West Seattle, Washington
12:58 AM: Police have converged on the 35th/Barton 7-11 after a report of an armed robbery a short time ago. So far they’re told the three robbers got away in a car described as (updated) a white ~2008 BMW 3-series, 2-door, right rear bumper damage, dealer plates, last seen southbound on 35th.
1:14 AM: Dispatch has told officers that King County Sheriff’s Deputies are investigating a gas-station holdup that “just happened” in Burien with a getaway car that sounds identical to this one.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes:
GUNFIRE ARREST: Two weeks after a man allegedly shot at police who were looking for him in a domestic-violence case, the suspect is in jail. Police say detectives assisted by the US Marshals Service arrested the 26-year-old suspect Thursday night. (Here’s our report on the original incident in the early hours of November 19th in South Delridge.)
REPEAT BURGLARY: Reader report from Matt – “We wanted to report a break-in … again. This is the third time in 6 months on our Fairmount home. This time the lock on the shed was cut and miscellaneous items were stolen.
Two days ago we reported on the arrest of a man found half-naked in a stolen pickup truck near Highland Park Elementary. When police searched the truck, they found drugs an a gun. Now three felony charges are filed against 25-year-old Ezequiel A. Lopez-Ortiz of Tacoma: Unlawful gun possession, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of drugs with intent to distribute or manufacture. The truck, a 2020 Dodge Ram, had been stolen from the Port of Seattle, according to the charging documents, and partially spray-painted red. Prosecutors also say Lopez-Ortiz has 10 felony convictions in the past 10 years, including three for unlawful gun possession, and seven current warrants from three counties – King, Spokane, and Kittitas. The gun seized from under the driver’s seat in the stolen truck is described as a 9mm SIG Sauer P320 pistol “with fifteen rounds in the magazine and one round in the firing chamber, under the driver’s seat.” Police also found “a backpack behind the driver’s seat containing .45 caliber bullets and an AR15 style magazine with 5.56 caliber bullets.” The drugs described in the previous report are what the charging documents list – cocaine, meth in baggies, and more than 100 suspected “blues” (fentanyl pills). Prosecutors are asking that bail for Lopez-Ortiz be set at $50,000 but as of the filing, there hadn’t been a bail decision yet because Lopez-Ortiz had been refusing to appear in court.
That security-camera image is from charging documents in the case that the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has filed against an alleged serial shoplifter, 25-year-old West Seattle resident Joseph E. Herdrich. It is described as showing Herdrich exiting the Marshall’s store at Westwood Village on October 5th with more than $850 in stolen merchandise. He wasn’t arrested that day, but just two weeks earlier, he had been arrested there in similar circumstances – here’s a security-camera image from that day, in which he is accused of stealing $700 worth of merchandise:
Three and a half days later, on September 24th, with no charges yet filed, he was released from jail. But he’s there now, two weeks after yet another arrest at Westwood Village, after allegedly shoplifting more than $500 in items from the QFC store on November 18th. In that case, store security confronted him and got the items back; he was still outside the store when police arrived and arrested him. Now the KCPAO has charged him with three counts of second-degree burglary for all three of the incidents we’ve mentioned, The charging documents say Herdrich had already been banned – “trespassed” – from both those stores and from other businesses in Westwood Village, but keeps going back to shoplift. An SPD detective wrote in a September report that Herdrich had been under investigation for months for thefts at both the same Marshall’s store and Delridge Home Depot and that he was “driven by his fentanyl addiction.” Herdrich’s arraignment is scheduled for December 7. His bail was set at just $250 by a judge who prosecutors say was unaware of his previous arrests; they argued for raising it to $5,000 given the added facts in the case, but the court docket says that motion was denied.
Two reader reports:
PACKAGE THEFT: Jessica reports this person stole a package Wednesday on 14th SW and her security cam got the thief and his getaway car:
Couldn’t make out a license plate #. Saw him drive away in person and it looked like the plate was covered with a yellow paper/advertisement.
CAR PROWLS: Libby sent this report:
Writing on behalf of two of us neighbors in the 5900 block of 38th Ave SW. We both left our cars unlocked and they were rummaged through (Tuesday) night sometime between 11 pm and 4 am. The thieves took miscellaneous items, vehicle registrations, and insurance cards. We have filed police reports. A good reminder to lock your vehicles!
