New Westcrest worry

Westcrest Park, home to West Seattle’s only off-leash area, got a microburst of attention recently after a tv report about public sex in the park. However, frequent visitors are focusing right now on a different concern — theft. A member of the Westcrest Off-Leash Area Yahoo! group asked us to get the word out about two thefts this week alone. The victim of the first one reported that a man stole her purse out of her car while she was just feet away unloading dogs. The purse contained her cell phone; here’s what she tried a while later:

“I also called my cell phone and the guy answered it. I told him I would be filing a police report with a description of him and his car and the theft and he told me to F off.”

The other theft happened today, according to a note posted by park steward Steve:

“We got hit again this morning, Wednesday, about 10 am. This is getting really ridiculous. I’ve been to the south precinct on Delridge to ask if they could patrol the lot once in a while, but no one was even there. Perhaps others could stop by there to ask as well ..squeaky wheel theory. Once again, I don’t think anyone is looking out for us except for us.”

13 Replies to "New Westcrest worry"

  • Jan October 18, 2007 (1:12 am)

    I guess lesson #1 is…don’t leave things in your car where someone can access them. When you get out, take your purse with you….better yet…put your drivers license in your pocket and leave the purse at home when taking the dogs for a walk. Cell phones fit in a pocket, too. We are told time again and again what not to leave in a car in these parking valuables, never anything unless you can live without it.

    I do agree, though…this is a huge park, and popular, and the police know that there’s at least one illegal thing going on there, now 2. A presence every now and then might have an effect and be some kind of deterrent.

  • rjm October 18, 2007 (8:37 am)

    Isn’t this same park that has the Seattle Police Mounted Unit’s stables? Wasn’t one of the purposes to placing the stables there was to increase police presence?

  • k October 18, 2007 (9:27 am)

    i love westcrest dog park, but it’s getting tougher to go there. if you park in the upper lot near the playground, you have to deal with the men cruising each other and going of into the woods or with the people living in their cars/vans. if you park in the lower lot right near the dog park entrance, you have to worry about your car. seems to me the police don’t want to deal with either issue. i have NEVER seen a police or security presence in that park. yes, we should all look out for each other, but that’s just not enough. i have emailed the city regarding the first issue to no avail. frustrating at best.

  • Bonnie October 18, 2007 (10:18 am)

    So saddened by this because we love Westcrest park and the kids love the playground. I guess we just can’t go there anymore.

  • roddy October 18, 2007 (11:49 am)

    I’ve always hated that park because of the sleazy cruising and leftovers on the ground, plus plenty of shady characters in addition to the cruisers. Took my dog there a total of twice and that was it for me. I think it’s a shame that they can’t designate a small portion of the usually sparsely populated Lincoln Park beach for an off-leash area. Not that it’s stopping dog owners from utilizing it just the same :)

  • doggone it October 18, 2007 (12:31 pm)

    roddy-i agree about lincoln park. even if they had a small area for certain times of the day. it would be wonderful! i don’t feel safe alone at westcrest. a friend of mine went there yesterday and two men were sitting in a van smoking pot right in front of the playground. i just don’t get it.

  • G. Williams October 18, 2007 (1:10 pm)

    Maybe I’m just going there at the wrong (right?) times or something, but I’ve never felt unsafe in Westcrest park (I have occasionally encountered people sleeping under bushes and the like, but that’s pretty much been the case for the last 10 years). Besides which, I think that if local residents abandon it, that’ll just make any problems worse. I’m not suggesting that people should do things that make themselves uncomfortable, like taking your kids somewhere where there are shady characters hanging around, but I don’t think giving up the place is the answer either. Lincoln Park is nice and all but I prefer to go to Westcrest because I can walk to it.

  • Erik October 18, 2007 (1:59 pm)

    Egads! A woman without her cellphone…she might have to listen to the void in her head. When will the sufferin end?

  • Kayleigh October 18, 2007 (2:03 pm)

    Some parks just have a bad vibe, and I just don’t go there.

    And please–leave Lincoln Park safe for the squirrels and birds. We don’t need your dogs chasing them.

  • JW October 18, 2007 (3:11 pm)

    Thank you for the information about the thief. A good reminder to keep my eyes open.

    And I’m not offering smiling approval to these two activities, but I gotta say – if you’re regarding people smoking pot in a closed vehicle or having a tryst back behind a bush somewhere as a big off-putting why-aren’t-the-police-doing-something gotta-protect-the-kids problem…count yourself lucky.

    Back at my old place in the CD, it was all about street thugs threatening people in the neighborhood, saying they’d shoot their dogs, and creating an atmosphere of fear. The uncles of the kids lived in a couple of very nicely kept homes with huge new SUVs out front and everyone in the neighborhood knew they were drug kingpins. Meaning…the kids could act with impunity.

    Westcrest Park seems like a quaint small-town funplex in comparison. And I’ve been told it used to be a much tougher thug-infested place. So, I’m pretty grateful for what we have. Please don’t stop going there because you don’t always like what you see. It’s really helpful to keep the place filled with eyes and ears.

  • roddy October 25, 2007 (7:40 pm)

    JW, I guess my point is, if we are going to have one off leash area for dogs, does it have to be a place where they are running around used condoms and syringes? Maybe the reason why it was designated a dog park is to disrupt the cruising and doping, but it is not a great atmosphere for playing with the pups (tennis ball goes flying in the bushes, dog can’t find it, owner goes to get it….oops, sorry to interrupt!). Regarding the CD, that’s why I live here, not there. You too, I bet.

    And Kayleigh…there is PLENTY of room in upper Lincoln Park for the birdies and the rodents (meaning squirrels). Squirrels don’t even get down to the beach! It would be so nice if the dogs were given a small patch of the northern part of the beach…even with limited hours.

  • CandrewB October 26, 2007 (6:03 am)

    We park in the lower lot and go there all the time. I have never witnessed anything like described. We stay in the fenced area though.

  • BrianH November 2, 2007 (10:16 pm)

    Roddy, regardless of how much room there appears to be at Lincoln Park, the beach is strictly off limits to off-leash dogs because of both the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Seattle city ordinance. Anyone with off-leash dogs on a salt water beach in Seattle faces a $500 fine, which is enforced. I’ve even heard of one person being ticketed twice in one day.

    Loving your pet is no excuse for breaking the law. I’d recommend you avail yourself of the many legal opportunities the community has already provided for you to exercise with your pet.

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