WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Face to face with a would-be burglar

Received via text from a resident in the 3700 block of Belvidere [map]:

Last night at 1:20 am while I was asleep on our downstairs couch, lights on, TV blaring. I was awakened by someone starting to enter from our sliding back door. As I jump up to see if it’s an animal, I’m startled to find a 5’10-6ft white male trying to enter our home. I stand across from him paralyzed, realizing there is nothing keeping him from entering. I’m 8 months pregnant and fully aware that I cannot move quickly; my husband and 2 year old daughter are asleep upstairs. I start to scream for my husband, the man continues to stand at the door, poised to come in as I continue to scream. Finally, my husband wakes up and upon hearing my husband’s voice he begins to leave. Police arrive at 2:20, explain they had cleared the area, but found no one. The brazen way this man entered and occupied home, and probably would’ve still proceeded if he could validate I was home alone. Which makes this particularly threatening.

43 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Face to face with a would-be burglar"

  • Brenda June 10, 2018 (10:41 am)

    Jesus !

  • Arbor Heights Mom June 10, 2018 (10:49 am)

    so glad you are ok. Terrifying. If you don’t already have a dog (like you need anything more with a toddler and a baby on the way), maybe consider one. Sorry this happened.         

  • Mike June 10, 2018 (11:14 am)

    Glad you’re not physically hurt, but sorry you had a scare like that.  Hopefully they’ll never come back, but you can get security cams pretty cheap now, even at Costco (Arlo is one by Netgear) that’ll help ID people coming or who have come to your place in the past.  Any additional description of this perp would help keep an eye out for some creep in the area.

    • Jon June 11, 2018 (10:38 pm)

      Cameras won’t stop anything and if they’re low-hanging fruit, it’s just an invitation for a thief. I use Arlo cameras and they regularly miss events. Not worth it.

  • Alki resident June 10, 2018 (11:14 am)

    I knew as soon as you said ” sliding glass door” , you had a problem on your hands. If you own the house, get rid of that door. They are so easy to break in to. It clear to me this guy would’ve continued to come in had hubby not shown up. Unbelievable. Arlo is a great camera with clear viewing, get your house secured. I’m so sorry. 

  • Hutch June 10, 2018 (11:53 am)

    Sorry this happened to you.   If you don’t have any at this point I would consider security lights that come on automatically and try to be sure your doors are locked. the harder you make it the harder it is for them to try to enter. 

  • Kim June 10, 2018 (12:16 pm)

    My worst nightmare. I am so sorry. Dogs, locks, fence, security. Thinking of you.kim and family

  • H June 10, 2018 (12:19 pm)

    Holy crap. 

  • Kalo June 10, 2018 (12:36 pm)

    A piece of doweling in the bottom track of that sliding glass door is a pretty good security “lock”.Glad you are OK, these are scary times we live in

  • MJ June 10, 2018 (12:47 pm)

    Get a stick to jam into the elder of the sliding glass door.Very scary.

  • Helpful June 10, 2018 (1:06 pm)

    Terrifying! Someone who would enter an obviously occupied home (lights, TV) in middle of night is clearly very dangerous. Close in location with a home invasion, I would assume police would be there in 5 mins or less..? How long did it take for police to arrive at the scene?

    • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (1:34 pm)

      The police came to our door around 2, so about 30 or more later. We called the police dispatch instead of 911 so I’m not sure if that made a difference in immediacy. They took no fingerprints and I’m trying to follow up to ensure they actually wrote a report. The strangest thing they asked is “if he looked drunk.” This action was far more intentional than incidental.Truly appreciate all of the support, and recommendations. It’s a very strange experience to have when you’ve let your guard down. Vigilance on our end is required. They’re have been a number of landscape contractors in the area. Whomever it was they had to be familiar with our backdoor. It’s not viewable from the street, and extremely difficult to access. Our contractor redoing our bathrooms left the house at 1:15. I’m sure the perp thought it was my husband leaving and we’d be home alone. Truly, that’s the part that scares me the most he was willing to enter an occupied home. 

      • stay safe June 10, 2018 (2:38 pm)

        Weird timing!  So your contractor was there and doing work until 1:15 in the morning(?), and then just 5 minutes after he left you were asleep but immediately woken up by the strange man?Glad nobody was hurt, if it happens again know that in a case like this I’m pretty sure it’s better to call 911 rather than the non-emergency numbers.  

        • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (4:23 pm)

          Our contractor is family friend so he comes and goes with his own key. I was asleep well before he left. I didn’t know he left until this AM when he told me. 

      • dsa June 10, 2018 (2:59 pm)

        Wow, your contractor left at 1:15 and the perp shows up at 1:20.  How extra unsettling is that?  BTW, get that stick in the bottom track of the sliding door ASAP.  You want it snug.  I even have them in my sliding windows.

