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

 

SPD: Men caught selling meth, printing fake checks at Aurora Avenue motel in Greenwood

February 2nd, 2016 by Doree

From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

Police found a gun, knives, ammunition, laptops and printers from an Aurora Avenue motel last week after arresting two men for selling meth and running a check counterfeiting operation out of their room.

SPD Major Crimes Task Force detectives began investigating the men for narcotics dealing last week, and visited the room at the Klose-Inn Motel–located in the 9300 block of Aurora Avenue North–on several occasions to buy meth. During the investigation, detectives learned the room’s residents were also running a check fraud business.

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Detectives began tailing the suspects and, one occasion, followed one of the men to a Greenwood store, where he cashed a fake check for $1,000.

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SWAT, MCTF detectives and patrol officers served a warrant at the suspects’ motel room around 9:30 PM on January 27th and arrested a 29-year-old man for fraud, and a 20-year-old for narcotics and weapons possession.

Detectives found suspected stolen jewelry, a loaded handgun, ammunition, packaged methamphetamine and unidentified pills, a key-making machine, laptops and printers, along with knives, high-end watches, cash, identification and bank cards.

Detectives released the 29-year-old pending further investigation and booked the 20-year-old into the King County Jail. Police are also investigating him for additional crimes after he claimed to be involved in several incidents of gun violence in the greater Seattle area.

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Greenwood burglaries on the rise, community meeting with SPD Feb. 4 at Couth Buzzard

January 29th, 2016 by Doree

Couth Buzzard Books, which has been burglarized twice in the last two months, has organized a community meeting with Seattle Police Department representatives at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 4, at the bookstore at 8310 Greenwood Ave. N. SPD will talk about a recent surge in burglaries and how residents and businesses can try to reduce crime.

Couth Buzzard owner Theo Dzielak said he had not been burglarized in the five years he’s been in Greenwood until mid-November, when burglars broke the glass in his front door and stole $950. Then on Jan. 18, thieves pried open the back door with a car jack and stole about $25 in coins and some beer and wine.

“They go in very quickly and get what they can and leave very quickly,” he said. “I don’t think they’re professionals. They’re not going after places that have high levels of cash. They’re going after tiny mom and pop stores.”

Dzielak said he’s talked to numerous other businesses owners and discovered seven of them within a three- or four-block radius have been burglarized a total of 11 times in recent months.

One block away from Couth Buzzard, Chaco Canyon Organic Café owner Chris Maykut said his restaurant was burglarized last week. The thieves broke in through the back window and stole a 300-pound safe and a hand truck. Maykut said surveillance video from a nearby business showed one person standing in the alley for two hours acting as lookout.

His total loss is about $6,000, including the safe, cash, the tablet they use for a menu at the front counter, and a broken window.

“It’s kind of a blessing in disguise in some ways,” Maykut said. “Nobody got hurt. There’s no great tragedy except property loss and that’s not the end of the world. But we’ve installed some bars in the back window, we’re putting in new lighting, we’ll be putting in unbreakable windows in the back and a new alarm system.”

Chaco Canyon’s front door was heavily damaged about four months ago when someone took a screwdriver and hammer to it, but they didn’t get inside.

“They must have made a hell of a lot of noise and there’s a light right there so I don’t know how nobody saw them,” Maykut said.

According to SPD’s online Crime Dashboard, there were 59 non-residential burglaries in Greenwood in 2015. Ten of those were in December – the highest month total for the year. August had nine.

That’s up from 40 non-residential burglaries in 2014, and 39 in 2013. Those numbers do not include residential burglaries, or burglaries from secured parking areas, whether residential or non-residential.

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Non-residential burglaries in Greenwood by month for 2015. From SPD’s Crime Dashboard.

Phinney Ridge had 15 non-residential burglaries from April through December 2015 (there’s no data for the first three months of the year). Six of those burglaries were in December.

Modern Japanese Cuisine at 6108 Phinney Ave. N. in Phinney Ridge told me they were robbed of money and an iPad on Dec. 20. Violet Sweet Shoppe at 65th and Phinney Avenue was burglarized on Dec. 13 by someone smashing the glass and stealing computers. (The store has since closed, not due to the burglary.)

Burglars also recently hit St. John School at 120 N. 79th St., just a few blocks from Couth Buzzard and Chaco Canyon. On Jan. 15, school officials sent a campus alert email to families and staff that someone broke into a boy’s restroom in one of the school’s portables and removed plumbing and fixtures from the sink. According to the email, the thieves also stole a brass dedication plaque off the portables, along with equipment and fixtures from outdoor faucets.

“It’s kind of amazing in our little tiny block radius that all this has happened,” Maykut said. “It’s surprising to me because it’s such a public area.”

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Guardian 1 helicopter over Phinney-Ballard is looking for occupied burglary suspect

January 15th, 2016 by Doree

The King County Sheriff’s Office’s Guardian One helicopter was hovering over Phinney Ridge and Ballard for over an hour this morning looking for a burglary suspect who broke into an occupied home in the 100 block of NW 59th St.

Det. Patrick Michaud told me Seattle Police swarm the area whenever there’s a burglary while someone is home because of the potential for someone to get hurt. He says no one was hurt in this case, and they don’t believe the suspect was armed. The burglar did steal a few items.

SPD also searched using a K-9 officer.

Photo by PhinneyWood reader James McFarlane.

