Reader report: Car break-in with a potentially telling clue

Just out of the WSB inbox from Jeremy M, who’s on 51st in the Charlestown Hill/Schmitz Park area (map), and offers a clue that might lead to the culprit(s):

My Land Cruiser was broken into early this morning. Silly really. The “thieves” traded my car stereo faceplate and some really crappy speakers for a “Bombay Gin” swiss army style knife and a small flashlight. While I believe I got the better end of the deal, it was a bit of a bummer that they left my door open and the dome light on. I’ll have to jump my truck to get it going now and that’s always a pain in the butt. Seems that we were the last of three on our street (51st SW near Avalon) to get broken into. You’ll notice that I mentioned that they stole the faceplate of the stereo. The funny thing is that I did such a crappy job installing my stereo (there was cardboard wedging it into the dash!) that when they tried to steal the body of the stereo, they managed to push it further into the dash and couldn’t get it out! I can just imagine a couple of big kneed, baggy pant kids sitting in my front seats laughing nervously while getting more and more frustrated as they try to retrieve the stereo from deep inside the dash. Something must have spooked them as they left in a hurry, leaving the above-mentioned “Bombay Gin” Swiss army style knife and a little red flashlight (the flashlight might have actually been mine, I really can’t remember).

So, if your son/daughter/cousin/neighbor or other person you might know had a silver “Bombay Gin” Swiss army knife, or maybe you had one and you’re missing it, ask a few questions. I’m not looking to get my stuff back but in the interest of safety it might be a good idea to nip this in the bud as the police aren’t as understanding as I am and these “thieves” aren’t all that slick. They will eventually get caught.

You know our pitch – be sure you report everything to the police – if it’s not happening right this moment or a matter of safety, 625-5011 is the non-emergency number. Here’s a page with the official Seattle Police advice on preventing “car prowls” (the term for break-ins like this).

10 Replies to "Reader report: Car break-in with a potentially telling clue"

  • Chris D February 15, 2008 (10:09 am)

    My partner’s car was also broken into last night in a similar amateur fashion. The thieves clearly didn’t know how to take out a car stereo, as all they managed to do was crack the front of the unit behind the face plate. They were kind enough to leave the face plate behind, and as luck would have it…the thing still works.

    They got away with her work cell phone and keys and a faucet that was for an upcoming kitchen remodel (who steals a faucet, really!?).

    I believe they were on foot as we found her backpack and some other stuff they took from the car in the neighbors yard behind a tall hedge. Looks like the grabbed the stuff and went through it behind cover.

    This was half a block west of Fauntleroy on Hudson street. We filed a police report this morning.

  • Andrea February 15, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Holy crap…I think that’s my beighborhood and Jeremy is my next door neighborhood! I had no idea any of this had happened 10ft from my door when I left for work this morning. What a waste of time these kids have created for everyone involved. I’m sorry for Jeremy, his wife, and the other robbery victims in the neighborhoods. I will definietly be on the look out now for whomever is missing a Bombay Gin swiss army knife…

  • Andrea February 15, 2008 (11:34 am)

    oops…that would be neighborhood and next door neighbor. still early for me I guess…

  • Eddie February 15, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    Beware that they stole your keys! They may not have half a brain (or even a quarter of one….) but sometimes they figure out that the keys they stole might fit the house that the car was parked in front of. It might take days, it might take weeks, but unless you change the locks, you never know.

    Sorry to be such a buzz-kill.

  • JanS February 15, 2008 (12:52 pm)

    we can all be a buzz-kill here sometimes. Please, please don’t leave valuables in a car…not house keys, not cell phones, not laptops, not anything that’s important that is hard to replace. In other words, if you value it, take it inside with you.

  • grr February 15, 2008 (1:14 pm)

    maybe I watch too much TV..but I’d take that stuff to SPD and see if they can lift a print or two off it.

  • kathy February 15, 2008 (1:15 pm)

    My car was ransacked last night. I’m on 42nd near Brandon. This happens regularly. I’ve learned not leave anything valuable in the car.

  • eileen February 15, 2008 (3:44 pm)

    If you have had your keys stolen is is relatively inexpensive to have your house rekeyed. Any of the locksmiths in WS can help. (Been there…)

  • Been There February 16, 2008 (8:55 am)


    I’m really sorry, but I laughed my head off when you suggested they take the stuff left behind to the police station to have a print lifted. Maybe if someone had been murdered they would be willing.

  • miws February 16, 2008 (7:13 pm)

    I prefer “kitty-corner”, because kitties are warm and furry, and they purr.


    I don’t like it when kitties scratch me.


    And, I don’t like Kitty Roca!”


    Mike…flashing back to age 5…

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