West Seattle, Washington
Two gunfire investigations in the past 12 hours:
WHITE CENTER: Thanks for all the tips on this afternoon’s 16th SW gunfire. Deputies say people in two vehicles exchanged gunfire, both missing but hitting a third, the minivan in our photo above. No injuries. We’re updating the story on our partner site White Center Now.
WEST SEATTLE: Though we were on the desk until 4:30 am, we didn’t hear anything about this until an email question at midday about gunfire heard around 3 am. Checking the SPD automated Tweets by Beats, we found a call categorized as “drive-by shooting/no injuries” in the Fauntleroy/Edmunds vicinity about that time. No further details.
Have you seen my car?? License plate ADZ3128. Stolen Silver Volvo XC90, taken from 45th/Lander yesterday.
If you see it, call 911.
Thanks for the tip about a police search tonight north of The Junction. The tipster reported that “two men in their 20s were robbed at gunpoint at about 8:20 pm by two others, also in their 20s. A victim knocked on my door to call 911. … Apparently phones were stolen.” We went to the search area (41st/42nd/Dakota/Bradford) but police there wouldn’t comment on the circumstances, sowe went to the precinct where the desk officer confirmed the search was related to a street robbery and that the robbers were after phones. No injuries reported, and so far no word of arrests, but we’ll follow up tomorrow.
That’s what Southwest Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis told the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting last night.
The tower recently turned up in a Rainier Valley supermarket parking lot, but not for long. In West Seattle, police intend to use it in the expansive parking lots at Westwood Village and the Delridge Home Depot – both hot spots for theft, with strong-arm robberies also a problem at the former. Capt. Davis said the tower, sold as SkyWatch, will be backed by emphasis teams on the ground including the bicycle squad. No time frame yet.
Also at the lightly attended (five members of the general public) meeting:
For the second time this week, we’ve received a reader report of a car prowler getting away with golf equipment. This report is from Danielle:
I wanted to report that car prowler got into my husband’s car early Sunday morning —sometime between 1a and 7a parked in front of our home in Westwood. The prowler tried to steal our car, but apparently can’t drive a manual… so settled for stealing my husband golf clubs (an amassed collection Ping G30s, some Titleist, a couple of TaylorMade, and an old Karsten from his grandpa – who passed) in a beige Adams golf bag. They’re more sentimental value than anything, but would love and appreciate it if people could be on the lookout for the clubs, maybe abandoned somewhere.
And one more reminder that, as featured in the daily list, you can talk with/hear from local police at tonight’s West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting, 7 pm at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster).
3:58 PM: If you’ve noticed the police response in The Junction – they’re investigating what was initially described in radio communication as a robbery or attempted robbery at HomeStreet Bank (4022 SW Alaska; WSB sponsor). They’re looking for a suspect described as having headed north up the alley north of the bank, a white man in his 30s, buzzcut hair, about 6’2″, thin build, gray hooded sweatshirt with green/white lettering or emblem, blue or black bandanna, jeans. A K9 is helping police search.
4:03 PM: Radio communication indicates money was taken, so this was a robbery. First bank robbery/attempted robbery in our area in almost two years, according to our archives.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch notes tonight:
EARLY-MORNING CAR PROWLER: From Barbara:
Caught a thief going through our car on Rutan Place near the Junction at 5:00 this morning. He was into the trunk after going through all the interior boxes. Looks like the losses were some tools plus $200-300 in gift cards, maybe a house key. Husband says he is white, in his twenties, about 6’2″, 200 lb, dark short hair, brown jacket, jeans, with a large cross shoulder bag “like an old mail carrier style.” Dog barked, husband chased E on Edmunds but lost him. Keep your cars locked.
STOLEN-BIKE REUNION: Last night, we published Val‘s report of finding an abandoned (which usually means stolen-and-dumped) bicycle. Tonight we heard from the bike’s owner, who recognized the photo Val had shared showing its distinct wheel; we’ve connected them, and a reunion ensued. The bike had been stolen sometime overnight Friday into Saturday, just hours before it turned up in Val’s yard.
