WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Good Samaritans pursue purse snatcher; suspected stolen car

In West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, two reader reports:

PURSE SNATCHER PURSUED: Earlier this evening, a texter reported seeing “several adults pursuing several teens” in The Junction. We were unable to find out what it was about – until this report that just arrived, from Lynda:

I wanted to give a HUGE shoutout to the local community to help retrieve my purse after it had been snatched this evening around 6:15 PM.

I was sitting at the Lodge with friends next to the window and a teenager grabbed my purse off of my chair. There was a group of 4 teenaged, black men in hooded sweatshirts with their pants hanging below their waists loitering in front of the Lodge. I turned my back for one second and one of them grabbed my purse which was hanging on my chair on the INSIDE of the restaurant furthest from the window. I immediately jumped out of my chair, through the window onto Alaska, and gave chase. I screamed as loud as I could for anyone to stop the (*&#@&*&^%$$ with my red purse. I didn’t realize it at the time, but everyone on California came to my aid. People were literally jumping out of windows and running down the street to help me catch this POS and get my purse back. I swear, it was like something out of ‘Starsky and Hutch’…LOVED IT! Well, I loved it in hindsight.

Thank you to EVERYONE for helping me, as I truly felt helpless running down the middle of California in my flip flops screaming. I want to give a special shout out to the man and his son that ultimately forced the thief to toss my purse. This man was/is total bada** and I believe the thief knew he was done at this point. I also want to REALLY thank the staff at the Lodge, there were at least 4 staff personnel that ran after the thief alongside me. They were truly intent on getting the thief and they went above and beyond the call of duty … thanks Tita and staff!

Also tonight:

STOLEN CAR? This has been in a local parking lot for two days, keys in the ignition, we’re told:

Police notification to come but in the meantime, if it happens to be yours, let us know.

27 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Good Samaritans pursue purse snatcher; suspected stolen car"

  • MJK September 4, 2019 (6:44 am)

    I had seen about 4 or so teens matching this description hanging out in front of the C stop in the Junction at approx 5pm causing an issue w/ a pedestrian. I’m wondering if this was the same ones the were involved.Did the thieves get apprehended by police? The junction over the past few years (if not more) has become an unfortunate magnet for drifters, homeless and addicts. My hope is that there is an increased police presence to help make it feel safer. This should be a place for everyone but not if you’re going to cause trouble. 

    • hj September 4, 2019 (9:09 am)

      There is definitely a well-known group of 3-4 kids matching this description behind a lot of trouble in the Junction. I have seen a similar group get kicked out of Bartell’s in Jefferson Square the moment they entered, so there must be some context.

    • SB September 4, 2019 (9:22 am)

      I drove up Alaska going westbound and turned onto California and watched them walking together just before the snatching. I’m almost certain it was them. They were so damn obvious and disrespectful, but they don’t care. One thing I have to say is, luckily West Seattleites are really good at coming together. That’s what’s needed more than anything is watching each other’s back and helping when needed. West Seattle seems to have a good crowd of family oriented folks and it’s up to us to police out environment and rid these dumb a**es who think they can come through and disrupt the peace. Not going to happen. Just have to keep our eyes and ears open and help each other out.

  • BKRDT September 4, 2019 (8:31 am)

    I love that people didn’t hesitate to help! Kudos to all involved except for the coward who started the whole problem. 

  • West Seattle Hipster September 4, 2019 (8:41 am)

    I will reach out to CM Herbold this morning and express my concerns and ask if she has any ideas on dealing with crime in the Junction.

  • Mj September 4, 2019 (10:07 am)

    West Seattle Hipster I would not hold my breath looking for answers from Lisa.  All I know is SPD officers I have talked to off the record are hoping for changes on the Council!

  • carrie September 4, 2019 (10:36 am)

    New York City life certainly trained me on this front.  purse on my lap and hooked over my arm, etc.   I see so many folks with their purses, etc. right in the open windows and all I can think is accident waiting to happen.  Glad you got your purse back.

    • WSB September 4, 2019 (10:54 am)

      Unfortunately that’s no guarantee. We’ve had past incidents of people trying to pull purses off people holding them close.

      Anyway, a few other points brought up in discussion:

      I’ve requested the full police report on this and while it’s still in transcription, media relations was able to tell me the suspects were juveniles; no arrests.