Photo by PhinneyWood reader James McFarlane.

Thanks to Peter and Sue for the tips.

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Open house for new SPD North Precinct Station on Jan. 23

January 13th, 2016 by Doree

The Seattle Police Department is hosting a community open house to update folks on the progress of the new North Precinct Station, which will be at the southeast corner of Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street.

The meeting is from 10 am. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, at the Bitter Lake Community Center Annex at Broadview-Thomson K-8, 13040 Greenwood Ave. N. SPD will show preliminary designs and a proposed construction schedule, and will discuss opportunities for public input.

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Reminder: Safe Routes to School audits of Wilson-Pacific site are Wednesday and Saturday

November 10th, 2015 by Doree

Remember, neighbors can take part in a Safe Routes to School audit for the Wilson-Pacific schools site near Aurora Avenue North and North 90th Street. The first audit starts at 11 a.m. Wednesday; the second audit starts at 2 p.m. Saturday. Both start at The Woodlands Pizza at 8314 Aurora Ave. N.

Three new schools will open on the site. Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, Cascadia Elementary School (Advanced Placement Program) and Licton Springs K-8 will serve about 1,700 students total, including students from Greenwood and Phinney Ridge. Many students will have to cross major streets, including Aurora, 85th, I-5 and Northgate Way. The purpose of the audits is to find safe routes for those students to get to school, and to suggest pedestrian improvements to the School Traffic Safety Committee, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Police and City of Seattle.

Adults and children are welcome on the audits, which will be conducted by walking and biking. The walks will be between 1-1/2 and 2 hours long, followed by a review session. Food and refreshments will be supplied during the review session.

For more information or to RSVP to attend an audit, please email LictonHallerGreenways@gmail.com.

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Neighborhood groups conducting audits of safe routes to new schools at North 90th Street

November 3rd, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Licton-Haller Greenways and Greenwood-Phinney Greenways are conducting audits of safe routes for children to get to the three new schools that will open in fall of 2017 on North 90th Street, one block east of Aurora.

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School, Cascadia Elementary School (Advanced Placement Program) and Licton Springs K-8 will serve about 1,700 students total, including many students from Greenwood and Phinney Ridge.

Adults and children are welcome on the audits of potential routes, which will be conducted by walking and biking. The walks will be between 1-1/2 and 2 hours long, followed by a review session. Food and refreshments will be supplied during the review session.

The audits will result in a report to the School Traffic Safety Committee, Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Police, and City of Seattle to encourage the implementation of needed safety improvements prior to the schools’ opening.

Audits are currently scheduled for the afternoons of Wednesday Nov. 11 (Veterans Day, a school holiday), and Saturday, Nov. 14. A third day could possibly be added, depending on interest.

For more information or to RSVP to attend an audit, please email LictonHallerGreenways@gmail.com.

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K-9 unit catches armed robbery suspect in Greenwood

October 9th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Police Department says a police dog tracked down a man suspected of robbing a man at a Greenwood ATM on Wednesday night.

From the SPD Blotter:

A 38-year-old man was tracked down by an SPD K-9 and arrested after robbing a man at an ATM in North Seattle.

Police responded to an armed robbery outside of a bank in the 400 block of N 85 Street just before 10 PM on Wednesday night.

The victim told officers he was approached by the suspect as he walked up to use the ATM. The suspect pointed a gun at him and demanded he withdraw cash from the machine, which he did.

The suspect snatched the money as well as additional cash from the victim’s wallet and ran off northbound.

Officers set up containment and SPD K9 Jaeger and his partner Officer Rory Smith were able to track the suspect to a backyard in the 700 block of N 88 Street where he was found hiding behind a shed.

The suspect was positively identified by the victim and the victim’s money was found in his pocket.

The suspect told officers he threw the gun he used in the robbery in some bushes. Officers located the gun in a nearby park, which turned out to be a realistic looking pellet gun that had its orange tip painted black.

The suspect was booked into KCJ for investigation of robbery.

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National ‘Night Out’ against crime is Tuesday

August 2nd, 2015 by Doree

The annual Night Out is coming up this Tuesday and thousands of neighbors in Seattle are planning to close off their streets to traffic so they can play and get to know each other better.

Last year, more than 1,400 events registered with Seattle Police Department.

Registration to close off your street ends at 5 p.m. Monday. You can add your event to SPD’s official Night Out map, and even request that police, fire or elected officials drop by (there’s no guarantee they’ll be able to). The Night Out website also has event flyers and street closure signs that you can print off.

Send us photos from your block party and we’ll post them the next day.

 

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SPD busts ringleader of prolific burglary ring, has photos of hundreds of stolen items to return to owners

June 29th, 2015 by Doree

Last week Seattle Police arrested the suspected ringleader of a prolific North Seattle burglary ring and his girlfriend at a motel near University Village. SPD believes the crew broke into homes during the day and businesses at night, as well as storage units.

You can read more on the SPD Blotter.

Detectives have already arrested two other suspects in the case, but are still seeking three others.

Police found hundreds of suspected stolen items in the suspects’ truck and storage unit. They’ve posted pictures online of the stolen items. If you believe any of the items are yours, you’ll need to provide proof of ownership, such as a purchase receipt, case number related to the item, or a photo clearly showing you with the item. You can provide that information to detectives at SPD5002@seattle.gov.

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