West Seattle Crime Watch: Street-robberies followup; one linked to citywide spree

Tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch is a followup – we finally have details on the two street robberies mentioned in Monday’s report. Seattle Police public-affairs unit Det. Renée Witt says neither case has resulted in arrests so far, and they don’t know if they’re related – detectives are investigating but here are the basics of the two incidents we asked about:

Thursday night (8/1) – The victim (a South Seattle Community College [WSB sponsor] student, according to a safety bulletin from the college) was walking home when four or five people confronted him in the 5200 block of 16th SW, pushing him to the ground and taking his iPhone as well as $160 in cash. Det. Witt says the victim described the robbers as black males, one in a red shirt, one armed with a handgun, but could not provide any further description. The victim, she said, did not want medical attention.

Early Saturday (8/3) – This actually happened at 30th and Myrtle, Det. Witt explained – the 34th/Willow address on the report is apparently the home of a friend of the victim, to which he went to report the robbery. The report says the victim was walking when confronted by three people who demanded all his money; he refused, and one struck his face with a handgun, knocking him to the ground. The robbers – described only as black men about 18 to 22 years old, one wearing a green shirt – took the victim’s wallet and iPhone. After he got to a friend’s home, she called police, though, the report says, the victim “did not want to report the incident because he didn’t think anything would happen to the suspects.”

ADDED 10:54 PM: As noted in comments, SPD now says via this SPD Blotter update that it’s looking for a group of robbers who have struck around the city, and one of the aforementioned incidents is believed to be part of their rampage – the one on 16th SW last Thursday night. While the Saturday incident on 30th is NOT mentioned, SPD mentions an additional West Seattle incident – saying that on Saturday, “just after noon, one of the suspects ran up to a 13-year-old girl and stole an iPhone out of her hands near 60th Ave SW and Alki Ave SW.” That incident was not on our radar, as it’s not shown as a robbery on the crime-report map, it’s listed as “theft-other.”

29 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Street-robberies followup; one linked to citywide spree"

  • West Seattle Hipster August 7, 2013 (7:08 pm)

    “the report says, the victim “did not want to report the incident because he didn’t think anything would happen to the suspects.”

    That is sad. That perpetuates more crime, as criminals operate knowing that Seattle is extremely lax on enforcing laws (Ronald Kessler?).

    I am hoping the next mayor makes public safety a priority, and can repair the office’s relationship with SPD.

  • Seattlite August 7, 2013 (7:32 pm)

    Gangs of thugs roaming WS streets waiting for the opportune time to rob — what does this tell you? Those two victims are lucky they weren’t beaten or shot.

    WS Hipster — The next mayor will not bridge the gap for safety — the candidates for Seattle’s mayor are weak and weaker.

  • Ray August 7, 2013 (7:46 pm)

    Again, sad that it has come to this, but more citizens need concealed carry licenses and to carry in the neighborhood. Until a few of these punks get arrested or better, shot, this will not end.

    And yes, I said “shot” is a better outcome. If these “citizens” are not going to abide by the social contract we all agree to and physically threaten others with the threat of death (at the point of a gun) then I have no problem ensuring that their live(s) are forfeit.

  • kas August 7, 2013 (8:12 pm)

    ‘Handgun to the face’ sounds similar to attacks in Westwood area in Nov/Dec against Denny/middle school kids…related, I wonder?

  • Heather August 7, 2013 (9:33 pm)

    So, driving past the old Game Works at Westwood Village yesterday, I saw two adults (pretty unkept looking) handing a group of teenagers a couple of bottles of liquor. It had obviously just been purchased as they were taking them out of paper bags. I don’t want to be an old crumegeon but it was so blatant and there’s a lot of little kids around that playground and the Target/bookstore area. Does anyone know who to call in this kind of situation?

  • Yumpears August 7, 2013 (9:58 pm)

    Heather- call the police non- emergency number. SW precinct is 206-733-9800

  • WTF August 7, 2013 (10:17 pm)

    Heather – answer to your question YES

    CALL 911! Purchasing liquor and distributing it to minors is illegal. It is NOT a NON emergent situation. This kind of crime is often surrounded by other crime. Certainly hope these (children) don’t drive!

    Not taking action makes these POS feel comfortable and say _|_ .

  • Heather August 7, 2013 (10:38 pm)

    Thank you Yumpears and WTF.

  • mehud August 7, 2013 (10:48 pm)

    Another news channel is reporting that this same gang of thugs is robbing people all over the city from North Seattle, to Capitol Hill, to Beacon Hill, to South Seattle, and West Seattle. They are described as African men driving a green Camry. One person was pistol whipped. Be careful out there!

    • WSB August 7, 2013 (10:54 pm)

      At 4:04 pm, when I got this information I had started seeking back on Monday, Det. Witt wrote specifically that it was unknown if these two were related (let alone linked to others around the city). What you mention apparently appeared on SPD Blotter a couple hours later. Well, we were ahead of the curve … http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2013/08/07/suspects-wanted-for-committing-10-robberies-in-less-than-a-week – **although upon reading that, it appears they believe ONE of the two robberies in my story is linked – the 30th SW robbery is NOT mentioned** – TR

  • CandrewB August 8, 2013 (6:43 am)

    Crap, I saw them on Harvard a couple of afternoons ago. Got a sketched out feeling about them as I walked by. It was a green Camry. I would have called the cops, but the description in the CapHillBlog said it was a beige Corolla.

