WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Quarter-million-dollar burglary

A break-in at the vacant health-clinic building at 3400 California SW (past Swedish, future Virginia Mason Franciscan) resulted in loss/damage estimated at ~$250,000, according to the police report. We requested the report after noting a “commercial burglary” logged in the area this past Wednesday. The report says police were called to investigate on Wednesday afternoon; the burglary had happened sometime since the building was last checked a week or so earlier, possibly early that morning, when a fire alarm was activated. On Wednesday afternoon, the investigating officer was shown “areas around the building with extensive damage and removal of copper wire and plumbing. The believed method of access was the forced removal of Seattle Fire Department keys from keyboxes attached to exterior walls. Multiple boxes were removed and presumably forced open to remove the keys and gain access to the building. Ceiling panels were torn down and copper plumbing had been cut and removed. Multiple electrical panels had been torn open and wires cut and removed.” Police also noted, “It appeared the burglars were drinking from bottles of Angry Orchard cider while they were inside the clinic,” leaving a bottle behind, so that was taken into evidence to test for fingerprints.

15 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Quarter-million-dollar burglary"

  • cjboffoli December 17, 2021 (2:19 pm)

    Ah. Well that explains why I suddenly saw private security parked at the entrance of their garage yesterday afternoon as I passed. The fact that their garage and some of their signage has been extensively covered with graffiti for some weeks now may have been a clue to thieves that no one was adequately monitoring this building. The ratio of good people to lowlifes in West Seattle continues to remain too unbalanced.

    • 1994 December 17, 2021 (6:13 pm)

      It seems like the lowlifes are increasing in numbers. What is wrong with people? Too lazy to get a real job because apparently crime pays!

      • The King December 17, 2021 (8:01 pm)

        I think your missing what’s going on here. The people who do these types of crimes weren’t looking for a job in the first place. Our city should be actively trying to remove the drugs  from our streets rather than embracing and enabling this. We have spent billions over the years in medical aid response, fire calls, violent crime. It’s probably been enough money to buy a small country. But hey, let’s keep voting the same, hope it changes and complain when they break into our cars, homes and businesses. Too bad they don’t have a find it fix it app for our drug problem. 

  • Concerned Neighbor December 17, 2021 (2:26 pm)

      I wonder if the police have checked out the recycle place on Marginal for any large suppliers of scrap copper, etc… ?  Or perhaps “frequent flyers” who bring in the copper and other recylables for cash.  I’m pretty sure the burglars wouldn’t want to travel too far to turn their haul in for cash, therefore getting it out of their “hot” little hands quickly.

    • bill December 17, 2021 (4:52 pm)

      It seems pretty likely, doesn’t it? A couple weeks ago I biked across a long, fat wire a couple of dudes were stripping just up the block from that recycler. It would be great if that, or any, recycler could be implicated as an accessory and shut down, but good luck. The evidence is probably melted down by now.

      • Recycle Michael December 17, 2021 (6:24 pm)

        Easy now… WS Recycling plays it by the book… I’ve visited them PLENTY of times. Anytime anything was sold they document I.D. don’t blame them for scumbag actions. They’re just making an honest living…

        • Lagartija Nick December 18, 2021 (10:45 am)

          Thieves wouldn’t be stealing this stuff if “honest” businesses weren’t buying it.

  • RickB December 17, 2021 (4:22 pm)

    What a horrible waste. How much money could the thieves get for the scrap metal? A few thousand, at most, right? $250,000 in damage for that? And think of the environmental impact of having to do all those repairs, which would otherwise have been completely unnecessary.

  • Auntie December 17, 2021 (5:16 pm)

    Perhaps if the metal buyers were to require a contractor’s license for wire, etc. And the scrap yards were to require a licensed mechanic to sell catalytic converters. We must shift control (blame) to the people accepting these metals that they KNOW are illegal. What regular dude walking down the street has a truckload of copper piping. 

  • Cari December 17, 2021 (8:08 pm)

    Well this answers the question about when that VM clinic would open – as in not anytime soon.  I’ve been trying to find status on it anywhere, including from VM.  Nobody knows anything.Sounds like it wasn’t even an active construction project.

    • WSB December 17, 2021 (8:11 pm)

      They are still pursuing permits; I checked on that before publishing this.

  • Howel December 17, 2021 (8:21 pm)

    Meanwhile a thief stole a register from Walgreens at the 35th and Morgan. It was from the cosmetics area. And very empty hahaha. 

    • WSB December 17, 2021 (8:48 pm)

      Well, that might explain the “miscellaneous theft’ call logged there today. And also might explain the found register drawer a reader sent us a photo of …

      • Howel December 17, 2021 (9:18 pm)

        Well now we are the detectives lol! I just imagine the mug shot of a felony charge for stealing an empty register. 

  • Carnofcarnage December 18, 2021 (5:23 am)

    By how it looks with all the graffiti and no lights, i had just assumed it was just another land use action tear down. Maybe thats what the theives thought too? Doesnt make it right but just saying

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