West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglarized twice; driver scammed

In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight – two reader reports. First, from Mike:

My house at 32nd and Roxbury [map] was burglarized for the second time in 4 months (Monday). The first time, the neighbor reported seeing a primer-gray mid-’80s pickup truck in my driveway during the burglary but thought it was a friend. The second time, no one saw anything; however, the thieves stole a black powder musket and 3 cameras and smashed a window to get in. The black powder musket was in a Flambeau case, and they broke one of the latches that close the case in the process of stealing it.

Next, a scam, also out of the WSB inbox: J&J tell the tale of what a friend fell for; even if you think you would know better, you might want to warn your more-trusting friends and relatives. Read on:

Last Thursday a friend of mine had parked her car at the Rite Aid store on California Ave. After leaving the parking lot, the car that had been parked next to her was following her and the man and woman inside were honking their horn motioning her to pull over because she had hit their car while she was leaving the parking lot.

They told her not to call the police as it was a hit and run and she would lose her car and license. They told her a story about them being from California and they were here to get treatment for their ill son, who is on a feeding tube and respirator and pointed to him in the car. They then had her follow them to a auto body shop on Alaska to get a estimate on the damage. The quote came to $1,400, which they insisted on in cash. My friend is an intelligent woman in her 80’s but these two cons had her confused and shook up.

She later went to the police. It was found that the car was a rental and all the information they had given my friend was false. We just want everyone to be on guard if a similar situation happens to them. Be insistent on calling the police !

19 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Burglarized twice; driver scammed"

  • chrisma July 28, 2011 (11:25 pm)

    What body shop? Are they in on the scam?

    • WSB July 29, 2011 (12:21 am)

      Folks, please don’t bring any specific businesses into this. What I published is exactly what we received, and I have not yet seen (nor had time to solicit) the police report on this, if one is even publicly available (I will be looking around tomorrow) … TR

  • DryFly July 29, 2011 (6:17 am)

    That is sad that they targeted an older person like that. I’m even more dismayed that somebody really did hit-and-run me the other day and I wasn’t able to follow them!

  • Melissa July 29, 2011 (6:49 am)

    I don’t understand how there was any damage to the car if the woman didn’t hit them? Were they driving a damaged rental car? How did they get the estimate? This doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • CandrewB July 29, 2011 (7:17 am)

    It does appear to be a relevant question. Not saying anyone was in on it, but how would it not appear suspicious for two fast-talking yahoos to drag a confused 80 year old woman on for a quick quote.

  • Brandon July 29, 2011 (7:41 am)

    What a crazy scam. Thank you for letting us know about this scam, hopefully these con artists will be caught. I mean, who scams senior citizens. It makes me sick

  • Silly Goose July 29, 2011 (7:52 am)

    Start Checkiing the pawn shops ASAP for your Musket and Craigs List. So sorry this happened to you.

  • Alki Resident July 29, 2011 (7:58 am)

    I wonder if the body shop has surveilance.Im so sick of the elderly being scammed,seems so regularly reported in the news these days.

  • Ken July 29, 2011 (8:14 am)

    Body shops give estimates to anyone who walks in off the street. I think they are required to. They all have specific software to make the process fast and convenient.
    The cons would have found one without cameras before they started trolling for old people.

  • bridge to somewhere July 29, 2011 (8:16 am)

    Mike: how did the burglar get access to your house both times? I live very near you and I’d like to do what I can to secure my place.

  • amused July 29, 2011 (8:26 am)

    I don’t think your friend is as’intelligent’ as you would like to believe.

  • Casey July 29, 2011 (9:09 am)

    This morning as I was walking to the bus stop at 7 am I noticed a metallic blue pickup truck (late 80’s to early 90’s) hiding behind some trees in the church parking lot at 104th and 33rd. The only reason that I noticed it was because after I had passed them, they turned on the truck (which has a loud exhaust) and they pulled out of the lot. The driver taunted me and drove toward my house. There was an attempted break in on my house two weeks ago so this was a little sketchy. It was almost as if they were staking something out. I walked back to my house to see if they were in the neighborhood but I did not see them. This is very close to the break-in listed above as well as many other recent burglarys so everyone might want to keep your eyes peeled.

  • bridge to somewhere July 29, 2011 (10:23 am)

    Super suspicious Casey. Did you get a plate number? You might call the King County Sheriff non-emergency line to report it regardless . . .

  • ohmygosh July 29, 2011 (11:04 am)

    A couple tried this on my elderly mother ten+ years ago.Same exact scenario. She was smart enough to tell them she would have to go through her insurance and they drove off…they target the elderly all the time as they are afraid of losing their drivers licenses..this is an old scam and well worth warning about.

  • Minner July 29, 2011 (1:14 pm)

    Just a heads up that I have seen a gold vehicle, maybe an escalade, in the westwood village parking lot several times, on several different dates, in different parking spots. The gentleman approached me one of the times stating that they were from Tacoma and needed gas to get home. The gentleman was a tall, skinny, bald black guy. Sometimes he had is “wife” with him and sometimes his “kids”.

  • J W July 29, 2011 (4:03 pm)

    I asked my friend what the extent of the damage to their car was and at this point she was so shaken up by the couple that she didn’t really know. She did see paint on their car but they put it their and and then put some on her car which wiped right off later on. They intimidated her by telling her it was a hit and run and she would lose her car and license if she called the police so she was understandably upset.I just want to get the word out so nobody else gets taken in by these cons.

  • Casey July 29, 2011 (4:06 pm)

    I couldn’t get a plate number before they disappeared over a hill.

  • noah July 30, 2011 (8:57 am)

    This won’t be popular but if someone is so confused by the scenario and the possibility of an accident that person shouldn’t be driving. If she’s scared the police will take away her license I think there’s a duty by the people who know her to get the police involved and see if it’s appropriate for her to be driving.

    I don’t understand why we don’t mandate yearly driving tests for those over 75 yrs. I watched an elderly couple go over a curb and come within 6 inches of hitting the windows of zippys the other day.

  • PWest July 30, 2011 (10:30 pm)

    I hope you reported that incident to the police. There’s a truck that matches that description that is occasionally parked in the alley behind my house at 35th & 104th, and there have been issues between them and the police before. Maybe if the police are getting multiple complaints from different sources they would be inspired to take some action.

Sorry, comment time is over.