West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail theft; car vandalism; Crime Prevention Council toplines

Before we get to the toplines from last night’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, two crime reports.

First, two reader reports about open mailboxes in Arbor Heights. Paula reports:

All of the mailboxes on 37th place between 102nd SW and 104th SW (map) were open this morning when I was leaving for work. They were like this Monday morning as well.

Jeff also e-mailed about this – saying he noticed it at 37th Pl/102nd at 6:45 am – and points out that SPD’s auto-tweets include a “suspicious vehicle” reported in that general area around 2:45 am.

Second, a car-vandalism report from Jamie:

I just wanted to give a heads-up to residents of Highland Park. Sometime between 7 PM Monday and 7 AM Tuesday (1/15) both my car and my husband’s were “paintballed”. No real damage to report – just clean-up needed. I’ve already reported it to the police, but thought neighbors should be aware.

And third – the WSCPC meeting. It was a wide-ranging West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting – from crime trends to cannabis.

Notes from WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand, who covered the meeting:

The Southwest Precinct‘s second in command, Lt. Pierre Davis, explained that new commander Capt. Joe Kessler couldn’t be there but will attend in February. Lt. Davis said the major crime categories such as break-ins and car crimes are trending at or below average so far this month, after an uneven December – some categories on a roller coaster as some suspects got arrested, while others left jail or prison and returned to the streets.

He was asked if there was any progress toward solving the March 2012 murder of Greggette Guy. Nothing to report, he said, acknowledging that he knows it’s still very much on the minds of Beach Drive neighbors. Other neighborhood concerns mentioned included a speeding problem on 16th SW in front of South Seattle Community College (WSB sponsor) and a concern that burglars might be showing up with U-Haul trucks when breaking into homes.

From the Washington State Liquor Control Board, new enforcement officers Tim Johnson and Rick Smith were in attendance. Most of the questions posed to them had to do with the board’s new responsibility of creating a system for how legal marijuana will be grown and sold in the state. No answers yet – the state has just announced it will hold a series of public forums for input on how the rules should look You can get details on those by going to the Initiative 502 section of the WALCB website, here. The officers also clarified that medical-marijuana outlets will not fall under the WALCB’s jurisdiction, since that was brought about by a different law long ago.

Asked about problems with liquor thefts/shoplifts in the wake of privatization, Johnson said the state has worked with some of the most frequently hit retailers, who have now done more to secure their bottles and move displays to store areas that are less susceptible to theft.

As an aside, he also mentioned that today was the last day of operations at the state’s liquor warehouse on East Marginal Way.

Last major item, a followup on the problem house at 36th and Morgan, from a request at an earlier meeting:

Precinct liaison/deputy city attorney Melissa Chin said the house had fallen short
of certain city guidelines for being a nuisance property (in terms of criteria such as search warrants served, types of arrests made) but recapped how she and Community Police Team Officer Ken Mazzuca had worked with the owners of the property to come to an agreement. That agreement saw the place mostly boarded up and the one resident who was a family member moved out (as first reported here in October). Officer Mazzuca said that since then he has stopped by and talked to neighbors and there has not been a call to that address in couple of months.

Chin talked about what the neighbors did – take photos, document what happened – and how others could do the same if there was a problem property where they lived, along with other steps that might be in the toolbox of dealing with a similar situation.

The West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meets most months on the third Tuesday, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct.

13 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Mail theft; car vandalism; Crime Prevention Council toplines"

  • HPRez January 16, 2013 (10:54 am)

    I’m all for taking personal responsibility for my community and chipping in, but it seems with each new update we’re asked to do more and more of the police work. You should have seen the stack of paperwork and process I was asked to complete after reporting that the 6 (six!) dogs next door barking all day every day were driving me batty. It would have been a full time job – I already have one of those, thanks!

    After each car/house burglary, we hear stories of police taking reports and shrugging shoulders – it’s no wonder that robbers are pulling up to houses with U-hauls. Might as well keep the doors wide open for them! It’s cheaper than replacing the doors.

    Sorry, I’m crabby – bring on that second cup of coffee!

