West Seattle Crime Watch: ‘2 or 3 burglary teams,’ & other reports

We start this West Seattle Crime Watch update with a followup, as promised, on the burglary/suspects reports from yesterday afternoon. Southwest Precinct commander Captain Steve Paulsen says there were four burglaries in the area, including the 36th/Myrtle one we had mentioned. Two possible suspects were detained, he says, but: “We didn’t quite have enough at this time for arrest, but we are following up with evidence collected. Both of these subjects are well known to us. Since the increase in burglaries, we have re-arranged our normal deployments which include modifying work hours in order to maximize the opportunities to apprehend the suspects. Our officers are chasing every suspicious circumstance 911 call that gets broadcast and we are flooding the area with multiple officers. We think we have 2-3 teams working in the West Seattle area. Our folks have been sharing information with other precincts as well as neighboring jurisdictions (Puget Sound region) who are experiencing the same issue and some of the same subjects.” Meanwhile, we’ve heard from some of yesterday’s victims – that, and other Crime Watch reader reports, ahead

One of them, we believe, was Chris, who posted a report in comments on yesterday’s story. Here’s another, via e-mail from a resident who didn’t want their name used,sent Thursday evening:

I Wanted to report to the Blog that I got home (last night) to find my back door kicked in, they tried to pry a side window then punched a hole through a pane in the back door to try and reach the deadbolt. Stupid idiots didn’t realize it was a Key lock on both sides, and they cut their hand reaching in, left some nice blood DNA behind. It happened sometime between 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm, and looks like the little bastards were in a real hurry, probably was related to the earlier police activity this afternoon at the corner of 34th and webster, seems as though they were on a real spree. They just grabbed the small portable electronics, a plastic cup of quarters, and tossed the bedroom dresser drawers. I’m at 34th and Holden. Police just left, they took a full report, AND a blood sample from the door. I Have also reported it to my block watch captain. Be vigilant neighbors, these scum are everywhere!

Earlier in the week, Alan was hit:

On Tuesday, between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM, our house was broken into. I am almost always home, but was away at that time. This is the second house on our street hit during a short absence.

Entry was made in back by breaking the tempered glass out of one of our French doors. They never actually opened the doors, they just made a hole big enough to go through. Primarily they took a Dell laptop and my wife’s jewelry box. Sadly, the primary value of the items in the box were memories. It included a watch that belonged to my wife’s father, which is the only memento she had of him. There were a number of other items in the jewelry box, including her expired drivers license, which was returned to us today.

The drivers license must have been found and returned to the Westwood Dept of Licensing office because they mailed it back to us. No note of explanation included.

Most of what we value most from what was taken likely got tossed with the driver’s license. If we could find out where that was found somehow, we would gladly search through garbage for them.

And we got this note last night from Tom:

Just had an interesting event in our neighborhood (41st/42nd and Cloverdale).

At 7 pm, my daughter noticed someone at our neighbor’s across the street. The person was in their gate on their front porch with a flashlight, and had taken their wreath off of the door. I watched for a minute, and I guessed (incorrectly) that it was someone trying to deliver a wreath but they had the wrong address. I stepped out of the house and watched a woman walking down the street- she was very relaxed, didn’t seem furtive etc. so I shrugged it off. I hadn’t remembered seeing a wreath there to begin with, and couldn’t imagine why someone would steal a wreath.

We just saw our neighbor out at a party and I told her about what my daughter had seen. It turns out my daughter was right- they had ripped it off. There’s a good chance they were casing the place? Regardless, wanted to give a heads-up for this neighborhood over the WSB (we will be talking to our neighbors as well). We’ll be here for the holidays and will be keeping our eyes peeled.

22 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: '2 or 3 burglary teams,' & other reports"

  • me December 9, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    Just a suggestion that may deter these punks…run down to fry’s and pick up a couple of $14 decoy cameras and install them where they can be seen from the street. Or you could install the real thing!

