West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowls, recent robberies, more

In West Seattle Crime Watch, an incident early today and several from reports we’ve recently obtained:

CAR BREAK-IN THIS MORNING: Early today, a car was broken into in the 3800 block of Beach Drive SW, its side and rear windows smashed, and, writes Mary, “a very important work suitcase was stolen. The alarm went off & we saw a white car take off driving.”

That’s not the only recent car prowl in the Beach Drive area. While we didn’t get reader reports on these, we found two more in recently obtained police reports, which are followed by summaries of reports related to other West Seattle incidents of note:

CARDS STOLEN FROM CAR IN 5600 BLOCK BEACH DRIVE: And used fraudulently, quickly, after the theft in mid-February, over the span of four hours, at a supermarket and three gas stations. The victim hadn’t even had the time to cancel the cards yet.

SPORTS EQUIPMENT STOLEN FROM CAR: At Beach Drive and Canada, a bag containing baseball equipment was taken by

LINCOLN PARK ROBBERY ATTEMPT: This happened around 10 pm Saturday, February 21st, but it took a while to get the narrative. The victim told police he was walking “near the swing set at the south end of Lincoln Park,” noticed “a group of about 20 young adults” nearby, and just after passing them, was accosted by one male who demanded that he empty your pockets, adding something that sounded to the victim like “Or I’ll shoot or stab you.” The victim kept walking, and then started running, pursued by the suspect and three other males, who tried to knock him down; the victim intentionally fell, then picked himself up and ran into the water. They stopped chasing him. He swam south a ways, then got out of the water, went to the ferry terminal, and called 911. Police went into the park to look for the suspects and found no one, though they did note a lot of beer cans in the area.

7-11 SHOPLIFT-TURNED-ROBBERY: Just before 7 am on Sunday, February 22nd, police were called to the South Delridge 7-11, where they were told a man had tried to buy a pack of cigarettes but his card was declined. He got mad, jumped over the counter, struggled with the clerk and kicked him in the shin, scooped up 10 packs of cigarettes and ran. Police did not find the robber, described as black, in his 30s or 40s, 6 feet tall, average build, wearing a black beanie, black jacket, and black pants.

BURGLARS STEAL JEWELRY BOXES: If you have a safe, might be a good place to keep your jewelry box – as police have warned recently, that’s what burglars seem to hone in on immediately. Jewelry boxes comprised the majority of what was taken in recent burglaries reported from the 7500 block of 32nd SW and the 9600 block of 41st SW.

BAG LEFT IN CAR, STOLEN: In mid-February, a car parked in the alley along 45th SW in Fauntleroy was broken into and a bag stolen. The owner told police it contained $1,000 worth of survival gear as well as some ID paperwork and a concealed pistol license. The thief or thieves broke the window out. Nearby cars appeared to have been cased but not broken into.

PURSE LEFT IN CAR, STOLEN: A purse was stolen from a car at the 35th/Morgan car wash, also in mid-February.

SMOKE BREAK DURING CAR PROWL: In North Admiral on the morning of Valentine’s Day, a vehicle owner told police, “My 2012 Nissan parked in my driveway at the corner of 45th Avenue SW and SW Mass. Ave, was ran sacked last evening and it was locked. I leave nothing in the car of any value. Thieves got $2.00 in change. The prowler was a smoker and left a butt in the car.”

GROCERY BAGS TEMPTING THIEVES? One morning in mid-February, a car prowl was reported in the main Lincoln Park parking lot. The only things visible in the car, according to its owner, were grocery bags. They apparently were tempting enough for car prowler(s) to smash the rear window and go through them.

WE HOPE NOTHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS TO YOU … but if it does, once you’ve notified police, please consider letting us know so we can share the info with your neighbors around West Seattle. Reader-report info comes in much quicker than police reports, which might not be available for days if not weeks, as evidenced above. editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

15 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Car prowls, recent robberies, more"

  • brandonb March 2, 2015 (11:52 am)

    You can update a report on Michael Stanley, he of the escapee from Canada who lured a minor at the Admiral Safeway, being arrested for sexual assault in Skyway.

  • Eric March 2, 2015 (12:10 pm)

    I’m so freagin tired of these POS.

  • JanS March 2, 2015 (12:41 pm)

    I am so sorry these car prowls have been so frequent as of late. An important thing to remember….if you value it at all, don’t leave it in your car. To the guy who had 2 bucks taken…hard to imagine, huh…all that work over 2 dollars :(

  • Diane March 2, 2015 (4:15 pm)

    this is why I even lock my car and carry my bag with me when I go inside to pay at gas station; seems like no place is safe anymore

  • West Seattle Hipster March 2, 2015 (6:03 pm)

    Tip of the Day: Leave Nothing of value (perceived or actual) visible in your car.

  • Alan March 3, 2015 (8:43 am)

    I second Hipster’s statement. It matters not that you care about what is in the bags in your car. It could be garbage, but someone is going to have to break a window to find out. Stop and look at your car as if it was someone else’s to make sure you aren’t leaving enough to entice someone to break in.

