WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Dumped carrier; apartment-garage break-in; suspected package-theft attempt

Three reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:

DUMPED CARRIER: Reader Datamuse wonders if you recognize that Sears X-Cargo carrier, which they found dumped in their Highland Park yard Sunday morning; neighborhood-level inquiries yielded no information so they’re sharing the photo West Seattle-wide here. P.S. Datamuse adds, “If there was anything in it before it was dumped, it’s gone now.” If it might be yours, let us know.

APARTMENT-GARAGE BREAK-IN: From a Junction 47 resident (California/Alaska/42nd):

I heard odd noises in our alleyway around midnight last night. I looked out my window to try and figure out what it was coming from. It was hard to see, because my apartment window can’t see the ground of the alleyway, but I was able to deduce that 2 guys were opening the resident garage door with a jack. I called the police and explained the situation to them as they were trying to open the door. I stayed on the phone with the operator continuing to give information and updates as we waited for an SPD unit to arrive. Unfortunately, the 2 guys were able to get the door open, get inside for some time (while 1 stood outside to watch guard), and drive off in their car before the unit arrived.

I was pretty disappointed with SPD, because they had ample time to catch these guys – at least 30 minutes to respond. I stayed up until a little after 1am to see when the unit would show up, but never saw any police show up in the alleyway.

While disappointed, I don’t blame the SPD. I understand they must allocate their scarce resources carefully, and this call was not life-threatening, so it probably ended up low in their priority – probably even lower, once the crime was over, and the guys were gone. That said, I think the operator could have been more clear about ETA of the unit. If I had realized it would take 30+ minutes for a unit to arrive, I might have yelled out the window to try to scare them away and prevent the break-in.

I went down into the garage this morning to see if there were any cars broken into. I did not see any, but did see a bike rack had been sawed into and a bike was stolen from the bike room. This is the 4th time that our bike room has been broken into (that I am aware of).

SUSPECTED PACKAGE-THEFT ATTEMPT: From Nicole on 46th SW between Juneau and Raymond in Seaview:

(Wednesday) I witnessed a man and a woman entering the yard of our neighbor across the street, in an apparent attempt to take packages from their front porch. This was around 12:20 pm.

They must have seen me/someone because they decided against it and ran to their car.

My husband was able to run out and get their license plate # as they sped away heading S on 46th Ave.

The car was a newer white Honda Accord; the plate number, which started with AA, was provided to police. Nicole adds, “Our next-door neighbor had her packages stolen a few weeks back.”

22 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Dumped carrier; apartment-garage break-in; suspected package-theft attempt"

  • Marty August 17, 2017 (12:45 pm)

    Total BS that SPD did not respond! In-process crimes should get top priority.

  • Jim P. August 17, 2017 (1:38 pm)

    It seems that no matter what crime is being reported as in progress, the response is always that scarce resources are being used elsewhere.

    An in-progress felony seems pretty gosh-darned important.  Were there really that many violent crimes going on at that moment in time that no one could respond?

    Every time I see a uniformed police officer being used to direct traffic (to give construction trucks absolute priority as a rule) at a construction site, I wonder just where the priorities are in this city.

    • WSB August 17, 2017 (1:39 pm)

      Uniformed police in those instances are offduty and paid by the hirer.

  • SureShot August 17, 2017 (1:47 pm)

    Wait, an in progress crime was being reported in real time and a unit didn’t show up for over a half an hour??? How is that even possible? So if someone is breaking into my home am I to expect no assistance unless I falsify information to get them there quicker?

    • WESTOFSEATTLE August 17, 2017 (2:56 pm)

      I am also frustrated, but I think there’s a difference — I imagine a residence break-in where someone’s safety is threatened would be prioritized differently than a garage break-in, where the biggest threat is property theft / damage.

  • NorthofAdmiral August 17, 2017 (1:48 pm)

    While it is disappointing that police couldn’t make it in time, it is also up to us to police our own neighborhoods by keeping a watchful eye out. It’s great to see this resident was able to witness the theft in action and call it in – however, couldn’t this person also have yelled outside something like “you are being recorded and the police have been called” or some verbal warning in hopes of stopping the criminals?

    Now property has been stolen and good luck finding these subjects. I’ve had people enter my yard before and I am not going to just wait to see if the police show up. They are getting a bright flashlight in the face and a warning that police have been called and if they are trying to break in, a second warning that we are are armed and prepared to protect ourselves and our property.

    • SureShot August 17, 2017 (2:26 pm)

      Wait a minute, so now the onus falls on the caller to break up the criminal act taking place?

      I am very interested to hear why on duty cops could not show up to a burglary taking place in a very dense part of west seattle for over a half an hour while the resident called the play by play to the dispatcher on the phone. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. What about the stuff that was taken? So now police response is just a toss up?

    • WESTOFSEATTLE August 17, 2017 (2:39 pm)


      this person also have yelled outside something like “you are being recorded and the police have been called” or some verbal warning in hopes of stopping the criminals?

      I am this person. In hindsight, I wish I had done this. At the time, I was certain that SPD were going to catch these guys – the operator told me that a unit was dispatched and on the way.  We knew they had a vehicle in the alleyway and the direction it was facing, so that SPD could pull into the alleyway blocking their vehicle in.

