WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2020 stats, and 3 recent reports

In West Seattle Crime Watch – stats, summaries, and reader reports:

2020 CRIME STATS: Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz talked about them in a media briefing today. Here are the stats for the Southwest Precinct – which encompasses both West Seattle and South Park – for this year and the past two years.

The chief focused his citywide comments on the homicide rate, up 61 percent this year, to 50. Two were in West Seattle; both resulted in arrests and charges – the Junction death of Jana Layman in January and the Delridge death of Derrick Lacomb in September. As Chief Diaz noted in his remarks, the Alki Avenue suitcase-bodies murders are not counted as Seattle cases since the victims were killed in Burien.

Also tonight – from the SPD Significant Incident Report summaries, a confirmed gunfire incident last week:

SHOTS FIRED: The SPD summary says this happened just before 10:30 pm last Thursday: “A witness heard two to three shots in the area of the 2500 BLK of SW Findlay St. The witness saw a brown Lincoln Continental, and a black SAAB leave the area. Officers arrived and contacted the witness. Officers recovered evidence of a shooting and checked the area for witnesses, cameras, and additional evidence.”

And two reader reports:

BICYCLES STOLEN: The photo and report are from Erynne:

Somebody broke into the apartments at 4801 Fauntleroy Way SW last night and took a bunch of bikes; pictured here is my boyfriend’s bike that got stolen.

Case # is 21-008373.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFTS: Still happening, reports Wendy: “Just wanted to get the word out that only a month ago, thieves stole catalytic converters from 2 Priuses within a block vicinity of my house in the 38th/39th and Hanford area, and just a couple of nights ago, they got my 16-year-old Prius.” This too has been reported to police. Back in September, the precinct’s Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner offered some prevention advice.

8 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2020 stats, and 3 recent reports"

  • AlexC January 11, 2021 (10:11 pm)

    My Safeway driver told me last week that a week before that all their trucks had catalytic-converters stolen in the middle of the night by what looked like a white car. This was somewhere in more north east Seattle. Seems like a big problem across the board which makes me wonder why they haven’t figured yet who is buying them all and to what end.

    • Will S. January 12, 2021 (1:41 am)

      I mean, they have figured it out. A catalytic converter functions because it contains a few grams of platinum or palladium or rhodium, all of which are metals that sell for hundreds of dollars per ounce. Catalytic converter theft is now a nationwide problem, and the buyers of stolen converters are lurking nearby in plain sight. Police departments (SPD is certainly not alone here) seem to have little interest in cracking down on this market.

  • Andros January 12, 2021 (10:04 am)

    My feeling on the theft numbers are that they are skewed downward since nothing is ever done about theft/robbery really.  A few weeks back, I witnessed someone walk into Walgreens, steal 4 bottles of wine from behind the counter and walk out.  They staff all saw it, but they have been told to not engage and not to call the cops. Even with video evidence, they said it wasn’t worth it.  I heard the entire conversation with the staff, so I know where they are at.   I think that number is way higher at this point, but since the police and system never prosecute for petty theft, we are turning a blind eye to it.   

    • WSB January 12, 2021 (10:11 am)

      If people don’t report crime, it’s a mistake. Assuming “nothing is done about it” is *not true*. We’ve reported countless cases with arrests. What happens post-arrest may not be to people’s liking but for starters, it gets somebody off the street for a day or two. If you don’t report a theft – as I’ve been known to explain to people who email Crime Watch reports – if/when police find your stolen stuff (yes, that happens too – multiple reports lately of returned bicycles, packages, etc.), they don’t know who to return it to. Report crime. The online tool is quick. We’ve been car-prowled twice in recent years, nothing taken but we made the reports anyway.
      https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting

    • AMD January 12, 2021 (10:52 am)

      What you described isn’t a new policy, nor is it limited to that one company.  Most big retailers I worked for even 20 years ago said it’s not worth the time/effort to stop and talk to police when they show up (talking to police slows down productivity).  Whatever impact the choices to not call the police makes, it would be the same every year dating back decades, so the year-over-year numbers are still helpful.  In my experience, it had nothing to do with what the police would or wouldn’t do with the report, it was driven by a corporate policy of making sure every minute on the clock was spent on core operations (stocking shelves, running cash register, signage updates, etc.).  Someone decided they lose more money not getting these things done than the $10 that bottle of wine was worth.

    • zark00 January 12, 2021 (10:54 am)

      @ ALEXC – They steal catalytic converters for the precious metals, like platinum.  There is a small amount in each one, so they steal a bunch then sell them to like a junk yard or something.  They’re worth enough to be worth stealing, but not enough to warrant a big expenditure to bust the perpetrators.  It’s been a thing basically since catalytic converters have existed.@ Andros – Good thing we base decisions on facts about crime and not your feelings about crime.  People didn’t just start stealing things from Walgreens in 2020. 

    • data v introspection January 12, 2021 (11:28 am)

      Hi Andros, two quick points:

      1) if the data are skewed by under-reporting, then all of the data will be skewed in that manner, and so the trends are still relevant.  

      2) we need to be more diligent in understanding data, and not immediately discounting it because of personal experiences.  That’s a road that we really don’t want to go (any further) down.  

  • faceless January 12, 2021 (8:20 pm)

    Hey Eyrnne, Did your boyfriend happen to register his bike on bike index.org? If so can you please have him go to the site and register the bike as stolen so we can start looking for it.  Cheers

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