Helicopter watch: Two overnight police searches in West Seattle

helicopterwatch.pngSorry we didn’t have information while it was happening, but we now have messages out to police to ask what was up – literally and figuratively – with the helicopter search that several people have reported hearing over eastern West Seattle in the 2-3 am vicinity this morning. Will add information here as soon as we have it. 7:20 AM UPDATE: Just spoke with Officer Renee Witt in the Seattle Police media unit. She says two calls brought significant officer response to West Seattle early this morning, though it looks like the second call is the one that brought out the helicopter. First, there was a business burglary in the 6000 block of 35th SW; Officer Witt says a door was kicked in, a K-9 team joined the search, and the report indicates that some suspects were arrested. (We hope to get more on that later.) Second, there was a call from the same address involved in the SWAT team response weekend before last; the caller reported seeing a suspicious vehicle in the area. That’s what Officer Witt says brought out Guardian 1 – the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that is also used to assist Seattle Police when necessary – though ultimately police believe the call may have been false. No arrests in that one, though there was an aid response to the same vicinity around 5 am today – no word yet if it was related. 9:58 AM UPDATE: And we have MORE information now – directly from the Southwest Precinct. Just spoke with Sgt. Jeff Durden, who says that Guardian One WAS deployed for the aforementioned business burglary, and here are more details on that: The business hit around 2 am was the convenience store in the 6300 block of 35th. According to Sgt. Durden, “three to four males were seen kicking in the door … and throwing items out of it.” Responding officers set up containment, called in K-9 and the helicopter, and eventually two suspects were arrested, a 17-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man, and officers “recovered bags full of merchandise from the store.”

46 Replies to "Helicopter watch: Two overnight police searches in West Seattle"

  • JW May 7, 2009 (6:48 am)

    On my scanner I heard something about a shooting in the area of 35th and Morgan around that time.

  • nuni May 7, 2009 (7:23 am)

    why does it seem like there are helicopter searches in West Seattle at least once a week now?

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (7:26 am)

    JW – I just checked with SPD media unit and they didn’t have a shooting call – nor does the 911 log indicate anything in that area – but they did mention two overnight incidents, one of which did bring out the helicopter – have added the details to the report above – TR

  • Mary May 7, 2009 (7:27 am)

    There was a 54 bus at the end of 47th Avenue SW at 1:30 a.m. — could it have been related? The bus does not run on this street.

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (7:29 am)

    Not sure. I hope to find out more specifics directly from the precinct later, if they’re available, but did want to get the toplines out now since we’ve received notes from folks wondering about the chopper overnight.

  • ugg May 7, 2009 (7:30 am)

    just wondering do we know which business? That should be Enterprise, the laundry, the county building, couldn’t be walgreens they have the place locked up, or the vw spot.

  • Farmersfriend May 7, 2009 (7:34 am)

    . . . the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that is also used to assist Seattle Police when necessary . . . ..

    . . police believe the call may have been false.

    This is crazy! We do not need helicopters terrorizing a neighborhood for a call that police believe may be false. Someone is abusing helicopter usage guidelines.

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (7:42 am)

    Farmersfriend, I don’t know that the determination was made until later. And there was at least one other call to that address in the past week, per a report I noticed while most recently reviewing reports at the precinct.

  • christopherboffoli May 7, 2009 (7:46 am)

    The police only believe the call was false in retrospect. At the time they took it seriously and responded in a way they deemed appropriate.
    Maybe SPD can launch a fleet of super-quiet zepplins from which to conduct air searches in the wee hours. Then again, if they didn’t wake anyone then no one would be querying the WSB about what happened :-)

  • Stacy May 7, 2009 (8:04 am)

    I text WSB wondering if they knew. The helicopter definitely woke us all up and made you wonder what was going on out there…. Thank you WSB for your info, it’s appreciated!

  • WTF May 7, 2009 (8:31 am)

    I can’t wait to hear what the real reason for the call or call “type” that would lead SPD to believe a helicopter search was necessary! John Deli robbery was the right reason, but I will not tallorate ghetto birding everytime a Highpoint loser slaps his wife then runs or a crap hole business gets their door kicked in!

  • Mike May 7, 2009 (8:48 am)

    “Maybe SPD can launch a fleet of super-quiet zepplins from which to conduct air searches in the wee hours”

    I just about spit my coffee out when I read this. Love it.

  • datamuse May 7, 2009 (9:01 am)

    WTF: so they should only respond when it’s a NON-crap hole business? Do you have a definition of same?