Three West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports tonight:
RECOGNIZE THAT BIKE WHEEL? Val‘s yard is where that bicycle turned up this morning – dumped and likely stolen. Val sent the photo of the wheel and says that’s distinctive enough that the rightful owner should recognize it and be able to describe the rest of the bike; if it’s yours, contact us and we’ll connect you.
SLASHED TIRE: This photo and report are from Hilari:
Just wanted to let you know that one of our tires was slashed between 4/5 and 4/7 on 14th and Kenyon in Highland Park. We were on vacation, and our neighbors noticed and sent us a picture. We assumed a flat, but when we took it to the dealer, they said it had been slashed. We filed a police report online.
THE CASE OF THE STOLEN PET FOOD: Paul tells the tale (tail?):
At around 4 a.m. on April 13, two thieves stole 245 lbs. of goods off the porch of a home in West Seattle.
“I wish I could have watched the faces of the two cat burglars as they opened up the boxes with their stolen treasure,” said Marti, who lives at the home. “It was cat and dog food. To the early morning intruders: Bon Appetit.”
Marti continued, “The cat and dog food was intended for pets of homeless and low-income people. A clinic is held twice a month at the Union Gospel Mission in Pioneer Square, (Doney-Coe Pet Clinic) that distributes the pet food. Volunteer veterinarians also administer free vaccinations and treats cats and dogs for injuries.”
Reminder – if you have community crime/safety concerns to bring directly to local police, your monthly chance to do that is coming up this Tuesday, April 16th – the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting at the Southwest Precinct, 7 pm, all welcome.
A visitor was hit by a car prowler, reports Haley:
Reporting that last night my boyfriend’s car was broken into and his golf clubs were all stolen. Someone smashed his back window in and took all the clubs and the golf bag (brand-new TaylorMade M4 driver, TaylorMade RocketBladez 2.0 irons, red golf bag). I live in Admiral in the North Admiral Apartments … he parked right in front of the apartment building entrance and Arthur’s café. He got to my apartment at 9:30 pm last night and left this morning at 7:30 am, so it happened sometime between then.
Two weeks ago, we reported that the trial was under way for 43-year-old Chayce A. Hanson, a West Seattle man charged with five felonies including rape and witness tampering. After tips from people following the case, we have confirmed via court documents this morning that a King County Superior Court jury found Hanson guilty on all five counts: Second-degree rape, witness tampering, second-degree assault, hit-and-run, and vehicular assault. In addition, the jury included a “special verdict” that the assault was done with sexual motivation. Hanson was found guilty of raping a West Seattle woman, described as an acquaintance, in February 2017, while she was incapacitated because she had been seriously injured in a crash that he didn’t report. The witness-tampering charge resulted from Hanson trying to get the victim to sign a document saying he had not raped her.
Hanson has a felony conviction in his past, for killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in Renton in 2000 by kicking her down a flight of stairs. He was originally found guilty of murder but a state Supreme Court ruling overturned the conviction and he subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter. We have an inquiry out with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to find out when Hanson will be sentenced in the rape case. He has been in jail since the rape charge was filed two years ago.
From the WSB inbox – two security-camera clips capturing items being taken:
SIGN STOLEN: What you see being taken from the sidewalk and put into that truck is a dead-end sign, explains Melody, who says that was part of an odd chain of events: “The night before at 11:34 PM 2 white males walked up and kicked it off the post, then tossed it in the street. I got up, retrieved it from the intersection, and leaned it up against the post. In the morning, called DOT to replace it. Then this truck pulled up and took it. The 2 males also tagged the back of the stop sign, dead end signs, and the yellow handicapped curb.”
PACKAGE THEFT: This happened outside a house near West Seattle Bowl in The Junction:
Kenny says it happened around 3:30 pm, and three packages were taken.
2:09 AM: Both Seattle Fire and Police are headed for the 1300 block of Alki Avenue SW, where a vehicle is reported to have gone into the water. They’re trying to figure out if anyone is in the vehicle; two people are reported to have been seen walking away from the scene. Updates to come.