  • kayo August 8, 2013 (6:56 am)

    Good lord. I hope they catch these guys before someone is killed. Terrifying that they are so brazen.

  • K August 8, 2013 (8:26 am)

    Any details on what time of day the Myrtle robbery happened? I jog in that area, scary.

    • WSB August 8, 2013 (8:34 am)

      Sorry, that was in our brief mention earlier in the week – it was reported just after midnight, early early Saturday morning 8/3.

  • Rick August 8, 2013 (8:46 am)

    Welcome to the new West Seattle “hood”. Pretty cool,huh?

  • Vanessa August 8, 2013 (8:49 am)

    Too bad some taser gun company doesn’t make a product that looks like a smart phone.

  • cr August 8, 2013 (9:04 am)

    So, before, the police were too harsh, to invasive. Now they are too lax. Can’t have it both ways. You tie the cops hands, they can’t do their jobs. Good luck everyone.

  • trickycoolj August 8, 2013 (9:15 am)

    A friend just reposted one of the stories from Capital Hill Blog on facebook and it sounded pretty bad. Just remember if anyone asks you for the time, use a watch not your phone!

  • McGruff August 8, 2013 (9:56 am)

    Roving gangs of thugs terrorizing West Seattle, and we get our panties in a twist over surveillance cameras on Alki? I’ll bet our self-appointed ‘civil libertarians’ would change their tune in a hurry if they were the next victims of this rampaging quartet of iPhone-grabbing hooligans.

  • Anonymous August 8, 2013 (10:21 am)

    I don’t remember what channel it was, but I saw a report one night about a big scandal going on with iPhones which is the main reason people get targeted once someone pulls out their iPhone. It has to do with those commercials about selling your old iPhones for cash. You basically mail in your phone for free (according to the commercials, they pay the shipping) and get cash for it. In some places I’ve even heard there are drop boxes for the phones where you get cash on the spot.. Needless to say, I never pull out my phone when I’m in public places anymore unless I’m somewhere I don’t have to be worried about it. I’ll try to see if I can find the article about it..

  • enough August 8, 2013 (10:29 am)

    I agree Rick but I would venture to say that this is not new .. been kinda sliding down hill for a few years now :) Love it.

  • myhood August 8, 2013 (1:28 pm)

    My husband had a strange situation happen Monday early evening down 16th near Sanislo continuing to SSCC. He had a green Nissan Maxima driving in front of him with the guy pointing a gun out the window and cranking it away it didn’t have any bullets obviously but it was most definitely a real gun. He didn’t get the license plate unfortunately…

  • Wes C. Addle August 8, 2013 (4:52 pm)

    “So, before, the police were too harsh, to(sic) invasive. Now they are too lax. Can’t have it both ways. You tie the cops hands, they can’t do their jobs. Good luck everyone.”

    Actually you can have it both ways. Police shouldn’t intimidate and harass law abiding citizens. They also shouldn’t be hanging out all day at the Westwood Starbucks either. If they all did their jobs correctly neither scenario would be an issue. Unfortunately a few crummy cops ruin the rep for the good ones.

  • Instincts August 8, 2013 (5:35 pm)

    I was at the playground at Riverview Playfields yesterday and had a bad feeling about a couple guys in a beige/goldish sedan with med/heavy tint on the windows in the upper parking lot. Could be nothing, but it wasn’t busy in the upper lot and it was unsettling enough that I packed up when the last of the lower field baseball traffic was heading out, and left. They were backed into a parking spot and just waiting in the car although it was so hot. I felt like they may have been waiting for an opportunity, but who knows. I would like to think someone wouldn’t try street rob a parent out with their kids, but unfortunately not much would surprise me anymore. I could see how near empty playgrounds could be a target since its often a distracted time of keeping an eye on kids and checking email/taking iPhone pics. Always a good reminder to stay aware of surroundings and trust instinct.

  • West Seattle Hipster August 8, 2013 (6:34 pm)

    When does “predictive policing” begin?

    These fellows are prolific:


    • WSB August 8, 2013 (6:58 pm)

      That’s the same info as the link we added to this last night – SPD published the “spree” info shortly after they finally got us the information on the two West Seattle robberies we’d been trying to report details on since Monday – but do note, police so far are “only” linking them to one of the two robberies on which we report here. FWIW. Nonetheless, earlier this year they warned that street robberies, often targeting smart phones, were a category of crime on the rise …

  • West Seattle Hipster August 8, 2013 (7:13 pm)

    As usual, WSB is way ahead of the other media outlets.

    If only the WSB staff ran the SPD…….

  • Michelle R-R August 8, 2013 (8:26 pm)

    Instincts, my family and I were down at the Riverview baseball field last Sunday at around 2pm hitting balls and picking blackberries. I went a little ways from where my husband/son were playing to pick berries, and a white male in a white tank top emerged from the woods about ten feet away from me. I didn’t see him at first, but my family did and started calling out for me to come back. As I was walking back to them, the man followed right behind me before (I guess) seeing that my husband was there and eventually going back into the woods. So yes, be careful there.

  • Andrew James Schnereger August 21, 2013 (8:17 am)

    Wonder how it would effect the string of armed robberies if there were more of a police presence?

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