West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspected case of casing

As reported here earlier this week, burglars have been busier than usual in West Seattle lately, with a particularly common MO including suspects being seen in “large American cars” and knocking on doors to ascertain no one’s home, then going around/coming back to break in. So we’re publishing this fast: Todd in Westwood just sent news of a POSSIBLE case of casing – could be a coincidence, but just in case:

At 21st and Roxbury this morning I came out to my car to find 3 African American youths sitting in a pearl white, late ’80s Cadillac with license plate starting in ABS*****. Then I saw one knocking on one of my neighbor’s homes and peeking in the front window. They watched me get in my car looking nervous. I let my car warm up while he kept knocking. This seemed strange to me. So I got out (stupid) and told them “it is pretty obvious she is not home” and they got back in and left. So I called 911 and reported it. While on the phone with 911, they cruised past 21st again slowly. Be on the lookout and watch out for your neighbors.

45 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Suspected case of casing"

  • lymanized December 2, 2011 (9:39 am)

    Thanks for posting this! And way to go to Todd for being a good neighbor.

  • Sheila O. December 2, 2011 (9:57 am)

    That is REALLY scary because what if she had by chance been home? That could be just as dangerous!

    Good work Todd!

  • Marie December 2, 2011 (10:00 am)

    Sounds like you stopped something Todd. Good job! I will be sure to check my area before heading out today.

  • skeeter December 2, 2011 (10:02 am)

    Crime is so awful. Let’s keep those calls to 911 coming in with license plate reports. If the SPD is diligent these guys are all gonna get caught at some point.

  • Mel December 2, 2011 (10:04 am)

    If she had been home, this blog post would have been a “door to door alert” post instead. ;)

  • Laurie December 2, 2011 (10:14 am)

    Todd was wise to report it, and I would hope all good neighbors do the same.
    Too bad the guys who kicked in the door of my house (the FRONT door!) on Tuesday came up on foot, probably after parking one street over. They went through the house and took what they wanted, and – now that the horse is out of the barn – we’re spending $1000 we don’t have to put in a security system.
    These burglars go to work when we do. Maybe they think it’s a real job. Anyone who makes their job harder is my hero. Go Todd!

  • dotty December 2, 2011 (10:14 am)

    I live by you, doesn’t she have dogs? Did that not deter them? I may be thinking of a different neighbor.
    Thanks for reporting, I’m keeping an eye out!

  • Brandon December 2, 2011 (10:16 am)

    I saw another comment posted in another thread that the SPD know who these guys are? Did I read that wrong? I hope they catch them soon. GJ Todd, obviously they did not have any business there.

  • JO December 2, 2011 (10:21 am)

    Good Job for the 911 call!! This happened to my neighbor last week, West of 35th on 106th between noon and 2pm. Smashed the backdoor window and were gone. Keep your eyes peeled and if you see it, report it! West Seattle is a great place to live with awesome neighbors who look out for each other!

  • Anonymous December 2, 2011 (10:38 am)

    I work from home and now keep a camera and billy club at my front door. I plan to take photos of anyone knocking who isn’t delivering a package and won’t open the door for anyone but a delivery person.

    Paranoid? Maybe, but I’ve had a number of bold people opening my screen door (with its no soliciting sign) and knocking on the door asking me to buy or sign something.

  • toddinwestwood December 2, 2011 (10:53 am)

    Across the street from the girl who owns the dogs. The blue house. Plus the gate was open at Katie’s house, which is weird.

  • Kooshman December 2, 2011 (10:54 am)

    I just moved to this area and I feel helpless. I work long hours and I feel like a break-in is bound to happen sometime. I have two dogs but they are not at the house all the time. I can only hope my neighbors keep an eye out and I promise to do the same.

  • sheba December 2, 2011 (10:54 am)

    Start taking pictures of all suspicious activity, almost all of us have cameras on our phones. If it turns out to be a non-event they’re easy to erase.
    Prosecutions need proof!

  • here December 2, 2011 (11:08 am)

    It’s too bad that some people think they are entitled to anything others own.

  • JRR December 2, 2011 (11:19 am)

    I live two doors down from the blue house and was home at the time. I think maybe we neighbors need to share our work schedules with each other so we know when we’re home or not. That might help identify when things could be fishy?

  • Amanda December 2, 2011 (11:26 am)

    Thanks Todd! We are just down the hill from you on 23rd. Luckily Cambridge doesn’t go through, or we’d see more riff-raff.

  • Kelly December 2, 2011 (11:54 am)

    My home off Avalon had the doors kicked in and was robbed on Tuesday.The ransacked the house andtook everything of value to me including passport, birth certificates, soc.. sec. info, all my checks and my grandmother’s jewelry in addition to my computer. No one saw a thing and the cops arrived with guns blazing. PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN & LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER!!!

