WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Burglary, arson, vandalism at church

Someone burglarized and vandalized St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Admiral Friday evening. We learned about it late Friday after the church’s priest-in-charge, Rev. Elise Johnstone, forwarded a message she had sent to her congregation. From that message:

… Not long before 5 PM, an individual broke into our library in the office/education wing of the building, and then proceeded to set 3 small fires in the library. Providentially, a pedestrian walking on California Avenue heard the glass break and called 911. The police and fire department came, but the individual had already run away from the property by the time the police and fire department arrived. While we have sustained some damage, the situation could have been much worse. One large window in the library will need to be replaced, but a damage assessment company is on their way to SJB this evening to board up the window securely. The fires have damaged 3 places in the carpet in the library and with one of the fires, sadly, the individual lit a wooden cross and a dictionary of the Bible.

There is glass all over the library floor, so for the time being, until an industrial cleaner can come, we will keep the library closed.

The Seattle Police and Fire Department staff were all very helpful, kind, and thorough. This incident is now under investigation, and we will continue to be in communication with the appropriate people at SPD. …

We don’t have the police-report # yet but will add it when it’s available.

8 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Burglary, arson, vandalism at church"

  • B Smith December 18, 2021 (2:21 am)

    This person may or may not need redemption for their sins… Wonder if it’s related to the other glass breaking incidents in N Admiral as of recent. The burglary at the rehabilitation center a few weeks ago and the prior night a man breaking glass and talking to himself on the same block as SPD looked for him after concerned neighbors called in about him. 

  • Mellow Kitty December 18, 2021 (8:49 am)

    Sometimes people are insufferable. This is one of those times.Thank you to the person who called 911 and thank you SFD & SPD.

  • Rick December 18, 2021 (9:41 am)

    Somebody’s not gettin’ into heaven.

  • Mj December 18, 2021 (10:35 am)

    Rick – and the perp won’t need to set fires when he or she is denied entry to heaven and is sent the other way and will be surrounded by fire!

  • Cozy December 18, 2021 (10:38 am)

    This is sad, but glad the damage wasn’t worse. The individual is probably in need of a lot of help, hope the church may pray for them.

    • WSB December 18, 2021 (12:31 pm)

      The full message sent to parishioners included a prayer, yes.

  • BJG December 18, 2021 (12:16 pm)

    Window breaking up and down California Ave is costing tens of thousands of dollars.  One window or two usually doesn’t meet the high insurance deductibles these days and businesses and churches are not doing well.  Someone knows someone or possibly  several persons who like to do this. Please report what you know to SPD. It needs to stop and it’s the right thing to do.

  • HS December 18, 2021 (2:29 pm)

    Add to the CA Ave window vandalism, the relatively recent arson to businesses just south in White Center.

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