Seattle Police have arrested a man found in the stolen pickup shown above near Highland Park Elementary, passed out, partly unclothed, with drugs and a loaded gun. They say people at the school and in the neighborhood reported the man around 7:40 am for “lewd conduct” at 11th/Cloverdale. Officers found the 26-year-old man, a convicted felon, inside the pickup “which appeared to have been spray-painted white,” with his pants pulled down. His girlfriend was trying to wake him up. After learning the pickup was stolen, they arrested him, and a subsequent search turned up what SPD lists as “a 24-gram brick of cocaine, 115 grams of methamphetamine in individual baggies, a 55-gram rock of methamphetamine, 149 fentanyl pills, and ammunition.”
He’s currently in the King County Jail. Court records show he’s already awaiting trial on four King County charges from 2020 and 2021 – 2 cases of attempting to elude police, one of possessing a stolen car, one of possessing drugs.
The video and report are from Amy:
We live in a townhouse in the alley behind Juneau Street Market. Our neighbor’s mailbox was broken into on Monday night and his mail was stolen. (The thief also checked our mailboxes and checked out our neighbor’s house.) We have video of the thieves approaching and of the break-in. (above) … Our neighbor has reported the incident but we wanted the West Seattle community to be aware.
This is the framegrab with the clearest view of both faces:
We’ll add the incident # when we get it.
Andy sent this stolen-car report, hoping you might see it abandoned somewhere:
I wanted to report that my red 1999 Honda CR-V was stolen sometime between 3 am-530 am this morning. It had been parked right in front of our house on SW Dawson Street (west of California Ave/Rite Aid).
We looked out to see if there was snow. No snow, no car, either!
Police have been contacted, and I’ve spoken to an officer directly. They’re on the lookout. Hopefully someone spots it!
1999 Honda CR-V (Red)
License Plate: AYB4627
THURSDAY UPDATE: Found – see comment.
2:05 PM: Thanks for the tip. The east end of the West Seattle Bridge is affected by a shooting investigation right now. Seattle Police say, they responded initially to 6th/Spokane for “a report of one person shot inside a vehicle,” adding that “The ramp to the West Seattle Bridge will be blocked while (officers) conduct their investigation.”
2:13 PM: Here’s more context from SDOT on where this happened and how it’s affecting traffic:
— SDOT Traffic (@SDOTtraffic) November 29, 2022
We don’t yet have information on the victim’s condition or the circumstances.
2:31 PM: SFD tells us the person who was shot is a 39-year-old man who was transported in stable condition.
2:45 PM: As noted in comments, SDOT says the scene has cleared. No further information otherwise, yet.
3:04 PM: Just in from police via SPD Blotter:
The driver of a vehicle called 911 around 1:30 PM Tuesday afternoon to report that her passenger had been injured in a shooting. Officers contacted the driver and the male victim along the West Seattle Bridge and provided medical aid until Seattle Fire Department medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center.
Witnesses stated a suspect in a silver or gray vehicle opened fire on the victim’s vehicle, striking the victim in the shoulder. The suspect then fled. Officer searched the area but were unable to find the suspect vehicle. Detectives with the Gun Violence Reduction Unit are investigating. If you have any information in this case, please call the tip line at 206-233-5000.
We’re following up to see if there was any indication exactly where on the bridge the shooting happened, before the victim’s vehicle stopped at the east end.
5:13 PM: Police tell us it’s believed to have happened close to where the car the victim was in stopped.
The report and photo are from Sydney:
Last seen the afternoon of Wednesday. November 23, on 42nd Ave SW between SW College St. and SW Walker St. It’s a 1999 White Honda CR-V with brand new tires. We were out of town for the holiday weekend and returned yesterday to find it stolen. Police report # 2022-317990.
We’ll add the plate # when we get it.
TUESDAY UPDATE: Found under the west end of the West Seattle Bridge.