  • GreenSpaces May 7, 2009 (9:17 am)

    This was the first time I recall being wakened by a helicopter search in this part of WestSea. It was strange how it was in my dream for awhile before becoming fully awake.

    Thanks for the update.

  • WTF May 7, 2009 (9:59 am)

    Eye sore buildings whose owners don’t even live in Seattle or our area and have NO vested interest in maintaining the integrity of living, working and buying in West Seattle; slum lords if you will. Businesses that allow trash in and around the business, peeling paint, broken windows…need I go further; you can walk up 35th, California & Delridge and SEE the definition for yourself.

  • alkibeach May 7, 2009 (10:01 am)


  • WSB May 7, 2009 (10:02 am)

    FYI if you read the comments but thought you’d already seen the story, we have just added new details, after speaking with a Southwest Precinct sergeant. The chopper WAS originally summoned for the burglary search. See story above – TR

  • Tim P May 7, 2009 (10:33 am)

    Hmmm it seems as tho WSBlog also serves as a neighborhood watch. That’s good to know. It’d be nice to have something like that in Cap Hill. Talk about crime, we do have a lot of homeless and gang members hanging out, esp on Broadway. Now I don’t mean to imply that all homeless people are criminals. After all, “some of them are my best friends.” lol no, seriously, i was homeless for 6 yrs and know many who still are. but there are a few street people who will break into a place to get a free meal or whatever, and they are the ones who give the rest of us a bad name. (Most are simply trying to get by day-to-day and do their best to work within the system, screwy as it is!)

    Anyway, I was nearly assaulted outside my front door around Christmas time, and my call to 911, along with a second person reporting the same, brought them out in force, as well as the chopper (which I didn’t know belonged to the Sheriff. Thot it was SPD’s chopper.)

    My point is, I’m glad WSBlog is out there, because it also gives relevant and pertinent citywide information that I might not find elsewhere, such as info about candidates, city government, public meetings, etc. It was also very helpful to me in the snow storms of Dec & Jan, cuz I had no idea what the city was up to until I read the blog!

  • TD May 7, 2009 (11:31 am)

    WSB – Your tenacity in learning and sharing the details is much appreciated as we live a couple of blocks from the incident.

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (11:54 am)

    Tim – have you checked out http://capitolhillseattle.com – I know they cover at least some community crime concerns.

  • annoyed May 7, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    They should close that minimart down. There are ALWAYS hoodlums hanging out there and I feel like it’s one of the things that has kept the high point area from becoming a nice area. I mean what other mini mart sells small “food” scales?

  • Loves High Point May 7, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    WSB – thank you so much for your thorough coverage. I knew I could rely on your site today to find out why I was awakened in the night by copters.

    Seriously…how can we get rid of that mini-mart? There is nothing but trouble on that corner.

  • T May 7, 2009 (12:38 pm)

    Amen, annoyed. Close down the HP Mini-mart. Please. Soon.

  • morgan May 7, 2009 (1:04 pm)

    Just confirmed with the mini mart owners that they did get robbed and the kids did get caught. I live a block away from that intersection and it seems to be getting more ghetto by the day. Hopefully they figure out a way to clean it up… soon.

  • Wendy Hughes-Jelen May 7, 2009 (1:36 pm)

    Let’s turn it into a coffee shop! That’s what those of us in the ‘hood really want!

  • JAR May 7, 2009 (1:54 pm)

    Yes the Mini-Mart must go – a major eye-sore. I did get a look at the chopper at about 2 a.m. and remember wondering what exactly they could see from the altitude that it was hovering at. WSB – thanks for the most excellent coverage.

  • Jennifer Cobb May 7, 2009 (2:35 pm)

    I agree with Wendy! Bring on the coffee shop — we’ll keep it in business!

  • annoyed May 7, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    yes coffee shop would be nice! I would go there :)

  • annoyed May 7, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    Shankly, Walgreens :) Well at least they have cheap sweats. Not sure about hats actually.

  • b\'smomma May 7, 2009 (4:05 pm)

    My “Comment Name” should be Tired Momma right about now! The helicopter woke me up too. And I didn’t sleep well all week knowing some gun shooting dummy is still running around out there! Maybe it should be Tired & CRANKY Momma!
    I am all for quiet helicopters and could DEFINITLY use a coffee shop right about now! I STRONGLY support closing down that mini mart too! Do there gas things even work? That corner reminds me of Detroit, MI….. seriously!

