West Seattle Crime Watch: Street robbery; car, mower thefts; Junction followup…

We start this round of West Seattle Crime Watch reports with details on a daytime strong-arm robbery last Thursday in the 5200 block of Jacobsen (map). uphill from Beach Drive. Ashley writes:

I have been out of town and while I was gone my housesitter and best friend was walking up Jacobsen and was assaulted.

It was Thursday at 4:30 pm and there were plenty of people around. The car drove by her, and she noticed the girls looking at her. Then they pulled over (which she didn’t notice because she had headphones in). Then one of them grabbed her hand that her phone was in and stole her phone while another one pulled her back by her hair. She tried to fight for her phone and in the struggle she was pretty scratched up.

Then the girls drove away quickly and a few people that were nearby helped my friend by letting her use their phone to call the police, and walking her home.

Ashley says her friend described the car as a tan mid-’90s Pathfinder and got its plate number (starting with AHN). We are checking with police to see if that led them to any suspects.

Ahead: Quick notes on two car thefts, two cases involving lawn mowers, and what we have learned about a weekend Junction incident that several people asked about:

Two local car thefts reported this morning to, and tweeted by, SPD:

We haven’t heard directly from these vehicles’ owners, so we don’t know exact circumstances or theft locations, but we did hear both of them mentioned over the scanner this morning as stolen from “William sector” (western West Seattle). The SPD @getyourcarback account unfortunately still does not include location info, so most of the time, unless we hear the scanner broadcast, we don’t have West Seattle stolen-vehicle descriptions unless the victim(s) contact us with a reader report – hope it never happens to you, but if it does, after you’ve contacted police, please let us know too (editor@westseattleblog.com) so we can ask people to watch for your car.

Two lawn-mower-related crimes reported in the past week: Tanya e-mailed today to say hers was “stolen last week in our yard. We live in the Highland Park area. We have had our lawn mower on the side of our house for over a year now with no problem.” Last week, Kimi reported via e-mail that a man who had been at her property in the 2100 block of California SW (map) putting up advertising door hangers also tried to cut the lock off her lawn mower. She contacted police and also tried to reach the company listed on the hangers, but was unsuccessful.

Finally, several people asked us about an incident in The Junction on Saturday, in which a woman in distress was trying to get out of a car at 44th/Alaska and was injured in the process. We hadn’t heard about it while it was in progress and couldn’t find out anything over the weekend, but did obtain the report today. It says the two people in the car are husband and wife; she told police that he was driving erratically and yelling at her, so that’s why she wanted to get out of the car, and that she was injured by the car’s wheel after jumping out. Asked if he had hit her, she said no, he was just yelling. Bystanders told police they had indeed seen the car headed eastbound on Alaska from 45th, fast and erratic, and heard her yelling for him to stop and let her out. When police talked to the husband after the wife was taken to the hospital, he said that they had been arguing and that she has mental-health challenges and has jumped out of a car during an argument before, and that he tried to keep her from getting out of the car until he had stopped. Police took a report but did not find grounds for an arrest or citation.

ADDED TUESDAY MORNING: We checked with police to see if there was additional information. The report does include descriptions of the robbers, who have not: “Suspect #1, white female 18-early 20s, medium complexion, 5-4 to 5-5, medium to stocky build, having short brown hair, and wearing a dark shirt, black ‘Dickies-type’ shorts, and tennis shoes. Suspect #2, white female 18-early 20s, and having long dark hair.”

20 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Street robbery; car, mower thefts; Junction followup..."

  • wssz June 9, 2014 (3:50 pm)

    Thanks for the heads up about your friend walking along Jacobsen. Wow, that’s pretty incredible that it happened in broad daylight at peak time for walking. I walk that area just about every day. So sorry that happened!

  • Bonnie June 9, 2014 (4:04 pm)

    I go up Jacobsen all the time. That is scary that those girls were so bold!

  • Huck June 9, 2014 (6:34 pm)

    I was cycling down Jacobsen when it happened but arrived too late to help. The vehicle was primer grey and had a big spare wheel on the back gate with a red logo. I wish I had gotten there a minute earlier. Sorry your friend had to go through that trauma.

  • Chad D. June 9, 2014 (6:55 pm)

    I’m Ashley’s husband and we live close to where the incident happened (near Ercolini Park). Ashley runs this route a few times a week. We never thought it was unsafe and are now worried about her being alone there even during the day. It’s a bummer.

  • Paul J June 9, 2014 (8:58 pm)

    I own [owned] the 1990 blue civic wagon that was stolen. It was stolen right in front of my house here in the Barton/Lincoln Park area. It’s a bold move to steal a car in that public area. Watch out everyone.