  • sam-c December 2, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    would it be considered casing if someone comes along and sticks a business card between the door and jamb – just above the door knob, visible from the street, so the case-er can walk by the next day and see if the door has been opened ? happened to us several months ago, and our neighbors around the Thanskgiving holiday. pisses me off to think that somone can walk around and advertise/ keep track of front doors that haven’t been opened in a couple days.
    didn’t think to keep the card in order to complain to the business owner, of course, who knows if the litterer was actually represented by the business card.

  • WS Born & Bred December 2, 2011 (12:30 pm)

    Thank you, Todd for being a good neighbor! Crime seems to be on the rise all over Seattle. Near my office on Cap Hill we had three incidents in three weeks of women attacked by teenagers in order to steal their cell phones. Its important for all of us to be vigilent and look out for each others safety.

  • ca December 2, 2011 (12:38 pm)

    what time was this? we had a african american girl maybe late teens…knocking…excuse me POUNDING on our door at like 845pm and (opened door, since we were expecting a friend) and she said she was supporting pro choice life, and asked me to open the door for her information she had in her hand. We have a metal door and she seemed to try to be scoping…i said no thanks and closed door. Didnt see her in a car, or where she went….weird? similar, same group??

  • ca December 2, 2011 (12:38 pm)

    oh and we live off 34th near westwood…

  • Jim P. December 2, 2011 (12:50 pm)

    “including passport, birth certificates”

    A valid U.S. Passport is worth as much as $25,000 in some parts of the world and a U.S. birth certificate is paper gold to our undocumented friends down south.

    Don’t forget you probably should close your checking account right away as there’s plenty of check cashing places that are none too scrupulous about checking I.D.

  • Meg December 2, 2011 (12:57 pm)

    Very good point, Sam-c.

    It’s the main reason for having really close-by neighbors who know you’re away — and ask them to pick up and store for you: all mail, package deliveries, newspapers, flyers, etc. on a daily basis. Worth paying them to do it, if it makes a diff.

  • sam-c December 2, 2011 (1:15 pm)

    Meg- so true- we removed the card from our neighbors door, and it is really good to have neighbors that look out for you.
    once we went out of town and forgot to let one of our neighbors know. after they hadn’t seen us for a couple days, they called my office to make sure we were out of town. they might have tried our cell phone, but we were out of the country- we have great neighbors; we all look out for eachother.
    Kelly- I am sorry to hear that, that really sucks

  • paknabrik December 2, 2011 (1:31 pm)

    Saw a white 80’s caddy around noon at edmonds and fauntleroy. The trunk was obviously full of heavy stuff, riding real low on the shocks. They headed south on Fauntleroy. Police have been notified.

  • Blunt Speak December 2, 2011 (2:22 pm)

    ALWAYS Take photos & call 911 when you see suspicious activity. I am tired of hearing about hard working families getting robbed. We need to push back a little more. I have no problem confronting these creeps myself and have done so before. If only the look of terror in their eyes when they see me coming was enough to reform them…

  • Westy December 2, 2011 (2:53 pm)

    Kooshman- I felt the same way when I moved to west Seattle and read the crime reports on this blog. I’ve been here a few years now and I’ve never felt unsafe. Please keep in mind that most cities don’t have an outlet such as this to report & discuss incidents, so crimes often go unnoticed. Go meet your neighbors and keep your doors and windows locked. Welcome to the area, it’s really a great place to live.

  • nocyeh December 2, 2011 (2:55 pm)

    Please stop giving out info like what time she leaves, weather she has dogs, how old she is. It is giving the thieves information they can use.

  • Matt December 2, 2011 (3:51 pm)

    I’m surprised there’s been so little conversation about preventing robberies. A few hundred dollars can make a house really difficult to break in to. Upgraded dead-bolts and strike plates can stop almost anyone from kicking in your door.
    Security film (you can install yourself) on ground floor windows prevent burglars from smashing them in. It’s not foolproof, but I think the average thief would have no luck getting in.

  • toddinwestwood December 2, 2011 (5:01 pm)

    I would also love to see some follow up. If they were found, if my call actually did any good.

  • Sheri Wetherell December 2, 2011 (5:22 pm)

    I live in the Admiral Dist. and we’ve had a rash of break-ins around the Massachusetts area the last few nights. Our neighbor chased off an intruder trying to break into their back door at 1:30am on Nov. 30th. Another neighbor’s house on Palm discovered their house broken into over Thanksgiving weekend. Nothing was stolen even though cash and jewels were visible, but a bloody fingerprint was discovered. Police believe the culprits to be associated with a meth lab on Lander (don’t know the cross street) who are looking for pharmaceuticals. Hopefully the fingerprint will be a break in the case!

    In the meantime, we’re organizing a neighborhood watch in our area, I recommend others do the same. We’re also posting Neighborhood Watch signs in our front and back windows.