      • Jon June 11, 2018 (10:49 pm)

        I had a similar home invasion experience while I was in school. One of the apartment complex contractors came by to replace the filters in our central air unit, commented on my TV setup, and then decided to come by in the early afternoon a few days later — probably assuming that I was in class. He attempted to enter through our sliding glass door (and using numerous tools to unlock it) while I was sleeping a few feet away. It turns out that he had many priors (for the same crimes) and that the apartment complex didn’t bother performing any sort of background checks on their workers.It sounds depressing, but that’s the reality of the world: a lot of people scraping by picking up low-paying contract jobs like that aren’t always in the best situations and sometimes have questionable morals.That was my second home invasion. Cops took over an hour to respond. Never again. Invest in learning one or more forms of self-defense and very seriously consider taking a defensive firearms course and look into purchasing a firearm to protect your family. If you have children, teach them about firearm safety and consider a safe if you worry about an irresponsible kid (of friends of your kid).There are many suitable firearms which are tailored towards women and there are various ways of carrying them on your person which are not at all inconvenient or terrible noticeable. If you’d like more information, feel free to respond with an email address you’re comfortable posting (just make a throwaway gmail account) and I’ll send you a document on just about everything you’d ever need to know.Sorry you had to experience what I refer to as a “wake-up call”, but hopefully, you’re more vigilant and realistic about the world as a result. Take care and stay safe.

  • Jim P., June 10, 2018 (1:15 pm)

    It took an *hour* for SPD to show up for a situation like this?Might be time to consider learning how to handle firearms if that’s the response time to something this fraught with danger. Next time the intruder might not be so sociable as to just leave.Silent, panic alarms are worthless if no one responds in a timely fashion. Audible ones on the home are as effective as the ones you hear on cars: That is, not at all.

    • WSB June 10, 2018 (1:28 pm)

      If you read carefully, they were at the house at 2:20, she said, *after searching the area*. I heard the dispatch just before going off watch sometime around 1:30 (unless there was another incident involving Belvidere and someone seen through a sliding glass door). Don’t know the lag time between confrontation and 911 call.

      • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (3:24 pm)

        According to our best cam:1:20:27 AM records a sound event 9 seconds later records motion, which is me standing up. 1:21:21 still standing calling husband 2:21 records police flash lights outside of our home where they are securing the permitterThe police mention going around neighbor’s home and surveying the neighborhood befor getting to our home. So I assume they were active about 2:00 but didn’t reach our home until 2:20. 

    • Mike June 10, 2018 (8:05 pm)

      I’ve been handling firearms since age five, hunted with them at age ten when I could knock down pretty much every clay bird that popped out from in front of me.  Killed my fair share of animals hunting. Until you’ve killed a living being, you don’t understand the power and responsibilities of handling firearms.  It takes years to be confident shooting, much less killing, even more so when stressing over your own safety.  Don’t be fooled by people who toot the NRA mantra, firearms are not the first or best security and defense.

      • Felix Grounds June 11, 2018 (9:20 am)

        Exactly!Unless you want to sleep on the couch with your sidearm (or do housework or whatever) having to carry at all times in your own home is impractical at best.It’s also absurd to think that it’s easy to just shoot someone….Securing the domicile is far and away the most effective and practical defense against intruders.

    • Jon June 11, 2018 (10:50 pm)

      100% agree with everything you’ve said. Sound advice.

  • steve June 10, 2018 (1:49 pm)

    No doubt unsettling.  I’m sorry this happened.  Is there any chance you could elaborate on what this person was wearing.? Colors, jacket, backpack, etc, ?

    • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (3:17 pm)

      Cargo pants and a dark shirt. Brown hair brown eyes, about 5’10-6ft. Medium unathetic build. Very non discerpt. 

  • Diane June 10, 2018 (2:51 pm)

    I live a block away and I was outside last night at this time, surprising amount of folks walking the neighborhood; couple walking dogs, group of teens, individuals, all  walking up & down Belvidere; summer?  I don’t think the officer question about “if he looked drunk” is strange at all, at least prior to gaining more info from you; when people get drunk, it is very common to try to go home but mistakenly go to the wrong house, whether or not in a black-out, it’s possible this was just a young person who was very drunk and made a mistake; agree with the suggestions to put a wood dowel in the base of the sliding glass door; I’ve lived in this neighborhood 11 years, it’s super safe; I understand how this could feel very scary, especially with babe on the way; if you would like, I’d be happy to stop by to visit with you and offer some reassurance

    • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (3:29 pm)

      I hope that is true, but I can’t get to that backdoor sober. There are no stairs just over grown weeds and slippery rotten wood. We’ve never used our backyard because there is a 25ft slope in the back. Getting to the mini railing that leads to the door takes effort. Not to mention the table saw blocking the door that he wedged himself in between to get in. After the cop walked the perimeter, she asked if she could come back through the front door because of all of the thornes and briar. Way to aggressive for an inebriated passer by. Also why would it happen as soon as a car leaves the house? 

