West Seattle Crime Watch: Then, now, and tomorrow

First – before two reader reports – here’s something that likely would have topped West Seattle Crime Watch 52 years ago:

Anne Higuera from longtime WSB sponsor Ventana Construction was working on a project in Ballard when that West Seattle story from a 1961 edition of the Seattle P-I, stuffed in the walls, caught her eye. It tells the tale of how a West Seattle family nabbed a would-be burglar. Click here for a larger, readable version (you might have to click it to zoom in when it opens in your browser – that’s what happened with ours).

Ahead, the current cases:

Garry‘s house in Seola was broken into and ransacked between 11 am and 4:30 pm Sunday:

The brazen thief(s) stole an extendable ladder from my neighbor’s back yard, then used it to get to a 3rd floor window at my house.

They got away with watch, jewelry, credit cards, membership cards, a black Swiss Army backpack, a bag of tortilla chips, and some other small items. I am still cleaning up and trying to get a good inventory of what was taken. Made a real mess of the place, but left large items.

Interestingly, same afternoon, the culprits used the cards at Shorewood Grocery, Target, Bartell, and Big 5. Shorewood Grocery is checking their in-store video, and Target has video and Photos of the people making purchases using my cards. Hopefully the King County Sheriff will be able to get those images and bring the law.

Keep your windows locked.. Even the ones on the third floor!

Also received today – Ben‘s hit-run report from Gatewood, with a photo:

I have gotten to my wit’s end with people and their driving. I thought you could add this to your crimes section. I live near the corner of Thistle and California and this is the second time in 6 months someone has destroyed my car and driven off. I woke up this morning to this; my wheel was bent under the car and un-drivable.

If you have any information, contact police.

Last but not least, a quick reminder that the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council‘s monthly meeting is tomorrow – Tuesday, 7 pm, at the Southwest Precinct (Webster just west of Delridge), with an SPD burglary detective as the special guest, and the usual chance for you to bring up concerns with police leadership.

10 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Then, now, and tomorrow"

  • vanceg May 21, 2013 (12:14 am)

    Ah and I just captured someone on my security camera walking off with packages which were left by UPS at my front door. Happened at 10pm. I arrived home at 12:10 knowing about the photos… Yep, package was gone… However, a 3 minute search of the area revealed the package, opened, with the shoes I ordered taken out of the box…I guess I have different size feet that the thief.
    UNfortunately – The security cam picture is pretty so-so.
    Come on people – Shoes – You want to steal SHOES?

  • Eric May 21, 2013 (4:46 am)

    I wonder if the WSB Blog can obtain the video and photos of the thieves from Target like they did before and post them on here, so maybe someone can/may recognize them and put a name(s) to the face(s).

  • miws May 21, 2013 (7:06 am)

    Thanks for sharing, Anne and WSB! Love these found “treasures” and the look at history that they provide.



  • MEJ May 21, 2013 (11:16 am)

    What ever happened to Mr. Harmon? 25 then, 78 now. Did he become a career criminal, or did he find work after getting out of jail and raise a family? It would be interesting to know which path he took.

  • WSB May 21, 2013 (12:01 pm)

    Nobody by that name in the state voter database now but I found a brief online mention of a Harmon Chandler dying in SW Washington in 1999, born 1935, served in the Marines, would have fit the few facts in that old story, though it could ALSO be a coincidence, so I’m not linking here, lest it tarnish some innocent man’s name. No other life details…

  • AJP May 21, 2013 (12:19 pm)

    That’s just down the street from my house!

  • trickycoolj May 21, 2013 (3:41 pm)

    Yep, my grandpa has told me a number of stories about how they used to steal gas from his service station in West Seattle in the 50s/60s. They’d drive up in a modified hearse, park over the tanks and siphon the gas out. Another person purposely drove into his office just to steal things inside. After the family car got stolen straight out of the garage and abandoned in Canada with stolen parking meters in the trunk (that they ran over to steal) grandma and grandpa high tailed it out of West Seattle for the lovely rural community of Federal Way. Grandpa still won’t visit my new house in High Point….

  • Margaret in Vashon May 22, 2013 (11:26 am)

    Hey folks,
    This was no burglar! This is obviously a case of the laid-off steel worker who was out all night drinking and tried to sneak in his back window so as not to wake the missus, except, oops, got turned around a bit in the dark. They were exactly back-door neighbors! I sure hope everything got straightened out for him. Glad we don’t post big pictures of “suspected burglars” in the local papers anymore. Could make it really hard to find work.

  • alki_2008 May 22, 2013 (11:17 pm)

    Interesting how people’s home addresses, both victims and suspects, were printed in the newspapers all those years ago.
    Would be curious to know when that trend changed…and why, were privacy laws enacted to provoke that change? Anyone know?

    • WSB May 22, 2013 (11:29 pm)

      Alki – in some places, they still do. A guy who does something like WSB in a town in New York State – and, like us, is doing it after a successful career in old media – publishes names of everybody who gets arrested. When I came here from San Diego 22 years ago, I was surprised that there weren’t perp walks and so on. Local media standards evolved, I was told in TV here back then, after multiple people’s lives were rocked by being wrongly identified as Green River Killer suspects. Made sense to me. And a bit of restraint still makes sense to me. There is no law that says you can’t splash people’s faces and names and addresses and so forth all over the place. Just ethics and policies.

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