of scouring every single crime scene for fingerprints.

I was looking for a commander who could plunge right into leading the patrol operations section, so it seems fitting that Steve has a degree in commercial diving.

Wilske has led the Southwest Precinct for 13 months, since January of last year, following the one-year encore by Capt. Joe Kessler. No mention yet of a successor. The chief’s “Continuing the Conversation” meeting in West Seattle is at 6:30 tonight at (corrected) the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction (Oregon/California); she will introduce her new team to the media downtown at 11 am.

11:01 AM: Live webcast of the formal introductions at City Hall is about to start – we have a crew there to follow up, and you can see the Seattle Channel webcast here.

11:19 AM: Now-Assistant Chief Wilske has just been introduced by Chief O’Toole, who speaks of his fast work in creating neighborhood policing plans as well as the respect that officers have for him and his visibility in the field. He speaks briefly, saying that he knows the difficulty and danger of patrol work and is honored to be put in a position to lead those doing it. No information yet about who will succeed him as SW Precinct commander, but we have a crew at the downtown event and will be asking afterward.

11:33 AM: Our crew asks about that during open Q/A at the downtown event. Chief O’Toole says she and Asst. Chief Wilske will “get that done very soon,” and mentions tonight’s community meeting as a chance to talk with community about it.

1:21 PM: We talked with Wilske at City Hall after the announcement and he told us he’s “had a blast” as SW commander. We have the interview on video and will add it above this paragraph as soon as it’s uploaded (update – added). The official city news release about his promotion and other SPD appointments (he is one of four new assistant chiefs; four current ones were demoted) says his new job starts immediately.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: New SPD info in Westwood robbery/Morgan arrests

March 10, 2015 at 11:09 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 77 Comments

(WSB photo from Monday afternoon)
11:09 AM: We asked Seattle Police this morning for the full followup report on the Monday afternoon Westwood robbery/Morgan arrests case (original WSB report here). They’ve just published the details to SPD Blotter:

Police arrested five teens Monday in West Seattle for attacking a 55-year-old grocery store clerk, after he confronted them about an earlier shoplifting incident.

The victim had been working at the Westwood QFC earlier in the day, when he witnessed the group of teens stealing shrimp, hot dogs and barbecue sauce from the store. After leaving work, around 4 PM, the man found himself standing next to the same group of suspects at a bus stop near the 2800 block of SW. Barton St. There, the man confronted the teens about the theft, and warned them not to come back to the store.

In response, a 19-year-old female in the group doused the victim in pepper spray, sending him tumbling to the ground. The rest of the teens punched and kicked the man as he lay on the concrete, and a 17-year-old male grabbed the victim’s iPhone before the group boarded a Metro bus.

Officers were able to track down the bus a short distance away and arrest the group of teens, who are all between 14 and 19 years old. Police booked three of the teens into the Youth Services Center, while the two others were booked into King County Jail.

The “short distance away,” as you know from our Monday report, was north of Morgan Junction.

1:14 PM: We’ve received the report from SPD. One key point that will answer some commenters’ questions: After the attack, the report says, “all involved parties fled south through Roxhill Park” – so apparently they did not immediately board bus(es).

Update: Arrest, search in Morgan Junction after Westwood robbery

March 9, 2015 at 4:31 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 55 Comments

4:31 PM: Police are just north of Morgan Junction looking for the second of two suspects in an apparent shoplift/robbery. It happened at the Westwood QFC, we’re told, and the robbers got away by bus. One is in custody, one being sought.

4:41 PM: Still piecing together information from scanner plus what police told us at the arrest scene by the northbound California/Fauntleroy RapidRide stop alongside Cal-Mor Circle (photo above). The robbery is reported to have involved pepper-spraying, which has become an all-too-familiar MO in cases like this.

TUESDAY MORNING NOTE: As we also posted in a comment, there’s a followup now – read it here. Toplines: SPD says 5 suspects were arrested, and explains that the robbery happened hours after the shoplifting, and happened at the bus stop itself, not the store (though that was the shoplifting location).