    • WSB March 3, 2015 (8:55 am)

      For anyone who is maybe reading Crime Watch for the first time and not quite believing the car-prowl threat – PLEASE believe me, having read and written about dozens and dozens of reports like these so far. Wherever you park your car – quiet street, busy arterial, under a streetlight, in the driveway, on the alley, in a supermarket parking lot, in a park parking lot – this is NOT a crime that only happens in the middle of the night. It happens in “broad daylight” too. And in busy places where you’d think the criminals would be deterred by being spotted. They move fast, and unpredictably. The grocery-bags narrative here is the one that gave me a jolt, as that’s all we have in our car, a pile of supermarket bags strewn in the back, nothing in them, but if our path and a car prowler’s path happened to intersect, they’d probably take the chance to look, and we’d be spending hundreds to replace the window. Police have said it over and over again at crime-prevention meetings … the only reason the car prowlers keep going is that people keep leaving things in cars, so they score. I am *not* saying this to guilt out victims … you know we take pains to avoid doing that here … but I think somehow people just aren’t making the connection. And if somehow we can get to a point where the vehicles are all empty and the criminals’ odds of finding something are very low, they’ll move on to someplace unenlightened. Totally sucks. Shouldn’t be this way. But it is. So take Alan’s advice. (And if you find items strewn in the street or the bushes by your house, do let police know, and consider letting us know too, in hopes of a “reunion.”) – TR

  • morningwalker March 3, 2015 (8:52 am)

    Mary, I saw a small, black suitcase by the side of California Way SW this morning, a few yards up into the trees and brush. It looked as if it could have been thrown down from Hamilton Viewpoint. I tried to climb up to it to look for a luggage tag, but the terrain was too steep for me. (It could have been there for a while, but I never noticed it until this morning.)

  • Mary March 3, 2015 (9:22 am)

    Morning walker, thank you for being in touch! Going to look right now! Crossing my fingers!

  • Mary March 3, 2015 (10:34 am)

    Unfortunately the suitcase was not the one stolen, but really appreciate residence keeping a eye out! :)

  • G March 3, 2015 (10:54 am)

    Generally agree with WSB. It’s just depressing and I don’t know how WS has come to this virtual lawlessness. Down here in the SFV, CA – which is no Hollywood Hill – when I go for a walk at Lake Balboa or in the Sepulveda Wildlife Area, I never even think about locking everything up. Just don’t get why crime is so ubiquitous up in my old WS neighborhood.

    • WSB March 3, 2015 (11:39 am)

      G, we’ve had this exchange before. LA is no crime-free paradise.
      Maybe there’s just not a neighborhood news publication chronicling it. Anyway, we also were in your ‘hood (not far from my childhood ‘hood) a few weeks ago and nine people were shot and killed in LA during the six days we were there, including one (a teenager) in the San Fernando Valley. Wish there wasn’t crime anywhere, but your repeated contention that little happens down there isn’t accurate. A quick google of Lake Balboa shows six car prowls in a recent week, which given the stated population, about a fourth of WS, would equal 24 here.
      (Also a suspected homicide. We didn’t have one in WS all year.) Same time period, the SPD crime map shows 14 (Feb. 19-26, de-select everything but car prowls, scan around the peninsula)
      Still too many. But please stick to the facts. – TR

  • sgs March 3, 2015 (11:29 am)

    I’m actually rethinking whether a safe is a good place for jewelry. Either they are going to take the whole safe, or force me at gunpoint to open it. I only keep documents in my safe to protect against fire damage. Wonder what the police recommend for jewelry.

  • G March 3, 2015 (3:58 pm)


    The stats are clear on the incidences of property crime; there is much more of it in Seattle than LA. (Data is readily available for anyone who is interested.) Anecdotal conversations with neighbors and friends and others, both here in LA and Seattle, seem to back this up. Of course, it’s just my experience and a non-scientific sampling, but I’ll bet it’s generally true, not just a case of reporting/or lack thereof. By the way, property crimes are serious, especially burglary which is often mis-categorized, in my opinion, as a non-violent crime.

    I understand people are protective of where they live, but living in both places I don’t feel any particular allegiance to either. The advantage of that is I call it the way I see it. If I say that Seattle pedestrians are more considerate than Los Angeleno’s, who dilly-dally across the street to the annoyance of waiting motorists, it’s because I find it simply to be true, not because I’m playing favorites….to use a silly example.

    Bottom line for me, I don’t want West Seattleites or Los Angelenos’ to be complacent with any level of crime. Because, once you’re accustomed to a certain level, then like sales, you’re quota is going up..and up…and up. And that’s scary.


  • Mary March 4, 2015 (10:04 am)

    Kiro 7 showed up at my house last night wanting to cover the car theft that happened to my roommate this past week. Watch the interview here: http://m.kirotv.com/news/news/west-seattle-dealing-more-car-break-ins/nkNPM/

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