WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another auto-theft alert

Almost two weeks ago, the Southwest Precinct warned that auto theft was spiking. Today, precinct commander Capt. Kevin Grossman sent the numbers with a renewed alert:

West Seattle Neighbors: The Southwest Precinct has seen a dramatic spike in auto theft in West Seattle over the past 28 days: A 62% increase (that’s 31 more stolen cars than at this time last year). Most of those thefts were of vehicles parked on the street. The neighborhoods that have been hit hardest this year are as follows:

Cars stolen in 2020
Morgan Junction – 94
Roxhill/Westwood/Arbor Heights – 80
Highland Park – 77
Alaska Junction – 75
South Park – 74

This line graph illustrates the steadily increasing number of auto thefts starting in May (the orange line is 2020; the gray line is 2019):

To prevent auto theft, please follow this link for tips. Chief among them:

-Use an anti-theft device (like “The Club”) whenever you leave your car, and
=Don’t leave your car running and unattended (for example, when warming it up in the morning)

Please contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner for more information: jennifer.danner@seattle.gov

Many stolen cars are eventually recovered – though not always in driveable shape (example, today’s North Shorewood crash).

23 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Another auto-theft alert"

  • Morgan December 7, 2020 (9:24 pm)

    I hope we don’t all become inured to rising crime rates over next year or two…I do trust this blog to alert population Factually when things are a steady increasing data trend and not just isolated incidents.

  • WS Bunnyfer December 7, 2020 (10:44 pm)

    I have the best club on the market: stick shift!

    • ttt December 8, 2020 (12:38 pm)

      Same. That is a major reason why we bought ours.

  • WSEA December 8, 2020 (6:07 am)

    Auto theft is huge in west seattle.  I had my car stolen last year but it was a car I did not like that much so I just collected the insurance due to too much damage.   Jokingly, I tell all my out of West Seattle friends to bring their cars to west seattle if they dont want them.   I decided not to replace it and get a second car due to fear of theft and ridiculous insurance. 

  • Georgina December 8, 2020 (6:43 am)

    Would like to hear more about what Southwest Precinct is doing to catch these thieves, instead of only statistics of how auto thefts have dramatically spiked.

    • Anne December 8, 2020 (7:18 am)

      Georgina -why don’t you reach out to Jennifer Dar  -the Crime Prevention Coordinator at the SW Precinct-she is very available & asks folks to feel free to contact her with questions/concerns. 206-256-6820206-471-2849jennifer.danner @seattle.gov

  • NW December 8, 2020 (6:51 am)

    I have an early 90s truck so as a security measure I remove the battery when not in use which for me is most of the time. 

  • John December 8, 2020 (7:27 am)

    Remarkable the Morgan Junction with by far the most car thefts in West Seattle.

    • Rod December 8, 2020 (11:18 am)

      I suggest that the police stage a few cars  in these hot areas with hidden trackers and cameras.  This tactic has been used elsewhere.

  • East Coast Cynic December 8, 2020 (9:43 am)

    It’s not just cars that get stolen around here.  I had a couple of tires stolen from my Honda!  When the tires were replaced, I obtained wheel locks to prevent future tire theft.

  • N December 8, 2020 (11:07 am)

    If SPD just wants to report data and victim blame instead of proactively policing auto theft, they can at least provide free clubs and GPS trackers to the top stolen car brands do discourage it.

    • WSB December 8, 2020 (11:22 am)

      They have provided free clubs, in fact. We’ve published a couple giveaway rounds.

      • N December 8, 2020 (5:55 pm)

        Thank you, I did mean continue to* provide clubs. The need greatly outweighs the supply it seems. 

    • Alki resident December 8, 2020 (11:48 am)

      Defund the police and you expect them to do better auto theft policing?!

      • N December 8, 2020 (6:01 pm)

        In regards to that argument, this is the performance we are getting from a fully-funded police department, as the new budget cuts don’t take effect until 2021. If there is a continued loss of patrol with budget reduction, then I would hope some of that money goes towards enabling citizens to proactively protect their property. I’m not on either side, I just want the city to serve its people, whether that be SPD, the mayor, or City Council, and the data suggests our investment is not paying off for us. 

  • Heartless? December 8, 2020 (2:18 pm)

    Auto theft is a “property” crime, and therefore not a huge priority. In fact, it seems to stand at just a tiny bit more than shoplifting, which is no longer ANY  priority at all !My bet is that 90 out of 100 perps never get caught. The best we can hope for is recovery of the vehicle, and frankly, that is more likely to happen by  citizen involvement than it is by Police investigation. 

    • WSB December 8, 2020 (8:28 pm)

      While we publish stolen cars because people do indeed spot them, a sizable number are found by police, especially using the ALPR (automated license plate recognition) technology. Listen to the scanner sometime (though we have a physical one, that’s not required, lots of ways to listen on the web) – you’ll hear stolen-car recoveries multiple times each day. And then there’s the unfortunate crashed stolen cars, like tonight on Delridge and yesterday in North Shorewood …

  • Flo B December 8, 2020 (4:22 pm)

    Don’t bother with a club. Had one on my car. Crook had a saw and simply sawed through the wheel. 

  • Heartless? December 8, 2020 (5:38 pm)

    Is auto theft a felony?  It needs to be.

    • WSB December 8, 2020 (6:30 pm)

      Yes, it is.

  • Diana December 8, 2020 (7:13 pm)

    Ours was stolen and, weirdly enough, found in Shoreline – not dumped somewhere nearby. I guess the thieves are the only ones who don’t mind the bridge being out.

  • CJ December 8, 2020 (9:31 pm)

    A hack saw and defeats the Club every time

  • bb7 December 9, 2020 (1:18 pm)

    Auto theft is not something that they can easily deter. A pro thief will get around all obstacles 100% of the time. The best theft protection is cameras that are visible and a garage, but even those are no match for a professional. All we can do is make sure the vehicle is found, but don’t rely on trackers because thief’s have devices to block tracker signals. So the best option is to pay your insurance so you can atleast get something back.

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