West Seattle Crime Watch: Reader reports; what’s up/what’s down

We start tonight’s West Seattle Crime Watch with statistics you might have missed, since we compiled them during a discussion in the comment section of a story earlier this week. Every month, Seattle Police publish crime statistics, precinct by precinct, sector by sector, for the previous month; the August statistics are online now, and here’s what we found for the Southwest Precinct (West Seattle and South Park), compared to August of last year – robberies and burglaries sharply up, assaults and thefts down:

0 homicides, 0 rapes, SAME as August 2012
13 robberies, UP from 7 in August 2012
61 assaults, DOWN from 70 in August 2012
97 burglaries, UP from 65 in August 2012
124 larcenies (thefts), DOWN from 215 in August 2012
33 auto thefts, DOWN from 43 in August 2012
To compare the entire year-to-date 2013 with a year earlier will take a longer round of number-crunching, but we will do that for an upcoming WS Crime Watch. Now to the newest reader reports, starting with Robyn‘s burglary:

I always appreciate the alerts from neighbors about recent crime incidents in WS so I thought I should share our story so others can be in the know. Our home was burglarized yesterday afternoon (we’re on 38th between Raymond and Juneau). It happened between 1:30 pm and 3:15 pm when I ran out to do a few errands real quick (I was working from home). They came in/out through the front (we come and go through the back alley). We’re pretty sure I interrupted them when I got home as a few things were dropped on the way out, but they were mainly after small electronics (laptops, iPads, etc.) and jewelry. The only slight lead we have is some possible fingerprints on items they moved as well as a suspicious car in front of our house that morning. Our neighbor across the street said a strange blue SUV with a Baby on Board sticker was writing info down and looking up at our house yesterday morning when she was leaving to take her son to school. When she made eye contact they sped away. The police have all that info and more.

Ahead – another burglary, a burglary attempt, and a warning for dog owners (added 9:36 pm, yet another burglary report that just came in via the WSB Forum):

A Beach Drive resident reports a break-in:

Garage burglary at 60XX Beach Drive SW, 3 bicycles and demolition hammer were stolen, tool used to dismantle gate, thief left behind white rose. Theft occurred between the hours of midnight and 5:00 AM on September 24, 2013.

MC shared this incident from Monday – noting it was the third time burglars have targeted them:

You can add a kicked-in basement door in an attempted burglary to Monday’s crime post. I am near 45th and Andover. It happened mid-morning Monday while at work. The door was locked and deadbolted, but a serious kick broke through the jamb.

The house alarm went off and seemed to have scared off the burglar as nothing was taken.

In calling around today to find a replacement door/door installer, one contractor said that he was in WS on Friday for the exact same thing — basement door kicked in from a burglary.

In living here 8 years, this is the third burglary/attempt we have had (the other two successful) and each has happened in the fall. First Nov, then Oct, now Sept.

**ADDED 9:36 PM: Word of a North Admiral burglary today, and a hard drive taken with irreplaceable family photos – they’re hoping to get it back – details in the WSB Forums.**

(back to original roundup) And while this might not be crime-related, Tammy wanted to share the alert:

I was at Westcrest off leash dog park on Monday afternoon and there was a very suspicious woman there. She claimed to be there waiting for her mom and her dog, but was taking an unusual interest all the other dogs. She was asking about their breeds, lingering too close, and pretending to be “with” someone, who clearly did not know her. When I noticed the leash in her back pocket I suspected she was there to steal dogs. So please, be careful and watchful of your canine friends when they are off leash!

One more reminder that West Seattle’s next safety/crime-prevention meeting is TOMORROW (Thursday) night, presented by the Fauntleroy Community Association at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW), 7 pm, after a 6:30 pm ice-cream social.

16 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Reader reports; what's up/what's down"

  • Snowflake September 25, 2013 (8:09 pm)

    I’m wondering if Tammy has a description of the suspicious woman at the park.

  • WTF September 25, 2013 (8:35 pm)

    I welcome some POS to try to steal my dog. It would be, and I promise, the LAST thing they ever did!!!

  • Alki Resident September 25, 2013 (10:30 pm)

    MC- Maybe it’s time to consider some cameras around your place. It has to be very unsettling having this happen three times so far.
    Speaking of cameras- has there been any put in the parking area at Westcrest as of date? Seems like there’s been plenty of reason to over the years.

  • Evergreen September 26, 2013 (4:27 am)

    The break-ins are the most horrifying, it’s hard to sleep at night. Do security companies really work? Thinking of getting something for our house.

