The robbers who couldn’t start the car and the victim who said ‘no’: Followup on Saturday’s Morgan Junction holdup

New details about Saturday morning’s Morgan Junction street robbery/carjacking attempt are in the official police report we have just obtained, as well as the reason for the subsequent search in Gatewood. Until now, as weekend WSB readers are aware, most of what we knew came via comments (here and here) plus a bit of information we procured by finding an SPD sergeant at an unrelated scene post-search. So far, no word of any arrests, but we hope to hear more directly from Southwest Precinct police during tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting. Ahead, we’ve transcribed the report’s narrative, since this is a high-interest incident, the third street robbery in three days in West Seattle at the time (no reports of any since Saturday):

(Officers) responded to a report of a robbery and carjacking at (4200 block of) SW Morgan. Upon arrival I contacted (victim) at the above-listed location. He advised his vehicle was parked in the south side of the store parking lot. He further advised that the incident actually occurred southeast of this location.

I walked with (victim) to (6700 block of) 42nd SW, where he informed that he was first contacted by the suspects who ultimately ran south and east from the location.

Victim states that he parked and secured his vehicle on the southeast corner of 42nd/Holly. He began walking northbound on the west side of the street. When he arrived in front of (6700 block residence) a black male described as above (unidentified #1) was walking southbound toward him and asked for the time. Victim opened up his cell phone to look and informed him it was 7:13. Suspect then displayed a handgun and pointed it at his face ordering victim “Give me your car keys!” Victim states he told him no and started to walk off when another black male, tall and skinny, put his fist against his back. Two suspects who were walking on the east side of the street crossed over and he was surrouned by four black male teens and one Hispanic teen.

They all had on scarves or handkerchiefs covering their face except the one with the handgun. The taller black male described above began to go through victim’s pockets and he informed him, the keys weren’t in his pocket. He was ordered again to give up his car keys and he complied. They asked for the location of his car and victim advised them.

The taller black male continued to go through his pockets and took his wallet, pen, and keys from his right front pants pocket. Two of the suspects walked up to his car and opened it. They could not figure out how to start the vehicle (it is a pushbutton ignition) and he heard one of them ask, “Where does the key go?” They yelled and asked how to start the car and victim explained, put your foot on the brake and push the button. They continued to struggle and asked again. Suspect with the gun gave it to the taller black male (who was still behind him) and walked up to the car to assist with getting the car started. One of the other suspects came back to assist with victim. They then ordered victim to walk up to the car and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t comply. He walked up to the southwest corner across from his car and the suspects were able to get it started. All suspects jumped in the car and attempted to drive off northbound. They only went a few feet and ended up striking the curb. They then exited the vehicle and threw the keys across the street which landed near victim’s feet. They told him that if he said anything or called the police they would come back and kill him.

Suspects proceeded northbound on 42nd SW and eastbound on Heights Ave SW. Victim then drove his car to its current location. Victim further advises that during the incident one of the suspects recognized him as an employee of the store. Suspect said, “You’re the one who took the bottle of alcohol from me I had stole.”

(Two K-9 teams) responded to the scene. K94 tracked to the greenbelt south of 38th SW/SW Frontenac. En route they discovered a (card) with victim’s name. I later responded to the area of 40th/SW Frontenac to retrieve the item. (A witness) was out walking his dogs and found the card in front of (4000 block) SW Frontenac. He had picked it up and when he saw me checking the area he informed me and turned the card over to me. Victim confirms it had been in his wallet and I returned it to him.

(Witness) advised that he was out getting his newspaper around 0700 hours and observed three subjects walking eastbound on SW Frontenac on the north side of the street. This is consistent with the description given by victim and the direction of the canine track. (Officers) were unable to locate suspects after an extensive search with K9. (Officer) responded to attempt to lift prints from victim’s vehicle.

That’s where the report ends. It contains no further description information; we’re asking again if anything more is available, and will add anything we get. And again, if you have questions/concerns about this or anything else that’s been happening in West Seattle/South Park, police will be on hand as always at tonight’s WS Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm at the precinct meeting room, off Webster west of Delridge.

