West Seattle Crime Watch: Thanksgiving Eve burglary – watch for the loot

According to the Twitter log that automatically updates on the WSB Crime Watch page, two burglaries were reported in West Seattle today. We’ve heard from one of the victims, Tom, who tells the detailed story, and hopes you will watch for the distinctive items that were among the loot:

We live on SW Cloverdale Street off 35th, between Thistle and Trenton…

I left my home this morning to take our baby to day care at 7:15. I returned home from work for lunch at 11:30. I found that our front door was open. Nothing was broken on the door so I proceeded in thinking it was odd that it was wide open. Our dog was in the living room, visibly upset. I went into our bedroom and found that our pack-n-play was on end and our nightstand drawers were ajar. All of the jewelry we kept there was gone. Now knowing that we had been broken into, I grabbed the dog and headed outside, not knowing if someone was still down in the basement or garage. THANKFULLY, our dog was unharmed and still in the house.

I called the police. They arrived and swept the house. All was clear. They found that a window had been broken in our basement guest bedroom for entry. It is a really small window, so whomever broke in is either very small, or very limber.

Aside from all of our jewelry being taken, they took our Apple laptop, video camera, Canon Camera, iPad, Bose wireless speakers, our daughter’s baby monitor, a Red Gibson SG electric guitar, and red sunburst Fender electric guitar, a record player, a number of records, power tools, a very unique set of military-issued binoculars in a very worn case issued to my grandfather during WWII, and medication from our bathroom pantry. They had to have had a vehicle for this haul. There are marks in the front yard that look like they had a bin of some sort. Another very telling piece taken was a gold and onyx ring from the 1800s that belonged to the then-Gov. of the Philippines. It’s been in the family for over 100 years and should stand out if someone tries to hawk it. A gold engagement band with two baguette diamonds was also taken. The center diamond is not on this ring, so it too may stand out.

They jostled about through our entertainment center and it looks like the tried to unplug our equipment, but due to the weight of things and the location of the plug, the appear to have given up.

The police were able to lift a number of prints, so we hope that helps.

If anyone reading this happens to own or frequent any of the local pawn shops, we appreciate folks keeping an eye out for some of the more obvious stuff taken.

These fellows were quite brazen as this happened during the daytime. I have notified our neighbors and it appears that they did not see anything. My wife mentioned that she did see a white van parked out front of our house about a week ago…she made eye contact with the guys in side and they sped off. Not sure if someone has been casing the neighborhood. I did learn today that the house across the street and down a bit was broken into last month.

Just wanted to let folks know.

All that aside, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


In a followup note, Tom added, “Both electric guitars have the wiring broken where the plug in is. So they are not currently functional, so to speak.”

The other burglary logged today was in the 8400 block of 20th SW. Haven’t heard from the victim(s) in that case, and detailed reports take up to a week to show up in the SPD online system, so we don’t have details.

36 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Thanksgiving Eve burglary - watch for the loot"

  • CD November 27, 2013 (10:36 pm)

    What the f*#^k is going on in W. Seattle. Why are these break-ins not considered top priority to the police?

  • dsa November 27, 2013 (11:04 pm)

    Actually CD the burglary sounds just like one I experienced near 35th and Othello over 30 years ago. The MO and result were nearly the same. I too had a small broken basement window.
    After that I covered each with 1/8 inch lexan, bolted it on from the inside. It does not break. But no one tested my windows or doors after that either.

  • Res3 November 27, 2013 (11:10 pm)

    Is this what is showing on the spd blotter twitter feed at 4:45 pm? Or is there a second occurrence over here today?

    • WSB November 27, 2013 (11:16 pm)

      The times on the Tweets by Beat feed are NOT accurate. They in most cases register the time when the report was filed, NOT the time the incident occurred. – TR

  • VanillaGorilla November 28, 2013 (1:36 am)

    yep my buddy got hit last week just off cloverdale too!! same thing tiny window barely enough to fit through?? its making me think its possibly some local kids in the neighboorhood!!

