One of the police reports we reviewed at the Seattle Police Southwest Precinct late today got even better with some added information forwarded by Lt. Steve Paulsen – turns out that one arrest following a gas-station break-in early yesterday helped detectives solve 9 burglaries in all. It all started just before 5 am Thursday, with calls to police reporting someone smashing in the front door of the Chevron station at 35th and Holden. The callers gave police excellent information — describing the suspect and his car, and which way he headed after he took off. An officer spotted the car, a white T-Bird with a sunroof, at 35th and Morgan, and pulled it over in the 7100 block of Delridge. The car’s registered owner gave police permission to search its trunk, where officers found items including 33 unopened packages of cigarettes. One of the detectives who questioned the suspect, Detective Donald Henderson, picks up the story from there, in an e-mail forwarded to WSB by Lt. Paulsen:
A consent to search was obtained from the registered owner. Stolen Property and Burglary Tools were recovered, and placed into evidence. Detectives were able to solve eight commercial burglary cases in West Seattle, and one from North Seattle. Well done to West Seattle Citizens for getting involved, and reporting suspicious activity to 9-1-1.
Lt. Paulsen adds, “This all began with a citizen call and one of our newer police officers on the morning watch (Officer Melissa Wengard). Great example of the public calling in things that don’t look right!” You may recall another WSB report three weeks ago about another stack of burglary cases solved by the Southwest Precinct team. Meantime, here are half a dozen more new and noteworthy West Seattle police reports:
BIG CATCH WITH THE HELP OF A CITIZEN CALL: Thursday morning around 9 am, police got a call about a possible break-in in the 5400 block of 26th SW. Officers knocked on the front door; no answer, so they went around back, where they found an open door. Inside, they found 9 people. However, the police report says, “no one knew whose house they were in, and the owner of the house was not present.” After checking the background of all 9 people, police found arrest warrants were out for 4 of them. Those 4 were arrested, while the other 5 were released at the scene, but police are asking prosecutors to charge all 9 with trespassing.
CONFESSION: A suspected car prowler admitted to officers that he and a friend were out walking around to find vehicles to “take stuff from” — this happened around 5 am Thursday in the 8600 block of 10th SW. Police found the suspect after a man called to say he looked out the window while getting up to feed his baby and noticed one person in his unlocked car with another person standing next to it; he told police the two took off after he yelled at them, but police found one teenage suspect a few blocks away, and that’s when he told them not only what he and the friend were up to, but he also confirmed he had been in someone’s car till someone yelled at him. He was released to the custody of his family.
THEY REALLY DID HEAR GUNSHOTS: If you listen to a citywide scanner long enough, especially late at night, you’re bound to hear several reports of people hearing something that sounds like gunshots. Police got a few calls to that effect from the 3400 block of Harbor Ave around 10 pm Wednesday night, and while it appears they didn’t find anything damaged or anyone hurt that night, proof of a shooting incident did turn up the next morning — a tenant at ActivSpace showed up for work around 9 am Thursday and found a hole in his office window, plus a “shop light” that had been shot out. A 9mm slug turned up and police have taken it as evidence.
WATCH OUT WHAT YOU LEAVE AT A WORKSITE: Some money is missing from a house in the 9200 block of Fauntleroy that’s being remodeled and has had day laborers coming and going for quite some time. Police say someone pried open a bedroom window between Wednesday night and Thursday morning to make off with the undisclosed amount of cash; they told the home’s owner to be sure no other valuables are left there.
TWO BREAK-IN ATTEMPTS, BUT NOTHING APPARENTLY TAKEN: One was reported Wednesday afternoon in the 7100 block of 32nd; a woman called police to say that her neighbors’ garage doors were “bent out” and almost pulled off, and she was concerned because the neighbors were away. Officers say it doesn’t look like anyone got into the house; the neighbors were planning to get the doors fixed as soon as possible. The other case is from the 4000 block of SW Brandon, where a woman called police Wednesday about a door-prying attempt that happened while she was away for a few days after Christmas.
EMBEZZLEMENT INVESTIGATION: The manager and owner of a restaurant in the 6500 block of California reported that they suspect an employee of embezzling as much as $3,000.
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 crime coverage is archived here.