      Like I said in the post, if I knew what the response time was going to be, I would have tried to scare them away rather than wait for SPD to arrive and apprehend them.

      • newnative August 18, 2017 (8:47 am)

        Don’t feel bad about not yelling. I don’t yell into my ally either because I don’t want to be identified by the perpetrators or targeted. 

        However, I have called 911 a second time if I don’t feel the the cops are coming fast enough. I did that when a person in distress was causing a traffic hazard and the cops took over 10 minutes to show up. 

        I would word the break-in differently, “someone is breaking into my house and I am scared for my life”. Because, really you don’t know what they are there for or what lengths they are will to go.

        • WESTOFSEATTLE August 18, 2017 (2:46 pm)

          As mentioned above, I was on the phone with the operator the entire time, so a 2nd 911 call was not possible.

          I don’t think artificially inflating the severity of the situation would have been the right thing to do. I did not feel scared for my life, and they were not breaking into my residence directly – just the garage. Claiming that someone was breaking into my residence may have taken resources from a more severe situation that was actually life-threatening.

          We don’t have access to the information about what other calls were taking place at that time, but I prefer to give SPD the benefit of the doubt. I imagine a lack of resources is closer to the real issue than something like incompetence. Then again, I don’t have very much data to back that claim up.

          I spoke with an officer yesterday about this, and they told me it’s not uncommon for a single call to require the entire on-duty police force in the area (typically 4-8 officers for a given night).

          Perhaps SPD could provide more information on this in their next Crime Prevention Council.

  • sara August 17, 2017 (5:05 pm)

    I was told specifically not to care away any burglars/break-ins, because it gives the suspects time to get away and the police can’t immediately arrest.  I think Westofseattle followed SPD recommendations.   Hindsight is 20/20.  We had a break-in a year or two ago and they were here very quickly.  It really may have been due to short resources.  

    @ Westofseattle, I’m sorry for the loss of your property and for the delay with the cops.  That must have been crazy frustrating to see play out.

  • Swede. August 17, 2017 (5:23 pm)

    That is pretty poor response from SPD indeed. It’s equally poor of the property management companies to not have better security and surveillance for their tenants for the exuberant rents being charged. Forth time right? That’s a lot for a building that only been open a few years! 

  • NW August 17, 2017 (7:54 pm)

    Reading an article from 2008 or so in the stranger magazine and back then seattle was in need of more police officers 500 citizens to 1 police officer now with population increase here as it is must substantial difference. 

    • WESTOFSEATTLE August 18, 2017 (2:46 pm)

      Would be interested if you had a link to that article.

  • KT August 17, 2017 (8:50 pm)

    If our City Council member could tear herself away from being the voice of renters of Seattle, she might find time to concern herself with the state of public safety in West Seattle and Seattle in general.  Wishful thinking I know.  

    • Lagartija Nick August 18, 2017 (7:14 am)

      KT, the victim in this case is a renter.

      Furthermore, almost 60% of the people in this city are renters. Should Herbold ignore almost 60% of the city?

      Take your classicism elsewhere.

    • NorthofAdmiral August 18, 2017 (10:01 am)

      L Nick, I don’t believe KT was attacking renters, I believe the point was if our rep could spend a little more time on public safety and police response time we could reduce crime in our area.

      I’m still amazed at the lack of police presence at Alki in the evenings. We had an early summer shooting and still the patrols, I believe, are less than adequate.

  • Erithan August 17, 2017 (10:18 pm)

    I’m sorry you had to go through this, it’s depressing.☹️

    Sadly it’s been pretty normal with responses around here(my building is on 42nd as well), we don’t have a secure garage, management put up cameras once(we had to beg), they got stolen and never replaced.

    we’ve had attempts of people trying to get in the building by force or “luck” trying to dial from the front.

    i almost feel Iike the junction here is tying to be falsely passed as “safe”(though even day time has some big issues now). *sigh* 

  • B.W. August 17, 2017 (11:00 pm)

    Maybe if the City Council cared about property crimes, then the police could actually do something. I can’t count the number of times on here, have we read about criminals getting arrested for property crimes, only to be walking down the street the following day. Catch and release. So ya, when the City Council gets serious and the City hires more police officers, the police might actually come catch the burglers. Next time, just record the burg and send it to our great City Council, maybe a video of an actual crime can convince our politicians that crime is not acceptable. 

  • Wsprayers August 18, 2017 (8:55 am)

    What about the witness safety? If a person confronts the criminals couldn’t their safety be at risk? Even just being on the look out until police got there -what if the criminals would have seen her -noticed she was reporting them? And it was after midnight in a parking garage-I would be afraid of saying anything to them or being caught while reporting them-I’m not equipped to be policing-I’m short weigh 120lbs I don’t have a gun-911 shouldn’t put that on any citizen-especially since the police never even show up

    • pjmanley August 18, 2017 (11:53 am)

      We pay so many taxes in this City, but get so little public service in return.  This is what one-party, group-think government that takes care of itself first looks like.  When will we ever learn?

  • artsea August 18, 2017 (2:25 pm)

    Every city thinks it must grow bigger and bigger.  I’ve never understood why that is.  Along with growth always comes more and more crime.  And, worse and worse crime.  I’d like to know why big is considered better by city governments.  As a citizen, I’m not seeing that to be true.

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