  • Jasperblu December 9, 2011 (1:21 pm)

    My neighbors were also burgled this week (on Monday between 9:30am and 1pm). Same M.O., their back sliding door was smashed in. Thieves grabbed small, easily snatched electronics (laptop, iPod, etc.). Cops came to take report btw, but did not bother with fingerprinting. Said it was a waste of time.
    Especially if this is the same bunch of creeps, wouldn’t MORE cases be likely to send them away longer once they’re caught?
    Anyway, my neighbors are on 41st & I’m on Trenton. Fauntlee Hills (south end of West Seattle, near Barton and 35th). Watch out for each other guys and gals! If we don’t, the scumbags win. Not cool!

  • Kermit December 9, 2011 (1:48 pm)


    I’m sure they didn’t say it was a waste of time. What they might have done is looked for prints, found smudges and realized that would help no one and didn’t bother to submit smudges or un-useable prints in for examination. The cop on my burglary told me they are under alot of pressure from their bosses to find these perps so I’m sure they’re doing what they can.

  • Jane Conrad December 9, 2011 (1:58 pm)

    So sad about the loss of sentimental things. Although it isn’t handy, it’s worth it to put things that mean a lot in odd places where theives won’t bother to look. My daughter was wiped out a few years ago because all her jewelry was in – a jewelry box! Don’t make it easy for the rotten theives.

  • WS girl December 9, 2011 (2:01 pm)

    Last night around 8:30 we had a suspicious knock on our front door and then noone there when we answered. Appeared to be someone checking to see if the house was occupied. We are near 35th and Hudson. Police contacted and block watch capitans were alerted. Please keep an eye out for all your neighbors regardless of which area you are in.

  • Sunshine December 9, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    I am shocked they didn’t take prints…….why wouldn’t they? I know they are understaffed and over worked but really? When we had our puppy stolen (front door kicked in) they took prints AND a small case that the robbers tried to put the puppy in- they were not able to match the prints from our house with anything in the system but some day they will…….they should ALWAYS be taking prints- home robberies and car!! I wonder who we could complain to and who would give us a good answer to why?

  • Alki Girl December 9, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    I guess it makes sense for the increase in burglaries with Christmas approaching and people have a lot of new valuables under the tree. I hope the police can catch these guys. I’m guessing they wore gloves and/or didn’t leave a decent print. The police would like to get these punks out of our neighborhood as much as we do.
    The cameras are a great idea and definetly a deterrant to criminals. I’m also thinking investing in a mountable safe hidden in the house.

  • datamuse December 9, 2011 (2:35 pm)

    I’m no forensicist but fingerprinting doesn’t seem to be all that reliable. It’s hard enough to get a good print when you’re trying to leave an identifiable mark, as I’ve had to do twice (once when applying to work for a public school district, once when applying for a CPL). Latent prints are much more likely to be smudged or fragmentary. I don’t know how law enforcement decides whether or not to take prints under given circumstances, though. Maybe there weren’t any obvious surfaces the burglars would have touched that would have taken useful prints?

  • Joe December 9, 2011 (2:49 pm)

    Hey, thank dominoes while your at it for coming into the neighborhood and flagging all houses with flyers. Brilliant, especially this time of year. Plus person delivering flyers appeared to be looking in neighbors windows.

  • K December 9, 2011 (4:31 pm)

    I also wonder why none of the prints are matched. My house was broken into almost two years ago. Similar situation… back door glass broken, door opened. Everything destroyed but nothing taken. They took fingerprints. So far no match that I am aware of. Hopefully some day there will be a match.

  • Aaron December 9, 2011 (4:37 pm)

    When they say “teams” it kind of got me thinking about the odd looking young man watching traffic on Holden and 30th. Just seemed out of place to me. Now I am wondering if they are running lookouts.

  • onceachef December 9, 2011 (5:07 pm)

    I’d say for at least the next few weeks you should consider every encounter at your homes as suspicious unless you actually know the person(s). I’m going to start a “rent a dog” business for the holidays :). In the meantime, do whatever you can (locks, new doors, outside landscaping, get a dog)) to make it hard on them…the harder it is for them to get in/out, the less likely they’ll target your home. Neighbors….be alert!

