WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Little Free Library arson; car break-in

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

LITTLE FREE LIBRARY ARSON: Diane sent the report and photo:

This morning at 5:25 am we woke up to the smell of fire and noticed someone had taken all the books out of our little free library and lit them on fire. Fire department responded quickly. Earlier this week someone had taken all the books out and left them all on the ground, but last night the same thing happened and they were all lit on fire. There was also other personal products, lotions, ceramic figurines, etc. that were on fire. We are at the 7200 block of 39th Ave SW.

Diane has reported this to police; we’ll add the number when we get it.

CAR BREAK-IN: This report is from M:

Just wanted to share a reminder to not store car registration or title in your car. (You can use a digital copy of your registration.)

My car was prowled this morning at 3:38 am (near 39th and 100th SW). They broke a window and stole the vehicle registration (in a lock box that they probably thought would contain something much more exciting), along with a binder of car repair records.

24 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Little Free Library arson; car break-in"

  • Me February 24, 2024 (1:47 pm)

    This all is awful 

  • Cid February 24, 2024 (1:48 pm)

    This is awful! I love that people put up Free Libraries around town and I often put books in the one on my block. I’m glad they didn’t burn the structure too, but how low! 

  • Anne February 24, 2024 (2:09 pm)

    You can take photos of  registration & insurance & keep  on your phone instead of in your car.  

  • PegasusBookExchange February 24, 2024 (2:46 pm)

    We’ll restock your library on the house anytime, email or call and ask for Eric, sorry this happened, truly sad

    • Diane February 24, 2024 (3:13 pm)

      Thank you, Eric, that is very kind of you.  I might keep it empty for a couple weeks, but I will definitely reach out to you when I’m ready to refill it!

      • WestseaMom February 24, 2024 (11:18 pm)

        Diane, so sorry this happened to your Family, my Daughter and I have walked by your little library for years and occasionally we’ve found the perfect book…usually a Rainbow Magic. Please know that your Little Library brought a bit of joy to a now 10 year old girl who had to take A LOT of walks during the Pandemic for entertainment. I hope that your Family will know that we appreciated your contribution and we hope that gives you faith in wanting too rebuild!  

    • NorskGirl February 24, 2024 (4:12 pm)

      That is a very kind and generous offer by Eric/Pegasus Book Exchange.  

    • Ly February 24, 2024 (5:00 pm)

      Love this kind gesture ❤️

  • Jim P. February 24, 2024 (2:59 pm)

    Given the current state of tension in the country and the more violent end of the spectrum, were there books in there that might “upset” such?
    Ask a librarian about the issues they are facing,
    Book burning was never far behind and is often followed by burning authors/librarians/entire libraries.

    • Diane February 24, 2024 (3:11 pm)

      Hi Jim,This is my library and I don’t think so.   Since earlier this week someone had taken all the books out and scattered them on the ground, I paid attention to what was in there when I was putting them back, and nothing controversial at all.  There were some books that were not damaged and I put them back in there and keeping the library door open since it has a pretty strong smoke smell.  I was relieved the didn’t burn the structure down since that’s what I thought it was when we saw the smoke.  

    • WS Res February 24, 2024 (3:40 pm)

      Fire setting is more typically associated with people experiencing psychosis who are perceiving threats or suspicious people/objects in their environments. Their impact is destructive and upsetting, but generally doesn’t have a purpose or motivation that would be discernible to someone else. 

    • K February 24, 2024 (8:35 pm)

      A couple of honey buckets were set on fire recently too.  Sometimes arson is just arson.

  • WSMom February 24, 2024 (3:29 pm)

    I was just reading on Next Door that someone threw things into a garbage can and caught it on fire. 35th and Othello. I believe that is pretty close. I wonder if it is connected?

  • flimflam February 24, 2024 (3:33 pm)

    Burning of books from a LFL is about as low and petty and useless of a crime as I could imagine.

  • Westy1 February 24, 2024 (3:38 pm)

    Your registration will show your address and your Repair records will show your phone number and your car license plate. Just take a screenshot of those things and have them on your phone. Nothing in your car that can be identity theft.

  • Karen February 24, 2024 (3:52 pm)

    We had one of the earliest LFL in the city.   For quite a while it was successful, then we found it empty a couple times, or all of the hardbacks were removed.  I bought a LFL stamp and marked the books ‘free, not for sale’.   Vandalism increased.  The door was open to rain several times,  all books were removed and dumped around the corner in the rain.    We removed the library.   Saddened.

  • HS February 24, 2024 (3:53 pm)

    Did they ever find out who started the fire on the wall of the WS overnight shelter months ago?

  • alicekuder February 24, 2024 (3:56 pm)

    So sad. Freedom of speech and book burning/banning are so antithetical. I have always associated book burning with Nazi Germany.

  • bill February 24, 2024 (4:14 pm)

    Calm down about the car registrations. Your address only appears on the tax receipt on the bottom, which you should tear off and keep with your tax records. Do not EVER keep the title in the car!!!

    • bolo February 24, 2024 (5:44 pm)

      Are you sure? I’m looking at one right now and the name and address are up in the top portion along with all the vital vehicle statistics.

      • bill February 24, 2024 (7:04 pm)

        I checked our new one for ’24-’25. I think last year’s was the same. Might be an option you need to select when you renew your tabs.

  • Robbie B February 24, 2024 (6:15 pm)

    …what the hell. 

  • Seth February 24, 2024 (6:53 pm)

    I literally just built a LFL at the 26/Delidge. So far about 20 books have been checked out all. I would be devastated if someone burned it down.  On a quick aside, if anyone wants to donate some books to the library feel free

  • whataboutthecreedence February 26, 2024 (11:53 am)

    What is wrong with people? Why ruin something nice enjoyed by the community?

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