STOLEN VAN: Stephanie hopes you can help track down the van her husband needs for his blacksmith/metal-arts work: “Our 1986 Toyota van (silver with black steel racks with red tops on four corners) was stolen last night, 11/16. It’s a work van, really important. We live on 12th Avenue near Elmgrove [map]. Anyone who sees this van, please call it in. Thanks.”
NEWEST STATS: Just as Stephanie‘s note came in, a short meeting for the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council was wrapping up. The key information presented – the newest West Seattle crime stats:
Some interesting context to those trends – and some reasons for hope they might all be on the downside soon – read on for more details:
Lt. Steve Paulsen said he’d been at a “command meeting” at downtown SPD headquarters hours earlier, where it was obvious that car prowls “have greatly impacted the entire city of Seattle.” He says the thieves are taking all the usual items police have warned about over and over again – GPS, laptops, purses, golf clubs, whatever people are careless enough to leave in their cars. However, he said, Southwest Precinct officers have arrested three adults and one juvenile recently. They’ve also made two auto-theft arrests, and four arrests for residential burglary – three adults, one juvenile.
He recapped the convenience-store serial-robbery suspect arrests reported here yesterday – four teenagers taken into custody after a stickup in the Rainier Valley last Thursday night: “Pretty brazen robberies, good to get those guys off the street.” Lt. Paulsen said he thought he’d heard the four were charged today (the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has been checking for us so if that’s so, we hope to confirm it tomorrow).
Another ongoing issue that’s apparently solved – underage customers buying items like cigarettes at the 35th/Morgan market. Lt. Paulsen said that Community Police Team Officer Kevin McDaniel had continued to work closely with store ownership, which claimed to know nothing about the problem, and caught a clerk selling single cigarettes, among other things; that person has been fired and neighbors have told police the store/area “is quiet now.”
Also quiet, the local high schools – no trouble there in the past month; Lt. Paulsen gave major credit to West Seattle High School principal Bruce Bivins and Chief Sealth High School principal John Boyd (who was on hand for part of the Crime Prevention Council meeting) for proactivity.
We asked if there was anything new with the case of the homophobic graffiti recurring around Morgan Junction and northern Lincoln Park. Police said they hadn’t had any new reports for a while (nor have we), but SWP Detective Nick Bauer still has the case and “would still like to talk to” the man who was arrested earlier in the year but ultimately not prosecuted (charges against him were dropped because he was found incompetent to stand trial). A meeting attendee asked for a description of him; acting CPT Sgt. Adonis Topacio said “white male, late 20s, early 30s, always looks stressed out” – somebody else thought he’d been known to wear hoodies.
OTHER NOTES: The council passed new bylaws saying they won’t have meetings in July, August and December each year – too many conflicts. … They asked attendees to sign condolence cards for police in memory of Officer Tim Brenton, the former West Seattleite murdered while on duty in Leschi on Halloween night. (Toward the start of the meeting, Lt. Paulsen thanked everyone “for your support during a tough time.”) … The only West Seattleite to comment to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee today about the chronic nuisance properties bill noted it won committee approval and would move on to the full council next week (see our story from earlier today). She suggested those interested in the bill send their thought to city councilmembers (contact info here).
Next meeting of the WSCPC will be January 19; the agenda will include officer elections.