  • b\\\'smomma May 7, 2009 (4:06 pm)

    Oh ya and for baseball hats and realy GREAT T-shirts (seriously they’re the best!) Delridge Mini Mart! Or there’s the gas station/store by the Southwest Library, they have cool “herbal” hats. heeheehee!

  • sleepy from the ghetto bird May 7, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    i have been saying since the first day i moved into that neighborhood that the crapy mini mart with broken down gas pumps should be closed! it’s bringing the whole area down!! does anyone know who we contact regarding this?? it attracts nothing but trouble!

  • p May 7, 2009 (4:29 pm)

    ahhh, does everyone realize that there is a coffee shop just up the street that just opened?

  • Andrew May 7, 2009 (7:05 pm)

    YOU BETTER BELIEVE THEY KEPT PEOPLE AWAKE. FOR OVER AN HOUR. They were right above us circling. I don’t sleep well as it is with the sirens, the loud-muffler newspaper delivery and the Amazon truck coming through at 4 AM. Come ON! Ridiculous. They better show me proof that a helicopter actually helps catch criminals. And to hear this may have been a false alarm is all the more frustrating.

  • Under_Achiever May 7, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Lemme get this straight… In one blog subject (Alki shooting) the hew and cry was for much more police presence and and enforcement to take the bad guys off the street — but in this one the concern is over a bit of lost sleep due to police presence and enforcement taking bad guys off the street.

    Thanks to SPD and KCS for stopping these guys. I’m glad you got ’em before they broke into Andrew’s house or stole Farmersfriend’s tractor….

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (7:59 pm)

    If the two-part story isn’t clear enough – the Fauntleroy incident was the possible false alarm. Specifically, the SPD spokesperson told me, they eventually determined the person “may have been trying to lure police.”
    The burglary on 35th, for which the helicopter was deployed at around 2 am (per Sgt. Durden at SW Precinct), was NOT a false alarm. That actually happened, and police caught two suspects, ages 17 and 20 – TR

  • Marty May 7, 2009 (8:02 pm)

    Today was my first day on a new job after 4 months of unemployment. BOY was I glad to have a helicopter keeping me awake this morning. Every time it went away, I started to fall asleep. Then it came back.


  • Mr. Matt May 7, 2009 (8:43 pm)

    Yep, people will officially complain about anything. Just be glad they were flying “Guardian One” and not the Sheriff Dept’s Huey – You never would have slept through that. :D

  • WSB May 7, 2009 (8:47 pm)

    Someday we’ll find an icon that will more accurately reflect Guardian One … I have the graphics intern working on it … inbetween LOLcats. While this icon is most frequently used for G1 encounters, we also do deploy it for military flybys and other miscellaneous whirlybirds. P.S. to Marty – congratulations on the new job.

  • Mr. Matt May 7, 2009 (9:07 pm)

    Bell 407 vs AH 64D – meh, close enough. hahah

  • CLT May 8, 2009 (9:54 am)

    I have lived over by Our Lady of Guadalupe for 10 years and don’t seem to recall the previous owners of Johns ever having an issue with robberies. I am not saying it is related to the new owners, but it is weird that there have been two incidents in two months.

  • CLT May 8, 2009 (10:01 am)

    “i have been saying since the first day i moved into that neighborhood that the crapy mini mart with broken down gas pumps should be closed! it’s bringing the whole area down!! does anyone know who we contact regarding this?? it attracts nothing but trouble!”

    The Murder Mart – A friend of mine was in town and stopped there to get something. He went in and left his wife and kid in the car. Some creep walked up and asked his wife if she needed any drugs. Right there with their 7 year old in the back seat.

  • CLT May 8, 2009 (10:07 am)

    I previously posted something in error I believe. The mini mart on Morgan got robbed, or Johns Deli? I agree close that place down now.

  • WSB May 8, 2009 (10:11 am)

    This is NOT John’s Deli. Please note the address. The place BURGLARIZED night before last – not ROBBED, which means it happened with people in the store — was the store at 35th/Morgan, near Walgreen’s, etc. John’s is at 35th/Webster, some distance to the south, and it was ROBBED, not burglarized, in the late March incident.

  • CLT May 8, 2009 (10:22 am)

    Thanks for the clarification.

  • Highpoint Resident May 11, 2009 (12:10 pm)

    I astounded the deli is still standing, there is a great deal of nefarious characters hanging out t the place. SWP should just pickup all the drug dealers ad continue the clean up

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