WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gym theft; garage break-in; shoplifting; Midas incident followup

Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:

GYM THEFT: Just in from Natalie:

I had my contents (credit cards and cash) from my wallet stolen tonight between 6:45- 7:30 while working out at LA Fitness in West Seattle. The lock was not broken so I’m assuming they had picked the lock. As I was leaving the gym, my credit card company called me to report possible fraud. They tried to use my card at QFC to buy gift cards (I’m assuming) in the amount of 680 and 200. I have 2 credit cards and they tried both for the same amount. Just wanted to get the word out there.

GARAGE BREAK-IN: Thomas sent the security-camera photo and report of what happened at his Harbor Avenue condo:

We had a break in Sunday morning 1:00 am to 1:30. A man was in our garage stealing small items from cars and broke an elevator emergency box off the wall.

SHOPLIFTERS: Justin at Sound and Fog sends this next report and security-camera image:

These three individuals shoplifted at least once from my store. If they’ve done it to me they’ve probably hit other shops in West Seattle. If you see them, please call the police and reference incident number 20-73345.

He says all three were there February 14th and at least one returned this past Monday.

MIDAS SCARE FOLLOWUP: We asked SPD for the report on the incident at the closed Midas that closed Fauntleroy Way SW in The Triangle Wednesday afternoon.

(WSB photo, Wednesday afternoon)

The available report says this started as a burglary call, largely along the lines of what we reported at the time. The officer writing the report mentions the two people (“complainants” in police terms) who called in after they arrived to “fix a hole in the building,” then continues:

According to C(omplainant) 1, he told our dispatchers that he heard some type of banging coming from inside of the shop prior to our arrival. He advised me that this was approximately a ten-fifteen-minute time delay.

Both Complainants walked into the garage office area and heard (possibly) a door shut. Once they heard that they exited the facility and contacted police.

When we arrived, I noticed a painted-over black Chevrolet pickup with items inside the bed. I looked into the window and it appeared as if the vehicle was in disarray. I eventually found the ignition switch of the vehicle hanging from wires underneath the dashboard. There was another white Buick LeSabre Sedan … and a trailer … The trailer was parked at the Northeast corner of the facility. The Buick sedan was parked at the Southwest area of the facility. According to C1, the vehicles were not there (one day earlier) when they came to do an assessment of the hole located at the rear of the shop.

We did a search of the facility and did not discover anyone inside of the facility. … The access area was approximately two feet in height and approximately two feet in width. It appeared that the unknown suspect(s) left (via) the rear door located in the north part of the shop.

According to witnesses at the adjacent apartment complex, they were cleaning the window at the apartment complex from the outside on a ladder. One person stated that they heard what was a large bang that came from the complex. He believed that sound came from a door that was closing. He then advised officers that the unknown suspect was a white male approximately twenty-thirty years of age. He was wearing a black baseball cap along with a black jacket, approximately five foot ten inches in height.

We advised both complainants if there were items that was taken from the shop in back of the pickup truck to start taking them off of there. In doing so they located a small (bag) that contained what possibly were explosives. (Two sergeants) were advised of the situation and notified Arson and Bomb Squad.

The burglary report also says the Community Police Team was asked to work with building owners/management to get a trespass contract so they can deal more quickly with anyone found at the site. And it notes that the black pickup “that had the possible stolen items” was impounded so burglary detectives could deal with it, while the contractors were advised that they could have the mystery white sedan towed “at the owner’s expense” if they chose to. No further info, though, about the items the contractors described as grenades.

27 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gym theft; garage break-in; shoplifting; Midas incident followup"

  • Airwolf February 28, 2020 (7:51 am)

    Natalie, were you using the small black lock boxes?  helpful to know so not to use them again. Sorry this happened to you

    • Natalie February 28, 2020 (12:18 pm)

      It happened in the womens locker room.  

  • Luis February 28, 2020 (8:19 am)

    Regarding the gym theft, perhaps you, the victim, can get QFC to send you the security camera video from the store at the date , time, and cashier of the transaction – and then get security camera information from LA Fitness from the date and time immediately PRIOR to the QFC transaction.  There is likely security camera info from the street cameras outside of LA Fitness and QFC that may be able to be used.  LA Fitness can also examine video to look at the suspect and possibly back-track to the “member” sign-in/card scan.  I hope you can catch and prosecute the suspect and possible ties to a “ring-leader.”

