West Seattle Crime Watch: Police, helicopter search for armed car prowler

12:08 AM: Guardian One is helping police search for a car prowler reported by neighbors in the 45th/Hinds area. A texter tells us car windows were broken, and one report via scanner said the prowler might have threatened someone with a gun.

12:18 AM: Confirmation from a texter: “My neighbor caught him in the act and grabbed him, and the suspect pulled a gun on him.”

12:33 AM: Haven’t heard anything further – the helicopter left before long. Meantime, the texter says it appears this might have been more a case of attempted auto thefts than car prowls: “Our car’s ignition was stripped. Nothing stolen out of the vehicles like our typical car prowlers. Seems they were after the cars themselves.”

10:18 AM: In comments, Beth says her son spotted what turned out to be a loaded gun near 45th and Hinds, and reported it to police, who picked it up.

3:26 PM: The aforementioned neighbor contacted us with more information. The gun, he says, turned out to be “a BB pistol but looks very much like a full size, ‘real’ gun. Model is a Smith & Wesson 327 TRR8 BB Revolver.” He confirms it’s the one the prowler threatened him with last night and was apparently tossed aside at the spot where the prowler got into a car and took off.

15 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Police, helicopter search for armed car prowler"

  • Res September 25, 2015 (12:10 am)

    Hear it overhead now near Madison middle school.

  • ws_suzanne September 25, 2015 (12:14 am)

    Just heard Guardian One over my house. So grateful to you for knowing why. I hope they find the guy. Would be great to put a serious dent in the car theft problem here.

  • Flanderess's' September 25, 2015 (12:15 am)


  • Maureen September 25, 2015 (12:23 am)

    Heard some yelling outside about 11:50 pm. Soon after a helicopter was circling low between 44th/45th & Hinds/Spokane Sts. For about 10 min. It must have done 4 loops.

  • miws September 25, 2015 (5:30 am)

    I heard a chopper hovering over the 9000 block 16th, just around 11:00pm or so, I think it was, last night. Woke me up, so I was groggy, but pretty sure it was about that time. It seemed louder than on many past occasions, so was presumably quite low.


    I’m not in a situation where I can simply look out the window and skyward; would have to step outside, so didn’t bother.


    By the time I got the laptop fired up to check in here, it sounded like it had moved on.



  • WC neighbor September 25, 2015 (7:07 am)

    mike–we heard the 11 pm fly over too. Probably just for 5 minutes or so. Any word on that one, WSB?

  • Chib le Beef September 25, 2015 (7:49 am)

    We’re just up Erskine/Lewis from the area referenced and this guy ransacked our van too…

  • Emil Bistrin September 25, 2015 (7:55 am)

    Thank God for the WSB. We heard the helicopter and went to the blog for answers, and there it was.

    Do you guys ever sleep?

  • WSB September 25, 2015 (8:16 am)

    Emil – Yes, we do, and what really helps is community communication/collaboration – while our awesome team member Katie caught this on the scanner first, the texter quoted above provided information we couldn’t have gotten any other way. We really do mean it when we ask people to text/call with breaking news 24/7 at 206-293-6302 (we’ve had the hotline for eight years now!) – regardless of whether we’re asleep or listening to the scanner, less and less of what police do is ‘broadcast’ that way (calls are sent to the squad car “screen,” and we hear only an acknowledgment to the dispatcher such as “We’ll take #xxx”) so community info is vital.
    WC Neighbor, sorry to say we never traced what that was about. Guardian One has often tweeted briefly about what calls it helps with, once it moves on … but last night, no tweets, and nothing obvious on the scanner (see above), nor did we hear from anyone with eyes on law-enforcement activity on the ground, just a couple who heard the helicopter (thanks!). Looking at the Tweets by Beat log, there’s a “suspicious person” call in the 9000 block of 18th SW, but that’s a catch-all category, no way to get details … No robberies, shootings, assaults, etc., reported, at least. Maybe that’s some consolation.

  • Patrick September 25, 2015 (9:09 am)

    My Volvo wagon was taken last night. 44th and Alaska from my apartment lot. Plate # ASL2453 Light blue

  • cluelessinws September 25, 2015 (9:56 am)

    Don’t like sirens and choppers but it’s nice to know we can come here and find out what is going on. A lot of these crimes are too close to home and not where I thought I’d ever live. WS is a great community. It’s almost a night and day kind of thing that is sort of odd. Great caring people but a lot of crime happening from moving violations/litter/graffiti to car prowling/theft, bank robberies, home burglaries, assaults on school age kids, flashers/voyeurism, on up to murder.

    • WSB September 25, 2015 (10:16 am)

      Beth – thanks to you and your son for your watchfulness!
      Clue – Haven’t had a homicide in almost two years now. Even one is too many but for a big-city neighborhood, that’s a long time, and of course here’s hoping that “long time” gets longer, and that the unsolved murders (Stephen Jeffries Jr. at the end of 2013, Greggette Guy in 2012, Kaari Higgins in 2011) eventually have closure. – TR

  • Beth Trigg September 25, 2015 (10:15 am)

    At approximately 7:30am I was dropping my son at Madison Middle School – as he crossed Hinds at 45th he noticed a loaded gun close to the sidewalk. I immediately called 911 – the police came and retrieved it.

  • NWmama September 25, 2015 (2:41 pm)

    Good lord Beth. Thankful for you seeing that gun- easy to imagine what could have happened If a more intrigued middle schooler had found it instead.

    • WSB September 25, 2015 (2:45 pm)

      I’ve since heard from the person who confronted the car prowler last night. He says the gun, now in police’s hands, was a realistic looking BB gun. Still dangerous. But just FYI. I will be updating the story.

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