      As for Junction crime, CM Herbold wrote about it in June:

      The crime-related community groups will be resuming meetings this month too so that’s a great place to take community concerns – West Seattle Crime Prevention Council on third Tuesdays, Block Watch Captains Network on fourth Tuesdays. We as always will preview both here when agenda info’s available. – TR

    • Chuck September 4, 2019 (9:01 pm)

      Carrie, I sure appreciate the intent of your post, but to call a purse-snatching or ANY crime “an accident” is a bit of soft victim-blaming in my opinion and part of the problem. Some creep intentionally STOLE from another, and that is a crime, period. Enough said. Huge kudos to all who got involved and took chase. Good people are everywhere and far outnumber the dumbasses. Way to go West Seattle!!And yeah, I can’t wait to vote out the lax attitudes regarding things like getting drunk and sleeping on the sidewalk that our elected officials obviously condone. It’s just not that hard to support and enforce the laws (and moral values!) that make community safe for all. I hope SPD is finally allowed to do the job they’re paid to do. Looking at you, current City Council! I hope the lot of you get tossed. 

  • 935 September 4, 2019 (11:48 am)

    WSB – Do you mean this dreck? :”Commercial Block WatchIn January, the West Seattle Junction Association invited merchants in the Junction to a focus group to strategize about how to create a communication network to help community members support one another by sharing “suspicious activity” in the business district. The Commercial Block Watch plans to meet quarterly and will be joined by an officer with Seattle Police Department to provide an update about the illegal activity in the area.I value the concerted effort of our small business community members, working with law enforcement, to develop and implement local solutions to address illegal activity in our neighborhoods. Creating greater cohesion in business districts can go a long way to ensure that we aren’t over-committing our limited City resources on individuals who repeat low-level property crimes out of desperation or as a symptom of a behavioral health challenge. Eyes and ears on the street to sound the alarm on this kind of activity is an effective strategy to divert people to more effective interventions than the criminal justice system provides.You can check out a video from the focus group and register to be part of the Commercial Block Watch here.”This is only informative insofar as how low her priority is for resolving the issue….I read: ‘y’all go ahead and handle it yourselves – I’ll write a bunch of nonsense words and make it look like I’m doing something’Oh and this nugget: “Eyes and ears on the street to sound the alarm on this kind of activity is an effective strategy to divert people to more effective interventions than the criminal justice system provides.” clearly describes her penchant and support for depolicing.Can’t WAIT to vote for her challenger.

  • UrbanVillager September 4, 2019 (11:57 am)

    Not that the police are likely to do anything about it by way of any follow up, but people matching the descriptions given above made their way over to 7-11 immediately afterwards, which should be captured on their security video, assuming they have any.

  • T Rex September 4, 2019 (1:47 pm)

    These punks need a good old fashioned a** whopping in my opinion. Of course that is not politically correct these days. 

    We as a community need to make them uncomfortable and let them know we are not afraid of them, even if they travel in numbers. And this event has done exactly that. More than two other readers of this blog think they have seen them in the Junction before so now I will be more observant than I am already. 

    Lynda, you are a brave soul and I commend you and all the others who went after these guys, be safe everyone. More than anything be strong and look out after your West Seattle neighbors. 

    • SS September 4, 2019 (2:48 pm)

      Not “politically correct” or just that most people who would steal a purse would also pull a gun when confronted with an “a** whoppin”? Of course that wouldn’t stop all the Walter Mittys who comment on this blog..

      • PDiddy September 4, 2019 (9:31 pm)

        Thugs are thugs. If they pull a gun, a stick a knife whatever pull one back. I bet they cry like babies. Most rarely hold on to the tough guy stance one the victim fights back. I am all about self empowerment and tired of being required to be the victim. These people are trash. Pure and simple. Hit back.

    • mariem September 4, 2019 (10:18 pm)

      T Rex, An a*# whopping is actually a crime. It’s not a matter of being politically correct. It’s the job of the parents to parent the teens sans physical violence and the justice system to deal with the crime.

  • Al September 4, 2019 (2:39 pm)

    Sorry this happen to you. I have dealt with these folks before as they wanted my stuff. I told them to try and get it. It’s been reported.also I know Paul Glaser  ( Starsky )and will send him the note about S and H. 

  • Frank September 4, 2019 (2:42 pm)

    The police response in this city is a JOKE.  Case in point, we have a drunk, passed out individual sprawled out on the sidewalk in front of Easy Street with open containers and garbage right now and the police response was “well, sleeping on the side walk is a ‘thing,’ and as long as the individual is not hurt we don’t tell them to move.”  Really, you can just litter, get drunk, pass out and block the sidewalk and the police response is, “well, its a thing.” The cluelessness is astounding; this kind of environment breeds crime and encourages derelicts.  No wonder we have all these problems. No accountability.  

