West Seattle Crime Watch: Police search in Highland Park

April 24, 2015 at 2:14 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | No Comments

2:14 AM: Police, including a K-9 team, are searching right now in the Highland Park Elementary vicinity (and beyond). We don’t know what preceded the search but they’re looking for someone who has an arrest warrant on record.

2:49 AM: Sounds like it started with circumstances including a car, a report of a fight, and two people fleeing, including the car’s owner. We hope to get a bit more information later this morning.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Highland Park burglary suspect arrested after officer’s White Center pawn-shop hunch

April 23, 2015 at 4:07 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 5 Comments

Also just in via SPD Blotter – a Highland Park burglary suspect caught by police in White Center while trying to sell what he allegedly stole. The story spanned multiple locations which we’ve just clarified with SPD’s Det. Drew Fowler, so we’re summarizing with added information, as well as quoting:

Police say the burglary happened in the 9400 block of 7th SW (map) around 7 pm last night – a resident saw a man go into his garage, steal an air compressor, and take it to a getaway car nearby. A plainclothes officer in the area went to Pawn Pros at 16th/102nd in White Center (map) and found a vehicle matching the description given to SPD. The officer checked the license plate and discovered it was a stolen car. A female passenger was inside, but the burglary suspect was nowhere in sight. Picking up the SPDB account:

Unbeknownst to officers at the time, the victim’s sister had the same suspicion and went to the same pawnshop. Inside the pawnshop the victim’s sister recognized the suspect and the air compressor. She took a cellphone picture of the man holding the air compressor, which prompted him to leave the store.

Officers saw the suspect exit the pawnshop still carrying the compressor which he loaded into the stolen car. Patrol officers attempted to stop the suspect, but he began driving recklessly, speeding through neighborhoods and stop signs alike.

This happened in White Center and Highland Park – finally, officers terminated the vehicle pursuit for safety concerns, and found the stolen car, empty, in the 11000 block of 18th SW in White Center. The burglary suspect and his female passenger were caught nearby. Police found drugs in his possession “as well as property taken in a recent car prowl,” they reported (that’s been returned to its owner). The 27-year-old suspect is jailed for “investigation of attempt to elude, auto theft, trafficking in stolen property, drug possession, and burglary.”

What the big police response at Lincoln Park is about

April 22, 2015 at 4:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 2 Comments

Thanks for the tips about a sizable police response at/near the north parking lot at Lincoln Park. Here’s what police tell us happened: Making a traffic stop, they noticed a gun in the car, and called for backup. It turned out to be a realistic-looking Airsoft-type gun. They also told us they are still investigating other possible issues regarding the vehicle/driver, so the scene hasn’t cleared quite yet.

FOLLOWUP: Seattle Police neighborhood plans, now made public

April 21, 2015 at 7:36 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 13 Comments

Over the past year or so, Seattle Police have been working with neighborhood groups to create specific local policing plans – and now, they’ve made the citywide plans public. Here are the six for West Seattle (with more to come):

Admiral
Alki
Fauntleroy
Highland Park
North Delridge
Roxhill/Arbor Heights

(Former Southwest Precinct commander, now Assistant Chief, Steve Wilske, was a leader in initiating these, as cited by SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole in promoting him.)

Read more about the concept – and see the city’s other plans, if you’re interested – by going to this SPD webpage.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Stolen car found, 3 teens arrested

April 18, 2015 at 9:46 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments

A commenter mentioned this earlier – and now details are on SPD Blotter:

Officers responded to calls of street racing in West Seattle Saturday and arrested three teens for auto theft.

A witness called police at 7:45 Saturday morning and reported street racing followed by suspicious behavior around a car in the 5400 block of 34 Ave. SW. Officers quickly arrived and saw three teen boys run from a car in the area. An officer checked the car and found the steering column, instrument panel, and other parts of the car either damaged or removed. Other officers flooded the area and located the teenagers a few blocks away. While talking to and searching the boys, an officer found a shaved key, used for stealing cars, on one of the teens.

A fourth teen, who stayed at the original scene in another car, allowed officers to search his vehicle. Officers found several car parts from the damaged vehicle inside the trunk of the teen’s car.

The owner of the damaged car called police and confirmed that his car had just been stolen.

Officers arrested and booked the three teens who ran into the King County Youth Service Center, while the fourth teen who stayed behind was released to his parents.

Alki Community Council: From new signs at Don Armeni, to new info about the Homestead renovation

April 17, 2015 at 4:54 pm | In Neighborhoods, West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 23 Comments

(Photo courtesy Paul)
New parking signs are up at Don Armeni Boat Ramp – not new rules, but new signs (though a related rule change is under consideration). Thanks to a tip, we were already working on a story about the new signs before police explained them at last night’s Alki Community Council meeting. The signs, and other ACC toplines, including the SPD plan for Alki this summer, and Homestead/Fir Lodge updates from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, ahead …

Click to read the rest of Alki Community Council: From new signs at Don Armeni, to new info about the Homestead renovation…

West Seattle Crime Watch: Early-morning robbery

April 17, 2015 at 10:55 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 44 Comments

Just posted on SPD Blotter:

Two masked men forced their way inside a Seattle marijuana shop owner’s West Seattle home early Friday and tied him up at gunpoint, before making off with tens of thousands of dollars in cash, a half-dozen pistols and a high-powered rifle.

