July 15th, 2016 by Doree
Update: SPD arrested the suspect Friday afternoon.
Earlier: If you heard the helicopters overhead this afternoon, Seattle Police are searching for a shooting suspect.
From the SPD Blotter:
Officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired near 5th Avenue NE and NE Northgate Way. Police arrived quickly and located the suspect, but when he saw the officers, he sped off in his green Volvo, with police in pursuit.
The suspect lost control of his car and crashed in the 100 block of NE 80th, so he took off running.
Multiple police resources and a police K9 are in the area looking for him now.
Officers have not located any victims or any received additional reports at this time.
Officers believe that the man pictured here (picture removed, the man is in custody) may be the shooting suspect due to fact the he left his driver’s license in the car.
Anyone with information about this man or this incident should call 911.
Tags: crime, Seattle Police Department, SPD
July 14th, 2016 by Doree
Dr. Jason Hooyman from Hooyman Chiropractic at NW 85th Street and 3rd Avenue NW says a man came to his office on Wednesday, claiming to be selling books to donate to Seattle Children’s Hospital, and was fairly aggressive in his sales pitch, although he didn’t have any books with him.
The man said he was an Iraq war veteran and that he was blind in one eye. He was about 6 feet tall with brown hair, and slightly overweight. He was dressed in shorts and a polo shirt.
KOMO had a story on Wednesday about Queen Anne businesses that were approached by a man with a similar description and the same sales pitch. Those business owners believed it to be a scam.
Did anyone else encounter this man?
Tags: crime, scam
July 5th, 2016 by Doree
Kate tells us a man rode his bike by their friend’s car on Dayton Avenue and North 72nd Street on July 4, around 7 p.m., and smashed the car window, stealing a green backpack and a laptop, among other items.
If anyone sees a large, green Sealine brand rolltop backpack or an old white Mac laptop, please email Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: car crime, car prowl, crime
July 1st, 2016 by Doree
Update: The bike was found by Louie Zamora in the bushes behind the Phinney Neighborhood Center. Max’s family says they’re extremely grateful to Louie since Max’s brother will be riding that bike in the Seattle to Portland ride on July 16.
Earlier: A White Trek Fx bike was stolen from in front of Starbucks and Red Mill sometime last night.
If you find it, please call Max at 206-661-4109.
Tags: bicycle, crime, lost and found
June 28th, 2016 by Doree
About three dozen Greenwood business owners and residents met with Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole on June 20 to express their concerns about rising crime in the neighborhood.
Chief O’Toole began the meeting with a statistic that has dismayed Seattle residents since she took the helm two years ago: Boston, where she previously worked, has 800-1,000 more officers for a similarly-sized city.
“Policing in Seattle is a work in progress,” Chief O’Toole said while acknowledging neighbors’ frustrations. “We are working very hard on reform. We are trying to use the resources that we have more effectively and efficiently.”
She said when she first arrived, she was surprised that Seattle didn’t have more visible police officers patrolling on foot, instead of in their cars simply racing from one 911 call to another.
One of the biggest concerns expressed by residents and business owners is the proliferation of RV camping, where derelict campers park on side streets or by parks and stay for weeks or months. Neighbors have long complained that people in some of those RVs are causing crime.
“We all agree that homelessness is not a crime, but if there are people committing crimes and terrorizing the neighborhood we need to address that,” Chief O’Toole said.
She said the North Precinct compiled a list of 207 RV and car campers and had offered services to nearly all of them, but many did not take them up on those offers of help. In the week prior to the Greenwood meeting, the North Precinct spent about 130 hours on the issue. Officers posted 86 72-hour notices to move and had impounded 26 vehicles since April. Unfortunately, with a 72-hour notice, cars can simply move down the street and start the process again.
“We’re finding a lot of people facing issues of mental health crisis,” she said of not only car campers but others committing crimes. “The property crime we see in the North Precinct, probably 95 percent of it is directly related to addiction issues.”
North Precinct Capt. Sean O’Donnell said there’s an undercover buy-bust drug operation in Greenwood every two weeks, with most of those arrested being from out of the area.
Elizabeth Chayer, owner of American Dance Institute on the corner of 80th and Greenwood, said her studio had been burglarized five times in the last few months (one of those was an employee’s car parked behind the studio). “My employees are totally wigged out,” she said.
Capt. O’Donnell said he had already directed additional patrols in that area, including officers in cars, on bike and on foot. He’s told officers on bikes to ride down alleys and those on foot to look into every doorway. Chief O’Toole said they could also ask the Major Crimes Task Force to get involved.
“It feels like we’re not safe or secure,” Naked City Brewery Co-owner Bryan Miller said, adding that his business hasn’t been hit yet but he feels like it’s just a matter of time. “It seems most of the crimes happen in the early morning hours before dawn. We just need more protection right now.”
Chief O’Toole said one offender admitted to 300 property crimes in the North Precinct. SPD is now working more closely with the King County Prosecutors Office and the City Attorney’s Office to help people get the services they need and not just go through a revolving door of arrest and then back on the street.
She said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg recently assigned a prosecutor to work full time with the property crimes task force on prolific offenders. Two officers from the North Precinct are now assigned to work with that task force.
Marnee Chua, owner of Works Progress, a co-working space at 115 N. 85th St., Suite 202, that’s open to members 24-7, has its main entrance in the alley. She said her staff and members are increasingly worried for their safety, and a staff member recently was assaulted on their property. She said the suspects were not arrested and come by all the time and just stare at them through the window until they call the police again.
