West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery at Papa John’s

Just reported (thanks to Katie for the tip): Two men held up Papa John’s on California SW north of SW Brandon (map). They’re described on the scanner as one black, one Samoan, both wearing ski masks and gloves, dark clothing, both displayed guns. They were reported to have left through the back door. A K-9 unit is helping police search. Witnesses are telling police, according to scanner traffic, that they got away in a mid-’90s silver Acura with a “mismatched wheel on the passenger side.” Call 911 if you have any tips. 11 PM UPDATE: Per the scanner, a car close to the getaway car’s description – with a “slope” that may be related to the “mismatched wheel” – was seen speeding across the West Seattle Bridge and exiting to northbound I-5. (Could be a coincidence, though, so do still keep an eye out here.) 12:21 AM UPDATE: Added photo by Christopher Boffoli, as police continued to search the alley behind the restaurant, where the robbers were last seen.

10:17 AM UPDATE (WEDNESDAY): Just checked with police – according to Officer Renee Witt in the SPD Media Unit, neither the robbers nor their car have been found yet.

25 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Armed robbery at Papa John's"

  • WSHC October 5, 2010 (11:00 pm)

    All of West Seattle is on the edge of our collective seat anticipating on-the-scene C. Boffolli Photojournalist pictures.

    • WSB October 5, 2010 (11:12 pm)

      I’m sure you are. Should have one shortly.

  • old timer October 5, 2010 (11:20 pm)

    Thanks WSB.
    I wondered what all the sirens were about.

    We should have gates on those bridges!

    • WSB October 5, 2010 (11:44 pm)

      Well, OT, you know they ARE putting the earthquake gate on the exit to The Viaduct – construction supposed to start any time now – hmm ….

  • EyeLiveInWestSeattle October 5, 2010 (11:29 pm)

    I wonder how long it will take for someone to say how the crime rate is sky-rocketing in West Seattle and how it’s not the same place anymore.

  • Living in West Seattle since 1985 October 5, 2010 (11:36 pm)


  • Papa John Lover October 6, 2010 (4:46 am)

    Well since the front doors would have been locked at 10. The only other way one could gain access is via the back door. Maybe this will teach closing managers everywhere not to have it proped open. What about the video feed? Papa Johns has a camera that records the lobby. Maybe they should place a camera on the back door? I hope the closing manager and driver are ok. Since no reports of injury.

  • Pizza Lover October 6, 2010 (6:43 am)

    Feel kinda bad for that closing manager that obviously decided to prop the back door open(since the front is locked at 10). That is how these guys must have gotten in as well as out. Having worked in pizza myself, that is probably the worst choice to make since you have your “time delayed” safe open for deposits and tills to be put away after the closing driver’s money is collected. Not sure if there were any injuries since non were reported here on the WSB. I do hope the M.O.D. and closing driver, I am sure are shaken up but hope they are safe and were unharmed. They should view previous days leading up to this on their camera to see if anyone meets the description. As well as get a camera installed to view the back door/back parking lot. Now a days one can never be too safe!

  • Marketgal October 6, 2010 (7:12 am)

    Eye- is it longer than you thought?

    I live on the block of Papa Johns. When I heard the third racing siren and car, I decided to tune in to the blog and got my answer immediately. When I read they escaped by car, I figured they were bridge bound. If they were on foot, I would have been a lot more nervous.
    Thanks WSB for that update, it meant a good night’s sleep for me.

  • CB October 6, 2010 (8:08 am)

    The REAL CRIME is how there drivers conduct themselves. They treat residential streets like freeways. Their management could care less about safety.

  • Swensi October 6, 2010 (10:10 am)

    True, CB. The real WSB story should be Papa Johns delivery driver abuse of our residential streets. They treat their West Seattle location as if it were located in a Lynnwood strip mall, exceeding speed limits, on side streets, screeching in and out of their parking lot, blasting car radios, tossing cigarette butts out their windows, etc. The management there has such a high turnover rate that no one gives a crap about relations with the neighborhood, so every baby step forward is met with five leaps backwards. A completely worthless food chain nestled in the heart of a residential neighborhood.

  • west seattlite October 6, 2010 (10:25 am)

    what is happening to west seattle? weekly posts of thefts, robberies, break-ins. it’s such a terrible shame. as longtime residents, west seattle is our favorite place on earth but why are we feeling like it’s not so safe to live here anymore? we realize normandy park might have it’s fair share of the same but it’s significantly less and weighing in overall safety, this might be the next move our family makes. regardless, i hope they catch these guys! how scary it must’ve been for the employees to experience.

  • LR October 6, 2010 (10:51 am)

    I think that it must be someone that knows that back door was open. Who? would know ? that is the question

  • Steve October 6, 2010 (11:13 am)

    Yes, no crime in Normandy Park. You should move there.

