West Seattle Crime Watch: Exposure arrest; car vandalism

January 18, 2008 7:33 pm
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The latest from the files at the Southwest Precinct: We start with an indecent-exposure arrest in the 9400 block of 30th SW. handcuffs_2.jpgAn 11-year-old boy was walking in a nearby alley Wednesday afternoon when, he said, a man motioned him over, then dropped his pants and exposed himself. He ran to a nearby school to report what happened. Other information led officers to believe they knew who they were looking for, and before they had finished talking with the young victim, the suspect showed up in the area, and they arrested him. Police say they have dealt with the suspect before, mostly for “mental-health situations.” More police-report summaries ahead, including a “home invasion” that happened this morning:

MAN FORCES HIS WAY INTO HOME, ROBS COUPLE: Just before 11 this morning in the 8800 block of 13th SW, a couple heard a knock on the front door. They say they answered it because they were expecting a friend. It was no friend – it was a man with a “long fixed-blade kitchen knife,” who told them “back up and I won’t hurt you.” He looked through drawers and closets, and at one point was heard making a cell-phone call to someone whom he told, “I can’t find it, it’s not here, it’s not where you said it was.” The victims believe that may have something to do with a man they believe stole money from them after they hired him off their doorstep to do handyman work a few months ago. The person who forced his way into their home today got away with a coin collection and the money in their wallets; they were not hurt.

PARKING RAGE: A woman told police Thursday that someone wrote NO PARKING on her car in purple marker on Wednesday, in the 1500 block of SW Morgan. She says she parked her car there earlier this week while going to school at South Seattle Community College, even though someone put orange cones out to try to block off the spot. On that day, she said, a note was left on her car asking her not to park there. She consulted with police to see if she had the legal right to park there; they told her she did. So on Wednesday, she parked there again. This time, when she came back, she found the writing on her car. She confronted a nearby resident who admitted leaving the note but not doing the writing. Police talked to him later; he told them the same thing but also said he was blocking off the parking space because he “likes to keep that spot open for his friends.” Police told him he can’t do that; he moved the cones.

CARS TRASHED IN GARAGE: Around 11 am Wednesday morning, a vandalism rampage was discovered, targeting vehicles in a commercial garage in the 2300 block of 42nd SW. The damage done to the vehicles included tagging, broken windows, broken lights, and dents. Officers found a spray-paint can and lug wrench near the damaged cars. One of the cars was owned by an employee of a nearby store who said his store had sold spray paint to a group of juveniles believed to be “regular customers” who allegedly had stolen similar paint in the past. Another witness said he had seen a group of juveniles leaving the garage.

BEWARE SENDING MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU MEET ONLINE: A man came to the Southwest Precinct this week to report he’d apparently been the victim of an online swindle. He said he met someone in a Yahoo! chatroom who said he was in England and needed some help to get back to the U.S. This person sent the victim a $3,000 check and four $950 money orders. Then he asked the victim to send him some of that money back. The victim didn’t discover the check and money orders were all counterfeit until after he had wired the suspect $1,600 via Western Union.

UTILITY TRUCK RIPOFF: Around 11:25 this morning in the Westwood Village area, police got a call about someone opening doors on a Seattle City Light truck. A check of the truck revealed a lineman’s tool belt, worth $500, was missing. The suspect was last seen driving away in a “beige, oxidized” 4-door Ford Taurus.

CAR BURGLARY: A man told police on Wednesday that his girlfriend’s car had been broken into sometime last weekend while he had been borrowing it and had parked it in the 2700 block of 61st SW. The couple believes the thief tampered with the driver’s-side lock and took a GPS device as well as some CDs.

INSTRUMENTS MISSING: A woman living in the 4000 block of SW 107th called police Thursday morning to report someone had stolen a silver flute and piccolo from her crawl space. She last saw them in June, and noticed them missing in December; she said she’s calling police now because her insurance company told her she had to file a police report. She noted that “numerous contractors” had been inside her house in the time frame during which the instruments vanished.

TOOLS MISSING: Someone broke into a house in the 2600 block of Walnut SW that hadn’t yet had locks installed; they pried open a door that had been secured only with “wire ties,” and made off with some tools.

One last note: You may have seen West Seattle mentioned in the accounts of this disturbing case; the Southwest Precinct team tells WSB that the case was handled by the vice unit, and most of the locations involved were in other areas of the city and county, so the paperwork’s not in their files, but the suspect’s arrest apparently happened in the South Delridge area.

As we always remind you – don’t hesitate to call police when you see or hear something suspicious, and of course when you believe a crime has been (or is being) committed. In addition to 911, there’s a non-emergency line at 206/625-5011. A big collection of Seattle Police crime-prevention resources is available online here. And previous WSB police-report coverage is archived on our Crime Watch page.

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