Happening now on Alki: #blackbrunchseattle anti-racism demonstration

March 8, 2015 at 1:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 42 Comments

We’ve been asked why police are out on Alki. Scanner traffic mentioned they were called because of “protesters.” Checking Twitter, we found out it’s the walking anti-racism demonstration that goes by the hashtag #blackbrunchseattle. Social-media clips show participants staging brief demonstrations inside restaurants, and then moving on; recognizable visuals included Cactus, Duke’s, and Alki Café, shown in this brief video clip that was tweeted:

Another tweet says there are 11 participants and six police cars. A few have tweeted photos of the SPD presence.

Following the hashtag shows past demonstrations in other Seattle neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, and one today on the East Coast in Princeton, NJ.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Shoplifting-turned-robbery suspect arrested at Admiral Safeway; plus, 12-foot-long ‘shipment’ stolen

March 7, 2015 at 8:14 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 8 Comments

Two more West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:

SHOPLIFT TURNED ROBBERY: Thanks to the people who texted/tweeted to ask about a big police response plus a fire engine at Admiral Safeway a few hours ago. The police were all gone by the time we got there but we’ve since obtained some information from Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams. He says a loss-prevention officer tried to stop a shoplifting suspect who fought, punched, and kicked the officer, which turned it into a robbery. The suspect was arrested, with the help of citizens who held him down until police arrived and made the arrest. Lt. Williams says the loss-prevention officer’s injuries were minor.

12-FOOT-LONG, 100-POUND ‘SHIPMENT’ STOLEN: From the inbox, a reader report about a theft that would have been very noticeable if you happened to witness the stolen item being carried:

My partner and I had a shipment in front of our townhouse on 5950 California Ave. SW. … 12 feet long and 100 pounds.. This is of no commercial value to anyone else except that we tracked it all the way from Florida and it’s going to delay … two weeks on a very special birthday present. … I just don’t believe will be able to install this custom shade for friend that has some mobility issues so we made a shade that’s remote control from his smart phone. … We’re friends with everyone in the neighborhood and when (the thief/thieves) realize it’s of no value to them and that it’s not anything special other than a woven sheet of fabric for outside use – again it’s 12′ and would require two very conspicuous people between midnight and 5 AM walking around alleyways between Juneau and Raymond and Thriftway…

Seen it? Let police know.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglars take bicycle, computers

March 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

Two reader reports start off today’s West Seattle Crime Watch roundup:

Isaac and Andrea sent that photo of a bicycle they would like you to keep an eye out for:

Last night, Friday the 6th, someone broke into our detached garage and made off with one of our bicycles. It is a distinctive bike: it is a red Diamond Back with white lettering with a black Kona fork. It is a hybrid style bike with two bar grips that I added onto the handlebars. Also has one splashguard on the rear tire. Serial no. DAP12/E003705. We have called the police and will be filing a report ASAP. This was directly across from Highland Park Playfield on 12th & Cloverdale. Please keep your eyes open. This bike has a lot of sentimental value to us and we would love to see it returned.

BUSINESS BURGLARY: Michael von Kempf, proprietor of Ultrafab Computers in Fauntleroy, e-mailed to say his shop at 45th and Wildwood was broken into recently, with the burglar(s) stealing four laptops belonging to customers. He adds, “As a one-man show, I service a large number of West Seattle residents and businesses. This break-in has come at a very bad time.” (We’ve followed up to ask if there are any identifying features that people might look for.)


iPHONE STOLEN? In the WSB Forums, there’s a post about an iPhone found in Arbor Heights, and the finder suspects it was stolen. Check it out here.

SIDE NOTE: SPD had another SeaStat crime-trends briefing this past week. Only one of the slides had Southwest Precinct info of note, sixth page in the slide deck, looking at robberies citywide – January/February in this area (West Seattle/South Park) was double what it was last year, 25 compared to 12. In the first week of March, though, the rate has dropped back down – two are on the map for the past week.

REMINDER: Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole returns to West Seattle on Wednesday to “continue the conversation” – details here.

