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Entries Tagged as 'Crime'

Woman fights off attacker Friday night near Queen Anne Ave N & Aloha

December 8th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchWe received a reader tip about a woman who was attacked at 6pm this past Friday, December 5th. The SPD report hit the map with the time (6pm) and location (Aloha & Queen Anne Ave N) of the incident.

For those not aware, many SPD reports are often brief and cover only the basics on the crime. The reports with narratives are more insightful as they provide details on what happened and any witness accounts.

In lieu of a narrative from SPD, here’s the account from the victim’s neighbor:

“My neighbor was heading from our shared parking lot to our shared downstairs laundry area (accessible from the backside of our complex), and a man came up from the bushes behind her (accessible from Aloha and between Queen Anne Ave N & 1st Ave W), put his arms around her head and waist. She fought her way free, and he held his finger up to his mouth in a “shh” gesture.

She started yelling at him, and chased him across Queen Anne Ave N and Aloha, where he ran into a wooden-fenced garbage disposal area. The victim called police, and they found the man hiding in the garbage collection area.

He was arrested after being positively identified by the witness, and assault charges are pending.”

A few things of note: the assault occurred at 6pm (it may be dark at 6pm, but it’s not late at night, the victim was able to fight her attacker off and reported it right away, and the attacker was caught and arrested by SPD. Stay aware of your surroundings and call 911 if your see suspicious activity or a crime in progress.

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Tips from SPD on staying safe and keeping Queen Anne crime stats low this holiday season

December 6th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchWe’ve had several readers report that they’ve had packages either stolen or tampered with in the past few weeks. Sadly, the holiday season is not all cheer. It’s also a prime time for thieves.

Our West Precinct SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator, Terri Johnston, sent us the tips below on keeping your home safe from burglars and packages safe from theft. If you’re interested in setting up a Block Watch for your neighbors, see SPD’s Block Watch site, it explains what it entails and how to get one up and running:

Locks:  Please use the locks/ latches you have.  Many of the burglaries that occurred this past month were made through unlocked windows.  Some had screens that the burglar simply removed to then gain entry.   Even if you are going to be gone just a short time, lock up!

Exterior doors should be secured with a dead-bolt lock with at least a 1”throw. The doors should be strong enough to withstand excessive force. The door’s hardware such as strike plates and frames need to be anchored to the homes main construction.  We recommend a wide-angle peephole on the main entrance door.

Windows:  Sliding doors/windows can be fortified with a snug-fitting dowel placed in the lower track.   Ensure windows are closed and locked prior to leaving home? If your valuables are visible from the sidewalk, consider closing the blinds when you are away.

Shrubbery:  Burglars love secluded backyards.  Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed to allow for greatest visibility.  Consider motion-sensitive lighting for side and rear areas of your home.

Door Answering:  Since many burglars knock on doors to ascertain whether anyone’s home, it is imperative you always answer the door.  By this I MEAN, talk through the door, don’t open it!

Home alone?  Bluff!  Yell out, “Honey, I’ll get it!”  or whatever words you can use that might indicate there are others in the house.  Then, by talking through the door, you can say you’re on a conference call; you are contagious; or your pet snakes are out of their tanks, etc.  Model this for your kids.  They may be home alone and find themselves in this situation.  It is not rude to talk through the door and it may save yourself a face-to-face encounter with a burglar.

Mail Theft:  Already the reports of stolen packages from porches and multi-family dwellings are being made.  I researched alternatives to home delivery of my packages and found there are many ways to minimize this popular crime.  It is possible to track delivery of your pkg. which may allow being home then.  Can you arrange for the package to be sent to another location, such as a FedEx office or perhaps your workplace?  Could you tip off a trusted neighbor to sign for you, should a package come when you are away?  Talk to your neighbors and see if they’d be willing to store the package inside their home until you get back or instruct them to place it unseen on the side or back.

9-1-1:  Cannot stress enough the importance of reporting all suspicious activity to 9-1-1.  It’s okay if what you are reporting turns out to be nothing. You don’t know what is prevented by getting the patrol car into the neighborhood.   9-1-1 is not just for emergencies, it is for all police reporting and that includes suspicious activity. This is how many of our burglars and car prowlers are caught.

