Reader reports: Doorknocker scam, break-in attempt, more

More reader reports from folks who want to warn other West Seattleites, just in case, including one lying doorknocker just spotted. Read on:

This from Barb on Genesee Hill just minutes ago:

Beware of a “window washer” casing the neighborhood. We just had a fellow come to the door and knock very lightly. Since both of our cars were in the garage, it surely looked like no one was home. He lied about doing the neighbor’s house earlier. 40ish, scruffy beard, Caucasian, white F150 truck with light brown trim, canopy with frame and bike rack. He got away before we could get more info. Our neighborhood has had several break-ins in recent months. We reported it to 911.

Then about a minute later, this from John near 51st and College:

We’ve been out of town for a few days and Wednesday night (5/7) noticed someone cut through screens on our bathroom & kitchen windows in an apparent attempt to break in. Fortunately, they didn’t succeed.

We reported it to the police and wanted to let you know as another heads up to the neighborhood.

This one from Lisa last night. May or may not be legit, but she wanted to share, and since we’re posting alerts:

Just returned home from running to the store to find two men saying they were from Evans windows. I had pulled into my garage and they walked right up to me. I was trying to get them to leave in such a hurry I forgot to ask for ID. I just didn’t want them looking into my garage to see all of my power tools and such. Just thought I would give a heads up. I live between Thistle and Elmgrove on 29th.

While talking with Detective Bauer from the Southwest Precinct yesterday afternoon, he mentioned that although they are busting burglary suspects at an amazing rate, new ones seem to move in to take their place — at least until word gets out on the street that this is an area where they are GOING TO GET NABBED, so don’t bother. That’s why those 911 calls matter so much.

26 Replies to "Reader reports: Doorknocker scam, break-in attempt, more"

  • OP May 9, 2008 (9:56 am)

    All these break-ins, casings, doorknockers,etc., just proves how DUMB criminals truly are. Why? Because if they read this blog they’d know there is a boatload of people watching out for them. Good job, WSB!

  • charles May 9, 2008 (10:28 am)

    love the reports, i write down the discriptions of these people, in case they show up around here. so far os good on our street. always watchfull.

  • Paul May 9, 2008 (10:28 am)

    as a reminder, mention this and the other cases to your neighbors, and eldery friends/relatives who might not have access to a computer and be in the know about what is going on. Our neighbors are elderly and do not use a computer, so I frequently tell them about where the latest issues or hot areas are. They love the updates. Plus, it helps you get to know your neighbors better.

  • M May 9, 2008 (10:45 am)

    OK, Just saw two young girls walk in front of our house on the 5200 block of admiral, walked down the ally behind the house and then walk back again, seemed knid of odd but not enough to call 911. Both had long dark hair. Anyone else see them?

  • Johnny Davies May 9, 2008 (10:52 am)

    With all this crime going on, I for one, feel safer knowing that Jack from Husky is walking the streets looking for criminals. I like his vigilante style and straight way of talkin’. He’s good for us.

    I think I saw him patroling my street the other evening.

    HUSKY JACK FOR MAYOR! We’d acutally get something done!

  • d-san May 9, 2008 (11:22 am)

    Yippee!! Husky Jack for Mayor! Someone who actually knows and cares about his neighbors and city.

  • gwen c. May 9, 2008 (11:25 am)

    HUSKY JACK FOR MAYOR! We’d acutally get something done!, sayeth Johnny Davies.

    He’d have my vote.
    He would have before the other night, anyhow.

    The worst part about this is that there’s obviously more street presence for scams, which goes unnoticed in a more spaced out area of town. If the cops saw four people clearly working doors in my ghettoish part of town, they’d suspect something in seconds. Then again, there’s nothing in my house worth casing, so they’d be disappointed.

  • Joan May 9, 2008 (11:33 am)

    Lisa, I was also descended upon by the same two guys on 29th in matching fleece vests. They followed my car into my driveway and my “spidey sense” was tingling badly! I decided NOT to get out and drove away. Even if they are legit, that is the WRONG way to approach a woman. GRRRRR!

  • flipjack May 9, 2008 (11:56 am)

    I just saw a guy dressed like a mailman going from house to house. called 911..definitely don’t want to tak any chances. whew!

  • Michael May 9, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    Is WSB going to be come the place to air any “suspicious” (i.e., “person I don’t know near my home”) activity?
    If so, maybe it’s time for a new blog with actual news.

  • Bikefor1 May 9, 2008 (12:49 pm)

    Flip, that’s mailcarrier. Oh great, you just ratted out someone from House of Pain!

  • WSB May 9, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    Until the waves of burglaries, often preceded by sightings of suspicious people in the area, cease – information-sharing is news, sorry that you disagree. The luxury of a site like this is that we have an infinite amount of space so we can publish everything of potential interest without leaving much on the cutting room floor.

  • Irukandji May 9, 2008 (1:20 pm)

    Huzzah WSB!

    This is the FIRST place I go when things get weird around the neighborhood. Neighborhood Blockwatch on Steroids! By working cooperatively we limit criminal activity, alert neighbors far faster than thru calls or door-knocking, and get fuller info back thru your contacts with SPD.

    Thank you for being the conduit for us!