‘Continuing the conversation’: Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole to return to West Seattle next week

March 6, 2015 at 8:32 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

Just announced by the organizers of last month’s disruption-shortened West Seattle community conversation with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole (WSB coverage here, with video): She’ll be back to “continue the conversation” next Wednesday (March 11th). When we spoke with Chief O’Toole right after her February 3rd visit, she promised to return for a second try at West Seattle Q/A, and that’s what this is intended to be. The meeting is set for 6:30-8:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction (California/Oregon), co-sponsored again by the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network and Southwest Precinct Advisory Council (flyer here).

Followup: Southwest Precinct bicycle patrol gets official approval

March 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 15 Comments

(WSB file photo)
For more than a few months, two Southwest Precinct officers have been riding bicycles whenever possible, to patrol areas including Roxhill Park, Lincoln Park, and The Junction, as well as the Westwood area after the wave of robberies targeting students. It’s an experiment by precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske, who has said repeatedly – as noted in our community-group coverage dating back to last spring – that it’s worked out so well, he was trying to get more officers on bicycles throughout the area. And he’s finally received official approval to do just that, he told community activists who posted to the South Park community mailing list, and we subsequently confirmed it with him.

Capt. Wilske says he expects to have the bicycle patrol set up within a month or so, as a few details remain to be worked out. He says, “We will have a total of 6 officers, with a maximum staffing of 4 per day (2 in Frank sector, 2 in William sector and 2 off duty). I have to admit I am pretty excited about this, I think it is going to be good for the officers and great for the neighborhoods.” He told the South Park advocates something we’ve heard him tell local groups: “My experience from being a bicycle officer myself is that this style of patrolling is one of the most effective ways to deal with street-level crime, and makes the officer approachable to those folks who may not want to call 9-1-1 but will walk up to an officer and talk to them.

P.S. If you aren’t familiar with the West Seattle/South Park sectors, here’s the newest map.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Teen attacked in Westwood

March 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, Westwood | 16 Comments

(WSB photo)
1:39 PM: Thanks for the tip about the police search in Westwood. Officers were out with a K-9, looking for suspects in an attack that left someone hurt. Very few details so far, according to our check with SPD public affairs – they’re not sure if it was also a robbery, and it’s not clear exactly where the man was assaulted; the Seattle Fire medical response was to 30th/Cloverdale (map). The only description available so far is “five or six males, Hispanic and black, last seen headed southbound on 30th SW.” We’re checking with SFD to see if we can find out whether the victim had to be hospitalized.

4:40 PM UPDATE: SFD tells us that the victim was a 16-year-old boy, treated for “multiple scratches and abrasions over his body, after (saying) he was assaulted and forced to jump into blackberry bushes,” and taken to Highline Hospital in stable condition.

West Seattle Crime Watch: About the police search on Alki

February 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Thanks to everyone who texted/messaged about a big police response on Alki, centered at 62nd SW/Alki SW. We just arrived and have confirmed with police what one neighbor told us – there was a report of a burglary in progress in an apartment/condo. No one in custody so far; no other details yet.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Case of the non-starter; stolen car found

February 23, 2015 at 6:37 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 6 Comments

Two car crimes start West Seattle Crime Watch today:

NON-STARTER: The photo is from “astounded & fuming“:

I live in the 5600 block of California ave SW and sometime between 6 pm and 8 pm Sunday evening someone broke into my Honda Civic, popped the hood and unbolted my distributor assembly, and stole it out of my car, which was parked in alley parking behind my building. It explains why my car wouldn’t start this morning!

STOLEN CAMARO FOUND: Just as we were about to publish a reader report about a stolen Camaro, we heard scanner traffic suggesting police were getting alerts to its whereabouts via the LoJack system. Shortly thereafter, police found it parked/ditched in High Point, not far from where it had been stolen overnight.

FROM THE ‘IN CASE YOU WONDERED’ FILE: Big but brief police response drew some attention this afternoon at Fauntleroy/35th/Avalon, even a few passes from a TV helicopter. Over before we arrived, so we asked SPD media relations: Officers thought they had spotted the suspect in a robbery outside West Seattle last week. But it wasn’t the person they were looking for.

BLOCK WATCH CAPTAINS TOMORROW NIGHT: Next chance to hear from and talk with local police comes as part of tomorrow night’s monthly meeting of the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network. This agenda preview just arrived:

What can you do to help prevent property crimes? Why are thieves taking even inexpensive items from your yard or garage? CPT officer Erin Nicholson will be there to talk about prevention and answer your questions about these types of crimes that you can pass on to your Block Watch Groups.