Block Watch:  Did you know that statistics show one is more likely to call 9-1-1 to help a neighbor out, if they know that neighbor’s name?  Even though Block Watch was created to help reduce burglaries, knowing your neighbors and agreeing to watch out for them just makes sense.  Natural emergencies, power outages, landslides, etc. are additional reasons we need to stay together as a neighborhood. We may have to wait for first responders to get to our ‘neck of the woods’ and our neighbors may be our salvation.

Inventory Lists:  itemizing your valuables and noting serial numbers; model and/or photos of jewelry, art, bikes, etc. is helpful to follow-up detectives.  Stolen property is often recovered without a chance of returning to the rightful owner.

Stay safe, call 911 if you see suspicious activity or to report a crime in progress, and report all crimes both big and small. For crimes such as car prowls and property theft under $500,  you can report them via the SPD Online Reporting tool. Watch out for your neighbors and let us know if a crime occurs that the neighborhood needs to know about!

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Video from Q13 includes interview with victim of Tuesday’s gunpoint robbery

December 4th, 2014 by Laura

QA Robbery SuspectThe victim of Tuesday’s night’s robbery on Queen Anne spoke with Q13 News last night. The man is not a Queen Anne resident, and it’s sad and frustrating that his introduction to our neighborhood was a scary one. (The suspect is still at large, so please contact SPD if you recognize the man in the photo to the right or have any info to share.)

He exited the bus on 6th Ave W and being unfamiliar with the neigbhorhood, he tried to make his way to a main road. He cites the dark streets as adding to the confusion and we do certainly have some streets that are very poorly lit. It gets dark around 4:30pm now, and not all streets are well-lit, even ones we think of as “safe” neighborhood streets.

He talks about the incident and offers advice based on his experience. For example, he didn’t get the license plate of the red vehicle that was likely driven by the robber’s accomplice – but, in the heat of the moment, many of us might do the same.

Here’s the coverge from Q13′s broadcast:

Here are tips from SPD to keep in mind as we continue to see crime increase on Queen Anne – be sure to call 911 if you see something suspicious or are a victim of a crime, and take note of this information if possible:

  • Good description of the person – race, gender, height, weight, age, clothing
  • Location – street name, number or hundred block, or address
  • Direction of travel
  • Identifying features and/or items: e.g. are they carrying a backpack? If so, what color is it?
  • Description of car and license plate number, if applicable

If you see something that is suspicious or are a victim of a crime, call 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011). Here are some tips from the officers, to give you their perspective:

  • SPD officers gravitate to hot spots of activity – for example, repeated reports about suspicious activity at a park raises SPD’s awareness. A particular location can become a hot spot for proactive patrols.
  • Response time – with the limited number of SPD officers, you may not get instant gratification from a call for something like suspicious activity – but if you call for every incident, the tracking data will show there’s an ongoing issue, and SPD can target it proactively
  • Call a lot – to echo point #2, don’t stop calling just because the first call didn’t yield results. Tracking data is key, and calling repeatedly on criminal or suspicious activity does not make you a nuisance. Calls feed into the tracking database, which is key for identifying trends or hot-spots
  • When to call – the officers emphasized that residents need to call for both large and small issues. Don’t let smaller crimes go unreported: Did your car get broken into but nothing taken? Report it. Did a strange person walk through your backyard? Report it.

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Man robbed at gunpoint on Queen Anne Tuesday evening

December 3rd, 2014 by Laura

UPDATE: the iPad stolen by the still at-large suspect has been recovered. According to SPD, “A good Samaritan contacted North Precinct officers about an iPad they found in the street in… Ballard today. Officers discovered it was the victim’s stolen iPad and have returned it to its rightful owner.”

SPD is still looking for the person pictured below. If you have any information about this crime please call detectives at (206)684-5535.

*****
We were first tipped to a robbery at gunpoint last night when a Tweets-by-Beat came in for 4th Ave W and Crockett St, and had several people email us to ask about the incident – which took place around 7pm Tuesday night:

Robbery 120214

Today, we have more information to share via SPD’s blotter. According to SPD, a black male in his late teens, robbed a man who’d just exited a Metro bus, and was walking east (presumably on Crockett). A photo of a potential suspect is included below (he used the victim’s credit card in Ballard), if you have any information, contact SPD at (206) 684-5535.

