12:10 PM: Two reports in West Seattle Crime Watch so far today:
RECOGNIZE THESE BURGLARS? The Southwest Precinct is circulating those images, asking for help identifying burglars who broke into the lobby at an apartment building in the 6500 block of California SW at 5:30 am last Saturday (February 20). Police say the burglars “left at 5:43 carrying several items from the storage units and pushing two bicycles.” If you have tips on who these are, you can contact the investigating detective at 206-256-6821 and refer to incident 21-043068.
And a first-person reader report:
CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THIEVES HIT 2 MORE ELEMENTS: Sometime early this morning, thieves took the catalytic converters from our 2004 Honda Element and that of a similar-vintage Element down our street in Upper Fauntleroy. It was sometime after we went off watch around 3 am; another neighbor reports hearing a “metal-grinding” noise around 4 am. So how do you know your catalytic converter has been stolen? As others have noted, trying to start a car without this piece of equipment generates an obnoxiously loud noise (noxious odor, too). As high-ticket as these items are reported to be (we haven’t taken it in yet so don’t have an estimate), SPD told us these thefts can be reported online, unless you have video or a witness. (It’s a clunky process – we’ve done it before for car prowls and a bike theft – so allot 10-15 minutes.) Our most-recent reader reports of catalytic-converter thefts/attempts: Last Sunday, an Element in Pigeon Point and Prius on Beach Drive; a few days before that, an Element southwest of The Junction.
ADDED 1:17 PM: Minutes after publishing that, while embarking on a neighborhood walk, we saw this in a curbside gutter about two blocks from HQ:
No way to know if it’s ours; only mark we could see without picking it up is “Made in USA” (Elements are, partly). Did find an interesting video while looking online for visuals. (UPDATE: Thanks to the commenters who note that our photo shows a muffler, not a catalytic converter.)
ADDED 2:16 PM: At least one more Element catalytic converter was stolen overnight – Tami emailed us to say thieves took the one from her 2005 Element parked in front of her house in Upper Morgan.
ADDED 7:14 PM: And we’ve heard from yet another recent theft victim, who called us to report that her Element’s catalytic converter was taken during the day Friday near California/Holly in Morgan Junction.