SW Precinct commander Captain Steve Wilske will provide an update on recent events in West Seattle and South Park. Please join us to review and/or learn tips and techniques that will make your home and property less-desirable targets for criminals.

The meeting’s at 6:30 pm Tuesday at the precinct (Webster/Delridge), all welcome.

From reader reports and police files: Tonight’s 30th/Genesee gunshot; car and home break-ins; shoplift-turned-robbery; more

February 22, 2015 at 11:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 1 Comment

Eight reports to share. First:

(From Jordan via Twitter)
30TH/GENESEE INCIDENT TONIGHT: A big police response converged in this area after a report of gunfire. No one was reported to have been shot; we did hear, via scanner, an officer report finding one shell casing. Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams, responding to our inquiry about the circumstances, says it’s related to a recent assault; tonight “the victim fired a ‘warning’ shot up in the air to convince suspect to get away.” The investigation is still in progress. *

At mid-afternoon:

TRUCK VS. GARAGE: Thanks to Rob for the photo from 13th and Thistle earlier this afternoon. He saw the pickup truck hit the garage and says no one was hurt. Unlike last night’s crashes, in this one, the driver apparently stayed at the scene.

Reader report from overnight:

CAR BREAK-INS: Tori e-mailed:

We just wanted to let the West Seattle community know that both of our cars were broken into last night at 38th Ave SW & SW Oregon. They attempted to steal the car but were unable to, and instead, messed up the car and rendered it un-drivable. This is the third time this month that our cars, and other cars on our block, have been targeted. We are hoping that by letting the blog know, others in this area can be aware of car thieves and keep valuables out of their cars.

Another reader report, with photo:

BREAK-IN DAMAGE: Greg sent the photo to go along with his report of a burglary on Thursday:

My house near 35th and Charleston was broken into (Thursday) while I was at work. Burglars bashed in the front door, did some good damage to it. Electronics stolen, not much else, so feel lucky it was only that. I called the police and they dusted the house for prints.

Some incidents that aren’t as recent, but are detailed in police reports we just obtained:

STOLEN CAR IN CRASH BEFORE OWNERS KNEW IT WAS GONE: Early last Tuesday morning, police investigated a hit-run crash at 17th and Barton. The vehicle was registered to an Upper Alki couple who didn’t even know it had been stolen; it was still in the driveway when they went to bed several hours earlier. Police delivered the bad news that their vehicle was not drivable and had been towed.

ANOTHER SHOPLIFT-TURNED-ROBBERY: Another case of shoplifting that turned to robbery when the theft turned to violence. This one happened around 7 pm February 11th, according to a report we obtained this week as part of our ongoing public-disclosure requests. Employees at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) told police a man and woman tried to steal food from the deli and candy from a Valentine’s Day display. They were intercepted while trying to leave without paying; they gave back the deli food but the woman denied having the candy hidden in her purse, even though the man yelled at her to give it back so they could leave. She refused and hit a store employee on the wrist, leaving a bruise, then swore at the store employees. Both suspects then bolted. She was described as Hispanic, early 20s, thin, 5-5, bright pink jacket and jeans; he was described as black, 30s, medium build, scruffy facial hair, 5-10, in dark clothing. Video surveillance was being checked.

CAR PROWL IN SUPERMARKET LOT: Same location as the previous item, but this happened around 10:30 am February 10th. Someone broke into a car while its owner was in Thriftway for a few minutes. A backpack and pair of pants were taken. Store surveillance caught the incident and it turned out one person seen on the video had been in the nearby cell-phone store, “trying to activate a stolen cellphone,” and his identity was known. Cross-referencing jail records, we note someone with the same name spent a day and a half in jail this past week in connection with an apparently unrelated case involving a stolen car. We don’t yet know the status of the case involving the car prowl.

ITEMS FOUND: Maybe someone will be able to find the owner here, as “HelperMonkey” did with the items noted in a recent roundup. In this case, a neighbor in the 8800 block of 37th SW in Upper Fauntleroy found “property on the street that she suspected was associated with a crime,” per a report, which says police retrieved the items, described as wires, old clothing, and food, plus a debit card in the name of Ana S—–a. Police were not able to find anyone by that name. If you know Ana, have her contact police.

