WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business theft; condo break-ins

Three reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

THEFT SUSPECT SOUGHT: From Jason at Bellevue Rare Coins in The Junction:

This suspect ran with high value item (over $4,000) from the West Seattle location of Bellevue Rare Coins at 5:22 pm today (Saturday, 5/18). There is a $500 reward for any information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

The SPD incident # is 2019-179175.

CONDO BUILDING BREAK-INS: The video was sent by Barbara:

The break-in is one of two that happened at her condo building at California/Juneau May 9th and 11th; suspect photos are at this link. If you have any info, the SPD incident # is 2019-166843.

MORE CONDO BUILDING BREAK-INS: This alert was circulated by Mark Jaroslaw of Alki Blockwatch:

It has come to our attention that three Alki BlockWatch condos – two along Harbor Ave and a third along Alki Ave – had their front-entry KnoxBox broken into between the end of April and the beginning of May. In two of the cases, the small locked box that holds master keys or fobs for fire and police personnel, was literally pried or broken off the exterior wall between midnight and 4 a.m.

In the third case, the thief penetrated the box and stole the master key.

It was further reported that within days of the break-ins, thieves at two locations returned to the scene of the crime with the master key. But by that time, the condos had already replaced the box and re-keyed the building. Apparently deterred, one thief attempted to break into the condo by prying off the faceplate of the front-entry intercom.

In one of the three break-ins, two thieves wearing gloves – a woman in her 20s with long blonde hair, and her boyfriend – somehow managed to get into the building, steal some lobby mail, and broke into a car downstairs. In the second occurrence, the thief broke into downstairs storage lockers and main storage room.

One of the condo surveillance cameras videotaped the thief in the act of breaking into the KnoxBox,
and police they know his identity. Apparently this is his MO.

There are more than 4,000 KnoxBoxes on condos and commercial buildings throughout Seattle. The
recent West Seattle break-ins aren’t the first time these crimes have been reported. In the summer of
2016, KIRO-TV reported that thieves struck KnoxBoxes throughout city, and it occurred again – on a
smaller scale – two years ago this month.

P.S. If you have concerns/questions for police, the next West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting is Tuesday (May 21st), 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).

7 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Business theft; condo break-ins"

  • Jim P. May 19, 2019 (12:47 pm)

    Clearly these boxes are only slightly more secure than just taping the key to the door or hiding it under the mat.If I ran an HOA and this happened, I’d give some serious through to suing the maker of this  “security” item` as these things are clearly an expensive joke and if I was a resident i might contemplate the same action against an HOA who used something easily defeated.Took that guy less than 30 seconds to get in and he knew exactly what he was doing. “Apparently this is his MO.”  Well yeah and a darn easy one it is, so why change a winning method if people want to make it this easy for him to pursue his career.

    • nah May 19, 2019 (2:21 pm)

      Nah, they are a good idea–unless you have a better way for cops and firefighters to get quick access to a condo.  I don’t know where you get the “less than 30 seconds to get in” from, because that’s not what happened with the knoxboxes.  In 2 of the cases reported here it seems like the perps stole the box and then took it somewhere else to drill into it (these boxes are essentially safes–hard to crack) but by the time they broke into the boxes the condos had all been re-keyed….So yeah, I wouldn’t blame the boxes.  (especially without having a suggested improvement/solution).  cheers

  • me May 19, 2019 (1:41 pm)

    Why do they break into condos? Are they just going for stuff in the lobby and garage or do they actually go into the units?

    • Scott Hill Hill May 26, 2019 (3:55 pm)

      In my experience, once they have access to the building, they are looking for lockers and cars to break into… I think they target condominiums because they are traditionally soft on security in order to keep condominium fees low.   

  • Joseph Grande May 20, 2019 (9:03 am)

    The first camera footage is disturbing as it appears this took place in the day.  Nothing but a cell will stop this person. The Knox Box placement and use is dictated by the Seattle Municipal Code.  Without this box the SFD and or SPD would have to break down the door.  Remember a lock only keeps an honest person honest.  A dishonest person will always find a way into a building if they have enough time.

  • rico May 20, 2019 (10:29 am)

    Knox boxes are never required, they are optional and as pointed out above been less than secure in two wide reaching situations in Seattle over the last 10 years.

  • Alex S. May 20, 2019 (12:25 pm)

    Get some lighting in that condo hallway. Security footage is pretty useless if you can’t see the face of the person breaking in. 

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