NOTE: write-up below is from SPD, incident took place at 4th W and Crockett – the man had walked east from the bus stop, which would be on 6th Ave W.

Queen Anne Robbery Leads Detectives North
Written by  on 

QA Robbery SuspectDetectives are searching for at least one person after a robbery at gun-point in Queen Anne overnight.

The victim had just gotten off a bus at 4th Ave West and West Crockett St and was walking eastbound just after 7 PM Tuesday.  The suspect, a black male in his late teens, pulled out a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet and iPad.  The suspect walked away westbound after taking the belongings.  As the victim stood there a red sedan pulled up and the driver asked about the robbery and the direction of the suspect.  The driver then pulled away and was not seen again.

The victim called 911 and assisted them in tracking the iPad to north Seattle.  Officers were unable to find the suspect, electronics or red sedan after an extensive search.

Officers have recovered photos of a possible suspect using the victim’s credit card to purchase items at a Ballard drug store.  If you are able to identify the person or have any information of this case please call robbery detectives directly at (206) 684-5535.

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SPD arrests Queen Anne car prowler with help of K-9 Ziva

December 1st, 2014 by Laura

Ziva cardSPD caught one of our local car prowlers last night. Last year, K-9 Ziva helped track down a burglar, this year, she helped catch a car prowler. Early this morning, she cornered the prowler in a garage at 2nd Ave N and Aloha St.

The prowler had two loaded handguns and an outstanding warrant. Another good reason to call 911 when you see suspicious activity and people trying car door handles.

Here’s the full coverage from SPD:

K-9 Team Tracks Down and Arrests Car Prowler
Written by  on 

A Seattle Police K-9 team tracked down and arrested a 19-year-old car prowler early Monday after the suspect broke into a vehicle in Lower Queen Anne and stole a pistol.

The owner of the vehicle called police around 3:20 a.m. to report seeing the suspect in his truck on the 1000 block of 3rd Avenue North, and apparently steal his gun. The victim heard the gun being racked as the suspect left.

The K9 officer and his partner, Ziva, started searching for the suspect. Ziva found a strong scent and tracked the car prowler to an open garage near 2nd Avenue North and Aloha Street. The suspect was found beside a parked car in the garage. He was arrested without incident.

The victim’s gun was recovered. The suspect was also carrying a second loaded handgun and two vehicle titles that belonged to other victims. The prowler also was wanted on a Department of Corrections escape warrant. He was booked into King County Jail on the warrant and weapons violations.

Updated to include SPD write-up with additional details.

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Washington is now #1 in property crime

November 21st, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchWe probably could have guessed this statistic, but now we have data from the FBI that proves it. Washington leads the nation in property crime.

According to a Seattle Times article:

“Property crime elsewhere in the country dropped, but new FBI crime statistics show that Washington leapt from third in 2012 to first in 2013 thanks in part to a 6 percent jump in car thefts. The trend demands changes on the ground and in state sentencing policy.”

You can read the full article here. If you experience property crime of any time, be sure to report it to SPD. For many crimes such as car prowls and thefts of items valued below $500, you can report them online.

As a victim of property crime overnight last night, I can attest that the online reporting tool isn’t the most user-friendly – but persevere so our Queen Anne stats can hit the database… even if there’s not much being done about them (yet?).

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Midday attempted carjacking and robbery on Lower Queen Anne

November 19th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchThe PI has reported on an attempted carjacking just after noon on Tuesday. There were two related 911 calls (neither has hit the SPD map yet) about a 30-year old man who first yelled at an employee at a W. Mercer St business, then tried to rob and carjack a man.

In the end, police arrested the man. He was booked him into King County Jail for investigation of robbery and a probation violation.

Here’s an excerpt from the Seattle PI click here to read the full article.

Man pummeled during attempted carjacking in Lower Queen Anne
Seattle PI
Posted on November 19, 2014 | By 

Someone called 911 about 12:34 p.m. to report a man screaming at an employee at a business on West Mercer Street, telling the employee to call 911 and then running off, Seattle police reports say.

