UPDATE: Police searching in Junction area after reported street robbery

(Added: WSB photo, police west of robbery scene)

5:30 PM: If you’re seeing/hearing the sizable police response on the south side of The Junction right now, police are looking for a man after a reported street robbery. Per police radio, the man stole a woman’s purse in the alley between 45th and 46th at Edmunds, and dropped a gun as he ran away with it, southbound. With the caveat that description information can change from what’s first reported, so far we’ve heard the robber described as a black man in his 30s, black jacket or hoodie, black pants. The purse is described as large and brown. If you have any information about the robber, call 911.

5:54 PM UPDATE: Added/changed description: White/mixed-race man, thin build.

6:39 PM UPDATE: No arrest reported yet. The search has included a K-9 team.

34 Replies to "UPDATE: Police searching in Junction area after reported street robbery"

  • ~Hockeywitch~ March 22, 2017 (5:37 pm)

    LOTS of police cars with sirens on racing North up 35th.
    Scanner is stuck, repeating the same information over and over. Thanks for the information about what’s going on. Hope they get the guy.

  • Hawkeye March 22, 2017 (5:47 pm)

    What are the police doing to stem this recent uptick in crime at the junction?  Or is this the new normal?

    • WSB March 22, 2017 (7:38 pm)

      Since you asked – I just asked this question of Lt. Ron Smith (second in command at SW Precinct) after he finished his briefing at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting, which I’m currently covering. As mentioned in some of our community-meeting coverage recently, the precinct has a proactive team (the “09 car”) out at night – that’s who caught the teenage gun-firing suspects last week, for example, after being in the area and hearing the shots. The Anti-Crime Team also works at night – they were involved in the package-theft suspect arrest the other night. And the bicycle patrol is assigned to patrol The Junction as well as other areas. Lt. Smith stressed that they are fighting for more resources but for the question of what are they doing now – that’s at least a start of an answer. – TR

    • WS Guy March 23, 2017 (1:03 am)

      I feel like a broken record posting this, but the issue is not SPD.  They are a great police force.  The issue is that crime is nowhere on the Mayor’s list of priorities.  He added 1,000+ city employees and yet we have SPD fighting for resources here.  He’s really terrible.  I honestly think his plan for affordability is to let certain neighborhoods decline.

  • BJG March 22, 2017 (6:10 pm)

    3 patrol cars in the intersection of 45th and Edmunds. I’d avoid it. Been there 1/2 hr talking with victim/witnesses(?)

  • Al March 22, 2017 (6:14 pm)

    Awsome response by SPD! 

  • anonyme March 22, 2017 (6:20 pm)

    I have witnessed several mid-day, open air drug deals in front of/beside the 7-11 in the last month.   It’s become fairly brazen.  I now avoid that bus stop whenever possible.

    • JB March 22, 2017 (9:28 pm)

      This is how I feel about the parking lot behind Pharmaca… it’s feels so sketchy and all kinds of suspicious activity happening during daytime hours. 

  • justme March 22, 2017 (6:36 pm)

    The more I read the blog, the more I want to move.

    • WSB March 22, 2017 (6:43 pm)

      Some days, our news stream is crimeless. But if it happens and there’s a sizable response, we have to report it. That’s what people have expected of us for going on 10 years now – if something is happening *now*.

      We also report lots of awesome things, which I would hope would make you NOT want to move. Just a few recently from the giving/gratitude file:


      • BadlyBentPhotography March 24, 2017 (10:59 am)

        Your coverage is fantastic. Thanks for all you do for the community. 

    • Kravitz March 22, 2017 (7:07 pm)

      @justme – I hear you. I’m thinking about it more and more these days myself. It’s become exhausting to read about the same types of petty crimes (often committed by the same junkies) happening again and again in the neighborhood. Package thefts, car prowls, drug sales and use around the Junction… I didn’t used to be afraid to walk here or live here. Now I think about it all the time as a single woman. 

      • May March 23, 2017 (10:03 am)

        I felt the same way,  lived in WS from 2000 to 2014. I even bought a house in WS.  As my two kids were getting older, and Seattle Public School cut the fund for the school bus system, they needed to take either a Metro bus (and still walk though a rough area, such as 16th and Holden SW  where the bus stop was) , or getting to the high school fresh man, having to walk all the way. 