    • T September 4, 2019 (3:49 pm)

      So true Frank.

  • Rick J September 4, 2019 (10:44 pm)

    While I don’t condone this behavior in any way, shape or form I do have a problem with the description of the accused.  Seems really racially charged and unnecessary.

  • Lynda September 5, 2019 (9:12 am)

    Just for the record, I am NOT a racist and you’re wrong in making any reference at all, just calling ’em like I see ’em.  Per my exact description, “…4 teenaged, black men in hooded sweatshirts with their pants hanging below their waists…” this is a factual description of the person(s) that were involved in stealing my purse.  They were NOT female, they were NOT white and they were NOT wearing dresses.  Curious to know how you would describe these individuals?  There has to be some reference to skin color, age, clothing or SPD would have to interrogate everyone on the street.  Your comment makes no sense.

    • db18 September 5, 2019 (1:27 pm)

      I am Lynda’s neighbor. And I happen to be up on California when the crime occurred, as soon as I saw Lynda running down California chasing these guys, I got up out of my seat at the bar I was in and started chasing after her and the guys who stole her purse. After she got her purse back and the srama was over, I went home. On my way home at the corner of 48th and Edmonds there he was the guy who stole the purse. He recognized me as one of the people who was chasing him and he started running. I got a couple of photos of him I immediately called 911 gave them his location and then I chased after him until he went into someone’s backyard and then I decided to let the cops handle it. Anybody who wants to call Lynda racist is a fool. These were 4 black teenagers. Facts are facts. Lynda is NOT a racist she is stating facts. Here is proof. End of conversation…

  • jk September 5, 2019 (3:43 pm)

    I also felt a bit taken aback by the description of the pants hanging down…   not so nice… like it is easy being an African American teen in this country right now… or in a mostly white community… 

    • Wiseup September 5, 2019 (8:05 pm)

      I’m so sorry you had to deal with this Lynda. Especially now being called a racist. Saying someone is wearing sagging pants makes you a racist? Unreal! In this case these teenagers are criminals and racism is playing a part, why? It’s probably Lynda’s fault she went out to dinner and had her purse in sight for these criminals to steal too. This is absurd! Jk and rick open your eyes and grow up, it’s a description not racism. 

    • T Rex September 6, 2019 (7:49 am)

      JK, why are you taken aback regarding the pants hanging down, have you not seen the kids that come out of West Seattle High or Stealth when school gets out. Some kids, black and white wear their pants very very low, some showing their underwear for God’s sake’s. It has been happening since the 1990’s and it is disgusting. What is even more disgusting is their parents let them dress like that. This style came from men’s prisons wearing their clothes baggy so they could hide things in their clothes. And kids think that is cool? And it is tough being a kid period these days. Black and white. Stop pouring gasoline on the fire. 

      • Community Member September 7, 2019 (9:19 pm)

        @ T Rex – Yes, as you point out, pants sagging is a very common fashion, worn by many high school students, and you could easily see many students at Sealth or WS wearing their pants that way, including college-bound scholars, honor roll, and student council members. Just as you would also see many students wearing back packs for school or wearing hooded sweatshirts for warmth. The very commonality is what has made it racially loaded in this thread. Yes, let’s all watch out for any young black man wearing this common fashion? Whether you personally find the fashion appealing or disgusting is irrelevant – the way this thread went, there has been an implicit linkage of criminalty with clothing style and race, going far beyond the specific suspects in a specific crime, and extending to basically any African-American teens hanging out in the Junction area.  That has racist impact, and I am very surprised that the editor hasn’t stopped it.

  • Margaret September 8, 2019 (6:57 am)

    Yeah i agree that based on the pics the description of the suspect’s pants “as hanging below their waists” is a racist comment as well as potentially misleading descriptor.  I personally think based on the photos the jeans look totally normal.    I ain’t saying stealing is ok but I think the kiddo is cute and kids go through things and screw up and i hope we can find a way to hold them accountable without ostracizing them which is likely to only increase deviant behavior.  For this reason i’d like to question the appropriateness of public discussions that include photos of juvenile suspects and racially charged descriptors.  I actually think this could be a safety issue for these kiddos given the increased prevalence of hate crimes targeting minorities recently.  

Sorry, comment time is over.