From repeat offenders to RVs, at West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network

A wide-ranging discussion at this month’s West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting. Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith presented SPD information in place of precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis, who was unable to be there. He had an announcement, too. But first:

CRIME STATS: Crimes against persons have “calmed down drastically,” down 9 percent from a year earlier – that category includes violent incidents from assault to robbery to homicide. Crimes against property are up 1 percent but some categories are spiking:

Residential burglary is up; commercial burglary is up too. That’s year-to-year, while currently it’s trending down. Larceny/theft is down 27 percent, and Lt. Smith said the Westwood Village emphasis patrols probably have a lot to do with that. Auto theft is still up in a big way – cars are being stolen in Renton and Burien and dumped here, Smith said; recently, a “prolific offender” was arrested in a stolen vehicle in Alki.

In a separate case, without initially naming the defendant, Lt. Smith also mentioned Bryan Tiedeman (who is back out of jail since our most-recent update). Shortly thereafter, a resident in the south Lincoln Park area whose neighborhood has been dealing with him for six years arrived at the meeting, and had kudos for precinct liaison lawyer Joe Everett, who helped neighbors get in touch with the county prosecutor handling the case, after a discussion at a WSBWCN meeting earlier this year. The neighbor also mentioned signing up for notifications with the VINE system regarding a change in the custody status of an offender – which everyone on the block has done. (You can do that via the King County Jail Register listing of a suspect, for example.) The neighbor also discussed agitating with Seattle City Light to get a streetlight so that license plates are more visible when suspicion-evoking vehicles show up in the neighborhood.

That discussion was followed by group agreement on the benefits of block watches.

ALKI SUMMER EMPHASIS: That’s on again, Lt. Smith said, now that summer is just about here. Lt. Steve Strand explained later that a lot of the emphasis patrol will be traffic-related. Something to watch for this weekend – a group of “high-end sports cars” (the Zwing Rally) plans a cruise on Alki Point on Saturday. (We wrote about this right after the meeting.)

RV’S AND OTHER HOMELESSNESS-RELATED ISSUES: There are fewer on Harbor Avenue (we counted eight today, down from a high of 18 not long ago) because some have been impounded, Smith said in response to an attendee’s question. The policy now is a 72-hour sticker (in reference to the city’s maximum time allowed for street parking), and if it hasn’t moved, it gets a 24-hour impound warning. “So basically you have four days of parking before we can do an impound.” One attendee wondered how to report an RV of concern in the Westwood area; Community Police Team Officer Todd Wiebke remains the point person for RVs. Discussion ensued regarding encampments; Lt. Smith said that to remove even one camper, members of the SPD Navigation Team – which is not based at the precinct – have to be involved.

SPD TRANSITION: Lt. Strand (above right) will be succeeding Lt. Smith (above left) as operations lieutenant when Smith retires at the end of next month. That highly visible position is #2 in command at the precinct; as part of his many duties, Lt. Smith has attended countless community meetings, many outside the precinct, to provide crime updates and answer questions. Strand is currently in charge of second watch (swing shift).

NEXT MEETING: WSBWCN meets fourth Tuesdays (6:30 pm, SW Precinct); next month will be the last meeting before summer hiatus.

31 Replies to "From repeat offenders to RVs, at West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network"

  • K to the F May 23, 2018 (3:29 pm)

    The number of campers down on Andover has at least doubled in the last week from maybe 2 or 3 previously — a few that have long extension cords running to nearby shared generators. I wish I had a good solution that could make nearby homeowners as well as those without “normal” homes feel like they have consistency, safety, and security. :(

  • Harbor ave May 23, 2018 (6:48 pm)

    So how exactlty do I report an RV that has been pn the street for more than 72 hours?  Do I call and ask for Todd Weibke?? There is an RV on Harbor ave that has a pile of  goods and trash piling up next to it. 

    • WSB May 23, 2018 (7:01 pm)

      • Harbor ave May 23, 2018 (7:54 pm)

        Thank you!