Late last night, we reported on the arrest of a man suspected of breaking into a west Admiral home. He’s in jail this afternoon; the register shows it’s his fifth time there this year. Meantime, we have information on two other burglary cases, both early this morning:
MULTIPLE BREAK-INS, ONE SUSPECT: This one also resulted in an arrest; the 37-year-old suspect is in jail, where records show he spent a month and a half at the start of the year after an assault arrest. In this case, police were first called to a home in the 6400 block of 30th SW around 1:40 am, after a 911 caller reported someone in the back of their house, breaking a window. The report narrative says “There were multiple other calls from neighbors as well, describing someone running through backyards stating someone was trying to kill them.” Officers arrived to find two different households “reported that someone had broken a window and entered, then left, their residences. … Reports also came out that he had left 3 backpacks in someone’s backyard, and might be taking off clothes as he moved about.” Officers found him nearby; the report says he told them he had taken meth while hanging out with a friend and believed “people were chasing him.” He had been injured, likely from breaking windows, and was treated at Harborview before being booked into jail this morning.
STORE BURGLARY: Glass-breaking was also the method of entry when Global Smoke and Vape at 35th/Roxbury was broken into before 4 am today. This photo of the aftermath was texted to us:
A 911 caller reported suspected burglars “loading up a gold van.” They were gone when police arrived five minutes later. The report narrative notes “the front door had holes punched through the glass in several places and there was a large opening in the glass … the metal gate, situated behind the glass door, had been pried open as well, to grant access to the burglars.” They talked to a witness who saw it from their nearby residence, describing the gold van as “similar to a Chrysler” and two burglars, one dressed in black, the other, in a “light or white jacket and white shoes,” appearing to act as a lookout. They left northbound on 35th. Video shown to police by the store owner showed the burglar wearing black hitting the store glass with a “long metal shaft of some kind,” the report says. The owner told police that merchandise had been stolen (the report does not elaborate on exactly what).
If you wondered about the sizable police presence near Admiral Way/Lander, officers were in a standoff of sorts with a burglary suspect. According to the original dispatch, police were called by a real-estate agent who found an unauthorized person in the house. The suspect, described as a man in his 30s, was still there when officers arrived; they covered all the exits and started telling him to come out. He didn’t, and kept moving from room to room inside the house; eventually they went in and took him into custody. Officers subsequently told dispatch that he was asking for SFD medics but wouldn’t say why; they’re there now.
Via text: “My husband’s dump truck’s catalytic converter was stolen this morning by Highland Park Elementary School at around 5:30 am. Thief was driving a beat-up black hatchback car with a white piece of plastic covering the passenger side window. I did call the police.” (We’ll add the # when we get it.)
John reports a stolen 1994 black Honda del Sol from behind the 4100 block of California SW. Awaiting plate. SPD incident # is 2022-316305.
ADDED: The plate is CEB3731
Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch this afternoon:
STOLEN VAN: The report and photo are from Andrea:
1988 white Toyota Van Wagon “Wonder Wagon” stolen from West Seattle the week of November 13-19. License Plate: AFV4867
Report filed with Seattle Police Southwest Precinct, incident #2022-307131. Please contact police with any information: 206-733-9800.
The van was stolen in the Morgan Junction area.
CHARGING-STATION VANDALISM: Via text, this report just in: “Someone vandalized and cut off the charging cord on the electric car charging station in front of the bowling alley.” The texter has reported this to Seattle City Light, and also noted that this happened recently at charging stations in Burien.
2 PM: Police have reported a person with a gunshot wound to the leg at Delridge/Thistle. More information as we get it.
2:03 PM: Texter says nearby Chief Sealth International High School is sheltering in place. A Seattle Fire “scenes of violence” medical response is now arriving in the Delridge/Thistle area as well as more police.
2:12 PM: Officers told dispatch they’ve found evidence – “three shell casings so far” – that the shooting happened in the 8800 block of Delridge. There’s also word that a Metro bus captured video of the shooting.
2:15 PM: Our crew at the scene says all they’ve been able to learn is that the victim is male. Meantime, police now report finding five casings “so far.”