  • Virgil September 26, 2013 (7:55 am)

    WSB you rock!

  • Fergus September 26, 2013 (9:18 am)

    Yes – please Tammy, give us a description of the suspicious woman at Westcrest!

  • Get a job September 26, 2013 (11:23 am)

    Last night my truck was broken into. The door look was busted out, as well as the ignition. My navigation and stereo system professionally installed GONE. They broke out both sets of lights above head so no one could see door was open.
    The stole my leather riding boots and leather chaps. My kids two jackets and a box of misc. that had jewelry my kids gave me and stuff that would mean nothing to anyone but me. My cd’s were all over the ground and my glove box stuff was everywhere.
    As a single mom,I’ve worked so very hard for everything that was stolen out of my F250. My kids had to miss school as we were heading out to the truck to find this heartbreaking situation. I’ve been beside myself since then and am at the point of giving up thinking I can ever have nice things.
    I really would like my box of personal items back, you’ll never be able to sell them. This happened on 7th and SW Kenyon.

  • Morgan September 26, 2013 (11:28 am)

    Robyn, someone attempted to break into my apt years ago, while I was home. Long story short, the guy was found and charged with out break ins in my neighborhood. Of course the thief was “on file” and caught because of the finger prints he left behind on my window. SPD(QA) did a great job!

  • pagefive September 26, 2013 (12:08 pm)

    I’m really sorry that happened to your family, Robyn. We live on the same block as you and always try to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. It would be great if we had a neighborhood/block watch. Let me know if you’re interested in helping organize something with me.

  • Jim P. September 26, 2013 (12:27 pm)

    Looking at that kicked in door makes me wonder if it’s not a hollow core door. Totally unsuited for external use for just this reason but often out in by cheap contractors or homeowners who don’t understand they are only slightly better than a screen door at keeping people out who want in.

    Especially if a door is out of easy view, spend the extra and get a real solid core door and a quality solid wood frame or steel security door with a good rating in a steel door frame and make sure the door frame is reinforced. (Most door frames are surprisingly fragile.) And make sure the lock and strike plate (the part on the door frame) are solidly set into solid wood with screws as long as possible. The ones the lock comes with are quite often junk and too short to provide any security.

    You can’t keep a really determined thief out but the common ones won’t spend a lot of time trying to break in….thirty seconds of work with no luck and they will likely become discouraged…not counting really drug crazed ones or someone intent on doing you violence.

    Don’t go cheap on the locks either. The $10 special is best used to protect $10 worth of stuff, not your home and family.

  • Uncle Joe September 26, 2013 (1:43 pm)

    Great tips Jim, thanks!

  • Resident September 26, 2013 (4:13 pm)

    Get a job: So sorry this happened to you. As a single mom that has gotten burglarized too, I feel your pain. I wish you the best.

  • MellyMel September 26, 2013 (6:06 pm)

    Jim P – nope not hollow core and not cheap. That got changed out at the *previous* robbery. The kick was pretty impressive, frankly.

    The weak point is the screws through the latch and the deadbolt strike plates for were anchored in a pretty thin doorframe. It abuts the concrete basement wall rather than a stud. We had not drilled into the concrete to seat longer screws there because we didn’t have a way to drill into concrete. We will this go-around.

    The lockset/deadbolt is schlage which seemed middle of the road as far as qualities offered at the local hardware store at around 50 bucks?

  • Barton September 27, 2013 (9:13 am)

    I have this installed on my front door to reinforce the door frame and make kick-ins more difficult:

    Highly recommended.

  • drahcir61 September 27, 2013 (11:29 am)

    Not a burglary but I’ll share this anyway, had a package stolen from my front door (16th & Orchard) a few weeks ago. Several days later I received a postcard from Sound Transit saying they had a package at their lost & found.

    The thieves obviously opened the package & found my dog’s 12-month supply of Heartguard pills that I ordered online. Hard to sell those for drugs so they probably left the box on a bus.

    I got my dog’s Heartguard pills back but having just moved here I was concerned about stolen packages.

    I decided to leave a sealed box on my doorstep (my name removed) with a note inside that said, “the package you just stole was recorded on camera, your picture has been sent to the police!”.

    That package, the bait, was taken a few days ago … welcome to *MY* neighborhood ahole!!!

  • Anthony October 1, 2013 (10:49 am)

    Also replace the deadbolt strike plate with a strike BOX.

    MUCH stronger and the best ten bucks you can spend.


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