        I heard the news about the high school kids, or even middle school kids were getting subject to robbery on the way to their school—that’s when I decided that’s it, time to move.  I ended up selling the house and moved out of WS.   It was not like that when we first moved to WS…….Sad. 

    • Kittyno March 22, 2017 (9:41 pm)

      I am always grateful for WSB’s crime coverage.  I’m very appreciative of SPD’s work as well, but WSB is far more forthcoming with information and gives me a better sense of the trends in the area.  Yes, crime has become worse, but I think it’s worse all over the country.  I’d rather know what’s happening then not.  But, @Justme and @Kravitz, I understand your feelings.  It’s hard to see the transformation.

      BTW, SPD had a vehicle w flashing lights parked at 48th/Findlay for a good ten minutes during the period of time they must have been looking for the suspect.  Erskine–>Findlay is a small, but major arterial on the way the ferries.  I really appreciated seeing how widespread their dragnet effort was.  It’s got to be a crazy hard challenge to catch a moving on-foot suspect in a crowded urban area.  It looked like some good out-of-the-box, yet common sense thinking.  We need that.  Kudos, SPD–this civilian is grateful for your efforts.

      • seaspades March 22, 2017 (10:00 pm)

        I too am grateful for the coverage from WSB and will say from personal experience it is probably under-reported.  Many people wandering through our neighborhoods rifling through cars and breaking into garages and police don’t have the bandwidth to respond.  It’s terribly disheartening to see the SPD begging for more resources and Santa Claus Ed trying to provide more money for the homeless instead.

        And no – it’s not worse all over the country.  That is alternative facts.  FBI data suggests crime in general is at decades lows.  We have a problem here because we take it as a given and feel guilty about our success.  A Giuliani-esque approach to cleaning up Seattle is the only thing that will work here.  If we don’t have the guts to do that, just get used to it and set aside a couple grand a year for broken window replacement and hand outs to heroin addicts who decide to kick your door down.
        It’s sad.  I came here 3 years ago, paid an unfathomable amount for a house here sensing it was a great neighborhood, and while there are a lot of positives, the crime rate (petty or otherwise) is absolutely un.acc.ept.able.
  • Tamra Farstad March 22, 2017 (7:07 pm)

    This is my coworker! We got the call and ran to her…the owner is with her now. Good news is she’s ok! Shaken up no doubt.

    This is insane! Broad daylight on a busy road?!! I’m so flustered I can barely type. Just wanted to update she’s physically ok.

    • WSB March 22, 2017 (7:24 pm)

      Thank you for letting us know, Tamra.

  • Seattlite March 22, 2017 (7:35 pm)

    I saw about 6 to 8 SPD police bicycling up California Aves SW from the Morgan Street junction at about 11:30am.  I’m hoping that these SPD bicycle police will put more police eyes on the street. Moving from WS is not going to make you safer because this type of crime goes on in all urban areas.  I appreciate WSB keeping me posted of the good and bad that goes on in WS….It’s called reality.  I’m glad the victim is okay but what a horrible, dangerous thing to go through.

  • flimflam March 22, 2017 (7:58 pm)

    right. crime is down. ok.

  • Junction Lady March 22, 2017 (9:50 pm)

    I also saw 4 bicycle police in the junction about 12:30pm and appreciate their presence to help deter crime.

  • DL March 22, 2017 (11:22 pm)

    This sounds like maybe the same guy as the home invasion robbery from yesterday? 

  • JanS March 22, 2017 (11:58 pm)

    for those who think that crime is driving them to move, would love to know where you’re thinking of going that doesn’t have crime…thanks in advance for your insight :)

    • Kravitz March 23, 2017 (6:46 am)

      @JanS – it’s not that other cities don’t have crime – they do, and that is simply one factor in my own personal decision to consider leaving Seattle. The other factors that play into my thoughts of leaving have to do with cost of living and transportation infrastructure that is decades behind other major cities of similar size. I have lived in Seattle 40 years (born and raised), with a brief period recently in Atlanta, GA for schooling. Honestly, I can say that I felt much safer there during my 3.5 years than I have in the last 7 months since I’ve returned. I’m sure people will snark at that and shake their heads with disbelief – but again, my experience is only my own and I can’t speak for anyone else here. I love Seattle, don’t get me wrong. But I’m sad and frustrated to see how quickly our city (and WS neighborhood) has changed with urban development, the homeless crisis, the hard drug epidemic, and more. 