  • Bob February 28, 2020 (8:33 am)

    They work in teams. One person steals. Hands off the credit cards to another person. Who hands off the gift cards to another person.Someone got my credit cards and bank cards for $20,000. It took forever to get my money back. I finally did.  There was video footage of Thieves very clear. No arrests were ever made.

    • notatroll February 28, 2020 (6:56 pm)

      Same thing happened to my family when we went to a recreation center with public lockers. Wallets and phones, all stolen. Gift cards were made, shoes were bought and McDonald’s eaten. There was video of suspects but no arrests yet. Lesson learned. 

  • Daydreamer February 28, 2020 (9:23 am)

    I think it’s kind of shady to put up people’s picture for shoplifting when it actually just one person’s word against no one. How do we know someone isn’t just mad at a rude customer or an old girlfriend and puts their picture up and says SHOPLIFTER!!! 

    • Neighbor February 28, 2020 (10:47 am)

      Well, the fact that they referenced a police report is a pretty good indicator. Do you really think a shopkeeper would risk criminal charges for false reporting just because a customer was rude? 

    • S&F February 28, 2020 (11:57 am)

      I disagree, I think stealing from a small business is the real shady thing to do. We have the video (as does the detective), and at the suggestion of the police sent the photo to the WSB. We also have an admission by one of these individuals that we confronted. 

    • Alex S. February 28, 2020 (12:05 pm)

      Behind every entitled criminal, there are always a bunch of clueless enablers.  It’s hard not to notice this new tactic of making the thieves out to be victims, and the victims out to be perpetrators. Continuing with this extreme irony theme: from the photo, it’s just so obvious these young shoplifters are too disabled and disadvantaged to get a job and actually contribute to the community. We need to raise more taxes on working people to continue subsidizing those who refuse to work, and inventing new programs which allow them to milk the system even further. 

      • Dino (flinstones) February 28, 2020 (12:38 pm)

        Thank you Alex and S&F.  i agree wholeheartedly.  as for Daydreamer?  Loser. After 5 thefts, I have no patience.  I’ll take my chances with being wrong, and I don’t think that the people at Sound and Fog are wrong for doing what they did.  

    • Ice February 28, 2020 (4:45 pm)

      Please have a good look at how libel torts work. If this was just a lie and a smear done by Sound and Fog, merely having this published would be grounds for a very dangerous lawsuit. Very few business owners would be so arrogantly stupid to do something like that.

      • WSB February 28, 2020 (5:41 pm)

        Haven’t had time to jump into the discussion until now, but please note, this is not, say, a social-media site where anybody can (and will) post whatever they want. WSB is an edited site, owned and operated by longtime journalists. We vet what we get. – TR

  • Ashlyn February 28, 2020 (9:56 am)

    RE: the gym theft – Pretty much the same thing happened to me two summers ago at that LA Fitness, but cards were used at the Westwood Target. Time stamps of the transactions allowed security footage from Target to be found, but police stopped returning my calls after that was communicated to me. The LA Fitness told me the building owner will not allow security cameras, even at the front doors, so I’m not surprised this keeps happening. You could keep valuables in your car, but there are break in issues in that garage as well. You could also use the smaller lockers outside of the changing rooms for valuables, but there aren’t always ones available. It’s pretty annoying.

    • CAM February 28, 2020 (10:17 am)

      That building has security cameras in multiple locations. In the garage, outside the building, near doors, and inside the apartment building. Maybe they won’t let LA Fitness put up their own cameras but unless they went through and removed dozens of cameras that were installed when it was built 5 years ago, there’s tons of cameras already. 

  • Patrick Wirth February 28, 2020 (10:22 am)

    My thoughts exactly Daydreamer! Could very well be true, but to the action of actually posting pictures of people that are actually innocent until apprehended, tried and convicted is a scary place to go. I know crime is up in West Seattle and I hate it! But let’s be a little more responsible in reporting.