Four minutes later, another 911 caller reported a robbery in the 500 block of Queen Anne Avenue North involving a man matching the description of the person reported earlier.

Upon arriving at the scene, a man screamed about needing medical assistance and yelled that the responding cops were not real officers — and then he declined medical assistance, according to reports.

The alleged victim told police he was seated in his vehicle with the engine running when a man opened his driver side door, police say. The man screamed that he needed his car to go to the hospital and the man in the vehicle offered to call 911 for him.

The man reached into the car and grabbed the car keys and an ice scraper, yelling at the occupant to get out of the car or he would kill him, reports indicate, adding that he had a gun.

When the occupant in the vehicle refused to leave his car, the man punched him in the face and on his left arm, also striking the vehicle several times.

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Car prowls continue to rise with 87 Queen Anne reports in October

November 8th, 2014 by Laura

How many car prowls did Queen Anne have in October? A whopping 87 by our count of Seattle Police Department reports. That’s up from September, when we had  just over 60 car prowls. Now, that we’re closing in on 90, what’s next? Triple digits?

The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat has published a follow-up to his car prowl article. You may recall the original piece – his car was prowled, he tracked and found the suspects, SPD did nothing. Turns out that the suspects are repeat offenders and were featured on Washington’s Most Wanted this past week.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

My brazen car prowlers turn out to be state’s ‘Most Wanted’
By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist

Last week I wrote about how the police mostly ignored my family’s repeated calls to come and bust a vanload of car prowlers that my 14-year-old daughter had tracked using an iPhone app. The thieves were so brazen they held up our stolen stuff in plain view. But we were told by police dispatchers to go home and file an insurance claim.

As it turns out, these weren’t just any car prowlers. They were Washington’s Most Wanted!

… It turns out all three had warrants out for their arrests. Police believe they may have smashed into hundreds of cars stretching back to May.

Last week, as the thieves coincidentally were being arrested, the “Washington Most Wanted” TV program planned to air a feature on them.

You can read the full story here – and, if you’re wondering how we’re doing on car prowls for October, we’ve pulled the map and included it below.

When counting, we include south of the Ship Canal to Denny Way, and Elliott/15th Ave W to Lake Union with Broad St as the northeast border.

Reminder: SPD only logs reports of car prowls where something of value was taken – if your car is empty and rummaged through, it doesn’t hit the SPD map. But, if anything is taken, even spare change, report it online so it hits the database.

QA Car Prowls Oct 2014

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Teenage suspect robs woman on her way to work near Seattle Center

November 7th, 2014 by Laura

A woman was robbed on the street earlier this week on her way to work near the Seattle Center. The victim was on her regular route to work, and was approached by a white male, around 20 years old, 5-8” with a slim build. He threatened to slap her, then took her earbuds.

According to the police report, the incident occurred at 7:32am on Tuesday, November 4th at a location near 4th Ave and Broad St. The report states that she was near a business with a security guard, and that business name is not made public (Pacific Science Center, Space Needle, EMP, etc – all located near the location):

Robbery 4th and Broad map

Here are the details from the SPD report – some details are redacted, including the location landmark/company:

[Victim] stated that while she was walking to work through the (on the west side of the [redacted]) she was approached by an unknown male (WM, 20yo, 5’8″, slim build, blue rain jacket w/hood). The unidentified male stated, “I’m going to slap you!” and proceeded to walk towards her.

[Victim] began walking backwards while the suspect closed distance and shoved her back. [She] spilt her coffee and stumbled. The suspect then grabbed her headphones (green ear bud style) off her head and ran off southbound towards Denny Way. [Victim] screamed for help and was joined by a security guard from the [redacted].

The report goes on to state that the victim was not injured and had never seen the suspect. She was on her regular route to work and in her description of the suspect stated: “he did not look homeless” and “looked like a bored teenager.”

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The Seattle Times covers the frustrating problem of car prowls

November 1st, 2014 by Laura

September 2014 Car Prowls

Queen Anne car prowls in September 2014

We all know that car prowls are an every night occurrence on Queen Anne. There are so many in our neighborhood (and across the city), that some months we have trouble keeping up with the counts – and those are just the ones that can be reported to SPD.

