West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 robbed at gunpoint in North Admiral

Two robbers and two victims in a holdup late Tuesday night: We heard fragments of this via the scanner, and now we’ve heard directly from one victim, whose name we’ll abbreviate to “M.” He wrote, “My friend and I were robbed by two armed men at gunpoint; they asked for our phones. It took place on California and Ferry [map] at around 10:45 pm; be careful and be on the lookout.” He says the robbers approached from behind, “displayed their weapon and said ‘this is a stickup,” then walked us down the hill far enough to be in the shadow, and took our things.” He described one as Hispanic, 5’8″, in a gray hoodie, the other African-American, 5’10”, in a “purple Husky hoodie,” both male, both wearing shorts. Last we heard on the scanner, poilce hadn’t found the robbers, but we’ll doublecheck later this morning.

4:54 AM: Commenter Eric asked about a recap of other recent armed street robberies. Checking our files and the SPD map (which only has a “robberies” category, so note that not all incidents showing with that icon are holdups like this):

–Monday night (August 18th), 5800 block of SW Lander (no details online, will check with SPD)
–Thursday morning (August 15th), 2600 block of SW Thistle, knifepoint holdup, phone stolen, arrest made when phone tracked by GPS (23-year-old suspect Tyler Lambert has been charged and is still in jail)
–August 3rd, 30th and Myrtle (this case and the next one were both covered in this story)
–August 1st, 5200 block 16th SW

ADDED: We procured the Monday night Alki robbery report from SPD, as noted in comments. The report says it happened at Whale Tail Park just before 6 pm Monday; the victim was listening to music on his iPhone when he was approached by three people (no descriptions are included in the section of the report we received, except that one was female). One of them asked the victim if they could use his phone to make a phone call. The victim handed over his phone, and the robber/thief said “it’s mine now.” While he did not display a gun or say he had one, the report says the victim said he had reason to believe he did. The three then ran southbound from the park; the victim went to a friend’s home nearby and called his mom, who called 911 an unspecified time later, after she and her son drove around looking for the robbers. No injuries reported.

46 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: 2 robbed at gunpoint in North Admiral"

  • Eric August 21, 2013 (4:39 am)

    What is that now? At least 3 armed robberies within the past month? I wonder if the cupcake wars from the other thread will carry over to this one.

    • WSB August 21, 2013 (4:52 am)

      Good question. More than that. Looking them up now. Seeing that a couple things on the SPD map labeled “robberies” weren’t street holdups but it appears there was one in the Alki area on Monday night that we hadn’t heard of … no details available online so I can’t get those until media relations is in in a few hours… TR

  • robespierre August 21, 2013 (6:46 am)

    Not to point out the obvious, but if these thugs are robbing people’s phones– iPhones in particular– it is possible to log onto your account via another device or computer and obtain its current location. I would think it wpd be an easy bust for the police?

  • N.A. Neighbor August 21, 2013 (7:35 am)

    What time did this happen?

    • WSB August 21, 2013 (8:07 am)

      Just after 11 pm

  • work downtown August 21, 2013 (7:40 am)

    Good heavens, this is a block away from me. A fire truck went screaming down 42nd to Ferry about 10 PM. I walked down to see what was going on. Glad I wasn’t robbed!

  • SEA August 21, 2013 (8:10 am)

    Geez, and if only these two had been carrying concealed weapons, they’d still have their phones, right? Or maybe they’d just be dead.

    Sympathies to the victims and I hope the police find the perps.

  • Cali&MassRes August 21, 2013 (8:25 am)

    Hi, many thanks for the update!

    I’m curious if “M” and his friend were coming from somewhere in particular and were cased by these two pieces of human garbage… Or maybe this was a totally random event…

    Maybe “M” could provide more details of where they were coming from and where they were going? Curious minds want to know-

  • ttt August 21, 2013 (8:26 am)

    what good is the phone to them if it is locked? would there still be a reason to steal a locked phone?

  • EdSane August 21, 2013 (9:37 am)

    @ttt, you can reformat the phone even if it is locked and then change out the sim card.

  • Rumbles August 21, 2013 (10:03 am)

    These robbers must not be aware of the fact that they are in a “gun free zone”, or whatever the mayor calls it. I’m sure as soon as they realize this, they won’t rob people using guns anymore.

  • Joe Szilagyi August 21, 2013 (10:20 am)

    @ttt & EdSane

    This is why it’s imperative that the upcoming technology from Apple (I think it was them) to allow for a phone to be remotely “bricked” and barred from re-activation become a Real Thing. Taken a step further, we need all phone vendors to either willingly — or be forced to by law — join some sort of compact that makes it illegal to activate services onto any phone hardware on a “stolen” list kept somewhere, and maintained. There would be no more incentive to steal phones, if it works as I’ve heard it could.