“I don’t know what else we can do. We have video surveillance, we’re doing the lighting, we warn our members,” Chua said in frustration.
Another issue that residents brought up is the number of vacant houses that appear to house squatters and possibly other criminal activity. Two vacant houses recently caught on fire, including one at 79th and Dayton Avenue on June 6, and another in the 7100 block of Aurora Avenue about a week later.
Officer Joe Bender said SPD has a Vacant Trespass Program, where they work with owners of vacant properties to get blanket authority for officers to go onto the property at any time. That way they don’t have to look up the property owner or registered agent when someone complains of squatters or other issues. So, if any neighbors know of a vacant house with issues, call Officer Bender at 206-233-3984 and he’ll contact the property owner. If an owner won’t work with the Vacant Trespass Program and the home isn’t being kept secure, the city’s Department of Construction and Inspections can be called in.
In the case of the vacant house at Aurora and 71st, Officer Bender said the owner had joined the Vacant Trespass Program a few months ago and officers had been on the property a few times before the fire.
SPD also has a graffiti detective who can link graffiti to a suspect. So it’s important to report any graffiti right away. Take a picture and send it to SPD online before the graffiti is painted over.
Click here for a list of contact information for the North Precinct Community Police Team.
Tags: crime, Seattle Police Department, SPD
June 16th, 2016 by Doree
From the SPD Blotter:
Two men are in custody following an early morning burglary on Phinney Ridge.
Shortly after 3:00 am this morning, neighbors in the 6500 block of 1st Avenue NW called 911 and reported hearing shattering glass and a possible burglary at an unoccupied home. Patrol officers and a K-9 Officer Mark Wong and Ziva arrived quickly and began checking the block.
Two men took off running from the home and were quickly arrested after a brief foot chase.
Upon further inspection officers discovered a broken basement window where the suspects had entered the burglarized house.
Police found one of the suspects was carrying a large quantity of prescription pills in his backpack, as well as probable stolen items. Detectives interviewed the suspects before the two men, ages 23 and 24, were booked into the King County Jail for burglary. The suspect with the pills could also face felony drug charges.
Tags: burglary, crime, Seattle Police Department, SPD Blotter
June 15th, 2016 by Doree
From the SPD Blotter:
Police found a car thief asleep at the wheel Monday night after tracking a stolen Honda from Queen Anne to the West Woodland neighborhood.
A Queen Anne resident called SPD around 9 PM Monday from the 3200 block of Conkling Place West and reported someone had stolen his Honda Prelude in the last 24 hours. Fortunately, his car was equipped with a GPS system, which showed the vehicle was parked in the 6500 block of 5th Avenue Northwest.
Officers quickly found the car and discovered there was a 21-year-old man asleep in the driver’s seat. After arresting the man, police found he was carrying a collection of filed-down keys—a tool commonly used by prolific car thieves—along with a tool for breaking windows, a can of lubricant spray, and two passports belonging to other people. Police also recovered a backpack, a briefcase, a box of wrenches, car and stereo parts from the car, none of which belonged the the car’s owner.
Officers booked the 21-year-old–who has previous convictions for auto theft property crimes—into the King County Jail for investigation of auto theft and returned the car to its owner.
Tags: car crime, crime, Seattle Police Department, SPD
June 15th, 2016 by Doree
John Christopher Altshuler, suspected of stabbing two of his Phinney Ridge neighbors on Mother’s Day, has been declared incompetent to stand trial and has been committed to Western State Hospital for 90 days.
Altshuler was evaluated at the King County Jail on June 6 by a licensed psychologist who is also a developmental disabilities professional. The psychologist diagnosed Altshuler with Schizophrenia with Severe Delusions.
According to the psychologist’s report, Altshuler’s brother said he suffered a head injury in 1986, which led to a change in his behavior, including paranoia and the occasional belief that he was Jesus Christ. Altshuler’s brother said his behavior deteriorated in the last three or four years.
The report stated that Altshuler was evaluated at an emergency room in 2007 for a possible civil commitment. He was instead referred to outpatient treatment. The report says he also was seen at Harborview Medical Center’s emergency room several times with a diagnosis of psychotic disorder and delusions, where he complained that a neighbor was trying to take his mother’s house.
After being booked into jail, Altshuler was placed in the psychiatric dorm unit, where he complained that the food and water were poisoned and he refused to eat or drink. On three occasions he was taken to Harborview Medical Center for emergency hydration.
Altshuler’s next court date is set for Sept. 8, after the 90-day commitment expires. He is charged with two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, Malicious Mischief in the Second Degree, and Violation of Anti-Harassment Order after stabbing two of his neighbors when they confronted him over slashing tires between 3rd and 6th avenues on NW 74th Street on May 8. Both men were treated at Northwest Hospital and released a few hours later.
Tags: crime, King County Jail, mental health, stabbing
June 14th, 2016 by Doree
Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole will discuss public safety concerns with Greenwood neighbors and business owners from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on Monday, June 20, at Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St.
Chief O’Toole will provide an update on neighborhood crime and police efforts, then open it up for a question and answer session. She will be joined by SPD Chief Operating Officer Brian Maxey and officers from the North Precinct.
Tags: crime, public safety, Seattle Police Department, SPD, SPD Chief Kathleen O'Toole, SPD North Precinct