ADDED 1:18 PM: SPD spokesperson Det. Drew Fowler says the description to which that phrase points, elsewhere in the report, is only this: “black male, 5’1”, ~200 lbs, wearing dark clothing.”

25 Replies to "The robbers who couldn't start the car and the victim who said 'no': Followup on Saturday's Morgan Junction holdup"

  • Push Button Start January 20, 2015 (2:41 pm)

    Suggested title “The Gang That Couldn’t Drive Straight”.

    I hope they catch these guys. If they are local, someone should recognize the make-up of the group.

  • M January 20, 2015 (2:54 pm)

    Thank goodness they were too stupid to figure out a push ignition. I really hope they find these guys and take them off the streets.

  • StringCheese January 20, 2015 (4:24 pm)

    5’1″ and 200 lbs? Is that a typo? Seems to me that would be extremely distinctive and unusual for an adult/teenage male.

  • debra January 20, 2015 (4:31 pm)

    Is there any update on the survillance tape from Thriftway since the one guy had tried to steal liquor and was recognized

    • WSB January 20, 2015 (4:40 pm)

      D, no, that’s a great question for the Crime Prevention Council meeting tonight, though. SC, that’s what police sent me.

  • Gatewood Guy January 20, 2015 (5:03 pm)

    The previous story stated that the victim could identify three of the criminals from photos taken when they were caught shoplifting. Doesn’t seem like they should be this difficult to find.

  • LG January 20, 2015 (7:07 pm)

    Management should have a picture for us folks to see, it takes a village! Someone has to know who these thugs are.

  • Fed up January 20, 2015 (9:33 pm)

    This local city government needs to start focusing harder on crime prevention in West Seattle. This area is close to schools and lots of families live here. You pay almost half a million for a basic house in this area and still have to deal with waste of life gang activity. Meanwhile, the city is busy creating bike lanes overnight that are empty about 99% of the time. Seattle officials – if you fail at protecting your tax providing citizens from getting jumped at a grocery store then you have NO business spending money on bike lanes, free day care for parents who can’t afford to have children, etc.

  • Thomas M. January 20, 2015 (10:19 pm)

    Rick: if it feels good, don’t do it.

  • MOW January 20, 2015 (10:28 pm)

    OK, Fed Up, bike lanes and daycare aren’t the problem. Stay focused.

  • JereMEy January 20, 2015 (11:10 pm)

    @ Fed Up I’d like to share with you something I’m fed up with: constant nagging about enhancements to bike commutes. I ride my bike to work, and have done so with greater frequency with upgrades to bike infrastructure. Your neighbors are doing the same. Why does it need to be bike enhancements OR crime prevention? We should have access to BOTH, with no need for pointing fingers at groups like cyclists who are quietly pedaling and making your commute BETTER.

  • West Sea Neighbor January 20, 2015 (11:12 pm)

    This is extremely disturbing. I’m haven’t felt the need to carry in a while, but I’m going to start now. I go to that area frequently.

  • cjboffoli January 21, 2015 (12:06 am)

    People on bikes aren’t just making commutes better for drivers. Reducing congestion cuts into the billions lost each year in productivity as goods and services struggle to move around on our overused roadways. Bicyclists are reducing air pollution (which kills an estimated 200,000 Americans annually) and noise pollution. They’re not contributing to the brake dust, heavy metals and automotive fluids that get washed into the Sound with every rainfall. People on bikes are doing their part to further reduce demand for petroleum products, the production of which spoils pristine habitats (from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico) and too often exacts a huge toll in blood and treasure as our government meddles in the affairs of hostile nations because of oil. Providing more space for bikes is one of the best things our local government does. Crime is a challenging enough problem in itself without people always trying to attach “density” and “bike lanes” (or in other words, the endless sense of entitlement to accommodate cars above all else) to the topic.

