WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Shoplift-turned-robbery; purse-snatching suspect charged; catalytic-converter theft thwarted

Three more West Seattle Crime Watch reports tonight:

SHOPLIFT TURNED ROBBERY: The initial police summary says this happened at the Westwood Village QFC this morning. A 911 caller reported a man in the store, stealing beer and threatening employees with a fixed-blade knife. Police arrested the suspect several blocks away and booked him into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

PURSE-SNATCHING SUSPECT CHARGED: The Westwood Village purse-snatching suspect arrested last Sunday is now charged with felony theft. The charging documents have more information on the incident, including an intense struggle. The suspect is 55-year-old Charles A. Waller. The charging papers say he approached the victim as she walked from QFC toward Rite Aid, carrying a bag of groceries and her purse. He tried to grab both, police say; she fell down and he grabbed her wallet out of the purse. She grabbed it back and tossed it into the open window of a car stopped nearby. According to the documents, he grabbed it out of the car and tried to flee with the victim’s phone and cash but fell. By then, the people in the car and a QFC employee were standing over him, and a police officer patrolling at the center had seen the commotion and gone over to investigate. Waller has several convictions from more than a decade ago, including harassment and resisting arrest. His bail is set at $40,000.

CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THEFT THWARTED: The photo and report are from William in Upper Morgan:

Last night someone got about 1/2 through the front pipe next to the catalytic converter on my 2008 Honda Element; the car was parked in our driveway with a light overhead. I guess I was lucky and something scared them off.

18 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Shoplift-turned-robbery; purse-snatching suspect charged; catalytic-converter theft thwarted"

  • Adam April 8, 2021 (8:45 pm)

    Someone tell him you’re supposed to cut around the O2 sensor, not through it. Amateur hour over here. 

  • StopCuttingDownTrees April 8, 2021 (8:47 pm)

    Last night we witnessed a man walk out of Target with a giant-screen T.V. in a shopping cart without paying. No store workers called police.

    • OneTimeCharley April 9, 2021 (6:39 am)

      I am curious; how could you possibly know that ‘no store workers called police’? Do you work for the store in their loss prevention department?

      • StopCuttingDownTrees April 9, 2021 (12:39 pm)

        Several employees told us it was a theft. When I spoke to a manager afterwards, he said police were not called. Another  manager told me it’s company policy not to call police unless the theft is over a felony-level amount or robbery. Online pickups don’t set off the front alarms and the products don’t have the security wraps around them as the items leave the store.

        • Assumptions April 9, 2021 (7:10 pm)

          Your original comment essentially just said you watched a man walk out with a tv without paying, thanks for adding more context.

          People stealing and just walking out with large tv’s… strange times.

    • Michael April 9, 2021 (7:46 am)

      When I worked retail we were specifically told not to interfere in any theft.  You can only make it worse.  A TV is easily replaced and not worth risking bodily harm.

    • Assumptions April 9, 2021 (7:50 am)

      Maybe it was an online order pick up, or they paid in the electronics department.

  • waikikigirl April 8, 2021 (9:12 pm)

    I want to give the woman who fought off her purse snatching attacker and fought for her belongings a GREAT BIG YAHOO!!!It’s not always the smartest thing to do in those circumstances,  she could had been hurt very badly but “YOU GO GIRL”!

  • KayK April 8, 2021 (9:40 pm)

    We installed CatSecurity on our 2007 Element- so far so good.

  • Zoey April 9, 2021 (4:58 am)

    Guy with a knife was at White Center Safeway. Was there in the parking lot when he came out, store security behind him.

  • KM April 9, 2021 (7:28 am)

    Is there a list of makes/models most targeted by cc thrives? I see Elements are hit a lot, but curious about other models and if it’s worth getting a security devices as mentioned above.

    • WSB April 9, 2021 (9:15 am)

      No list. Priuses were the prevalent report – more recently, Elements – but we’ve also had reports of various other vehicles, generally those that are higher off the ground. Surprised to see, in looking at our archives, thqt a report in early 2008 described this as a common crime.

  • Bell April 9, 2021 (11:40 am)

    I was at Walgreens the other day and a guy sauntered in and walked right up to the wine. He then picked out two bottles of his liking and sauntered slowly out of the store all while the cashiers yelled at him. They knew him by name said he comes in all the time and takes whatever he wants and just walks out. No police were called then either because they can’t do anything for some reason. It’s all absolutely ridiculous and beyond infuriating. We have no rights anymore, they’ve all been given to the robbers and thieves. And we’re supposed to just sit back and watch… 

    • WSB April 9, 2021 (11:52 am)

      A claim that “police can’t do anything” is absolutely false and evidenced by multiple reports we’ve published here where shoplifters HAVE been arrested, and charged. (We hear multiple dispatches daily, too.) A business might CHOOSE not to call police but that’s on them. We reported a couple years back on police even working with companies (usually the chains) to try to get them to report these incidents more often. – TR

  • 1994 April 9, 2021 (5:41 pm)

    I hope the purse theft lady is recovering and  great comments from WAIKIKIGIRL . I hope the ‘justice system’ can protect us from 55-year-old Charles A. Waller. I would be very happy to know he is not able to walk about Westwood Village harassing and beating up people and trying to steal their belongings. He has no business visiting WWV again. 

  • CRO April 9, 2021 (6:53 pm)

    Our 2008 Prius also had the catalytic converter almost stolen last night! Something spooked them though because they left their tools, a key ring full of auto ignition keys, and the jack they used (they left the car jacked up). We’re just south of the Morgan Junction about a block off California. Our car was parked on the street though. 

    • John Burkholder April 10, 2021 (9:15 am)

      My catalytic converter was stolen yesterday morning at 2:45 am at the corner of 39th and Graham.  A neighbor reported a strange noise but could not see anything.  This theft will cost in the range of $3000. We are seniors living on limited income but this hurts us all.   

  • John Burkholder April 10, 2021 (9:05 am)

    Catalytic converter theft is rampant. Lost mine yesterday morning at 2:35 at 39th and Graham. A neighbor reported a muffled sawing noise but did not see anybody.  All told, it will cost me $800 including my insurance deductible.  The repair could be well over $3000.  It is an unplanned expense for two seniors living on a limited income. This hurts all of us.  Help your neighbors by reporting suspicious activity.  

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