      • PangolinPie May 24, 2018 (8:31 am)

        I’m sorry, but this is an incorrect comment regarding officer Wiebke. I emailed him at that address weeks ago about several RVs at Riverview park, and not only did he not answer my email, the RVs have not moved. I no longer believe that Seattle officers care at ALL about camping in parks.

        • WSB May 24, 2018 (8:42 am)

          I can’t speak to whether he answers e-mail or not. But he remains the precinct contact regarding RVs, per precinct leadership public statements as recent as this meeting.

  • Kay K May 23, 2018 (8:13 pm)

    Thank you for your years of service Lt. Smith!

  • M May 23, 2018 (9:48 pm)

    That explains why there is a number of RVs parked by the West Seattle Health club.

    • sam-c May 24, 2018 (11:01 am)

      yep, that is what I was thinking

  • Rick May 23, 2018 (10:14 pm)

    Think I’ll sell my home and close my business (since 1978)in West Seattle,quit paying rent,mortgage and taxes and just buy myself an old motorhome, park it on Alki (I lived on Duwamish Head for 23 years) and call it good. Yaa’ll can take care of me from here on out. You got a problem with that, call Kashama. She’s my hero. Or maybe park it in front of her mansion.

    • Terry Smith May 24, 2018 (8:43 am)

      Many of these people are the working poor who have been displaced when the cost of living in this city went through the roof.

      • Frustrated Feline May 24, 2018 (10:24 pm)

        Have you honestly asked each one of them if they are working? Seriously?!?

        • AvalonTom May 26, 2018 (10:15 am)

          As someone who has spoken in length with about half of the RV folks, Terry Smith comment is 100% accurate. Can’t vouch for all, but majority do work and are not criminals. Not all who wander are lost and some just need a minute to get back on their feet. You guys need to ratchet down the hate a bit and perhaps take a deep breath.

    • Marty of Alki May 24, 2018 (3:45 pm)

      7 Council Members are up for reelection! Vote them out. Where is all of the money going?  Boston is the same size city with one half the budget of Seattle.  My question  is replace these members with the same mentality? We had a 17% tax hike, and another tax hike coming up!We need a change, I WANT MY CITY BACK!

    • Ms. Sparkles May 24, 2018 (4:06 pm)

       Agreed Rick.  Not enforcing laws consistently, regardless of the cost of living issues, is a slap in the face to those that still follow them.  I don’t personally want to live in an RV, but if it’s something you don’t mind, Seattle has now made it foolish not to.

    • steve May 25, 2018 (11:02 am)

      Rick you need a Room mate? I can get Food stamps. 

  • Huck May 24, 2018 (6:41 am)

    @Rick:I couldn’t agree more! My feelings exactly.

  • DH May 24, 2018 (7:35 am)

    @Rick, check out vanliving on Reddit. Lots of great tips there!

  • Felix Grounds May 24, 2018 (7:46 am)

    Yeah, I’m sure that’s what all the homeless folks did, cashed out of their buisnesses and valuable properties for an uncertain life on the streets, just so the city will” take care of them “….good one.

    • Helpful May 24, 2018 (8:59 am)

      Rick is not saying that is what homeless people did. He is saying why should he work hard and pay taxes and dispose of his trash and be beneficial to his community, when Seattle uses his tax money to allow others to destroy public property and openly consume drugs and create health hazards. Open your eyes, Felix. 

      • R May 25, 2018 (2:50 pm)


  • John May 24, 2018 (10:06 am)

    “The policy now is a 72-hour sticker (in reference to the city’s maximum time allowed for street parking), and if it hasn’t moved, it gets a 24-hour impound warning. “So basically you have four days of parking before we can do an impound.”  SPD-That is a disingenuous statement from SPD, as they fully know that the system is untenable by design.If you call in a 72-hour parking violation, this is reality.1) You are required to wait 72 hours to call it in.2) After calling it in the city will not respond immediately.  Often it takes more than a week to respond due to low priority.3) After finally responding the city then waits an additional 72 hours.4) The city posts a 24 hour impound warning.5) After issuing the 24 hour impound warning, the city may not even follow up or may follow up after several more days due to low priorities, again.  How often have we seen those orange windshield stickers on parked vehicle for longer than 24 hours?-So basically, parking scofflaws know that it will be at best one week, but in reality two to three weeks.  After which they simply move down the street to start over again.The city should be called out on the reality of their false claims.