2:11 AM: Per scanner, no one else was in the car, and the two people who got out are unhurt. The SFD response is being canceled. (added) It’s been 10 years since the last car-in-water incident we recall.
3:04 AM: Tow truck has arrived. As the photo shows, the car is more on the rocks than in the water. (Added) Here’s the context – that’s the car off the seawall at right:
10:59 AM: Court and jail records indicate a 19-year-old man was arrested for investigation of DUI, hit and run, and property damage. He’s currently in King County Jail, where records show he also spent time for suspected DUI in November.
We’ve learned more about a police and fire response that drew some attention along Avalon Way east of 35th early Monday morning. A 23-year-old woman is recovering from injuries and a 42-year-old man is in jail after what’s under investigation as a case of assault. The police-report narrative says multiple 911 callers reported a woman screaming and two other voices. The victim said she was sitting outside her apartment building when she saw the man and his girlfriend, who, she told officers, she often sees, as they live nearby. She asked him to return a lighter she had loaned him a year or so earlier; an argument ensued, and, she said, he punched her in the face five times, knocking her down. The man’s girlfriend tried to stop him, the victim said; finally they went back into their building. The report says police found the suspect’s apartment by following a trail of blood. He claimed what he did was in self-defense, saying he had been hit, but police found no injuries to confirm that. He is in jail, held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
WEEKEND FOLLOWUPS: We followed up with police today – no arrests to report in either of two weekend incidents we reported on briefly while police were investigating: The Friday night gunfire in Highland Park, and the Saturday night shoplifting-turned-robbery that led to an extensive search in Morgan Junction.
We did obtain the report narrative for the latter, which says it started when West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) employees “… contacted the suspect for shoplifting. They observed him putting bulk foods items, a Starbucks Frappuccino and other unknown items into his bag. The suspect then passed the checkout stands without attempting to pay for anything. They then confronted the suspect to return the items. The suspect refused to give back the items. … At some point, the suspect … lifted his pant leg up to expose his boot (and said) “I have a knife. I will kick you.” (They) feared they were going to get assaulted, backed off and told the suspect they were calling the police. That is when the suspect ran out the back door.” While searching with K9 help, while police didn’t find the robber, just east of the store, under a car in the 6500 block of 42nd SW, they did find a bag he had been carrying, containing food, a toothbrush, a lighter, and the cap he had worn.
Next, three reader reports:
PROWLER: From a reader in Seaview:
The reader says the prowler was caught on camera around 11:20 am Sunday near 42nd/Juneau.
ANOTHER PROWLER: We also received a weekend report of a man prowling from Roxhill Park toward the former Roxhill Elementary: “He then proceeded to walk through the neighborhood and every house he walked through yards. He came to ours and walked right up to our front door and front window. … Even when confronted he did not run just kept walking through.” Police were called.
SCAM CALL ALERT: Thanks to Lisa for the reminder that scam callers are relentless. She emailed us this afternoon to report, “We just received a robocall from ‘Department of IRS,’ stating it was suspending our social security numbers due to suspicious activity. My mother-in-law, who is 88, also received the calls.” Since she sent us that original note, just as we were about to publish this, she sent word of a few more – one purporting to be about her account at Bank of America (where she does NOT have an account), and one pitching asphalt for her mother-in-law’s driveway … which is already paved.
Also today, this reminder:
NEXT WEST SEATTLE CRIME PREVENTION MEETING: 7 pm Tuesday, April 16, at the Southwest Precinct (2300 SW Webster), with local police there to answer your questions about local crime/safety concerns, as well as this month’s special guest, a representative from the Seattle Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
Just sent by Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner, another one of the occasional notifications that a Level 3 sex offender has moved into the area:
In an effort to keep you informed, and in our constant attempts to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know about one level 3 sex offender that has recently moved into a Southwest Precinct neighborhood.
Jermaine Freeman, a 45 year old Black Male, is a level 3 registered sex offender who has recently moved to the 9200 Block of Olson Place SW. Mr. Freeman is no longer under Department of Corrections supervision.
To learn more about this offender and for additional safety tips please visit the website at www.waspc.org and search by his name. [Editor’s note: Here’s a direct link to the page with his photo and background information.]