    • WSB August 21, 2013 (11:02 am)

      Regarding phones: On my followup, “M” mentioned Samsung, not Apple. Wasn’t important to my narrative at the time but since a discussion has erupted here over Apple phones and tracking, I’m mentioning it.

  • AM August 21, 2013 (10:58 am)

    this scares me so much. I live behind the high school and have walked home alone from the Admiral area bars…. looks like i won’t be doing that again. Ever. Hell i’m now scared to walk to a car at night in that area now….
    Oh west seattle, what is happening?! :(

  • Seattlite August 21, 2013 (11:21 am)

    Gangs and thugs are everywhere with illegal guns. Why can’t this problem be put at the forefront by our city mayor? Gangs wield a lot of influence w/certain youth. The latest killing of a college baseball player in Oklahoma also reveals that youth who are gang prone take rapper lyrics to heart and do terrible things like killing an innocent college baseball player.

  • LS August 21, 2013 (11:36 am)

    Rumbles, you have me laughing so hard! I totally agree!

    AM, sorry it happened so close to your house. You should feel good knowing you can go to CCR where the gun-toting thugs will leave their weapons outside…….NOT! Silly mayor/sticker/waste of time!

  • P August 21, 2013 (11:53 am)

    Chins up, people. Giving in to the fear culture widely propagated by politicians and the mass media (not WSB) won’t make you safer, it will only make you sadder. Crime happens, but paranoia doesn’t have to.

  • Rebecca August 21, 2013 (11:54 am)

    There are apps that let you track your phone, which may or may not be helpful, depending upon the thief’s tech knowledge. I appreciate the blog covering these things, not only because it’s a warning, but the two victims modeled what should be done: cooperate and give up your stuff. It’s a good lesson to teach kids (and adults). As much as it feels like just giving in to injustice, it’s the safest route. No phone is worth a life. Also, with the cost of most phones these days, even if the robber doesn’t use a weapon, the theft is a felony. Hopefully police and prosecutors are pushing hard on this activity and letting thieves know that if they get caught, the punishment will be severe.

  • A1 August 21, 2013 (11:59 am)

    Be warned thugs, there are armed residents that live in that neighborhood.

  • Hmmm... August 21, 2013 (12:15 pm)

    Huh? From what I’ve been told by those of you on this blog north of Thistle and west of 35th is supposed to be safer and better. I guess that’s not always the case.

    • WSB August 21, 2013 (12:19 pm)

      Hmmm, we don’t propagate that old myth. We’ve taken a variety of steps to keep it from being erroneously spread, including noting, as we have multiple times, that all of West Seattle’s murders in recent memory took place west of not just 35th, but west of California SW. No place is crime-free; no place is crime-ridden. We report crime, when we hear about it via anything from scanner to reader tips to police reports, so that people know what’s going on and know to be vigilant. Not paranoid, but vigilant, and taking common-sense precautions (as most of us likely have been doing all our lives, wherever we live or visit, I hope). – TR

  • newnative August 21, 2013 (12:55 pm)

    All of you North Admiral residents proclaiming that you are too afraid to walk in your own neighborhood, aren’t doing us any favors. There are those of us that must walk these streets. We don’t have the option to be afraid.

  • Alki Neighbor August 21, 2013 (1:28 pm)

    Any updates on the robbery on the 5800 block of SW Lander? Curious because this is my block and the location of whale tail park where lots of young kids come to play.

  • Smitty August 21, 2013 (1:31 pm)

    “Huh? From what I’ve been told by those of you on this blog north of Thistle and west of 35th is supposed to be safer and better. I guess that’s not always the case.”

    Your intuition is correct. Looking at “total major crime” data on the following link.

    I will admit this can be somewhat misleading. For example if you could separate the Junction into commercial vs residential you might get a completely different result.

    Still better than anecdotal.

  • OP August 21, 2013 (1:47 pm)

    “This is a stickup?” What self-respecting robber says that it 2013.

  • 24601 August 21, 2013 (2:03 pm)

    Has someone checked the bus drivers in the area last night — the 128 (i think) ends about two blocks from Cal and Ferry, and i would think it a good possibility that the robbers took the bus both in and out of the area. Do Metro buses have video cameras on all the time?

  • Curtis August 21, 2013 (2:44 pm)

    There is no such thing as a “self respecting robber”. And if he has a gun, he can say whatever he wants.

  • lyn August 21, 2013 (4:08 pm)

    Does anyone know if it was female or male victims?

  • Noelle August 21, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    Sad to hear yet something else happened … we have all modern urban problems but no late night stores or other benefits of city life. West Seattle is having some unpleasant growing pains.