P.S. – NEXT CRIME PREVENTION/SAFETY MEETING … is this Tuesday (February 24th), when the West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meets at the SW Precinct (Webster/Delridge), 6:30 pm, all welcome. The agenda’s still being finalized but police will have a presence there as always, so bring questions/concerns, and take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen/start a block watch.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search in Puget Ridge area

February 22, 2015 at 2:30 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | Comments Off

Just in case you are wondering about a police search in the Puget Ridge/Highland Park area – it follows two reports that might or might not be related. All we have right now is scanner information – first, dispatchers reported multiple calls from people who thought they heard possible gunshots in the Puget Ridge area (18th/Graham was mentioned). Police headed that way to look for any evidence of gunfire. (So far, we haven’t heard any indication they found it.) Then came word, in the same general area, of a vehicle fleeing police, and shortly thereafter, word of a hit-run crash near 18th/Holden involving a possibly stolen car, with people getting out of the car and fleeing. Police took one into custody and were looking for up to 5 others.

West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Local stats at citywide briefing

February 18, 2015 at 4:52 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Last night at the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – as reported here afterward – SPD Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Steve Wilske noted that burglary and auto theft are down in this area. Above, one of the slides shown at today’s every-other-week SeaStat crime-stats briefing at SPD HQ shows the exact numbers.

Also from today’s slide deck (which you can see in full here), a closer look at the recent robberies that victimized local students:

Slightly closer look at the two maps – the blue boxes represent incidents, the pink/red ones just show geographical reference points:

As Capt. Wilske said last night, no new incidents have been reported since last week – of course, keep in mind that school was out the first two days of this week – and extra police patrols are continuing TFN.

@ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Updates on WS robberies, South Park homicide, more

February 17, 2015 at 8:17 pm | In Crime, West Seattle Crime Prevention Council, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 7 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Southwest Precinct‘s commander says extra staffing to protect students – “double the staff on first watch” – will continue “for the foreseeable future.”

That was part of what Capt. Steve Wilske had to say at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. Other measures taken to try to stop the string of robbery/grabbing incidents include instant alerts that he is getting in the case of any crime in which the victim is a juvenile. Updates in the meeting included not only the recent incidents but also last weekend’s South Park homicide plus overall local crime trends:

Click to read the rest of @ West Seattle Crime Prevention Council: Updates on WS robberies, South Park homicide, more…

Followup: How police found the second suspect arrested for recent crimes against students

February 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 15 Comments

A brand-new update on SPD Blotter reveals new details of the robbery-case arrest reported here over the weekend after an update was sent to local community-group leaders. Posted this afternoon by SPD Blotter’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee:

Detectives say a 15-year-old student tried to rob two teens, stole a package from a West Seattle home, and then climbed out of the wreck of a stolen getaway car before rushing back to his high school earlier this month.

Police arrested the teen Friday evening for the string of West Seattle crimes on February 2nd. Around 9 AM, the suspect stepped out of a silver minivan in the 6900 block of 34th Ave SW and began following two 17-year-olds on the street. The suspect repeatedly demanded the pair of victims hand over their cellphones. When the teens refused to give up their phones, the suspect punched both boys in the face. The victims ran away and reported the incident to police.

About four hours after the attack, detectives believe the suspect stole a package of luggage off the porch in the 7100 block of 28th Ave SW, just a few blocks from the scene of the suspect’s attempted robbery. Witnesses described seeing the suspects speeding away from the scene of the theft in a silver minivan. Officers later found the empty minivan crashed into a parked car.

Police impounded the van and contacted the owner, who had reported it stolen. Detectives later searched the van and found cellphones and the luggage stolen from the 7100 block of 28th Avenue.

Detectives were able to tie one of the phones to the 15-year-old, and his 17-year-old victims were able to pick him out of a photo lineup. While police were at the suspect’s school investigating the case, security staff said they had seen the suspect running back onto campus shortly after police had found the crashed minivan nearby.