    • KT March 23, 2017 (9:01 am)

      And lots of other areas where city leaders actually care about public safety and don’t make it the last priority on their “to do” list.

  • justme March 23, 2017 (5:54 am)

    @Jans…..checking crime stats in other states will give you many options. One just has to do the work.

  • Betterdays March 23, 2017 (7:20 am)

    Lots of areas with very little crime. It’s NOT like this everywhere..

  • Under_Achiever March 23, 2017 (8:42 am)

    The crime here is low level quality of life stuff with the occasional robbery/assault/violence incident thrown in.  I lived in both Flint and Saginaw Michigan with a murder rate for a similar population as West Seattle would be 50+ per year (just imagine this on our pennisula).   I think the frustrations are that the police aren’t allowed to be police — they can’t even use harsh words — and those committing the crimes are turnstiled  through a politically directed/influenced justice system that doesn’t have the moral will to be realistically harsh to those committers. 

  • justme March 23, 2017 (9:39 am)

    I love the hard work the WSB does, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve wanted to live in West Seattle all my life, as a kid who grew up in Burien over 50 years ago. This was my dream neighborhood to finally be able to move to 11 years ago. But, my dream is slipping away, as I begin to look elsewhere.  I feel like I live in Sea Tac again. I go for walks in broad daylight much less often now, especially with my purse hanging around my neck. ;-(

  • Craig March 23, 2017 (9:54 am)

    Funny how it was a black man initially, then a white guy.  WOW.  


    • WSB March 23, 2017 (10:03 am)

      I have just received the final report and the final description is:
      “Mixed-race male, 30s, scrawny build, black hat, black zip-up hoodie, black pants, large bluetooth in one ear, black beard/mustache.” Adding other report details above in a bit. – TR

  • LK March 23, 2017 (10:25 am)

     I moved here from Oakland 2 years ago, own a house in near the Junction.  I can see that crime is on the increase,  but so is growth and increased property values.  West Seattle still feels like a safe place to live.  In Oakland street muggings, random gunfire,  gangs, drug dealing, home invasions and car break ins were the daily norm.  It also took the police 45 minutes to respond, unless a gunfire was involved.  Kudos to the SPD for the quick response and handling of these matters. 

  • Hoosier March 23, 2017 (11:48 am)

    I was on a walk with my 3 year-old at 5:30 on 46th when I spotted up ahead a man tying his shoe, and then taking off a black sweatshirt/sweater. He had something large and bulky under his arm. I kept an eye on him as he approached,  he avoided eye contact, but as he walked by I got a good look at the large dark & light brown Luis Vitton handbag. Strange and out of place, I thought. After he had passed, I turned around to look and he took off running. I heard sirens shortly thereafter and returned home. A friend texted me the WSB article and I thought, that was the guy!  Had to be. So I fix my kids dinner, then call 911. They transferred me to the non-emergency line where I waited on hold  for 40 minutes.  40 minutes! 

    When the operator took my call she was totally uninterested in anything I had to say. It was basically, ‘if you didn’t see it happen how do you know he was involved.’ I brushed elbows with this guy.  I had a very good description of him and I was totally dismissed. 

    I wonder if there’s a better way to contact police in cases like this? Should I have called the Southwest precinct? Followed the sirens and talked to an officer on the ground? 

    • WSB March 23, 2017 (12:34 pm)

      Hoosier, I’m really sorry to hear that. Calling 911 should have been all you needed to do. I know they were checking out tips – I even heard a dispatch to a High Point address, couple miles from the scene, where someone (who I assume had heard about the crime through our report, since it wasn’t mentioned anywhere else that I know of) had said they thought they’d seen someone resembling the suspect. Talking to an officer on the ground would have been great but you shouldn’t have had to go to that much trouble.

  • natinstl March 23, 2017 (4:39 pm)

    I lived in West Palm Beach, FL area for 17 years before moving here. While petty crime was minimal, the threat of being shot was more prevalent so I’ll take the petty crime although I wish we could curb it.

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