  • gia June 9, 2014 (9:23 pm)

    My sister lives in burien, on 4th ave sw, 12200 block. This am, at 6:30am, she had her vehicle stolen from her driveway. She had started her car and had run back inside to grab something. Couldnt have been more then 30 seconds. Saw a young man ride by on a (perhaps stolen) childs bike. The bike was pink and white. The young man (she estimates that he couldnt have been any older then 17)ditched the bike and jumped in the car and drove off. The upside is that the car was relocated in the Barton area (which is why i am posting this on WSB). She knew not to leave car unattended, but at 6:30 it is daylight and obviously she made a poor choice. So, I agree with you Paul J, bold moves from a car thief. At least the police dusted for fingerprints. Reminder to people, it CAN happen to you. :(

    • WSB June 9, 2014 (9:24 pm)

      Gia, it wasn’t the car involved in the Highland Park crash we reported on later, was it?

  • gia June 9, 2014 (10:41 pm)

    WSB, no i dont think it was. The vehicle i was referring to was a Ford Explorer. I am still amazed at the boldness of this young thief. What is a teen ager doing riding around at 6 am stealing cars? Thankfully hers was recovered. The thief did empty her glove box of all paperwork (registration, ins info etc…) but nothing else was stolen. :(

  • phil dirt June 10, 2014 (7:31 am)

    What did these “girls” look like? Why is there no description of them?

    • WSB June 10, 2014 (9:45 am)

      Phil, what you see above is all the info I had. SPD seldom puts reports online for an entire week these days. I had a request out to get this one from media relations, however; just received it, and here’s the entirety of what it says regarding descriptions: “Suspect #1, white female 18-early 20s, medium complexion, 5-4 to 5-5, medium to stocky build, having short brown hair, and wearing a dark shirt, black ‘Dickies-type’ shorts, and tennis shoes. Suspect #2, white female 18-early 20s, and having long dark hair.” The report then mentions that one of the robbers apparently dropped a “stocking cap.” – TR

  • forgotmynameagain June 10, 2014 (8:37 am)

    The Jacobsen attack illustrates a warning I learned years ago in women’s self defense classes.

    You have to be aware and alert at all times while out in public. Unfortunately, listening to music while running/walking can be extremely dangerous as you can’t hear potential dangers (or warnings) – not just from a human attacker, but from cars, animals, etc. It’s recommended that you keep one ear bud in and one out.

    This is not blaming the victim! She has my sympathies, and I’m glad she’s OK. Just passing along advice we got as freshman at UW. I hope this reminds everyone reading to be careful and be safe!

  • SafeEarBuds June 10, 2014 (12:18 pm)

    Sorry to hear this happened on Jacobsen! I run that neighborhood frequently as well. Usually having complete noise canceling earbuds is awesome like on an airplane or bus, but not out traversing the city streets. I recently found myself out running at crazy early hours and I chose to keep one earbud out. Having taken a self defense course I want to be completely aware of my surroundings AND wanted to listen to music to help the time go by. The one earbud thing seemed the only option but it was a total pain. However I was pleased to be introduced to line of earbuds that allow you to hear your music and the ambient noises around you. The brand I found is called Yurbuds (they have a line designed for women’s smaller ears) but I’m sure there are other options out there. I like that I can hear cars coming up behind me, as well as hear people walking by, yet the music keeps my workout on track. Certainly the safest way to go is no music, but I feel this is a reasonable compromise. Just wanted people to know there are options out there without giving up music completely or your walks/runs.

  • Jeanine June 10, 2014 (3:34 pm)

    I don’t know if this would be helpful, but I see that tan Pathfinder (AHN license) drive up and down 18th Ave SW all the time. It occasionally parks by the Sanislo playfield.

  • amos June 10, 2014 (5:25 pm)

    The pathfinder is parked daily at the 6500 block of 18th ave sw. Saw it there last night…

  • McGruff June 10, 2014 (6:30 pm)

    Has anyone passed this clue (location of tan Pathfinder AHN_____) on the the SPD? The brazen audacity of these girls is jaw-dropping. Sugar and spice and everything nice? I don’t think so!

  • Jeanine June 10, 2014 (7:40 pm)

    Yes, I called the police and was told they would let the beat cop know. Difficult without the report number.

  • phil dirt June 12, 2014 (9:39 am)

    The SPD pretty much ignores auto thefts. They’ll probably ignore this, too.

  • Kaela June 17, 2014 (10:45 am)

    Hey all! I’m the one who was attacked by the girls. I want to say a big THANK YOU to whoever called in about the car. I got a call from the detective on the case last week, and he found the driver thanks to that tip. She’s only 17. She’s denying everything, unfortunately, but at least she’s seeing that there will be consequences to her actions. She never did the necessary paperwork when she bought the car, and therefore the police repossessed it. My detective is still on the case to see if he can get a confession or the other girls involved. I’m not sure that I’d be able to ID them, since I only saw them for a brief second in the scuffle. I am so happy that the police have taken action on this and aren’t letting it go! I obviously won’t get my phone back, but am comforted in knowing that these girls won’t think they can just get away with things like this.
    So, again, thank you so much to whoever called in (Jeanine?). Great work!! And I also want to say thank you to Steve and Aria who were both concerned citizens who stopped to help me. Thank God for good people!

    • WSB June 17, 2014 (10:48 am)

      Thanks for the update, Kaela. I will republish it in the next Crime Watch roundup so folks (since most won’t come back to check an older comment thread) will see this. – Tracy

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