  • M December 9, 2011 (6:28 pm)

    We’re in the Morgan Junction and witnessed our neighbor’s home being broken into last night. It’s in the process of being built so it’s vacant. Looked like two or three people, they had flashlights, and weren’t particularly discrete. In fact, it was the sound of a loud female voice on a normally quiet street that prompted me to look out the window. We called the police, they sent two cars immediately over, scoped out the scene, and we were later told that two suspects had been detained up the street.

  • resident3 December 9, 2011 (7:47 pm)

    Oh great- a young guy was standing at the corner of 36th and cloverdale around 2:30- never seen him before- never thought about look outs- hope it was nothing. next time i will think about that.

  • Luke December 10, 2011 (5:54 pm)

    Lets keep a lookout for each other. Any suspicious activity call 911 and get descriptions. Get an early christmas for your house and buy an Alarm/guard dog:-). Shotgun is good to if you are a stay homer.
    Lock your doors and close the curtins. As a “Blockwatcher” I will do my best to Keep Watch and Snab’em.

    This will have to be a Team Community effort……Yes We Can!!!

  • Luke December 10, 2011 (6:05 pm)

    Update!! Its not just guys burglarizing homes….its females too. The Grinch is out!!
    Any new stuff I’ll be keep my Community Updated.

    PS. If you don’t have an home alarm and your home…..and you hear someone………and you have a car alarm…..activate it to scare them off…..I’m just saying…..just a thought.

    • WSB December 10, 2011 (6:22 pm)

      Luke – we have reported that previously. The burglars spotted on Northrop Way in Gatewood a week or two ago were women (or girls) – TR

  • crafty vigilante December 11, 2011 (9:25 pm)

    I got home last tuesday and found my gate had been opened. My house has a fence surrounding it (because its directly on delridge). After seeing the news that morning about the burglaries, me and my girlfriend went back thru the security camera footage. It was a girl,black,that had opened the fence while talking to her friend on the phone. After trying every possible easy way in she started pounding on the door. Then she looked up,saw the cameras, and quickly fled in a orange and green ex taxi cab. No stickers but the fees were still printed on the window. The tapes were givin to the police that night. WATCH FOR THAT CAR!!!!

  • paul December 11, 2011 (9:52 pm)

    I got a couple of security systems from costco online for $250 each. one for me and a friends house. the set comes with 4 infrared cameras. You can see them at day or night. night visibily is limited to about 5 or 10 feet, but good enough if you’re placed near entrance. daytime viewing is quite effective. Cheap insurance. if you have a newer tv with a computer video plug, you can monitor right on your tv. I’ve had mine almost a year, still working great. Q-see. It’s budget stuff, but good enough for me. Comes with a dvr like thing with a built in hard drive. I can go back and see what happened a month ago.

  • tk December 12, 2011 (8:06 pm)

    Those two way locks are against code in residential homes.

    Glad I have a scary “wolf looking” dog!!! Yeah, she might be a little unruly and be a pain to walk, but she does her job being scary!

  • YS December 12, 2011 (10:43 pm)

    Tuesday Dec. 6th I got home just before 4 pm and found the front door of my house wide open.When I got in I found out that we were robbed. I called the police right away and an officer showed up after about 1 hr. We found out that the burglars came through the back window,they turned every room upside down and they took any electronic they could find,New Dell laptop, camcorder, cameras,a safe with a lot of valuable items like jewelry and other items.The also took jackets, other clothings, purses, bags, watces except the TV( which they tried to but for some reason they left it after they unpluged all the cables attached to it.The next day I was going to my neighbors to warn them and one of them told me that his house was also burglerized the week before. We are on Brandon and 21st.Any lead will help. Let’s watch for each other!

  • iWebbed December 14, 2011 (1:32 pm)

    Fingerprinting powders and chemicals are messy business.

    If the burglars wore gloves, it is normally not reasonable to do thousands of dollars damage to a home or business to get every possible latent fingerprint from a burglary. Such processing also takes days and the home/business cannot be occupied while the chemical processing is in progress.

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