  • Rick May 24, 2018 (11:29 am)

    I make enough to pay my bills and feed myself,not that it’s any of your business. Maybe I’ll get into the heroin tourism business. I hear that’s pretty good dough. You know, a chosen lifestyle. Live for free. Go hug a tree and kiss sawant,or vice versa. And house them yourself instead of telling others they need to do it. Typical.  Have you seen the pics of Hoovervile from the depression? People were just out of work but they had some pride and self esteem. They kept the community up, as opposed to being the predators we have now.  And to DH,thanks for the tip. I did that in the early 80’s when I was homeless myself. To each, his own. 

    • H May 24, 2018 (12:52 pm)

      “Heroin tourism” Is that a real thing? Maybe that explains the weird drug buy I saw the other day. Why else would a guy buy “everything they have” except to resell.

  • Rick May 24, 2018 (11:37 am)

    DH-thanks for the tip. When I was homeless in the early 80’s I did live in my van. But I didn’t throw mountains of trash outside the van along mountains of stolen bicycles, do heroin and steal others property to support that habit or literally sh-t in the street. Felix, you don’t know me. Please, let’s have a face to face sometime. You can only play the victim card for so long. For most of these folk, it’s a chosen lifestyle. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Oh,wait, I’m a victim.

  • Kathleen Higgins May 24, 2018 (1:34 pm)

    FYI, public parks are recognized addresses for transients who also happen to be sex offenders. See the KKSD notice:GARY VICTOR JENSEN Registration #:1582Level:Transient Level I Physical Description• Age:74• Height:5’11”• Sex:M• Weight:187lbs• Race:White• Eyes:Gray• Hair:Blonde• Scars/Tattoos:Scar on L_leg (L LEG) , Scar on R_Foot ( R FT)    AddressME KWA MOOKS PARK / BEACH DR SW SEATTLE, WA   View MapOffenses• Description:9A.44.083 – Child molestation in the first degree View this statute

  • Blinkyjoe May 24, 2018 (3:25 pm)

    I want to live in Broadmoor, but I can’t afford it. My empathy nerve has steadily gone numb in the past six or so years. We need to treat the homeless crisis like a natural disaster. Like a hurricane or earthquake. Set up Quonset tents on Terminal 5. It’s got space, infrastructure, water, and its near the C-Line. Set up a food tent, a tent for ablution/toilets, and a sleeping tent. Put the residents on a revolving schedule for food service and cleaning. Then, go around to all the camps with buses and round everyone up. They all go to T-5,no exceptions. Its inhumane to allow peoiple to live in the squalor that currently exists. When I was in Bosnia in ’96 with Halliburton, we did it…and for much less than what the city/county is paying currently. 

    • Ms. Sparkles May 24, 2018 (4:11 pm)

      Blinkyjoe – please run for city counsel.  That’s a brilliant idea, and I would vote for you based on it alone. (Yes I know T-5 is not city owned, but that is what cross jurisdictional negotiation if for)

      • Jethro Marx May 26, 2018 (9:56 pm)

        Ah, yes, finally, a leader with big ideas who will enact strong measures to institute law and order! We need law and order! We must round up the miscreants and put them in work camps for their own good! It reminds me of Germany in the thirties! How did it work out, in Bosnia?

    • heartless May 26, 2018 (1:09 pm)

      “Put the residents on a revolving schedule for food service and cleaning.”This is one of those situations where I kinda wanna ask but am also afraid to ask…  What happens if they refuse to work (i.e., be indentured)?You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into the technical aspects, but maybe not as much thought into the human.

  • anonyme May 26, 2018 (12:38 pm)

    Totally agree with Rick, Blinkyjoe, and Ms. Sparkles.  There is absolutely zero representation of law-abiding taxpayers in our current local government, including the council and SPD.  We are treated with neglect and disdain, until it comes time for a tax handout.  As a senior on a fixed income I am sick to death of this hypocrisy. 

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