West Seattle Crime Watch: Reader spots stolen car; hit-run followup; vandalism…

Three West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight. We start with a story that unfolded over the past hour or so:

In a Monday WSCW roundup, we mentioned two stolen cars that SPD had put the word out about via @getyourcarback – we hadn’t heard at the time from either car’s owner, but since dispatchers broadcast the information and said the vehicles were missing in “William sector” (western West Seattle), we republished the Twitter reports. Later in the day, the blue Civic’s owner, Paul, e-mailed us to say that was his car. Fast forward to about an hour ago, when Barb in Gatewood texted us to say she was catching up tonight on WSB stories and realized that the unfamiliar car that had been in front of her house since yesterday was Paul’s. She called police; they arrived; Paul headed there from his house near Fauntleroy Park, about a mile away. He called as we were writing this, saying it seems to be in OK shape – ransacked, but the baby stroller and car seat were still there, and it runs OK: “I’m shocked that it was stolen, and shocked to have it back.” (And he says: Thanks, Barb!)

We also have a followup tonight in the saga of the stolen car found Monday afternoon when it crashed into a Highland Park fence.

We requested and obtained the police report today. The suspect arrested a few blocks away is just 13 years old; the report starts with the basics reported here Monday, that he was followed and detained by a witness a few blocks away. Police say that after being read his rights, he confessed to stealing the car because he found it with a key in its ignition. He started driving around and eventually was speeding in the 8100 block of 11th SW, then lost control and went up over the sidewalk and planting strip and into the fence and ivy – “threading,” as the report put it, between a fire hydrant and the parked motorcycle belonging to the witness who chased and caught him running away. The report says the suspect was booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of auto theft, and that police were recommending additional charges of hit-and-run and property damage. We will follow up to find out if the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office formally charges him.

Finally, a case of vandalism in a local parking lot – while a teacher was picking up treats. Keith writes:

My wife’s car was keyed this morning at the Roxbury Safeway down near White Center. So frustrating. She makes only teacher pay and works hard for a living. This happened while picking up cookies for her class as a gift. She wrote on Facebook this morning, ‘My car got keyed this morning at Safeway. I am so sad. But I guess the day can only get better.’

This isn’t big time property damage, but an unnecessary reckless act. She always allows adequate space for other cars around her, this made no sense.

Before we published this, Keith wrote with an addendum, “It isn’t just the car door. They keyed the whole side length of the car from the taillight all down to the front. There was no vehicle either side of her car when she arrived, or left.”

16 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Reader spots stolen car; hit-run followup; vandalism..."

  • alki resident June 10, 2014 (11:47 pm)

    Re: keyed car, isn’t there cameras on the Safeway store poles or anywhere to maybe locate the suspect?

  • chester June 10, 2014 (11:50 pm)

    safeway has numerous cameras on the roofs of there gas station if she was on that side of lot also cameras pointing away from all the front doors on the actual grocery store towards the parking lot you might be able to pick something up on those too ???

  • Mike June 11, 2014 (6:18 am)

    That looks more like somebody with a purse or fat rear in jeans with buttons scraping the car. Honestly, that’s not deep and will buff out with a wash / wax and buff. Local Tacoma company Griots Garage has a fix for them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mQr9zBHwx8

  • T. June 11, 2014 (7:15 am)

    So tired of this city. Moving out of the county within the next year to a rural existence. There has to be more to life than crime, overdevelopment, socialist politics, regressive taxes, and greed.

  • Fantastic Phabian June 11, 2014 (7:20 am)

    Sounds and looks like a shopping cart may have created those scratches. Happened to me.

  • Bill June 11, 2014 (9:37 am)

    T. — got ya a point there!

    Phabian — yeh sure the shopping cart “created” the scratches! like SUVs create accidents and guns cause violence.

  • Gogoffgo June 11, 2014 (9:52 am)

    My car, left unlocked, had the CDs stolen out of it Monday night. From our carport on 37th and Morgan. Mostly my kids CDs . Hope they enjoy a little Casper baby pants!

  • Keith June 11, 2014 (10:01 am)

    The scratches on my wife’s car vary in height, definitely a hand job. Wife and son were in Safeway for merely 10 minutes. We can only guess someone came thru the parking lot on the way to somewhere else, since the parking lot was sparse, and not enough time for someone to park and leave on either side of the car. Re Mike: Thanks – We use Griot’s garage, and on closer inspection once I got home this might luckily only be clear coat damage. And less expensive to repair with a medium and fine polish (fingers crossed). Been living here in good old West Seattle since 1996, and ( I guess ) luckily (?) this is only the first keying incident we’ve encountered.

  • Keith June 11, 2014 (10:04 am)

    re: car returned to rightful owner
    Glad it was found. Our neighbor had their car stolen, it was found out of gas over in the International district, with drug paraphernalia inside it. Seems like as you read on these reports many of the car thieves are using them merely for transportation. Another friend had their car stolen, but it turned up a year later. That situation sucks, because he’s already gone to buy another car with the ins. money, then the ins. company demanded the money back since his car was returned. Bloody mess.

  • Dale June 11, 2014 (10:41 am)

    @Keith–seems odd if the insurance carrier paid your friend for his stolen car and he signed over the title to the carrier or released interest in the car they could make any type of claim of reimbursement. They merely would sell the car as is including any charges against it for recovery.

  • brandon June 11, 2014 (11:20 am)

    Was the car found anywhere near 40th and Austin? Thats where we found ours ditched. Coincidence? Seemed to be a joy ride, and loose change, cigarette lighter looting.

    • WSB June 11, 2014 (11:22 am)

      37th & Willow. Most stolen cars, police say, are driven relatively short distances – maybe to get between burglaries, for example.

  • highlandpark June 11, 2014 (1:03 pm)

    So sorry to all the folks who have had their vehicles stolen and/or vandalized… I have had 2 Subaru wagons stolen from in front of our house in Highland Park. Both were found a relatively short time later, ditched with empty tanks, so it was clear they were used as temporary transportation. The first car was found with real estate listing flyers and random, apparently stolen items. I have theft insurance, which allowed me to be reimbursed for the first car when it didn’t turn up in the first 21 days. You’d be surprised at how much a 96 Subaru is worth around here! In any case, I now use “the club” and recommend it to others who own cars that are similarly easy to steal. The $20 cost is WELL worth it when you consider the inconvenience of not having your car, dealing with insurance, rental car, etc.

  • zark June 11, 2014 (3:05 pm)

    Keith – you are lucky! ’96 and only been keyed once? You should buy lottery tickets, now. :)

    But wait, how many break ins? Maybe you’re countering your keying quota with abnormally high break in, or possible siphoning, numbers?

    This IS WSea so anything around oh say 9 break ins since ’96 would just be ‘expected’.

    On a side note – Local Car Prowlers / Keyers / Siphoner’s 167 – what’s up with your training regiment? You used to get into and out of my cars in record time, breaking nothing. Now you’re breaking locks, windows, leaving a mess – what happened to pride in your work? If you don’t train the next generation how to pop a lock without breaking it, who will? Think of the children. Also, can I have my iPod Nano back?

  • Fabulous Phabian June 11, 2014 (5:27 pm)

    Calm down Bill – I was implying that someone may have pushed or let a cart go and it rolled into the car, scratching it.
    It’s happened to me before.

  • Jim June 12, 2014 (7:07 am)

    I have 14 months until I retire. I already bought a home in a sunny climate state with 80% less crime then Seattle.I loved this once great city where I grew up, but I’m counting the days until I leave this ghetto. Such a mess with the crime, traffic, and the damn growth. UGH

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