2:19 PM: Police are looking for two suspects, one of which they have described to dispatch as a white or Hispanic male, 5’8″, gray sweater, brown pants, black Nike shoes with a white swoosh, silver pistol. The victim, who was described as alert/conscious, is being taken to Harborview. … The second suspect is described as a white or Hispanic male, 5’10”, black hair, black sweater, dark-blue jeans, black shoes. … As noted by commenters, Denny International Middle School (which is adjacent to CSIHS) also is in shelter-in-place.
2:40 PM: Police have just given clearance for the schools to lift their sheltering-in-place. No one in custody so far. Photos added above.
2:56 PM: A commenter uploaded this security video in which you hear the shots and a voice asking “Why’d you do that?”
Then two people are briefly seen on the right edge of the video, running.
3:45 PM: Police say the victim is 17 years old. Their update otherwise includes only one other bit of additional information: “Witnesses reported seeing a group of five or six young men fighting near Delridge Way and Trenton Street prior to the shooting.” They also request tips on their hotline, 206-233-5000.
ADDED 7:08 PM: Commenter TBD‘s video, mentioned below – this is from a camera on the rear of their vehicle:
9:42 PM: Police are out with a K-9 right now in Highland Park, searching for a man suspected of shooting at another man. This is centered at 10th/Cloverdale, though the search is ranging further out – the suspect was reportedly last seen eastbound on Cloverdale. We haven’t heard a description yet. No injuries reported.
9:50 PM: Police have reported finding a shell casing – “.380 auto” – in the alley behind the house where this is reported to have happened.
11:10 PM: The search has wound down. The initial call was that a man had found an intruder in his neighbor’s house, and the intruder shot at him. The man chased the intruder a ways “with an ax.”
ADDED TUESDAY AFTERNOON: Here’s the police summary of the incident:
At 2125 hours, officers responded to a report of an interrupted burglary where the suspect had fired a shot at the victim. The caller reported that he had heard the burglary occurring at his neighbor’s house. The caller armed himself with an axe and confronted the suspect, who was in the process of piling stolen items on the back deck. When confronted, the suspect fled on foot with the caller following. The suspect turned as he was running and fired 1 round at the victim, who discontinued his chase and returned home for police response. Evidence of a shooting was located and submitted.
In addition to the incidents we covered this weekend, police summaries reveal one we missed. According to SPD, a man reported to them at around 4:40 am Saturday that he’d been shot. They say he told them it happened about 20 minutes earlier in the “triangle’ area where Delridge, 16th, and Roxbury meet. He said several men came up to him and made a profane remark; then one of the men shot him in the knee. He was taken to the hospital; no suspects were found.
11:33 PM: So far police have reported finding four casings in an alley off the 4800 block of Fauntleroy Way SW, after numerous 911 calls from people who heard gunfire in the area. No injuries or property damage reported so far. Possible vehicles involved were reported as a white pickup truck and a white or silver BMW.
11:45 PM: No further info. Police are looking to see if any area security cameras might have recorded the incident and/or suspect vehicles. Meantime, one resident in the increasingly dense area told us by text, “The gunshots were so close we all got down on the ground.”
12:04 AM: Officers told dispatch they’ve found a total of seven 9mm casings in a “parking lot” behind the 4800 block.
STORE ROBBED: Police are investigating a shoplift-turned-robbery reported at the South Delridge T-Mobile store about an hour ago. Officers told dispatch the store reported two men made off with iPhones, an iPod, and asked for cash. They were described initially as two Hispanic men in their mid-20s, one in a red cap and green jacket, one dressed all in black. If you have any information, the incident number is 2022-312063.
ROBBERY CHARGE: A shoplift-turned-robbery case at Westwood Village earlier this month has resulted in a felony charge. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a second-degree robbery charge against 23-year-old Alexis M. Smith, who has an Olympia address and no known criminal history. She is accused of stealing items worth $177 from Marshall’s around 7 pm November 3rd and threatening store security with what turned out to be sharp scissors, at first reported as a knife. Police found her a few blocks away, at Delridge and Trenton. She was booked into King County Jail and released the next day; she is due in court tomorrow for arraignment.