      • Diane June 10, 2018 (7:41 pm)

        thanks; that’s a LOT more information that would make it unlikely to be a passerby or drunk mistaking their home

    • Seattlite June 10, 2018 (5:32 pm)

       The victim said her backdoor is not “viewable” from the street. It’s a real stretch to think that a drunk would just happen to walk around a house and know exactly where the back sliding door was.  I live in what would be described as a safe neighborhood but three or four houses have been broken into in the past several years.A heavy dowel is good for sliding doors and windows. Also, an interior removable steel brace for regular doors. Exterior lights and cut back any high bushes that might be around the house.Or, after training and safety rules a good gun, Glock 42, is good for protection.  Stay safe.   

      • Jon June 11, 2018 (11:06 pm)

        Agreed. All sound advice.  You may want to consider, for your non-sliding doors, one of these guys. Any sort of brace will at least delay a home invader, buying you precious time to call the police and to hopefully get something to defend yourself with.If you do go the firearm route, which I recommend if you are a responsible adult who can put in training time, I would consider the Glock 43 over the 42 simply for the fact that the 9mm ammunition performs better in such applications. But if you have extremely weak hands, the 42 is easier to use.

  • abigail June 10, 2018 (3:32 pm)

       Dogs may deter some invaders, but those entering with criminal intent will put  the dog. out of the way. by whatever means

  • Admiral Mom June 10, 2018 (4:02 pm)

    That’s so scary! I’m happy you and your family are all safe. I definitely recommend Arlo as a security camera. Just a heads up, you should always call 911. The response is much faster and it logs it into the system that they use to determine how many officers they should have on duty. The non-emergency line is geared more towards questions. 

  • Westgirl06 June 10, 2018 (4:41 pm)

    Just curious if the sliding door was locked or if he broke the door? So scary!!!

    • Belvidere Resident June 10, 2018 (8:53 pm)

      We had left the door unlocked, totally our fault on that accord. 

      • Westgirl06 June 10, 2018 (10:26 pm)

        Still scary and unsettling. I hope you’re able to rest and get past the incident. 

  • Trickycoolj June 10, 2018 (8:31 pm)

    Yikes scary! Definitely get a dowel or a small piece of lumber in that door track asap!  Home Depot even has pre cut PVC pipes that are about 12”-18” that work perfect for windows, no tools required, limits the opening to a few inches in most windows.  At least if there’s something that will make it take too long the hope is that the bad guys will move on.  What a creep show.

  • Bill Ray June 11, 2018 (8:31 am)

    If you don’t want to keep a firearm in the house, get one of those canned air boat horns. They can be completely debilitating and while that person may never hear quite right again, at least they are still alive. 

    • Jon June 11, 2018 (11:14 pm)

      Yeah — but yourself and the rest of your family also goes deaf, so — not a great solution; especially since it may not actually do much more than anger someone.If someone is willing to break into your home – especially while occupied; doubly so while being confronted by someone – they knew the risks, decided it was still worth their while, and you have every right to defend yourself. At that point, their well-being should be the last on your list of priorities.

  • Gretchen June 11, 2018 (9:22 am)

    Lock all windows and doors and get a weapon and some personal training on how to use it. Your husband can’t be there all the time to protect you and your children and the police will take their sweet time coming to your aid (if you’re able to even call them.)Take responsibility for your safety and invest in a firearm and learn how to use it.Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

  • Native June 11, 2018 (9:49 am)

    I know the feeling as Our beautiful WS starts to look more like Mad Max.Thanks WSB for keeping us informed any more update in Kierra Ward or Nicholas Watson?  The problem we face is our current city administrations position on crime. Commit …stay a night in jail and eat and sleep and release … over and over 

  • sandy June 11, 2018 (12:54 pm)

    I keep hornet spray by the front and back door.  It will spray up to 20 feet and is debilitating if you spray them in the face.

  • Al June 11, 2018 (3:52 pm)

    Hi, I’m with awsda = American women’s self defense association.  Please contact us for a class. I’ve been teaching for 9+ years. Thanks Al my email is Almco@aol.com

  • SW June 12, 2018 (9:28 am)

    The one time my home was broken into the police also took no finger prints.  There are few things that are a higher priority to me personally than someone breaking into my home and the police are not opening cases and doing the leg work necessary to catch these perps – fingerprinting should be a requirement in these situations.

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