Update: Helicopter over High Point, police search on ground

February 14, 2015 at 10:44 pm | In Helicopter, High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 25 Comments

10:44 PM: Thanks for the tips – the Guardian One helicopter is in West Seattle now, in the High Point area, over Graham/Lanham. Not sure yet what it’s about – they seem to be focused on a vehicle – we’ll add what we find out.

10:55 PM: Officers are searching on the ground, too – one tells us this involves “stolen property.”

(Police at the Calugas Apartments in High Point)
11:01 PM: Guardian One appears to have moved on. We’ve heard on the scanner multiple times that this involves law enforcement from Mercer Island as well as SPD. Not sure how much more we’ll find out tonight.

11:06 PM: Guardian One’s Twitter account confirms:

11:32 PM: Photos added.

Update: Police search after hit-run driver damages cars on Delridge

February 14, 2015 at 6:20 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 18 Comments


(WSB photo: Delridge north of Juneau. Most seriously damaged car at right, pushed up onto planting strip)
6:20 AM: Thanks for the tips about a police search under way in the 5900 block of Delridge Way and vicinity, including a K-9 team. They’re looking for a driver reported to have fled after a hit-run crash that damaged several cars. No description so far.

6:41 AM: A suspect has reportedly been found and is getting medical treatment.

Update: Police search after ‘lewd conduct’ reported near Chief Sealth IHS

February 12, 2015 at 11:16 am | In Crime, Helicopter, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments

11:16 AM: Thanks for the tips about the helicopters. A police search is under way in the Chief Sealth International High School vicinity after, per SPD, a man “reportedly exposed himself (near Sealth) … and ran off.” Police add that they are “evaluating conflicting witness statements.” Earlier this morning, a significant police presence was visible in the area, following the three incidents reported by students yesterday. No description available yet, so we don’t know if this incident matches any aspect of the “flasher” report a few blocks east of Sealth on January 26th.

11:47 AM UPDATE: Just as we were on the phone with police seeking more details, they tweeted this:

There is some partial description info, Det. Drew Fowler told us: White man, 20s, gray shirt, black boots.

Update: SWAT standoff ends in Admiral apartment building; man found dead

February 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 46 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
11:25 PM: We’ve found out a bit about the sizable police presence, including SWAT officers, at an apartment building in Admiral, near California/College. (Thank you to those who texted/e-mailed about it.) Police on the scene tell WSB’s Christopher Boffoli that a man is barricaded inside an apartment. More as we get it.

11:55 PM: No change in the situation. We’re told police have been on the scene for more than two hours. Police confirmed to Christopher that this began with a domestic-violence incident earlier in the evening. The Seattle Fire 911 log shows an aid (lower-level medical) response to the area at 9:12 pm. Aside from the police presence outside the building on SW College, Christopher tells us there are no traffic effects.

12:51 AM: Now an assault-with-weapons response has been dispatched, and scanner traffic indicates a possible shooting victim.

Christopher reports hearing what could have been gunshots.

12:58 AM: Per radio, police and fire are going in.

1:09 AM: Christopher reports that the SWAT team is leaving and medics (above) have left without a patient.

1:58 AM: Still trying to find out how this ended. SW Precinct Lt. Alan Williams told us he can only say “there is no threat to anyone in the area at this time.” More information, we’re told, will come through SPD Public Affairs.

3:42 AM: Adding photos taken while the situation was still unfolding. Above, SWAT officers staged on the other side of California, though the incident did NOT involve businesses there. Below, at the building, the SWAT officers entered and exited over the course of a few hours; residents were not evacuated.

7:27 AM: Though we’re still awaiting an official police statement, sources including neighbors confirm the man was found dead. One neighbor says some residents were in fact evacuated for a time.

8:14 AM: SPD Det. Patrick Michaud confirms that police found the man dead of “a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” The victim in the original domestic-violence report was already out of the apartment when police first arrived around 8:30 pm, Det. Michaud confirms, and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

9:35 AM: One more detail from police, according to Det. Drew Fowler: “Police never made contact with the man until we made entry and located the deceased.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we always do in reports involving suicide, we want to mention the Crisis Clinic‘s 24-hour hotline: 206-461-3222. The state’s Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-562-6025.

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