To register to receive an email alert whenever a published offender registers within one mile of your desired addresses, go to (this link).
Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Since these offenders have completed their sentences, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution as it is against the law to use this information in any way to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information.
The single most effective means of protecting your child is communication with your child. They have to feel comfortable discussing sensitive matters with you. Teach your children that they should not be asked to touch anyone in the bathing suit areas of their body or allow anyone to touch them in those areas. Teach them types of situations to avoid. It is not good enough to tell a child to avoid strangers. Please remember that children are most often molested by someone they or their parents know.
Other questions? This FAQ might help.
9:10 PM: Thanks for the tips. A police search is under way in Morgan Junction. We’re headed that way to find out more.
9:17 PM: Police tell us this started as a shoplifting incident at nearby West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) that turned violent, which turns it into a robbery case.
11:45 PM: If you hear the Guardian One law-enforcement helicopter over Highland Park/Riverview and/or see police on the ground, here’s what the search is about, per radio dispatch: 911 got reports of possible gunfire, heard near 12th/Holden, followed by a potentially related hit and run, and someone seen running eastbound in an alley south of Holden. Guardian One heard the dispatch and offered to help. No injuries reported.
11:57 PM: Though the helicopter has moved on for now, police are blocking part of SW Holden as they investigate.
12:05 AM: A texter sent this photo:
12:10 PM: Police are reopening SW Holden.
9:43 AM: Maybe you can help find Jane‘s car, stolen in Fauntleroy:
2012 black Ford Flex stolen overnight/early Friday a.m. from my garage in the 4500 block of SW Concord St. Year: 2012. License plate: AKM2728. Other details: Silver ski rack crossbars.
Police case #2019-120457. If you see this car or have any information, please call 911 with this case #.
5:08 PM: A reader found it in Highland Park – see comments.
We received a few questions about what sounded like gunfire early this morning, heard in the 36th SW/SW Dawson and Fauntleroy/Edmunds areas. No injury reports on the SFD log, but Tweets by Beat showed a “property destruction” report this morning. When we followed up for details, Seattle Police confirmed evidence of gunfire was found in the 5000 block of 37th Avenue SW: “Officers arrived on scene and located … a bullet hole to the back hatch of an SUV. No other damage or evidence was located.”
Recognize this bicycle?
Jeff sent the photo and reports this turned up in the 9400 block of 13th Ave SW sometime overnight. Somebody locked it, but he says he has checked all around the area and no one reports it belonging to them nor to a visitor.
The police search in Westwood – and a bit beyond – is targeting someone suspected of attempted sexual assault. That’s according to Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand, who we talked to at the Highland Park Action Committee meeting that’s under way now. We had heard the “containment” area being set up just as we left for this meeting – a K9 team is part of the search. So far he had only a partial description to share – shirtless, wearing boxer shorts.
Many criminal cases are resolved without ever going to trial. So it’s notable that the trial has just begun in a case previously covered here. The defendant is Chayce Hanson, on trial for charges including rape and witness tampering.
The addition of the latter charge was the last time we mentioned the case, almost two years ago. Since then, the case has proceeded slowly through the system, with multiple trial dates set, then delayed, due to a variety of factors, but it’s remained on our watch list, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office confirms the tip we received from multiple readers, that Hanson’s trial is under way, with opening statements yesterday.
Hanson, 43, is charged with raping a 41-year-old woman described as a longtime acquaintance in February 2017 in West Seattle. Charging documents say Hanson raped her while she was unable to speak because of an untreated head injury suffered in an unreported crash in his vehicle hours earlier. The second charge alleges Hanson tried to get the victim to sign a document saying the rape didn’t happen. Before trial, court documents show, charges of assault and hit-and-run were added to the case.
Hanson has a high-profile conviction in his past, for killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter in Renton in 2000. A state Supreme Court ruling overturned his murder conviction and he subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Reader report from Kerri: “Friday 3/22, I had a bike stolen out of my garage on 15th and Barton/Cambridge. I have reported to the police.” Here’s what the bicycle looks like.