    • WSB August 21, 2013 (4:33 pm)

      Noelle – Metro Market is open all night … we often shop there after midnight … But I know what you mean. I yearn for more late-night coffee.
      That aside, I did get the report on the Monday night incident. It was yet another case of someone being asked for their phone. They handed it over – the robber/thief said “it’s mine now.” The victim, who was apparently very young (it was mentioned that they went home to their mom to call the police), didn’t see a gun but said they had reason to believe the robber/thief, who was with two other people, had one. Just before 6 pm Monday night at Whale Tail. I’ll add this a bit more coherently to the main narrative a bit later, am out in the field

  • Cali & Mass Res August 21, 2013 (5:53 pm)

    Hi, I wrote in earlier this morning but my comment wasn’t posted….

    I’m curious if “M” revealed where he was coming from/headed to at 10:45 pm? I would like to know if these unfortunate victims were followed/cased from a bar or restaurant area or if this was indeed, totally random.

    Oh, and to the literate thugs who may (probably not) read the WSB, like ‘A1’, I also live nearby and I’m well prepared for any future zombie attack.

  • P August 21, 2013 (6:07 pm)

    24601, muggers do not take the because of the cameras (assuming they work). These guys almost certainly came in a car for quick, easy, unfilmed getaway.

  • C.T. August 21, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    If people would just carry “Gun Free Zone” placards and show them to robbers, this kind of thing wouldn’t happen!!!

  • SO happy to be out of north admiral August 21, 2013 (7:35 pm)

    lived 1 block from there for years. between this and the double stabbing at the viewpoint a couple years ago…starting to sound like white center.

  • paolo138 August 21, 2013 (7:52 pm)

    Wait, but isn’t it also a drug-free zone? Does the city even have the authority to mandate things otherwise permissible by law like guns and some drugs? or are these signs just meaningless and costly platitudes ?

  • Eric August 21, 2013 (7:56 pm)

    The sad thing is I just saw a T Mobile commercial in which someone tries to rob someone of their phone, but the “joke” is the robber doesn’t want the phone after he sees it. I guess this is common enough that T Mobile thought it was warranted to make a commercial….sad

  • miws August 21, 2013 (9:45 pm)

    …starting to sound like white center.


    SO happy, How so?



  • m August 21, 2013 (9:56 pm)

    @ SO Happy To Be Out Of…

    Another myth you’re perpetuating. This makes you no safer than anyone living in White Center. And, by your own comment, it’s inconsistent with your own experience. Makes for a confusing point.

  • SeattleLiving August 22, 2013 (1:03 am)

    Keep in mind we don’t KNOW these were guns. Could have been toy (realistic looking),especially at night. Or maybe not even loaded if real. How many times have folks robed banks by pretending or implying they had a gun. Just saying…we’re guessing here.

  • Eric August 22, 2013 (4:47 am)

    The only thing I’ll keep in mind is that people are getting robbed by people with the implication that the robbers have a gun. You should tell that to the victims that they should keep this all in mind, I’m sure it will make them feel much better.

  • am August 22, 2013 (8:26 am)

    More people need to act and speak out. I too welcome thugs to my neighborhood. It will be their last crime for sure. I am all for my right to protect self, family and property! Take back your streets! We pay taxes and shouldn’t be forced indoors cowarding, then they win and we all lose for sure.

  • Kathryn August 22, 2013 (10:36 am)

    People..Put your phones away in public; on the bus, in the street. It can wait.

  • Chris August 22, 2013 (11:42 am)

    Get Smart…
    Start by being aware of what’s going on around you…Instead of walking about In a daze with your IPhone or other device in clear view! Street smarts..people!

  • Spec Ops August 22, 2013 (2:38 pm)

    Situational awareness and staying armed (legally with a concealed carry permit) will likely lower the incidences of such crimes. With the proper training and knowledge of the law, we can all be our own best advocates in these traumatic situations.

  • "M" August 23, 2013 (1:57 pm)

    @Cali&MassRes I should have posted what you asked for but I’m not sure if my comment made it in

  • "M" August 23, 2013 (2:17 pm)

    I was on my home from work when I met my friend on the corner of the street to give him tickets to an event I ordered for him (which were stolen). We were standing there talking when the robbers walked up from behind us and pulled us into the shadows. They may have spotted us earlier or just decided to do what they did just before walking up.
    To whom it may concern, my phone was in my pocket when the armed robbers demanded it, not out in the open where they could see it. So, if you ever get your phone stolen, let me know if they demand it without seeing it…
    I know it was a real gun unless they make a heavy, metallic toy that looks like a snub nose, .38 revolver. They pushed it into my back, put it up to my head, they had me see it. “You think this is a joke” was one of their favorite things to say. Whether it was loaded or not, I don’t know. It looked kind of like this one: http://www.snubnose.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/MandP_5_screw_250.jpg
    As of now the service is off and the serial number for the phone is blacklisted so it can’t be reactivated except by me, and I had a very complicated password to protect it, essentially the phone is bricked.
    Thank you for your sympathies as mine go out to other victims of crime.

Sorry, comment time is over.