  • G November 28, 2013 (1:38 am)

    The SPD is the Stealth Police Department. You’d have to go to another city to see cops aggressively and proactively policing neighborhoods. Forget about seeing it in West Seattle. But, they will take your tax dollars and expect you, the civilian, to come up with crime fighting solutions.

  • Gotmusic? November 28, 2013 (5:23 am)

    Tom, sorry to hear about your break in. We were burgled about a year ago. They broke in through a kitchen window on the side of the house. They took similar items from the house. This past Tuesday around 9am (on Nov 26th), I saw a large white van drive slowly (south) down the alley between Elmgrove and Thistle next to 31st SW. It then drove north on 31st driving slowly. My wife then saw the van shortly afterward driving down the alley behind our house in the southern direction a few minutes later. It could be someone looking to salvage metal ( this was on garbage pickup day), but I have the license number of the van in case you would like to follow up.

  • Mike November 28, 2013 (5:28 am)

    Was the white van your wife observed by any chance a full size Chevrolet or GMC model with windows? A late 80’s or early 90’s model that looked very similar to this: http://m.publicsurplus.com/sms/auction/view?auc=808830
    Myself and a neighbor took note of a van like the one shown in the link that was cruising our street very slowly on Wednesday morning and the driver seemed very apprehensive and sketchy and scoping out the houses. It seemed the van was jammed full of stuff. I am on the lookout for this van and it’s driver!

  • Wsrez November 28, 2013 (6:39 am)

    Tom- I’m so sorry you’ve been violated- I hope you are reunited with some of your meaningful things. Also, very kind of you to be wishing others a Happy Thanksgiving, given what you’ve just been through. May the rest of your holiday be peaceful.

  • Steve f November 28, 2013 (7:42 am)

    Would this be the same van that the blog reported a ups package was grabbed by? A neighbor here said he got the license and the ups driver saw it as well. Regardless, happy Thanksgiving everyone

  • WSB November 28, 2013 (7:44 am)

    That van was silver.

  • Gene November 28, 2013 (8:51 am)

    Well G– there are only so many Police Officers & they can’t be everywhere at once . Personally not a fan of the ‘snide’ “stealth police” reference.
    It’s sad & maddening that we can no longer have mail & packages delivered to our homes without running the risk they’ll be stolen- or we can’t simply lock our doors & windows & feel secure. We all need to be more aware of what’s going on in our neighborhoods. Try & get a license plate number if you see a suspicious car/van/truck– & let your neighbors know–so they can be on guard.
    How many times have we heard of repeat offenders – burglers being caught – next thing you know they’re out.The officers we do have here in WS do the best they can- if the public wants a larger police presence – make if known to elected officials & be on board with paying more taxes to hire more.
    Blaming the police- for not being right there when a robbery occurs is not called for.

  • Jim November 28, 2013 (9:01 am)

    I was parked just off SW Alaska and 36 Ave last night – someone came through the parking area and broke the windows on all the cars. Nothing was taken from any of our cars, but they had clearly gone through the cars looking for something.

  • Gotmusic? November 28, 2013 (9:50 am)

    Mike, the van I saw was very similar to the one in your link, but had no side windows.

  • star 55 November 28, 2013 (10:25 am)

    You mentioned wheel prints left. My family was recently robbed and they used a recycle bin to hall away the stuff. The bin was found not far from the house with all of the items still in it. Best of luck.

  • DavetheBum November 28, 2013 (12:25 pm)

    Lotta people have vans folks, and white is popular color for a lot of reasons. Lot of businesses use white chevy and ford cargo vans. Due to high rent and few job prospects I am going to be living in a van in WS very soon so all I ask is that you hold your fire until you check me out first please. Im not a crook and Im not a danger. Im just trying to surive.

