A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Level 3 registered sex offender moves into Greenwood

January 12th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Police are notifying neighbors that a Level 3 registered sex offender has moved into the 700 block of North 95th Street in Greenwood. According to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Crime Watch website, Donald Combs (click on his name for more information and a photo) is under Department of Corrections supervision for a 2011 conviction for indecent liberties for attacking and sexually assaulting a woman he didn’t know.

From SPD:

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 this offender has completed his sentence, he is free to live where he wishes. 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 offender 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.

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Seattle police and fire departments investigating after Molotov cocktail thrown at Greenwood Safeway last night

January 6th, 2015 by Doree

The Seattle Fire Department says someone threw a Molotov cocktail-type device at the Greenwood Safeway on Monday night.

Here are the details from SFD’s Fire Line:

January 5—Seattle Fire Investigators recovered the evidence of a “Molotov Cocktail” type device thrown at a Greenwood grocery store.

At 7:03 p.m. a witness saw a person throw the burning bottle against the brick side of a national chain grocery store located in the 8700 block of Greenwood Avenue North. The bottle broke on the sidewalk and rolled into bushes. A witness grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

There was not any damage to the store.

Seattle Police Department responded and collected witness statements. The evidence and the case have been turned over to the Seattle Police Department Arson Bomb Squad for further investigation.

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2 more LED holiday monkeys stolen from Red Mill overnight

December 31st, 2014 by Doree

Two more LED-covered metal monkeys were stolen from the roof of Red Mill Burgers overnight, making a total of five monkeys stolen from the neighborhood lighting display in the last month.

Mike Veitenhans, one of the lighting project organizers, tells us he filed a police report this morning. The first two monkeys were stolen from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar; the third was stolen yesterday from Red Mill.


Holiday monkeys on Red Mill Burgers and neighboring Starbucks in late November. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.

Since the thieves left behind the lighting controllers, he says the police believe the monkeys were stolen for scrap metal. Each monkey has only about $20 worth of metal.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association Business Membership Group and the Greenwood Arts Council came up with the lighting project as a tie-in to Woodland Park Zoo’s annual WildLights and a way to promote neighborhood businesses in a unique way. Each monkey has roughly $80 worth of materials and another $120 worth of volunteer time.

The monkeys – about 150 throughout the neighborhood – have been displayed since Thanksgiving week and will be taken down beginning Jan. 2 and stored until next year.

If you have any information about the stolen monkeys, call the PNA at 206-783-2244. Veitenhans says the stolen monkeys also can be dropped off at the PNA, no questions asked.

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Third LED holiday monkey stolen from local business

December 30th, 2014 by Doree

A third LED holiday monkey has been stolen from a neighborhood business, this time from Red Mill Burgers at the corner of Phinney Avenue North and North 67th Street. The first two monkeys were stolen from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar one block south of Red Mill.


Red Mill Burgers and Starbucks had several LED monkeys installed on their building in November for the neighborhood holiday lighting project. Photo by Mike Veitenhans.

This is the first year for the whimsical holiday lighting project, sponsored by the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Business Advisory Group and the Greenwood Arts Council as a way to bring attention to neighborhood shops and to Woodland Park Zoo’s annual WildLights. The project has received some great media attention.

The project received a City of Seattle Department of Neighborhood’s grant for materials; volunteers then bent the metal and attached the LED strips. About 150 monkeys were sponsored by businesses and individuals (including us) for $25 each. That money will be used to construct about 50 more monkeys next year. One of the project’s organizers, Mike Veitenhans, says the materials for each monkey cost about $100 and volunteer work to create them is about another $100.

If you have any information about the stolen monkeys, please call the PNA at 206-783-2244.

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Grinch snips Christmas lights on railing

December 22nd, 2014 by Doree

Sally tells us someone snipped the Christmas lights on her porch railing at 6th Avenue NW and NW 82nd Street sometime Sunday morning.

Our front porch railing is lined with lights and someone snipped the wires with scissors in over a dozen places. We’ve been living in Greenwood over 5 years now and love it here but are getting tired of the malicious activity that seems to be common. We’ve also had our car stolen three times in front of our house. Thinking about installing a camera……


Did anyone else have lights snipped?

And speaking of Grinch-like behavior, two of the new lighted monkeys from our neighborhood’s lighting display have been stolen in the last few weeks. The most recent theft was of one of the monkeys hanging from the trees in front of In the Red Wine Bar on Phinney Avenue at 65th. If anyone  knows who might have taken them, please email us and we’ll pass along the info to the neighborhood lighting organizers.


A pink LED-wrapped monkey climbs the tree in front of In the Red Wine Bar last month.

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Attempted break-in on NW 88th this morning – did anyone see anything?

December 18th, 2014 by Doree

Nick tells us someone tried to break in to his house this morning around 8:15 while he was home. Did anyone see the suspect?

Luckily I was home asleep and scared him off. I was awoken by banging noises and realized what it was. I got to my back door and he had broken a window in the door and was reaching for the lock. I yelled and he ran to the front yard hopping two fences and fled east on NW 88th. Unfortunately without my glasses and the fact that he was in an all out sprint the only details I have on his appearance are that he was a black male in dark clothing. As I was running back to my bedroom to get some clothes I heard a car door slam and I rushed back to the front window. I saw a black BMW drive off from the front of my house and then head north on 8th. Police were called and showed up promptly. We do what we can to prevent break ins, nothing of value in plain view, curtains closed, barky dogs (who happened not to be home with me today).


