The WSBeat: Why you need to get all the keys back, + 7 more

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

Back after another short hiatus: From reports on cases handled recently by Southwest Precinct officers:

*Though he had been evicted at the beginning of the month, a man still had the key to the front door of his former condo building in the Admiral area. He would enter, climb to the roof, and then jump to his old balcony to get inside his old unit, against the orders of the sheriff, bank, and realtor. On Tuesday he was arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of criminal trespass. The condo management group will be changing the lock on the front door.

*Late Saturday of last weekend, seeing a car pull out of an Admiral service station without its headlights on, an officer ran the plate and discovered that the registered owner did not have a valid driver’s license. He pulled the car over at 36th and Olga. The driver admitted he had no insurance or license and, although he wasn’t wanted on any warrants, he did have a history of burglary and firearms possession. For safety reasons, the officer had him exit the vehicle, which brought half-full bottles of whiskey, brandy and cognac, a crowbar, and a pair of black leather gloves into plain view. These were confiscated. The 16-year-old was cited for driving without a license or insurance, for not using his headlights, minor in possession, and possession of burglary tools. He was released to his brother’s custody; his car was towed.

Six more summaries ahead:

*Early Saturday of last weekend, several citizens reported shots fired near 26th and SW Dakota. A man in the passenger seat of a white 60s-era Cadillac convertible was seen pointing a handgun. Officers found five shell casings in the intersection of 26th and SW Adams. There were no signs of property damage or injury.

*A local high school went into what the report described as lockdown mode last Tuesday after a teacher saw a student with a handgun on campus. The youth was questioned but no gun was found. After many changes of story, he finally admitted he had been carrying a BB gun but had given it to another student, who had already left for the day. The original student was immediately expelled.

*Tuesday afternoon, a stranger confronted a woman in the driveway of a home near 11th and Barton, began grabbing her grocery bags from the car and offering to help. The frightened woman locked herself inside the vehicle, but the suspect appeared at the driver’s window with a brick. He shattered the glass, reached in and stole the victim’s purse, running off northbound on 11th SW. Neighbors saw the man climb into a navy blue compact with tinted windows and drive off to the east. He was described as a black male, aged 20-40, about six feet tall with a slim build. His hair was in a short afro and he wore a white sweater and dark capri pants. During the incident, he told the victim that he lived in the area.

*Friday afternoon of last week, a 33-year-old called 911 with a rambling report implying that the management of her Junction-area apartment was likely involved in a series of suspicious events involving her door locks and keys. After being interviewed, she was released. (Though she showed some signs of paranoia, she did not meet the criteria for involuntary commitment.) But an hour later, she entered a nearby liquor store, claimed to be a police officer and CIA agent, and demanded to use the phone to contact her law-enforcement coworkers. Denied permission, she came behind the counter and then started grabbing customers’ cell phones. She then ran to a construction site and tried to obtain a telephone there. Officers confiscated a knife, had Animal Control take care of her dog, and then sent her to Harborview for a mental evaluation. They also hope to revoke a concealed weapons permit she was granted by the King County Sheriff’s Office on August 25th.

*In the High Point area, a 19-year-old called 911 to report that he was hearing voices. The young man was polite with officers and said he had no plans to injure himself or others, but he seemed to have trouble concentrating and his eyes wandered. His grandfather said the young man had been recently diagnosed with a mental problem and that medication had seemed to help, but that the prescription had run out and the family couldn’t afford a refill. The officer offered to try to arrange a visit from a mental health professional, and the grandfather said the family would be extremely grateful for such assistance.

*After seeing a large number of dog treats in the yard next door (the neighbors were away), a Westwood woman became concerned that someone had poisoned their pup. A $200 vet visit later, it was determined that the dog was fine but suffering from indigestion from an excess of edibles. The officer decided to speak with the neighbor on the other side, who immediately admitted to providing the treats. Horrified at what happened, she explained that the dog’s owners had given her the bag when they moved in and encouraged her to toss a treat his way if he barked too much.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The WSBeat has an archive category of its own. We also continue to publish crime reports the rest of the week, when we get tips or hear noteworthy incidents via the scanner, so don’t be shy about letting us know when you see/hear something happening.