The 47-year-old owner was walking up to his home in the 8600 block of 35th Avenue SW around 12:30 AM when two masked men approached him. The suspects grabbed a puppy the victim was carrying, and forced the man inside his home at gunpoint.

The suspects forced the victim to open two safes inside the home and then tied him to a bed while they took a large amount of cash, six different handguns, a rifle, four watches, and the victim’s surveillance system.

About an hour after the incident began, the victim got free and began searching for his puppy. When he found the dog, he called police.

The victim wasn’t able to provide much of a description of the suspects: he told officers both men appeared to be in their 30s, one was white, the other Hispanic.

Robbery detectives are investigating the case, and asking anyone with information to contact police at (206) 684-5535.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Fake ‘plumber’ scams his way in

April 15, 2015 at 10:35 am | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 4 Comments

Seattle Police are warning of a bogus “plumber” scamming his way into homes – and says one was in West Seattle:

… In five different cases between January 22nd and April 8th, the suspect has approached women – all between the ages of 76 and 91 – at their homes, claimed to work for Fox Plumbing, and then tried to snake his way inside to steal cash, credit cards, and IDs.

In the first incident, the suspect approached a woman at her home in the 4700 block of 25th Ave SW, said he was working at a neighbor’s home, and needed to check her water. The victim allowed the man inside, where he strolled from room to room, turning on faucets before leaving. The victim became suspicious and called Fox Plumbing, only to learn they did not have anyone working in the area. She then discovered the suspect had stolen cash, credit cards and her ID.

The full story, with incidents elsewhere in the city, is here.

UPDATE: Man hurt in shooting at Upper Morgan apartment building; police cite ‘dispute over text messages’

April 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 27 Comments

(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
9:45 PM: Just in case you heard it too – we’re getting texts, and police are reporting multiple calls, of possible gunshots heard in the High Point/Upper Morgan area. No further details yet. As we’ve told texters, if you heard them, please let 911 know – that’ll help them zero in on a location.

9:58 PM: This apparently happened in/from an apartment building in the 6500 block of 35th SW. Police are still arriving – avoid the area. An “assault with weapons” SFD response is headed that way, too, though we don’t know whether police have confirmed any victim(s).

10:12 PM: Police have now confirmed what a neighbor told us – one person shot in the leg.

10:30 PM: WSB’s Christopher Boffoli is at the scene. He tells us the victim is a man in his late 30s/early 40s, being taken to the hospital by private ambulance – shot in the foot, not a life-threatening injury.

11:33 PM: New information from Christopher – police are wrapping up at the scene. The suspect is not yet in custody, they told him (though we had heard via scanner earlier that they believe they know who they are looking for). They believe the shooting was deliberate, not an accident (we hadn’t been sure about that) and now clarify that the wound was in the victim’s ankle.

ADDED 8:19 AM: New information this morning via SPD Blotter – police say it was “a dispute over text messages.” Excerpt:

… Police responded to SW Morgan Street and 35th Avenue SW just before 9:45 PM after receiving reports that a man had fired shots from an apartment building, striking a man on the street. Officers evacuated the building and searched for the suspect, but were unable to find him.

The victim of the shooting also called 911 shortly after the incident and said he had been shot in the leg. Officers found the man across the street from the scene of the shooting.

The victim told officers he knew the suspect through a mutual acquaintance — an ex-girlfriend —and had received a series of harassing text messages from the man Thursday evening. When the victim went to the suspect’s apartment building to confront him over the texts, the suspect appeared on a third-floor balcony and opened fire. …

West Seattle Crime Watch: Gunfire in South Delridge & beyond

April 8, 2015 at 11:04 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 18 Comments

11:04 PM: If you’re in the South Delridge area and thought you heard gunfire … police report finding at least one shell casing in the area of the 9000 block of Delridge Way SW. No reports of any injuries so far. (Thanks to the person who texted the tip.)

11:15 PM: Via the scanner, we’ve heard police report also finding casings near 17th/Barton, and now officers think they are hearing shots in the distance to the southwest, possibly closer to 13th/Roxbury, where people are calling in about it. They’ve also found a car window shot out – we’ve just received a photo we’re adding atop this story.

11:42 PM: Also, reports shots were heard near Delridge and Juneau.

12:01 AM: And now in the Olson vicinity, east end of Roxbury, near Arrowhead Gardens. Helicopter alert: You might also hear Guardian One joining the search.

12:14 AM: The car they’re looking for is described (again, via scanner) as a red older 4-door Honda, possibly loud exhaust, 3-5 male teens/young adults inside. If you have any tips, call 911.

11:48 AM: Police report the overnight arrest of a 16-year-old who’s under investigation in connection with all this – we’ve published a separate update.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Police searching for would-be burglar

April 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | No Comments

The police search in the mid-Beach Drive area is because of a reported burglary attempt upslope in the 5900 block of Atlas Drive. Someone is reported to have tried to break into a house there by breaking a window. Only a partial description so far – white man, heavy set, in a blue and green Seahawks sweatshirt and dark shorts, who fled on foot, toward the water. Any information, call 911.

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.)

Also:

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.

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