    Thanks, Dave

  • burglarbustindad November 28, 2013 (1:12 pm)

    Sorry for your loss Tom
    We have lived in West Seattle thirty years. I believe that in the last three years, things have changed. In that time, most of my neighbors and I have been victims of burglary and theft. I have seen the statistics and maybe my perception of more crime is the result of increased awareness prompted by the work of the WSB, but I feel less safe.
    Yes the reasons are complex; we deserve and pay for a mayor, city council and criminal justice system/police department that should keep us safe. My burglar served nine months of a one year sentence for the theft of my property and then proceeded to get caught and serve time each of the following years.
    He is out now. The consequences of his career choices are not enough to change his behavior. I do not feel safe on the bus, I do not feel safe downtown or when I leave my home for that matter. We need to fix this.
    Tom and the rest of you impacted by crime, please have a Happy Thanksgiving

  • G November 28, 2013 (1:43 pm)


    You do realize that we’re living in a city that is experiencing very high rates of burglary and property crime (much higher than other west coast cities)?

    We’re not talking about the price of cupcakes or rainfall totals we’re talking about crime, you know, where bad people come into your house and steal and terrify and violate people’s sense of safety? And yes, the police here really have a passive attitude here, as opposed to other places I’ve been.

    We all know that the cops can’t be everywhere waiting to slap cuffs on crooks, but we should be expecting more, not making excuses and rationalizations. Not enough money? Then do more with less. Go the extra mile for the people who are paying your salary. Come up with new ways of tackling crime. We shouldn’t expect that?

    If one never leaves Seattle, one might think this is normal. It’s not. And for those who think this has to be part of living in the “Big City,” it doesn’t necessarily. That, in itself, is a really small town attitude.

  • joel November 28, 2013 (2:08 pm)

    it’s not the police’s fault. the cops arrest these people daily and the courts let them back out.

    i can see everything on the stolen list ending up at a pawn shop except the baby monitor. the thieves likely need the monitor for their 9 babies crawling/ running around learning how to be future criminals like their daddy(ies x 10).

  • Mike November 28, 2013 (3:11 pm)

    I agree with the sentiment of those stating that SPD cannot be everywhere. And obviously the laws, courts and criminal justice/jail/ prison system is a big problem preventing these losers from a lifetime of loserdom. However, I think we also have a very real problem when a vast majority of SPD Officers are not residents of Seattle and live outside the city limits. The percentage number was released and I want to say it was over 70% who call another city or town there home. Why does this matter you might ask? Less ownership all around on the part of Officers and a very good paying career that just becomes an income stream and a really good retirement. I have no idea if it is legally feasible, but I’d like to see percentage residency requirements on the part of not only SPD staff, but ALL city departments.

  • G November 28, 2013 (3:33 pm)


    Sorry, that wasn’t directed at you personally. Just frustrated with what’s going on.

    Hope you are having – or had – a good T-bird day :)

  • Barb Korducki November 28, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    The burglary rate in Seattle has been historically high compared to other similar size cities. I am sorry for your loss Tom, you lost some very important items. Right now, over 15% of men age 18-24 are not in school or working and have been unemployed for more than 12 months. If we can’t do something to get young people into the work force the problem will get worse. But where and how do we start?

  • joel November 28, 2013 (9:30 pm)

    please…unemployed so I become a criminal? it’s tough to get a job when you are tattooed with gang signs, have no references except people in prison and you cant’ pass a drug test or background check. oh and what education/training do you have for a job?

    let’s not blame society – how about being responsible for your actions?

  • Ugh November 28, 2013 (10:42 pm)

    Sorry this happened to you Tom. I’ve been through that as well and it just plain sucks. I hope they get caught. Eventually they do, though not necessarily soon enough. I hope you get some of your things back. Jerks. We’ll be keeping an eye out.

  • Westside dude November 28, 2013 (11:25 pm)

    @Mike. I have family on the SPD. Many officers do not like to live where they work for safety reasons. Many have families of their own and would hate to have them recognized by someone they have had to deal with on the job.
    We are under policed in many areas in this city. You can blame budget cuts for one. You can also blame the collective anti gun sentiment in Seattle. Burglars can pretty much bet there is low risk entering a home when residents rarely have protection.