In September, we had over 60 car prowls and a repeat prowler caught on video by a Queen Anne resident – but nothing has happened to cut down on the nightly rounds of our local car prowlers. (note: we had several media requests resulting from this post, but nothing came of them)

As noted before, you can report car prowls online, but the report requires that something of value be taken. It’s almost like you have to leave spare change in your car so you can report something of value to log the statistic with SPD. It’s not enough that someone entered your car and rummaged through it, they have to take something too.

But, even if something is taken, it often seems that nothing is done. Now, car prowls are getting bigger attention. The Seattle Times has an article on car prowls that describes the issue with car prowls, calling them a “growth industry” that SPD allows to thrive.

Car prowling seems to have become a full time job for many criminals. It’s easy to do, hard to get caught, and the penalty is… well, read the Seattle Times article for a first-hand account of tracking a car prowler and SPD’s response.

Here’s an excerpt, go to the Seattle Times for the full article – and check out the comments, there are hundreds:

Police allow car break-ins to become a Seattle growth industry
By Danny Westneat, Seattle Times

If your car is broken into and your stuff stolen, don’t bother calling the police. They won’t come even if you track down the thieves yourself.

Excerpt:

In the past two weeks, there were an astonishing 426 smash-and-grabs reported in Seattle. A few years back, we did a front-page story about how car prowls had become the city’s top crime, with 370 in a two-week period. My thieves — unlike me — are working in a growth industry.

Seattle police, I get that this is petty crime. It’s on me for leaving stuff in the car. There also was no proof who did the smash-and-grab, so even if you had come, it would have been tricky to charge them with anything.

But it doesn’t take a detective to see how punting an entire crime category over to the insurance industry could cause these types of nuisance crimes to spiral out of control. One warning sign: In Seattle, the more serious car thefts are up a whopping 44 percent this year versus last.

Can we at least start making these thieves feel a little heat? Especially when they’re served right up for you in a silver minivan?

You can read about Danny’s frustrating experience with a car prowl in the full article. And, in the meantime, the only thing it seems we can do is double or triple check that our cars are locked every night. And, leave nothing of value in your car, unless you want to be able to file a report.

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Threatening text shut down Seattle Pacific earlier today

October 31st, 2014 by Laura

SPDEarlier this afternoon, Seattle Pacific University was locked down when a student received a threatening text from an ex-girlfriend. The text intimated that she was on the SPU campus, but SPD determined she was in Skagit County. Skagit County Deputies arrested the suspect and will transfer her to SPD where she will be booked into King County Jail for investigation of harassment.

From SPD:

Suspect Arrested After Text Message Threat Locks Down SPU Campus
Written by  on 

Seattle Pacific University briefly locked down its campus Friday after a student got a threatening text message from a former girlfriend who lives outside King County.

The lockdown was lifted once it was confirmed the woman is currently in Skagit County and posed no threat to the school. The student reportedly received a text message from the suspect stating she would kill him and his friends. She also claimed to be on the Seattle Pacific campus at the time, which prompted a quick response from the Seattle Police Department about 2 PM.

It was quickly determined she was not anywhere near the campus. Skagit County Deputies located and arrested the suspect at a home outside Burlington for the threats. Deputies will later transfer her to Seattle Police before she is booked into King County Jail for investigation of harassment.

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Seattle Center School student arrested for bringing Molotov cocktail to school

October 27th, 2014 by Laura

SPDEarlier today, a 16 year old student at the Seattle Center School brought a Molotov cocktail to the school. The Seattle Public Schools high school is located in the Seattle Center Armory building, so the Armory was evacuated. Students were released around 11am.

The suspect in the Molotov cocktail incident has been arrested by SPD:

Police Arrest Student for Bringing Incendiary Device to Center School
Written by  on 

Police arrested a 16-year-old and took him into custody Monday morning after getting a tip the student had brought an incendiary device to the Center School at Seattle Center. The school was evacuated as a precaution. There are no suspects outstanding.

Officers are with the students evacuated from the school. Police continue to investigate the incident.

Update:

The Seattle Center Armory building re-opened shortly before 11 AM. School officials canceled classes at the Center School for the day.

Detectives are still investigating the incident, but plan to book the 16-year-old suspect into the King County Youth Service Center for possession of an incendiary device.

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