12 Replies to "The WSBeat: Why you need to get all the keys back, + 7 more"

  • Westgirl October 2, 2011 (11:22 pm)

    Lol at the dog treat story!

  • WestSide45 October 3, 2011 (7:55 am)

    “released to his brother’s custody”?
    Sounds like a brilliant plan. His brother probably taught him everything he knows about burglary. Where did he get the alcohol? Could it have been the brother?

  • anonymous October 3, 2011 (9:18 am)

    A piece of advice to anyone renting from a private individual and/or rental agency….always ask and demand that the locks on all exterior doors have been changed, prior to your moving in. We have several rental houses and although we always request all keys be returned to us, following a tenant moving out, there is nothing to keep them from making a copy and returning at a later date. We have always been in the practice of changing out all of the locks between tenant turnover. I would like to assume that all landlords do the same but you can’t assume anything.

  • A October 3, 2011 (9:38 am)

    re: first story – isn’t it standard practice to change locks after a tenant moves out? Even if you just keep ONE extra lock on hand, you can rotate the locks as people move out. Not ideal, but solves the “I can’t afford new locks every time someone moves” excuse.
    To the parents of the young man who cannot afford his medication: Please go to Walgreen’s or Rite Aid and sign up for their “no insurance” prescription plan. The medication will be cheap or free. If you can’t afford the $4-$8 copay, please let WSB editors know and I will arrange to pay it for you each month.

  • mental health advocate October 3, 2011 (10:08 am)

    “A” must stand for Angel. Please be sure that this young man is regularly seeing his mental health professional, in addition to taking his meds!

  • Been There October 3, 2011 (11:47 am)

    @ A – Your offer to cover the cost of the medication for the young man and family is very admirable and made my morning. Thank you.

  • WS Steve October 3, 2011 (12:07 pm)

    Failing to provide or subsidize meds for those diagnosed with severe mental illness is possibly one of the most cost-ineffective policies we have in this country. Thanks, A, for your suggesion…hope that works out for them.

    To the family: I’ve had some experience with mental illness and it’s critical you follow the doctor’s orders on this. Mental illness often doesn’t manifest until the late teens and its severity can’t be judged entirely based on a person’s past behavior.

  • HighlandParkMike October 3, 2011 (2:07 pm)

    Is it legal to leave your dog in your yard unsupervised while you’re “away”?

  • carole October 3, 2011 (7:08 pm)

    Re 1st story: keys were to be turned over to representative of company servicing the lender. Because evicteee was given 30 days to move belongings locks can’t be changed yet but are scheduled for day 31, and garage remotes will be reset. Will cost condo assoc significant $$ to replace 6 door locks and obtain new keys for everyone. We didn’t evict him…his lender did so we have minimal control over the process. Evictee is only supposed to be in bldg by prior arrangement w/real estate rep.

  • alki_2008 October 3, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    Regarding the keys/landlords issue. Landlords should have keys stamped with “do not duplicate”, to avoid tenants making copies. It doesn’t always work, since copies can be made without non-reputable key copiers.
    Another option…have locks “re-keyed”, rather than changing out the entire lock. Much lower cost than replacing the lockset, and avoids having to find the same style of handles.

  • A October 4, 2011 (7:16 am)

    Thanks for the kudos, but I’m no angel — just angry and frustrated at a system that forces a person to go without needed medication when they can’t afford it. Especially when that person is a) willing to take their meds, and b) stable when taking them.
    I assume there is more than one prescription for this young man. I will pay the copays for what he needs, and I’m also happy to help the family get free medication from the drug companies. Most of them have income-based programs. If there’s a language barrier, the forms can be difficult.
    If a few bucks a month will make someone else’s life not just easier, but truly happy, I will happily donate that $8. I wish I could do more.

  • Carole October 4, 2011 (3:35 pm)

    Our bldg keys are stamped do not copy…doesn’t always stop someone from getting a copy made anyway – and we are “rekeying” not replacing locks – my mistake in prior email..

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