West Seattle Crime Watch: Costly burglary at Senior Center

We first got a tip about this last week but couldn’t get it confirmed until today; now we’ve talked with both Southwest Precinct Detective Nick Bauer and Senior Center of West Seattle director Karen Sisson, and here’s what we can tell you: Police are investigating a costly break-in that also left behind some serious damage at the Senior Center HQ in The Junction. It happened sometime last Sunday night/early Monday. Sisson told WSB this morning that the burglars got into the center’s 1950s era safe and stole the equivalent of $5,000, including $2,500 in Safeway gift cards and $400 in postage stamps. But that’s not the Senior Center’s only loss – at least $3,000 in repairs are needed to office doors and walls damaged by the burglar/s, including what the police report described as two 2-foot holes in plasterboard in corridor walls. Locked file cabinets were broken into as well, even one, according to the police report, related to the Meals on Wheels program. No arrests so far; it’s the second prominent Junction nonprofit hit recently — the American Legion hall was broken into a week earlier. Police don’t know at this point if the two burglaries are related. (P.S. We are following up to see whether there’s anything specifically the Senior Center needs to have donated because of this – will add to the story, but in the meantime, they take donations year-round, and there’s even an online-donation link from this SC of WS page.) ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: Police have provided a surveillance-camera framegrab – see above left – they hope might help solve the break-in. Call 911 if you have any idea who it might be.

14 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Costly burglary at Senior Center"

  • Kayleigh April 13, 2009 (10:52 am)

    Stealing from seniors who need help. Nice.

  • celeste17 April 13, 2009 (10:58 am)

    Its sad enough when someone steals but to steal from Senior and from the veterans is really sad.

  • Admiral Lady April 13, 2009 (11:35 am)

    This makes me sick

  • d-san April 13, 2009 (12:19 pm)

    So if they catch them, can we put two 2-foot holes in them? It’s only fair …

  • I had heard April 13, 2009 (12:43 pm)

    There’s a special karma and/or place in hell for folks who steal from seniors, babies, the handicapped, etc.

    Hopefully Safeway can ‘tell’ which gift cards those were (maybe they all were in a single serial # range or such) and notify the police when these folks show up to cash them in.

  • M. April 13, 2009 (2:14 pm)

    I saw some homeless looking men a couple days before this happened, in the same area looking into the businesses on that corner. They were kinda just lingering around lookin really suspicious. It was late enough to where the places were closed but still alot of people walking around. Not saying it was them but something to think about.

  • garybert April 13, 2009 (2:29 pm)

    This hits close to home. Our comments are unofficial re the Senior Center. Garybert and Garybert’s Lady have been delivering Meals on Wheels since 2007 and volunteer 30+ hours per week at the Stop ‘N Shop. If you would like to help, please stop and shop an inventory that has a crazy turnover. Also, when your yard sale winds down and you have unsold items of good quality, please think of the Senior Center. Donations are tax-deductible and in many cases we volunteers are able to make a pick-up. Phone 932-4044 ext 7. Hours for shopping and drop-off every day 10-4.

  • Paul in Gatewood April 13, 2009 (3:37 pm)

    What is wrong with people? I find myself asking that question more and more lately.

  • gw April 13, 2009 (4:33 pm)

    I wonder if the gift cards can be tracked or canceled?

  • Babs April 13, 2009 (5:04 pm)

    Too bad if they get caught jail will be it, I wish they could also place sandwich boards on them that say “I robbed the Senior Center” and make them stand up in the junction all day. Better yet ALSO serve several months of community service time in a senior center. Karma will be knocking on these burglars doors.

  • Tom April 13, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    Is that frame grab all that’s available? A variety would give a better composite as that’s a pretty generic white guy profile. (Why did he have to bring race into it?)

  • WSB April 13, 2009 (9:14 pm)

    I’ll be following up in the morning in hopes that either more frame grabs or an actual moving sequence itself would be available – TR

  • WSB April 13, 2009 (10:26 pm)

    P.S. I was going to say in that comment, I was surprised not to see any TV stations pick this up today – since this case has ‘TV story’ written all over it – but just now (10:23 pm) saw a “tease” for the story coming up during my old station’s late newscast (ch. 13); online version doesn’t have the video, though
    (Just watched the TV version, poorly written — they had a few seconds of the surveillance video and never explained it in the script.)
    – TR

  • Islewrite April 14, 2009 (12:11 am)

    The remodeled Senior Center is a real West Seattle treasure. One way to help its bottom line is to rent some of its great space for class reunions, parties, receptions, etc. The rates are super reasonable and the Junction parking is, of course, plentiful and convenient for guests.

    The StopNShop recently underwent an overhaul–better pricing, perkier atmosphere, and a wider variety of fun stuff. Check it out if you haven’t been by recently.

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