Crime Watch: Neighbors rally for burglar-besieged Dubsea Coffee

That’s the sign you’ll find today on the door of Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge, on 8th SW just a block south of the city/county line. A teacher at nearby White Center Heights Elementary School messaged us to say the area’s been hit with a series of burglaries, and that Dubsea has been broken into three times in the past week and a half. We noted the first one on partner site White Center Now November 3rd, and now we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office regarding the teacher’s report of other break-ins in the area.

The teacher wrote us because this, she says, is more than a matter of crime concern – she writes, “This coffee shop is the hub of the neighborhood and it is ALWAYS busy with people having meetings, enjoying coffee and sandwiches, children having playdates while frazzled moms drink their coffee, etc.” They are working on plans to show their support and want to encourage you to patronize the shop to help it recover. We’ll be following up.

ADDED 4:18 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. DB Gates confirms a series of break-ins in the area:

We have had a swarm of commercial burglaries with a similar MO and all in the same general White Center area. They have occurred between November 2nd and the 7th.

Dubsea was one victim, with the nearby library/YMCA hit next, followed by the Dollar Tree, and then an elementary school burglarized on the 7th. The MO has been to break a window and steal cash. We have no suspect info other than believing in at least one of the burglaries there were two suspects. They have all happened in the late evening/early morning hours when no persons were present. The four cases have not been conclusively linked as being committed by the same suspects.

We encourage citizens to call when they see something out of the ordinary. It’s also a good time to remember to keep areas around homes and businesses well-lit as thieves love the cover of darkness, and to keep vegetation trimmed so that neighbors and passersby can see if something is amiss at a business (or home).

THURSDAY FOLLOWUP: In case we don’t get to write a separate story tonight – we messaged Dubsea and they will reopen tomorrow (Friday), 7 am-5 pm: “We will resume regular hours once things normalize. Tomorrow is also Dubsea’s 5th birthday. We truly look forward to spending it in the company of our guests.” They add thanks for “all the care, kind words, and support from our neighbors. We love this community. We are here to stay.”

30 Replies to "Crime Watch: Neighbors rally for burglar-besieged Dubsea Coffee"

  • Sillygoose November 12, 2014 (3:56 pm)

    Ah that is horrible I am so so sorry, I look forward to your reopening so I can enjoy a cup of your delicious coffee. Maybe time for some high resolution camera’s. Hang in there!!

  • Rose November 12, 2014 (4:13 pm)

    Please keep us posted on what we can do to support. I love walking my kids to Dubsea, or popping in when I can.

  • crime prevention matters November 12, 2014 (4:36 pm)

    Wonder if somebody might start a donation bucket to pass around to collect for a camera system. If they put a jar on the counter, we can all stop by for a refreshment and drop a bill or two in the can.

    And to the punks doing this: knock it off. karma will be an angry b*tch.

  • West Seattle Hipster November 12, 2014 (4:40 pm)

    Foot patrols?

    • WSB November 12, 2014 (5:22 pm)

      This is the unincorporated area and it is the jurisdiction of the King County Sheriff’s Office, which has a staffing shortage that makes SPD look in comparison as if there’s an officer for every block. On any given shift, I have heard it said at North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meetings, there might be two deputies in the general North Highline area (which isn’t just White Center), if they are lucky.

  • Carrie P. November 12, 2014 (5:14 pm)

    This really, really, really pisses me off. Sybil and the whole crew are incredibly kind, hard working, community minded people who put their heart, soul and sweat into this business. Now they have to be paranoid about their safety and I’m sure all of the repairs and security upgrades are going to cost big-time. If we want these kinds of businesses to thrive, we can’t have this kind of thing. I also am frustrated that the break ins play into the negative stereotypes of White Center and low income housing areas like Greenbridge.

  • NW November 12, 2014 (5:16 pm)

    I would look into possibly moving out of the neighborhood you are currently in seems inevitable it will happen again. Good luck and if I am out that way I will stop in for a coffee.

  • Amiee November 12, 2014 (7:21 pm)

    Dang! We love Dubsea so much. We will definitely stop by a little extra this week; hopefully others will do the same.

  • Still Cares November 12, 2014 (7:53 pm)

    There are hundreds of rental housing units along that stretch of 8th Ave in Greenbridge, including 40+ units in that same building, and more than 80 directly across the street. There actually isn’t another block in all of White Center that has more eyes on the street. Greenbridge also has a private security firm patrol at night and has a KC Sheriff’s sub-station adjacent to Dubsea. According to this article there have been at least 5 smash and grabs on that block, in the middle of the night, “when no persons are present”. My neighborhood isn’t 1/10th as dense as that block, and when a glass breaks in the street in the middle of the night, lights go on, people look out the window and they call the cops. I am not blaming the public housing, Section 8 or rent restricted tenants who live on that block. But I am saying that there is no other place in White Center that is better designed (density, visibility and lighting) to deter that kind of crime, if only the people who live there would get engaged. The KCSO can’t patrol every block, but they will come when you call 911.

  • T November 12, 2014 (7:53 pm)

    Please do not move out of the neighborhood! Your business is exactly what is needed to help improve things. If everyone were to cut and run when things are difficult everything falls apart. That said, I understand the difficulty standing strong but you obviously have the support of your community.

  • flimflam November 12, 2014 (8:22 pm)

    i’m sure the police are on top of the situation, I expect an arrest within two days.