    • KBear February 28, 2020 (11:29 am)

      Posting surveillance pictures of alleged criminals—one of them being caught in the act—is not irresponsible reporting, Patrick. It does not infringe on their right to due process in any way. You and Daydreamer are being ridiculous.

      • Patrick Wirth February 28, 2020 (5:31 pm)

        Not being ridiculous in the least. I have already apologized once I found out that there was video evidence! Hoping for retribution! Settle down.

        • KBear February 28, 2020 (8:52 pm)

          No, Patrick. Even the still photos are legitimate reporting of these crimes. You were right to apologize because your accusation of “irresponsible reporting” was way out of line. 

          • Patrick Wirth February 29, 2020 (10:03 am)

            OK, all done making it clear what a bad person I am for making a mistake in my commenting? I tried to remove my original comment once I realized I was in the wrong. I apologized. It could/should have stopped there. 

    • Anne February 28, 2020 (11:46 am)

      Daydreamer & Patrick-from the shoplifting story-seems this a security camera photo-not just a cell phone pic-snapped by Justin at Sound & Fog of “ a rude customer or an old girlfriend” He also includes a police incident report number. Have no problem with him posting it -especially if it could alert other merchants.Guessing -for the most part little if nothing happens to shoplifters -so being proactive is a good thing.

    • S&F February 28, 2020 (11:59 am)

      Hey Patrick, we have video and it’s very clear what happened. We posted the photo at the suggestion of the police. 

      • Patrick Wirth February 28, 2020 (5:29 pm)

        I didn’t realize you had video evidence! That makes a huge difference! I didn’t see that mentioned when I read about this. Accept my apology and hope for retribution! 

    • Alex S. February 28, 2020 (12:17 pm)

      “Innocent until apprehended” is the biggest joke I’ve seen anybody post in a while, Patrick.   Shoplifting is rampant in Seattle right now, and it’s killing small and local businesses which have very small profit margins – including many of our local grocery stores.  Here’s the reality: small-time shoplifters and big-time shoplifting rings are rarely prosecuted, as our criminal-hugging city attorney and even weaker municipal judges rarely even prosecute misdemeanor cases. Unless the shoplifter uses a weapon, he or she knows nothing will happen to them no matter what they steal.   And thanks to ridiculous trial lawyers who have sued small establishments on behalf of apprehended shoplifters, our local businesses cannot stop crimes as they are being committed, and are at the complete mercy of lazy, often-violent serial thieves.  

  • Alex S. February 28, 2020 (12:45 pm)

    A “scarier place to go” is playing itself out on a routine basis in this city, where entitled criminals find validation & “empowerment” from a fairly sizable segment of left coast cities’ populations. As a result, thieves often escalate their criminal behavior and eventually end up using weapons & violence to feed their habits or support their depraved lifestyles.  The more crimes they commit (even low-level misdemeanors) the less likely it is they will ever re-connect with the communities they prey upon.   Enablers always think they are helping and acting out of compassion.  But when you look at outcomes, their deeds and actions are having the exact opposite effect on everybody.  As for those who are simply paranoid and do not believe private business have the right to use video recording to mitigate criminal behavior in their places of business, I say: good luck.  Video surveillance will continue to spread until anti-social, anti-community behavior starts to decrease.   Just look at the Harbor Avenue condo break-in suspect chatting away on his phone. He looks happy as a clam.

  • valvashon February 28, 2020 (3:00 pm)

    That white Buick LeSabre has been at the Midas on (and apparently off) for quite a while now.  My guess is that it’s not involved in the break in.

  • K February 28, 2020 (6:24 pm)

    I just  sent a picture West Seattle blog email of the same person who broke into our condo on Harbor Sunday night as well…..Better picture looked right up at Camera.  I will be sending it to SPD in morning.

  • 1994 February 28, 2020 (9:28 pm)

    LA Fitness has a lot of locker thefts. I am surprised people continue to pay for going there. Maybe LA Fitness should hire locker room attendants to roam around the locker room,  keep things clean, and keep the lockers safe from prowlers.

Sorry, comment time is over.