  • Fairmount Resident October 6, 2010 (11:31 am)

    LR: Living within eyesight of the Papa John parking lot, I see their back door open often, especially when it’s a warm day/night. The drivers use a key-pad for entry when the door is closed. I always know when the door is shut because it slams repeatedly (once every 5 minutes or so) from 6pm to 10pm as the delivery drivers leave for and arrive from deliveries. It’s sad and scary that someone was obviously casing the business in advance of the robbery. It’s definitely a different West Seattle than even 10-15 years ago.
    I must also agree with CB and Swensi: There is no love lost for Papa Johns in this neighborhood. I’ve been here long enough to remember Bison Creek Pizza at that location — a really great mom & pop pizza place with amazing pizza and great interior atmosphere. When Papa Johns bought them out (and they moved to Des Moines, I believe?) the neighborhood tried to meet them with open arms, but it was very quickly apparent that they did not care about becoming part of the neighborhood, and in fact didn’t (and still haven’t) observe they’re actually in a neighborhood.
    A perfect example of this was the time a few years ago when I was pushing my daughter’s stroller across Brandon at 41st. A Papa John’s driver was racing eastbound on their way to deliver a pizza and almost locked their brakes in order not to hit us. I said “Please slow down!!” to the driver, to which she said “This is my street as much as it is yours” and sped off. I called the store and complained (I was still shaking) to the manager, and with disdain in his voice he said he’d “Have a chat” with the driver and that “the store isn’t leaving anytime soon so you might as well get used to the drivers”.
    Sorry about the robbery, but if it helps get them out of West Seattle…

  • ad October 6, 2010 (11:56 am)

    I had considered buying a pizza from them tonight (in light of the news they were robbed, to be a supportive neighbor), but thinking about it… I have had many run ins with their drivers too. And I also have seen them drive dangerously around children and litter. They are not good neighbors. The way they allow their drivers to drive is not ok.

    I guess I’ll be ordering from Zeeks or Pag tonight.

  • Pizza Lover October 6, 2010 (12:25 pm)

    Its funny to see such a horrible crime such as this get turned around on the drivers. Having been a manager before at this exact location I rarely got complaints about the drivers. And when I did I was sure to handle it. The managers cant hold the drivers hand while driving to a delivery location. You dont here about delivery drivers getting into accidents. And for them littering and throwing cig. butts out everyone and their momma does that not just drivers.

  • Baba October 6, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    Why so much hate? They just got robbed, remember? What happened to compassion WS was once known for?
    Some even wish for them to fail and purposely avoiding their business? Mentality like that is a breeding ground for even more crime to happen in WS in the future. Sad, very SAD!!!
    I know, I know the drill…: – if I don’t like it here I should move to Bellevue…

  • s October 6, 2010 (1:33 pm)

    @Pizza Lover
    You probably don’t realize it but with your last and third-to-last sentences you are substantiating the complaints of the people you are rebutting.

  • Swensi October 6, 2010 (1:59 pm)

    You hit the nail on the head, Pizza Lover:
    1 – Neighbor dislike of the store is so great that it eclipses this horrible event.
    2 – Your “we’re not responsible for drivers once they’re on the road” is the primary reason people have a problem with Papa Johns. Are you paying them while they’re on the road delivering you pizzas? Then you should be managing them there too.
    3 – “Everyone litters”? You’re kidding, right? First of all, that is an incredibly lazy excuse, particularly from someone in a management position. Secondly these drivers travel back and forth on side streets (primarily Brandon) dozens of times a day. How many butts are they extinguishing on that street after a week of deliveries?
    Your arguments, and your grammar, are ridiculous, and if true they speak volumes about how the store is managed and, more importantly, how the Papa Johns franchise trains their management.

  • Arbor Heights October 6, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    . . . and that’s why I ONLY order pizza from Red Star on 35th: family-owned and operated, their drivers are always safe and respectful down our quiet side street, and they really do care about the neighborhood. Why anybody would order anything from Papa Johns, PizzaHut, or Dominos is beyond me.

  • ellenater October 6, 2010 (2:18 pm)

    I really am sickened by the lack of compassion here. I actually moved to West Seattle because I couldn’t deal with the faceless robot jerks in Ravenna. So here’s a little compassion 101 lesson for you people hating on the drivers: THIS ISN’T THE PLACE. If you have a problem with Papa John’s drivers, start a thread on the forum, call the store, ask around to see if others are having problems too–SOMEWHERE else. It’s totally lame and void of care and concern for the manager who was just freaking robbed at gunpoint! Do you realize how trauma inducing an event like that is in a person’s life? That person is probably having a super tough time right now. They or their family members may even go to this thread looking for comfort and support from the community. That is what it’s here for, after all. ‘

    Seriously. Get over yourselves and just think about it for just a second.

  • Ken October 6, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    “I actually moved to West Seattle because I couldn’t deal with the faceless robot jerks in Ravenna.”

    Develop a little compassion yourself while you’re lecturing others on compassion…

  • WSHC October 6, 2010 (2:33 pm)

    Pity the fool that reads blog comments looking for comfort and support.

    • WSB October 6, 2010 (2:41 pm)

      Actually, we’ve had an awful lot of that, thanks to the many kind and helpful people who have earned WSB a national reputation for community involvement/engagement/collaboration. Meantime, the ultimate responsibility to keep it from total acidity is mine, and since this thread has gone completely off the road, with a variety of rule violations, including one person posting under multiple handles and “blaming the victim,” not to mention that no one has been particularly on-topic in more than a few hours, it’s hereby closed. As was suggested by one person, you are welcome to start a forum discussion on unruly delivery drivers, provided you have brought the complaints directly to management of the firms in question first, as per forum rules. – TR

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