  • AG November 29, 2013 (12:35 am)

    Tom, I’m sorry this happened to you. We were burglarized on Labor Day, and live quite near to you, as well as to the person who described the white van. Our burglars also entered through a tiny (12×14″) window that was high off the ground, and despite the alarm siren sounding, grabbed a number of electronics and took off. The police also got fingerprints in our case. Nothing has happened since, and nobody has followed up with me, although our revised loss/damage list was enough value to turn it into felony theft. At any rate, I’m sorry that it happened to you, too. It sucks – plain and simple – to have someone in your house, messing with your stuff, scaring the animals, and taking things you may not ever be able to replace.

  • a November 29, 2013 (12:40 am)

    Houses are being broken into left and right. Police are understaffed and the judicial system isn’t doing it’s job to adequately punish criminals so they are robbing, burglarizing, and committing other crimes without fear of severe consequences. Here’s a great idea- let’s build tons and tons of new apartments and bring more and more people into an already overcrowded area and create worse traffic problems than the already nightmarish scenario we deal with on a day to day basis. Let’s also not expect that with more and more people in west seattle and lax punishment that crime will get worse. It’s no wonder why everyone seems like they are on high alert all the time. The quality of life has really diminished in the last 10 years here. I love West Seattle and I will never leave though I fear things are only going to get worse. Is this the paranoid state that I’ve heard about that the government wants us to be in? Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist but I’m just having a hard time understanding why things have gone to crap in what seems like such a short time(10 years?)

  • a November 29, 2013 (1:02 am)

    If the mandatory sentence for someone convicted of burglary was ten years do you think we would be hearing of all these burglaries that are occurring? I think not. I think they would diminish by 90%. Would you rather someone be in prison for selling/possessing weed or for breaking into someone’s home? I know the laws have changed but people who were convicted of weed related crimes before the laws changed are still in prison here. How about we release those people and put the real criminals behind bars? These crooks are sentencing their victims to possible PTSD and taking their sense of security from them. How about we put these scum in prison and let Bubba take their sense of security away from them? I think harsher sentencing will deter a lot of this b.s. that is going on right now. I haven’t even been burglarized and I’ve taken precautions, but I’m always concerned that one day I’ll come home and not like what I discover. Or worse, be at home when it happens.

  • GA November 29, 2013 (7:41 am)

    A Glock 9 is waitng for these punks at our house….

  • WTF November 29, 2013 (9:08 am)

    Tracy. I think the WSB should create a book (a three ring binder would work just fine) of all the responses to the Crime Watch over the past 7 years. Each chapter forward is the particular crime story, then the chapter pages are all of our comments.
    Put a nice cover letter saying, “This is OUR story, and this is what we want YOU to know.” and send it to Mayor Elect Ed Murray.
    It’s not enough for downtown to spot read stories & respond to the big ones. I’d be quite curious at his response and his (re)action. After all, WS is his “hometown”.

  • Tonari November 29, 2013 (9:34 am)

    GA: they usually attempt it when no one is home. I’m sure a gun would be the best kind of find for them so you will have to carry it with you all the time unless you have a safe that can’t be carried if you don’t want a gun to fall into the wrong hands.

  • j November 29, 2013 (1:35 pm)

    This is what happens when you replace police officers with cameras.

  • patrick November 29, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    If you had records stolen you should let easy street records know which ones were stolen, so if someone tries to sell them, they might be able to help? They require a driver’s license when selling used products.

  • Tonari November 29, 2013 (6:50 pm)

    I did go and visit Easy Street because they stole my child’s DVDs and mine. I also called the local pawn shops and even the high school because the window the criminals came in was very very small. Not a word back from anyone and never got any further word back the the spd. They also stole my North Face down jacket.

  • patrick November 29, 2013 (8:25 pm)

    I’m not sure why people think it’s the police’s responsibility to look after their homes when they are away? Talk to your neighbors, get an alarm, get security cameras, people are always complaining about big government, or the camera’s on alki for an example. Why don’t you try taking responsibility for yourself?

  • Tonari November 29, 2013 (9:28 pm)

    Umm, I thought that was the police department’s job – I mean to stop criminals and crime. I’m not asking them to look after my house but I do have an expectation that they should be trying to stop crime. What do you think they are there for? And what for goodness sake does surveillance cameras on the beach have anything to do with stopping crime? Maybe you think we should all get a gun. That will be a big improvement

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