GRATITUDE: Robbery victim thanks those who helped her afterward

Two weeks ago today, a West Seattle woman was robbed at gunpoint at the BECU ATM next to the Mobil gas station in Morgan Junction. Tonight, we are sharing her open letter of gratitude to those who helped her afterward:

I write to express my thanks to all of you who helped out a couple weeks ago.

As you may have read about in the WSB post, I was robbed at gunpoint at the ATM on a bright and sunny Sunday morning (September 10). The incident took place so quickly that I could hardly believe it happened, though I’m pretty sure I immediately went into shock. Afterward, I remember running into the gas station area asking for help, that I’d just been robbed. Apparently, I was also repeating the license plate number of the getaway car over and over, though I didn’t realize I was doing that out loud!

I am so very grateful for all of you that helped out in that moment, with your time and energy, kindness and compassion. I’d sometimes wondered how people could be helped out in an incident and afterward not know the names of the people who had helped them. And now, well, I understand! I have no idea what any of your names are. I don’t know where you live, or what you do.

What I DO know is this. I remember a man in a reddish button-up shirt who walked over to me, asked if I wanted a hug (I did), asked if my car was still there (it was), asked if I wanted to sit down, and walked me over to sit down in my car while encouraging me to breathe. I remember him saying that he didn’t have his phone that day, or he’d loan it to me to call home (I did not yet realize that I still HAD my phone in the car). I also remember three different people who all had their phones out talking to 911 so quickly after I asked for help. I’m not sure if they were the same ones, but there were also multiple people who came and checked in on me and expressed concern before they headed out. There was a woman across the street who noticed “an odd number of people really close to the ATM,” and took a picture of the getaway car as it peeled out and drove away. She stuck by me the whole rest of the time, passed her phone to me to talk to 911 dispatch, and just made sure I was okay through the whole conversation with police and until my family came. Her consistent presence and empathy made all of it much easier.

The police also showed up quickly, and the officer who talked with me was calm and supportive the whole time. I noticed in the background all the other police officers buzzing around and talking with all of you who were in the gas station or parking lot when it happened.

I hope I thought to say thank you in the moment, but I’m honestly not sure if I did. So here it is again. Thank you so very much to all of you who supported me right after the robbery. It was such a scary experience, but then followed immediately with kindness. Though all of you were strangers, I felt well taken care of until my family arrived. I’m holding on to that gratefulness as I process all of the other feelings that come up.

I appreciate you!

If you have any tips in the case, the police incident # is 23-262270.

11 Replies to "GRATITUDE: Robbery victim thanks those who helped her afterward"

  • AdmResident September 24, 2023 (8:56 pm)

    So great to see the community coming to help one another!! 

  • HS September 24, 2023 (9:01 pm)

    I want to thank you for sharing this. Your experience, not the crime, is the WS that I know and love. Kudos to all that helped and especially to the woman who saw something ‘off’ and took a photo. Thank you again for taking the time to write this.

  • out of town Mom September 25, 2023 (7:50 am)

    I too want to thank you for writing this… while I do not live in West Seattle any longer, my kids still do.  There have been so many scary things happening in West Seattle since we have left. I worry about them, and read the blog faithfully.  Your thank you letter made me tear up. I am so grateful that so many people came to your aid even though they were strangers. I surely hope that the guys that did this to you are caught and prosecuted…..any word on that??  So, thanks again for sharing your experience. 

    • Author September 27, 2023 (8:27 pm)

      Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ve caught anyone yet. They do have a police detective on the case, so they’re working on it. It’s definitely a kind of crazy time, but I was truly heartened by our community.

  • Kat September 25, 2023 (9:42 am)

    Hi, Yes thank you for your gratitude letter!! I am thankful you are ok. Having all those people come to your rescue and express concern and kindness in a terrifying situation reminds me we are not alone in this thing called life.

  • Deb September 25, 2023 (10:31 am)

    I am so sorry that you had to experience this horrible situation, and I’m so relieved that you weren’t hurt. Your thank you message is so kind and so welcome. Thank you to all of those who keep their eyes, their ears, and their hearts open on our behalf as we move through our lives.  It still takes a village and I am glad I live in THIS one. 

  • TM September 25, 2023 (11:20 am)

    I’m sorry you had to go through this, but heartened by your note and the fact that you shared it here. WS is still a great community, people like you are a big part of it. As are the folks who came to your assistance, well done. It’s hard to understand criminal acts, and hard to process the changes here in WS and understand what to do. Regardless thanks again for writing this, it cuts through the negative bits we are seeing too much of.

  • your mom September 25, 2023 (1:18 pm)

    Lovely note. I hope the people who helped you see this. 

    • Author September 27, 2023 (8:20 pm)

      Thanks, Mom, I hope so, too. 😊

  • BJG September 26, 2023 (9:13 am)

    So sorry this happened and grateful to WS neighbors for offering you what you surely needed after such an awful event. I passed by the ATM yesterday and decided not to use it, but noticed a police car backed into one of the nearby spaces just watching. I was encouraged, but it’ll be a long time before I use a stand alone ATM again. Your experience on a Sunday morning was lesson enough.

  • Author September 27, 2023 (8:23 pm)

    Thank you for your kind words, everyone. I agree, there are a lot of things that make this community wonderful, and I’m glad that sharing the positive part of my experience can help remind us all of that!

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