  • Out for a walk November 12, 2014 (9:09 pm)

    King County Executive Constantine:
    What are you going to do? I believe this is part of your jurisdiction. Where are the police?

  • Eric1 November 12, 2014 (9:19 pm)

    Just so tired of criminals. 98% of the people work for a living. The last 2% just effs it up for everybody else.

  • datamuse November 12, 2014 (9:22 pm)

    I wonder if the density is an issue in the sense that everyone thinks someone else will check to see what’s going on?
    This is such a bummer. I love Dubsea.

  • m November 12, 2014 (9:29 pm)

    So sorry to hear about this. I’ll stop in tomorrow for tea on my way to work.

    @ NW – while just 1 break-in would be 1 too many, this post indicates the 3 break-ins have taken place only in the past 1 1/2 weeks. I certainly hope this thriving business that has a much longer history than that will not give up on the location based on events of just a few weeks. I suspect this rash of break-ins will be pretty short-lived with so many more people now put on notice to keep their eyes/ears open.

    @ Still Cares – not sure what it is about this situation that leads to your conclusion that residents there are not engaged.

  • White Center Resident November 12, 2014 (9:39 pm)

    The Greenbridge community, including Dubsea, is owned by King County Housing Authority. It may be worthwhile for Dubsea to ask management to see if they can request KCHA to fund camera installation. It’s already been done in other parts of the community.

  • Just plain sick of it... November 12, 2014 (10:40 pm)

    Neighborhood not engaged is a true statement. The neighboring apartment has a full picture window not 5 feet from the window that was broken to get in. The door they busted in is mere feet from the front door of the same apartment. Seriously at least the second and third break in would warrant a 911 call? I could be way off base but I sure don’t feel that way.

    Police officers from SPD and KC spend plenty of time in DubSea during the day. I don’t think I need to say more on that thought.

    Smash and grab is a bit of a misstatement as the thief warmed up the panini grill and made them self a sandwich.

    I also noticed a window broken out on the cafe across the street today? Is that 6? What does it take to warrant extra patrols?

    DubSea is a beacon in that neighborhood and any suggestion they leave is just ignorant! They have made great contributions to that neighborhood and it makes me sad that they choose to turn their back!

  • Donna Burns November 13, 2014 (12:47 am)

    Terrible news. It’s happened to us at Giannoni’s Pizzeria in Westwood Village 2 different times as well (over a 7+ year span). Once they actually broke through our wall and also robbed Taco del Mar (story covered by WSB) and they have 8 security cameras – all we saw were hoodies & cell phone lights as they emptied the cash register & crawled back through the wall. It was only after the 2nd time when I got an alarm that we have had no problems since. All doors are wired and motion detectors throughout. No more problems!! (Knock on wood) I just don’t think it’s a priority and I think the thieves know it 100%. I think that they don’t want to be seen or caught, which is why the alarm is a deterrent; but even caught on tape doesn’t seem to lead to solving the crime.
    I’ll definitely be in to support you this week; and running from your location doesn’t solve it either – there are criminals everywhere!! Best of luck.

  • Wsrez November 13, 2014 (5:28 am)

    This is sad although, gentrification never happens overnight. In fact, it usually takes years. Look at white center- there are some great business’ but it’s still pretty sketchy. I won’t go there with my baby past dark.

  • westwood mom November 13, 2014 (8:06 am)

    When is Dubsea open again. .wanted to go support but still closed!

    • WSB November 13, 2014 (8:12 am)

      I’m trying to find out.

  • Chris November 13, 2014 (9:28 am)

    It seems intuitively obvious that the perps likely live in the complex.

    I cannot believe that no one has any camera footage of any of the three break-ins. And if you’re going to have a business in that area, then for heavens sake, put in some cameras and/or install an alarm system.

    Hearing that this happened really pisses me off.

  • Sillygoose November 13, 2014 (1:42 pm)

    Hummmm now that I have read a few more details I am wondering do they live in the apartment that you keep saying is right there?

    Also just an FYI so we are clear on this, S.P.D. is not responsible for patrolling this area, it is the jurisdiction of the Sheriffs office, the voters of this community voted NO to incorporating with Seattle. So sadly this area is unincorporated county lines from SPD. It is only a matter of time before they get caught and hopefully it will be sooner than later.

    • WSB November 13, 2014 (1:46 pm)

      They voted no on Burien. Seattle hasn’t formally asked yet.

      • WSB November 13, 2014 (4:58 pm)

        P.S. Heard back from Dubsea. Reopening tomorrow, 7 am-5 pm, which also happens to be the shop’s 5th anniversary. See what I added to the story above.

  • Carrie P November 13, 2014 (5:21 pm)

    I’m wondering if anyone has put together something official, like a crowfund or kickstarter page to help raise money to help them out?

  • ellenater November 13, 2014 (7:02 pm)

    I love Dubsea and I hope they do stay. I want to hear what their plan is and will happily support it. Please support this coffee shop. It’s truly one of the greats!!

  • carver November 14, 2014 (12:28 pm)

    our car just got stolen this morning just a street behind dubsea, just recovered in seatac, and neighbor’s car broken into 2 days ago. thieves have been very busy in this area lately.

  • Dubsea Coffee Fan November 14, 2014 (1:55 pm)

    I started a GoFundMe campaign to help with their repairs for the multiple windows, doors and interior. Anything would help. These are wonderful people.

  • Carrie P November 17, 2014 (8:45 am)

    The go fund me page isn’t working. ..

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