Greenwood residents thank neighbors for returning stolen mail

December 16th, 2014 by Doree

We received a nice note from Hayley and Jon, who report that while some of their mail was stolen from their Greenwood home, helpful neighbors have found and returned it.

I’d like to report that our mailbox in the 9200 block of Phinney Ave N got rifled at some point over the weekend. While we feel a little violated and a whole lot annoyed by the thieving jerks, this experience has led me to truly appreciate the neighbors in our hood. Over the last few days, folks have been dropping off bits and pieces of our mail– an electric bill, a rather important piece of a school application and a very sweet holiday card that someone toted all the way over from 97th and Dayton. Thank you, neighbors, for being so darn neighborly! Your helpfulness and concern warms our hearts.

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Mail, Christmas pillow found at Aurora & 65th

December 15th, 2014 by Doree

Paula found a stack of mail and a decorative Christmas pillow at the bus stop at Aurora Avenue North and North 65th Street on Saturday. One of the pieces of mail has the name Renee Curtini on it. Does anyone know Renee or recognize the pillow?


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Discarded mail found in the brambles at 92nd and Palatine

November 16th, 2014 by Doree

Paul tells us he saw about 15-20 pieces of discarded mail in the brambles at Palatine Avenue North and North 92nd Street around noon today. He said only one address was legible, in the 8700 block of Palatine. It’s likely the mail was stolen and dumped.

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Carjacking suspect arrested in Phinney Ridge after high-speed chase from Fremont

November 10th, 2014 by Doree

A carjacking suspect was arrested in Phinney Ridge late this afternoon after stealing a car in Fremont and leading police on a high-speed chase.

Witnesses emailed PhinneyWood to tell us they saw the car speeding through the neighborhood before police captured the suspect at Dayton Avenue North and North 68th Street.

David wrote: “I just watched a high speed car chase headed northbound on Phinney Ave. They flew by my office at 62nd and Phinney… A suspect vehicle with 4 or 5 police cruisers in VERY fast pursuit. They had to be going 60+ MPH. It looked like a car chase from a movie, to be honest.”

Mary sent us this photo of the arrest scene.


James sent this photo below showing the suspect’s car smashed between police cars.


Here’s another angle of the scene from James.


According to KIRO, the suspect stole the car from a 68-year-old woman, then hit her with the car before speeding off.

You can read KOMO’s story here. KIRO has a story with video here.

Update Tuesday: KIRO has an interview with the carjacking victim. And here’s SPD’s info from the Blotter.


Neighborhood crime roundup

October 31st, 2014 by Doree

We have quite a bit of crime to tell you about from the last week or so.

Keren says her car has been prowled three times in the past month in Greenwood. Every compartment inside was opened, but there was nothing valuable to steal so the thieves didn’t take anything.

Raechel had two packages stolen last week from NW 87th Street between 6th and 8th avenues NW.

Jake had a package stolen a week ago from his front porch near North 100th Street and Linden Avenue.

Fortunately a neighbor witnessed the event and actually confronted the woman and got her picture. She was riding a motorized scooter/wheelchair down the sidewalk, ran across the yard and retrieved the package, and left again on her scooter.

The police were notified (the package wasn’t worth much, but this has been a persistent problem over the past year), but if you see this woman rolling around your street, just keep an eye on her and your neighbor’s belongings.

Bryanne says her mail was stolen, including a birthday card with cash inside and a credit union debit card, from the 9700 block of 3rd Avenue NW. The debit card had already been activated and was used to purchase about $400 worth of items from QFC, Fred Meyer and Safeway. She contacted her credit union to find out how the card had already been activated.

For everyone who banks with Verity Credit Union should know that if they were issued a new card due to the recent security breaches, the cards sent out by Verity are ALREADY ACTIVATED!!! That’s how the thief or thieves were able to use my card.

We’ve heard more reports of ladders being used to break into the second story of homes in the neighborhood. Many times the ladders did not come from the yard of the home that was broken into but were left behind. This is a good reminder to keep all windows locked, including on upper floors.

Gail says her silver Infiniti I-30 was stolen from North 80th Street and Dayton Avenue last Sunday.

Julie says her visiting brother’s car was stolen from the 1700 block of NW 58th Street in Ballard last night. They’re hoping it was dumped nearby in Phinney Ridge or Greenwood. It’s a 1996 4-door dark green Honda Civic, license plate WA ASN4059. It has tan and red University of Portland parking stickers on the driver’s side windshield.


Crime Roundup: Car, engine computer and stroller stolen, two bikes found

October 21st, 2014 by Doree

We have several crime items to report:

Kevin found a cream-colored Trek bicycle ditched in front of his house this morning near North 88th Street and Linden Avenue. If it’s yours, email him and describe it.

Rebecca says someone stole her new double Bob brand stroller from in front of her house on 6th Avenue NW between NW 70th and 72nd streets. Put a note below in Comments if you’ve seen it.

Kurt says the engine control unit computer was stolen from his Honda Civic sometime around Oct. 9 near North 97th Street and 1st Avenue NW.

BJ’s tan Honda Civic was stolen between midnight and 7:30 a.m. Sunday from the 6000-block of 6th Avenue NW. License plate number AAE2307; and there’s a green sticker on the driver’s side at the bottom of the front windshield. If you have any information, please put a note below in Comments or email us and we’ll forward the info. UPDATE: The car has been recovered by police.

Margaret found this Specialized Rockhopper bike and a wallet of CDs at the alley entrance of Dayton Avenue and North 95th Street. If they’re yours, put a note in Comments or email us.