HARASSMENT CHARGE: A 37-year-old man is charged with felony harassment for allegedly attacking a man who was waiting with others looking for day-labor work outside The Home Depot on Delridge. Hector M. Madrigal is accused of approaching the victim around 8 am November 7th and demanding money. He then allegedly grabbed a “4 x 4 composite post” and threatened to kill the victim, hitting him in the leg. Police were called by a bystander reporting what looked like a fight. The victim told officers that Madrigal, who has three felony convictions, often hassles the people gathered to look for work there. Madrigal remains in jail in lieu of $20,000 bail and is due to be arraigned Wednesday.
2:37 AM: After multiple reports of gunfire in South Delridge, both Seattle Police and King County Sheriff’s Deputies are out searching right now. There are no reports of injuries so far. Officers are telling dispatch they’re finding “bullet damage to cars.”
2:43 AM: They’re looking for a suspect who apparently allegedly at some point threatened officers, and at least part of the search has ranged north into Highland Park. A K-9 team is part of the search.
9:29 AM: Update from police:
Police investigating a report of domestic violence came under fire from the suspect as he fled the West Seattle scene early Saturday morning.
A woman called 911 around 12:30 am to report that her ex-boyfriend was chasing her through West Seattle and pointing a handgun at her. Police responding to her home spotted the 26-year-old suspect’s vehicle driving toward the house. Officers attempted to get the suspect to stop the vehicle but he drove off at a high rate of speed.
45 minutes later, officers were dispatched to multiple reports of shots fired near the victim’s home. Responding officers again spotted the suspect’s vehicle and chased it to 17 Avenue SW and SW Barton Street, where the suspect exited the car and began running away. Officers gave chase until the suspect turned and opened fire on the officers. Bullets struck multiple vehicles parked in the area, and even hit a car narrowly missing the leg of the officer that was outside of that vehicle.
Police contained the area and searched with a K9 officer but have not found the suspect yet. Officers described the shooter as a Hispanic male, 5’7”, 140 lbs, mustache, goatee, wearing a black hoodie and missing one shoe.
If you spot the suspect please call 911 immediately.
The latest confirmed-gunfire incident in West Seattle happened last night just before 10:30 pm on Puget Ridge. The police-report summary says 911 callers reported hearing shots in the 6000 block of Croft Place SW [map]. Police found “evidence of a shooting” but no victims or property damage. A nearby resident told them she heard five shots and a vehicle speeding away, but according to the police summary, she had no description of the vehicle or who was in it. If you have any information about this incident, refer to case # 2022-309409.
Two weeks ago, we reported on the electrical meter/wiring theft that left West Bay Coffee and Smoothies (2255 Harbor Avenue SW) literally powerless. It’s been an arduous two weeks for proprietor Jennifer to get reconnected so she can reopen her small business, but they’re finally on track to reopen Friday morning (November 18). “We’ve overcome a lot of adversity these past few years, but this time there were quite a few steps to have us operational again,” she explained. Not just dealing with electricians, insurance adjusters, and City Light, but also the direct effect of the temporary shutdown:
With 2 weeks of lost revenue due to this petty theft that impacted myself, 5 employees and their families, this time it really hit us hard. I seriously contemplated to (not) even reopen due to the unwavering fact that this can happen again and nobody is held accountable. We’ve always had systems in place like surveillance cameras, a security alarm, there’s never any cash left at night, and we’ve always closed at 5 pm to avoid late-night safety concerns. We now have 2 people on morning shifts just to have support with all the morning RV activities happening at 5:30 am. These people are busy in the mornings. Usually outside cutting metal, shuffling stuff to and from, fights, and blasting the music, to name a few observations.
With all the crime and break-ins we’ve had to overcome these past few years, there’s no budget for that with a small business, it’s directly from my profit which is how I support my family. There’s small business grants on rebuilding business storefronts, which I haven’t been successful at receiving. (Any tips on that, I’d gladly appreciate it)
Overall we are the only drive-thru on Harbor Ave/Alki, which serves much of the high school population, walkers on the trail and morning commuters. It’s really put a wrench in people’s schedules and routines. I would like to thank my amazing team, and the extended support from our dedicated West Bay coffee community. Without all of you, we wouldn’t be here, so thank you for your continued love and support. We hope to see you this weekend!
Or tomorrow, starting at 6 am.