  • Eric January 21, 2015 (4:46 am)

    This is absolutely ridiculous how brazen these POS are!! WTF is going on with these types of crimes, especially at this time of day?!!

  • fed up January 21, 2015 (6:27 am)

    It’s an OR option at this point because both boil down to monetary resources and there apparently isn’t enough for both. From a priortization perspective, being alive to ride your bike or not having your bike stolen I’m sure comes first. Bike lanes are a privilege and serve a small percentage of the community but their needs always seem to come first. If you want lanes register your bike and generate tax revenue to pay for them. That’s what drivers do.

    • WSB January 21, 2015 (7:24 am)

      This is the *end* of the sidetrack into bicycle lanes. This story has absolutely nothing to do with road safety, which is what bicycle facilities are about. Bicycle lanes are no more a privilege than car lanes – safety is not a privilege – and as discussed here (and elsewhere) many, many times, bicycle riders DO generate revenue (a – most own another vehicle; b – it is a myth that roads are paid for only by taxes that car drivers pay), and if anything they are getting less benefit from the money they pay than people who only use cars to get around. We try to keep WSB free of the useless, straw-man “bicycles vs. cars” shouting, which does no one any good, and in this case, is absolutely irrelevant, and I’m sorry I missed its initial entry here. Thanks – Tracy
      P.S. If you are interested in transportation projects overall, please come to the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting tonight (7 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way) which will include an early-stage briefing on the Delridge Multi-Modal Corridor proposal.
      P.P.S. And to budgeting overall, this might be of interest.

  • wsres January 21, 2015 (7:56 am)

    @M, Apparently they were not only too stupid in figuring out how to start a push button ignition, but ultimately ditched the car because they never released the parking brake, so the car wouldn’t go more than a couple blocks. Duh….

  • G January 21, 2015 (9:08 am)

    While Rome burns with crime, people here are engaged in juvenile arguments about bikes versus cars. Oh, but lucky you don’t live in Detroit, right?

    Absolutely bizarre.

  • heather January 21, 2015 (10:01 am)

    This makes me very uncomfortable. I need to be able to walk outside in relative safety. That an armed group of young men would converge on a single person as described is truly frightening to me.

  • Rick January 21, 2015 (12:36 pm)

    I’m talking razor clams here. Just a little levity, folks. Guess I’d best watch out for pitchforks and bonfires from a certain few.

  • Thomas M. January 21, 2015 (6:26 pm)

    I admit, these jerk weeds are annoying. I see people on here talking about packing heat. I hope you hit what you are blazing away at because there are likely inhabited dwellings, if not people, behind the dirt bag you might be shooting at. Get some range time and check your insurance (homeowners policies vary wildly on coverage for use of firearms). I sympathize with you. But feelings don’t cut it when the issues are public safety and your liability. I am just saying be sure and aim true. Missing could be the beginning of something really ugly for you. Dropping the Ace of Spades on the body might not be a good idea either.

  • soosan January 21, 2015 (8:32 pm)

    I wish the SPD report addressed the fact that, per the comments on the original WSB story, prior to the incident someone nearby had called in a report of ‘suspicious behavior’ but was told no patrol car would be sent.

  • BB January 21, 2015 (8:46 pm)

    Wait….did anyone notice in the police report that the guy had a gun to his face and said “Give me your car keys!” and the Victim states he told him no and started to walk off…that is one cool dude to say no and walk off with a gun pulled on him.

    • WSB January 21, 2015 (8:48 pm)

      That’s why I put it in the headline!

  • MorganResident January 24, 2015 (9:45 am)

    I see guys that fit this description “all the time” hanging out at the 35th and Morgan conveniencd store between the Wallgreens lot. Short fat black guy, tall skinny black guy and a couple others. I have a smartphone holder for my car that acts like a dash-cam (holder) when pointed straight out. Try pulling straight into that lot with video rolling (when these guys are there) then back out to get a clip of potential perps and then share with police. I’ve done it and it helped nail the guys that robbed me!

Sorry, comment time is over.