  • d-san May 9, 2008 (1:23 pm)

    That’s right WSB, don’t you go changing! Jeez folks, you don’t like it?? Change the channel! Or get your own site. I’ll take WSB info and make my own decisions. I know you can too.

  • d May 9, 2008 (1:26 pm)


    WSB = Neighborhood Blockwatch on Steroids!!!! lol!!!!!! Nice image!!!!!!


  • J May 9, 2008 (1:40 pm)

    WSB, don’t ever stop posting this stuff…These types of stories are exactly what’s missing from other media outlets. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  • Aural Enhancer May 9, 2008 (1:41 pm)

    Ya know a good simple thing to do…which I haven’t seen anyone mention is put up a “NO SOLICITING” sign somewhere easily visible before your front door.
    I hardly get anyone coming to my door since I did that. And if they do, all I have to say is “didn’t you see the sign?” or “can’t you read?”
    It’s all so Orwellian.

  • J May 9, 2008 (1:47 pm)

    Orwellian? What are you talking about? Did you ever read 1984? It would be Orwellian if the WSB put out reports regarding “nice agents of the state, checking on the welfare of citizens door to door and insuring their stuff is taken care of if they are not home.”

    There’s nothing Orwellian about neighbors watching out for criminals casing their homes.

  • karen May 9, 2008 (2:46 pm)

    I love the info. Yesterday I had a guy with an Icon badge walk up to the fence, stop and look at the No Solicitors sign and then still come to the door!
    Keep telling us what’s happening!

  • Danno May 9, 2008 (2:53 pm)

    RE: the window washer in the top of the post.

    If that white Ford truck was a big newer crewcab (4 doors), 4WD, and the canopy matched I would say it was probably Mitch Schoenfeld drumming up business. If it was him he is legit, but I wouldn’t put it past him to tell a little white lie to get the job. And he is 40ish with a scruffy beard. He doesn’t do the work himself, he has a few guys he works with who come around a little later and get it done. He has been cleaning windows in my neighborhood for a decade at least. He is not a bad guy.

  • Koni May 9, 2008 (2:56 pm)

    Hey, just had to say, I have three no soliciting signs between my sidewalk and front door and still get people coming to the door. I have had a few odd people come to the door in the last weeks (I live up near Highpoint) I always point to the signs and ask if they can read ;) It is great to come to the WSB and see what the latest scammers are up to! Keep it up guys!!!

  • Booger May 9, 2008 (10:05 pm)

    Sounds like a bit of paranoia here. we’ve all had our share of annoying sales people\religious fanatics, (nice neigborhood warning system… the mormons are coming, the mormons are coming) but to be concerned just because some people you don’t know walk down your street? Jeez, can’t walk anywhere anymore. Ahh, the feeling of walking through a nice new neiborhood… feeling lke a criminal. And the mailman look-a-like was probably a real mailman… excuse me, mail carrier.

  • Tara May 11, 2008 (4:32 pm)

    I live on Faulteleroy and I don’t answer my door to people coming up, there was quite a few when I first moved here last summer so I went down to HOme depot and bought a huge no soliciting sign and now the only people that come to my door are the FedEx or others that I am expecting a package. I don’t like people at my door – not even teens trying to sell me something. If I want to buy something I can get it online or at the store. I don’t need people coming to my door to wash windows or anything. If I need that I go online and hire someone I choose to fix my car, wash my windows or whatever. This is 2008 and with people breaking into all the houses and stuff around me, i am not in the mood to have to be interupted to open my door.

  • kinws May 14, 2008 (5:51 am)

    I just have a few things to say in response to this post & the comments thereafter. It’s not uncommon for a criminal to walk right up to a door & knock, waiting for someone to open it. They could be the kind of criminal that tries to get money out of you for something through fraud. Or, they could be the type that are hoping you open that door just so they can force their way in. So opening the door to a stranger you haven’t invited onto you property just to reiterate the No Soliciting sign you’ve posted isn’t exactly safe or cautious. Also, WSB, I agree, you ROCk! Don’t change. I have no idea why that poster making comments about paranoia is even here reading if he/she doesn’t like what they’re reading. Move on and leave others to choose for themselves. By the way, the first thing a criminal looks for in a victim is someone who is distracted and unaware of their surroundings. And lastly, we had a very frightening incident a few months back where at 2AM two women 1st tried knocking on our door & ringing the door bell. And after we told them to go away, they tried opening our locked door on their own, over & over again. My husband continued to tell them to go away, while I stood watch on our sleeping toddler while calling 911. While I had 911 on the phone I stepped to another window and saw two males standing in the dark part of our property with dark large puffy coats on with their hoods over their heads. So…DON’T OPEN YOUR DOOR, you never know what that persons agenda is or who is lurking behind their faces/voices.

  • napboy May 18, 2008 (5:38 am)

    Certainly it is encouraging to know there are so many proactive citizens, however, I must question the good sense (and credibility) of those posts that include information that effectively identify their location and relative value as a target. This is either a very thinly veiled attempt at *attracting* such events or simply a well intentioned individual with no apprecation of the fact that the very element this Blog advises of may also be Faithful Readers.

  • Pinkee May 27, 2008 (12:13 pm)

    Recently had 2 hanging baskets stolen from my front porch, 34th and Myrtle – any similar reports? Is this what it’s come to we can’t even hang flowers without locking them down?!?

    Husky Jack for Mayor!!

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