  • Nwmama January 16, 2013 (11:33 am)

    We’ve had great response and support from SPD re: a nuisance property in our neighborhood. We used a lot of the same strategies that Melissa used. It makes a real difference to work with your like-minded neighbors and get support from the SPD community team (ie form a neighborhood watch group)…. And be present on your block

  • tia January 16, 2013 (12:00 pm)

    Our house in Highland Park also got paintballed in the same time frame as mentioned in the above report. On the bright side it was easier to clean than the eggs that usually get thrown at my house and car.

  • Diane January 16, 2013 (12:10 pm)

    Re “concern that burglars might be showing up with U-Haul trucks when breaking into homes”
    this comment was made by a couple who first introduced themselves as new West Seattle residents who were burglarized shortly after moving here; they expressed frustration that they’ve been calling the precinct daily to find out if there’s any more info on their case; and the woman said she was especially frustrated because she told them she had 2 good suspects to report, but no one ever called her back; and they said one of their neighbors saw a U-Haul pull into their driveway and load up, but the neighbors thought it was the old tenants moving out; their personal story of being new to the neighborhood and being robbed by someone pulling up a U-Haul was a warning to others that this did happen
    Lt. Pierre Davis said he would follow-up with them after the meeting; perhaps he can provide more info to you about this rather scary new trend

  • a January 16, 2013 (1:16 pm)

    I dont know why everyone is complaining about crime in this area. Can’t you see that local government has far more important things to tackle than crime? If they spend their time focusing on crime, who’s gonna install the next round of bike lanes? I got an idea, take some of that bike lane money and put it towards building another jail to house the scum of the earth. Raise my taxes even. Do something please so that when these idiots get caught, they sit in jail for a LONG time and aren’t released immediately so they can continue to ruin it for the rest of us.

  • j January 16, 2013 (2:49 pm)

    some time early wednesday morning, 6 cars on 39thsw/ sw henderson had their windows smashed and car interiors ransacked. it was apparent from the scratched off frost on many car windows that they were looking for treasures. unfortunateley for them there were none at our house, but they surely left a mess.

    • WSB January 16, 2013 (3:16 pm)

      We also have a report of a car prowl in the Fauntleroy Church lot – will include that and your report in the next update – TR

  • MJB January 16, 2013 (7:34 pm)

    We live on 25th Ave SW. We have had a number of mail thefts…from packages taken from back porch to items removed from mailboxes. Mailboxes are open many mornings. Long story short….we are getting locking mailboxes. I found mail from 36th Ave., 108th, and 114th on our street….all ripped open. I put it in an envelope and sent back to post office. A neighbor said he has seen a white Toyota or Honda at mailboxes at 2 am…he followed but they got away. Just an FYI.

  • QQman January 17, 2013 (12:03 am)

    @MJB, funny to hear a white toyota or honda is possibly involved in mail theft. This fits the description of the vehicle I saw @ Target that had one of the women who were reported to be using stolen credit cards. I wonder if it is the same vehicle/people? I live in the neighborhood so I’ll keep an eye out for them.

  • Guy January 17, 2013 (2:45 am)

    Another great idea. Use your real name, not initials on here.

  • JG January 17, 2013 (7:38 am)

    I live in what is now Burien, just south of 112th on 29th. We have also seen our mailboxes open a few times now. I’ve reported it to the Burien police (which is really King County Sheriff). The Arbor Heights thefts aren’t far off. I wonder if it’s just one crew covering this entire area…

  • BJ January 17, 2013 (10:56 am)

    Got the mail-thieves’ hero sitting right here next to me! He woke up at 4am, saw what they were doing, called the police and helped apprehend the two women responsible. One got away, but was arrested later on. The one girl who was caught at the scene also had stolen goods on her that they found after she dumped the white toyota and stole another car trying to get away. She was arrested after her friend gave her up! Thanks RC!

    • WSB January 17, 2013 (11:42 am)

      Thanks, BJ! Followups are difficult on incidents we didn’t cover in real time so we appreciate hearing first-person updates on arrests etc. – TR

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