WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gas gone; bike back

Two West Seattle Crime Watch reports:

GAS THEFT: That photo is from a reader near 42nd/Cloverdale, who reports:

Bad news, my car stalled (Sunday) on the West Seattle Bridge with “fuel empty” signal. I had filled it (Saturday). Heard that people have been drilling into gas tanks to siphon gas – looking under car at mine, looks like that was the case (see pic). Some time between 10:30 pm-6 am (Saturday night/Sunday morning). Apparently Tacomas (which is what I have) are common targets. I drove about 10 mins before light went off. Heads-up to people! Speaking to police, they said not much that can be done to prevent. Looking at parking space after I got home, remnants of the drilling were where the car was parked.

STOLEN BICYCLE RECOVERED: Published today on SPD Blotter:

Police recovered a stolen bike and arrested a 26-year-old man in West Seattle on Sunday following an undercover sting to buy back the bike.

On October 4th, a West Seattle resident called police and reported their garage had been burglarized. Two bikes, worth approximately $4,000, were taken.

The victim later found one of the bikes for sale online and contacted the Southwest Precinct’s Anti-Crime Team, which set up a meeting with the suspect. Undercover officers met the suspect at one location and followed him to a storage unit, where he showed off the victim’s bike.

Police arrested the 26-year-old man, returned the bike to the owner, and booked the suspect into the King County Jail for trafficking stolen property.

23 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gas gone; bike back"

  • Nachobeaver October 8, 2019 (12:09 am)

    This is like the 6th truck this guy has hit this weekend it’s been all over Nextdoor  people do have a picture of him but police won’t do anything unless he’s caught red handed

  • hj October 8, 2019 (1:32 am)

    If people are drilling into tanks to siphon gas, then things are getting really bad. Like ’70s bad.

    • Quora October 8, 2019 (8:11 am)

      Agreed. This is next-level bad.

  • SeattleIsDieing October 8, 2019 (7:20 am)

    The same thing happened to me last Thursday.  There are three vehicles in the shop with drilled out gas tanks.  They are hit Arbor Heights, Shorewood and Burien too. 

  • JCW October 8, 2019 (7:50 am)

    I saw several folks in my area posting recently about drilled gas tanks in the last week too – from Arbor Heights to White Center. I’ll admit, the number of things to lock, prevent, monitor, and look for is getting out of hand. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable trying to keep my family and home secured. 

  • savoirfaire October 8, 2019 (7:51 am)

    I wonder why Tacomas are such a target? A friend of ours had the catalytic converter stolen from hers while it was parked outside our house.

    • miws October 8, 2019 (8:46 am)

      Savoirfaire, Could it be that the under-vehicle ground clearance allows for easy access to crawl under with a drill and gas can (or whatever container)?  I seem to recall, speaking of catalytic converters, that several years ago a particular vehicle (Toyota 4-Runners?) being popular for cat theft because of easy access. —Mike

      • savoirfaire October 8, 2019 (8:56 am)

        That makes sense, miws… clearly I’m not very observant when it comes to cars, so I appreciate your patience with my ignorance :)

        • miws October 8, 2019 (2:09 pm)

          Savoirfaire, not ignorance on your part. It’s understandable to have a curiosity about a particular make/model of vehicle being a repeated target. Although I believe my presumption came to mind right away when reading the article, It may very well be the prior knowledge about the catalytic converters that planted the seed for that to come to mind. —Mike 

          • WSB October 8, 2019 (2:19 pm)

            I just looked up the last time we had reader reports of a series of these. Almost exactly two years ago – and this one too was a Tacoma.
            https://westseattleblog.com/2017/10/west-seattle-crime-watch-1965-valiant-stolen-another-hole-in-gas-tank-case-more/

          • Jenny October 8, 2019 (2:50 pm)

            We had the catalytic converter stolen off a Toyota 4runner years ago. Now apparently Prius’ are the big target, I think due to the type of metal being more valuable. 

          • Nick October 8, 2019 (6:20 pm)

            This happened to me two years ago near Fairmount Park Elementary, parked on Fauntleroy, one of the busiest streets in West Seattle. It was about $1,200 to replace the tank… for a few bucks worth of gas.  Not to mention the ~15 gallons that glugged onto the street. The Toyota dealership is SODO said they see all too often.

  • KBear October 8, 2019 (9:22 am)

    Drilling a hole and draining the tank isn’t “siphoning”. It’s worse. At least siphoning can be done without damage to the car. 

    • Quora October 8, 2019 (11:25 am)

      Good point.

    • dsa October 8, 2019 (12:56 pm)

      No locking cap is available for my vehicle.  I asked the factory dealer why, his best response was that at least if they siphon the gas they won’t damage the vehicle.

  • dsa October 8, 2019 (11:33 am)

    That looks like a plastic tank.

    • sw October 8, 2019 (3:20 pm)

      Pretty sure it is.  Assuming so, it would be quite easy to drill into, and in doing so much quieter than a metal tank.  As mentioned above, more ground clearance makes it easier to access.  

  • Alex S. October 8, 2019 (12:25 pm)

    The vehicle owner and other productive members of society get to absorb the $1000 cost so a tweaker who chooses to live a jobless, vagabond life can get $30 of gas for his junk RV / meth van.Yet the meth head is protected against fines, while the rest of us get tickets for being three minutes late walking back to our cars. Welcome to the insane reality of present-day Seattle. 

  • Rooster October 8, 2019 (1:03 pm)

    My Toyota SUV was targeted back in 2012. Fairmount Pk area. It cost 4k to replace the gas tank. 

    • Mike October 8, 2019 (7:09 pm)

      I assume you took it to the stealership and the gouged you.  Cost of parts and labor should be around $1k at full retail.  The tank is $600 from Toyota, retail.  About 2 – 3 hours of labor.

  • Rooster October 8, 2019 (1:16 pm)

    Typo in my last post. The cost for my Toyota gas tank replacement was 1,300.00 not 4k. 

  • Me October 8, 2019 (1:50 pm)

    The bike was in what Storage place?

    • WSB October 8, 2019 (1:55 pm)

      I don’t have any further information. This is exactly how police posted it. If I get a chance to request the narrative, I will.

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