Followup: The reason for last night’s Alki police search

helicopterwatch.pngWe promised we’d let you know as soon as we found out what last night’s helicopter-over-Alki police search (original WSB coverage here) was all about – and Seattle Police media-unit Officer Mark Jamieson has just provided details: At 2:12 am, a call came in from the 3000 block of 59th SW, where somebody saw “two males” who “hopped a fence,” followed by the sound of something crashing. A few minutes later, Seattle Public Schools security answered an alarm at nearby Alki Elementary, and then came a report that the possible suspects were seen running westbound on Stevens (just west of the school). The helicopter was available, so it, and K-9 officers, joined the search. The suspects were described as 2 white males, around 16 years old, wearing dark clothing. Around 3:05 am, the search was called off; police went back to the school and found a broken window on the south side of the school, but it hasn’t been determined yet whether entry was actually made and whether anything was taken.

19 Replies to "Followup: The reason for last night's Alki police search"

  • Cami May 23, 2009 (1:31 pm)

    Thanks, Tracy!

  • danielleS May 23, 2009 (2:46 pm)

    This seems like a huge waste of resources to me. I’m no expert but operating a helicopter can’t be cheap. And I don’t think vandalism warrants use of it!

  • WSB May 23, 2009 (2:59 pm)

    One recent school break-in turned out to involve arson and $200,000 damage to taxpayer-owned resources, fwiw.
    And from many, many nights of overnight scanner listening, I can tell you that it’s not that the helicopter is necessarily launched just for an incident like this – it’s often out and about elsewhere and comes over – Guardian One is the only police helicopter available in King County/Seattle so it assists in many other jurisdictions. I’m definitely going to work on that followup because lots of good questions always arise after something like this … TR

  • onceachef May 23, 2009 (3:18 pm)

    Danielle…you may not think that if it’s your house that’s vandalized…there’s no way of knowing what they were up to at the moment they were heard…these kids could have been out to hurt someone…the more chances to catch them the better. What I’d like to know is how do these kids get out at 2 in the morning and the parents don’t know about it?….unbelievable.

  • datamuse May 23, 2009 (3:24 pm)

    Onceachef, sneaking out of the house is a time-honored tradition!
    (Mind you, I didn’t go around breaking into elementary schools…)

  • richie jenkin May 23, 2009 (4:48 pm)

    So let me get this straight. They bring in a helicopter at 2:30 am waking and scaring hundreds of people to help hunt down 2 16 year olds who broke a window and committed vandalism and a possible petty theft?

  • Been here a long time May 23, 2009 (5:30 pm)

    When the shooting happened, there were days of blogs.
    The community said it couldn’t have ENOUGH police here.
    Blogs upon blogs of “Damn kids today! & Where are the police?!”
    More police! More more more!!! Now! Now! Now!
    Well, They’re Here
    Alki asked for heavy police force.
    Now you don’t want them?

  • Alki Beach May 23, 2009 (6:43 pm)

    We want police force, of course. But, it’s strange that there’s a shooting (murder) and no chopper, then there’s a burglary and the chopper is hovering over our house for 20 minutes, sounding like 1,000 lawn mowers right outside my window at 3am. It’s like crying wolf to me… I don’t know what’s really serious and what’s not anymore, based on the police reaction. I get that they have a certain amount of resources (and can have more of a presence sometimes), but I’m surprised that a burglary would warrant a chopper, I guess. It’s just not making sense to me…

  • Cami May 23, 2009 (6:44 pm)

    You know, they are damned if the do, and damned if they don’t!!! I took a nap in the sun today and made up for the lost sleep.

  • Jo May 23, 2009 (8:00 pm)

    I live on Alki, and today I noticed the mounted patrol were out and cop cars all over the place. Seems to me that SPD is responding to our concerns, cut ’em some slack.
    So the copter kept us awake for 20 minutes.
    Let them do their job.
    Geez, d*mned if they do, d*mned if they don’t.

  • WSB May 23, 2009 (8:50 pm)

    Jo – that explains the, um, horse souvenirs we saw on an Alki walk with out-of-town visitors a little while ago :) I figured it had to be the police, haven’t ever seen anyone ELSE riding horses along Alki! And re: the helicopter usage. It really depends on whether it’s available, where it is, etc. I believe something kept it out of service the night of the Junction shooting … TR

  • Jo May 23, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    ‘horse souveniers’ That’s hilarious. And oh, so gentile.
    Good one, TR.

  • alki_2008 May 23, 2009 (10:30 pm)

    It’s really disappointing that people are complaining about the helicopter search.
    Consider what the police knew at the time the helicopter was called over — They knew that two males hopped a fence, then a crashing sound was heard, and the males ran away. They didn’t know at that immediate instance that the kids weren’t running away from a murder/attack OR that the crashing sound was just a window. That was determined LATER, and I’d guess the benign nature of the crime contributed to the decision to call off the search.
    Really folks – Do we want the police to investigate the incident and THEN search for the suspects after determining what the incident is? If that was the protocol, then police would never catch anyone because the suspects would have an insurmountable head-start. Let the police do their job. Geez!

  • Louise May 23, 2009 (10:48 pm)

    I agree that it would seem a huge waste of resources to fly a chopper if it was known that it was a couple of kids – however, like reports have stated, it was not known and the chopper was already in the air. It is frightening, disturbing, loud and confusing with a chopper flying overhead in the middle of the night… However it is more frightening on these warm summer nights when there is chaos on the beach in the middle of the night and the cops are not around! I am tired of being scared.

    I agree with you Alki, let the cops do their jobs! We have asked for more, we’re getting it!

  • kennya May 24, 2009 (3:40 pm)

    I am glad they were flying above. It sends a message that crime at Alki will be taken seriously. Though they did not catch the suspects, those kids may have been thinking long and hard while they were hiding in the bushes.
    I welcome the police pressence and thank them when I see them.

  • Tammy May 24, 2009 (11:15 pm)

    I am glad the copter was there as well. They were doing their best to cover and deal with the situation and trying to protect those of us who live on Alki. For any of know, they were running in our backyards looking to cause more problems. I would rather have them out there, than not here at all.

  • Alki Beach May 26, 2009 (12:12 am)

    I am not complaining about the chopper. Just want to know if it’s going to be a usual thing and I don’t have to assume there’s an armed murderer walking the streets if the chopper comes a few feet from my house at 3am.

    I personally don’t understand police on horses either, but I’m glad they’re around. If they are here, I’m good.

  • Ken May 26, 2009 (10:05 am)

    danielleS needs to get her head out of romance novels and live in the real world. We love the heavy police presence and would welcome more of it. If Alki becomes known for having a large police presence then the word will get out to all of the criminals and troublemakers. Thanks SPD for doing what we asked!!!!!

  • Ken May 27, 2009 (10:54 am)

    There is a new Crime Watch group that is being formed in the Alki area. Here is the link to get involved…

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