    If you’re going to be out of town and don’t have an alarm system, here are some tips on how to protect your home:
    1) Ask your neighbor(s) to keep an eye on your home for the dates you’ll be gone.
    2) Set up timers for in- and outdoor lighting, so that it appears someone is at home.
    3) Put a hold on all mail and newspaper deliveries, and have neighbors pick up any packages from your doorstep
    4) consider installing motion sensor lights for especially dark and hidden areas.

    Hope that helps! Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your fellow neighbors! :)

    Happy Holidays!

  • Sue December 2, 2011 (5:26 pm)

    I was one of the persons robbed last week too. Thank you, thank you for chasing these girls off, they sound like the ones I caught in my house. I am taking my cell phone with me and taking pictures of anything fishy. As you can imagine I am extra keen on taking pictures of young female adult/teens who are loitering around when and where they usually aren’t and knocking on doors with late model cars nearby. I am pretty good at calling 911 too. My sympathy goes out to all of you who were also hit. As Professor Mad-eye Moody would say “constant vigilance!”

  • Chuck D December 2, 2011 (5:30 pm)

    Good looking out Todd, I wish you were my neighbor. Thanks for keeping our community safe!

  • furor scribendi December 2, 2011 (6:14 pm)

    The solicitor near Westwood (African-American woman) was legit and had ID/etc. So not to worry about her…..

  • Sue December 2, 2011 (6:47 pm)

    Just wanted to clarify that I’m not the same “Sue” that posted above about her robbery … I’ve been posting as Sue regularly for the past 4-5 years here and didn’t want any confusion.

    That being said, while I think it’s great that Todd was looking out for a neighbor, as a woman I was immediately flagged by the fact that he said to them “it is pretty obvious she is not home.” First of all, info was given that someone wasn’t home (not just ignoring the door). Secondly, you’ve let the person know that it’s a woman who lives there. Along with other identifying info in this thread in various posts, it probably wouldn’t be too hard for someone to now find and target that woman’s house again and what times to try. By all means, please look out for neighbors, but be mindful of the info that is given out inadvertently.

  • toddinwestwood December 2, 2011 (7:36 pm)

    True Sue. I was heated/scared/and trying to be the person who let them know the neighbors were watching. I truly didnt think about that info. Sorry.

  • chloe December 2, 2011 (7:54 pm)

    I would really like to know what the police are doing to find these guys. My house was broken into earliar this week near where this was happening. I really kind of feel hopeless not getting any news / answers.

  • Cjp December 3, 2011 (1:21 am)

    Three african american males were caught house breaking today near 12th and Trenton. Police had them cuffed on the curb. Might part of the same crew…. We can only hope they get nailed hard.

  • Ryan c December 3, 2011 (5:14 am)

    I live on 40th and edmunds and my kitchen window was smashed the other day. I think the noise and/or my neighbors scared them off. Nothing taken but now I’m waiting for them. It happened between 1130am – 2pm

  • wayne December 3, 2011 (5:50 am)

    That is good news to hear Cjp!

  • chloe December 3, 2011 (3:54 pm)

    Yeah I hope they find our stuff! How can we find out more about them getting caught and what not?

  • ca December 4, 2011 (8:02 am)

    furor scribendi – thanks I didn’t see any tags or ID just never usually answer door and was very pushy…

  • churchlady December 4, 2011 (12:10 pm)

    These guys are probally the same ones who kicked in my back door last year! We have video cameras that captured footage of the 3, however there was no vehicle. They were on foot. My dog was inside the house alone when the door was kicked in and she gave chase(thank God) So luckily my things weren’t stolen but the weird thing is my dog was missing for 3 days and showed up one morning at 4am. Her paws were sore and bloody,like she was scratching a door and was locked inside some place. Maybe these punks live close in the area so my dog was able to escape and come home. Thanks Todd, I will be on the look out for these losers!

  • Jessica S. December 5, 2011 (10:26 am)

    It sounds like the same people who burglarized our house in North Burien two weeks ago. They kicked in the front door (!) and ransacked a few of our rooms, looking for valuables. The police said there’s been a rash of similar burglaries in recent weeks by people going door-to-door to see who’s home. This break-in was particularly scary b/c it happened on a Sunday in the middle of the day. We have a neighborhood watch program, but our neighbors thought the noise was just my husband working on a home improvement project. Now everyone is on alert.

  • Neighbor December 8, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    Tuesday night we had a car in our driveway with a car parked behind it. Sometime between 11pm-7am it was ransacked….we had left it unlocked by mistake and everything in it was gone thru…nothing taken that we can see.
    We live North Admiral 1700 block
    Reminder, lock your vehicles! These people had to come into our driveway right next to the house and we even have an automatic light that comes on….they have no fear. Lock up tight!

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