The Stranger has an article this week by Tobias Coughlin-Bogue: “Mugged at Gunpoint on Beacon Hill.” In the article, Coughlin-Bogue describes being robbed twice on North Beacon Hill, and his thoughts on revenge and gun ownership.
“About two blocks into our trek, a cop rolled by, and we flagged him down. He made a very unconvincing effort to track our assailants, giving the distinct impression that he believed our cause lost from the get-go. He also made sure to let us know, “If they tried to rob me, I would have pulled out my gun and asked them, ‘How badly do you want my stuff?'” I wasn’t in the mood to point out how incredibly foolish that statement was, so I just let it slide, borrowed his cell phone to get ahold of our roommate so we could get into the house, and let him drive us home.”
Have you been mugged on the Hill? Do you feel the police response was adequate? And what do you do to stay safe when walking around?
Monday, May 20, was apparently not a good day to be walking around on Beacon Hill. Seattle Police report two robberies that took place Monday evening, one with arrests and one without.
In the first incident, a woman was walking on the Chief Sealth Trail near Beacon Avenue South and South Orcas Street at about 6:40 p.m., listening to music on her white iPhone 4S, when she noticed a group of four teens following her. Two of the youths rode up to her on a bicycle and tried to grab the phone, but only knocked it onto the ground. They fled and the woman continued walking.
Later, she noticed two more boys following her, and she started to run. One of the teenagers caught up to her, pushed her down, grabbed the iPhone, and took off.
Police later found two of the suspects near 21st and Orcas, with a white iPhone 4S in one suspect’s pocket. Though the teen claimed it was his own phone, police found that it contained photos belonging to the victim.
The two suspects, aged 14 and 15, were booked into the Youth Service Center on charges of robbery.
The wife ran across Beacon, looking for help, while the husband turned over his wallet. The suspect then ripped a chain from the man’s neck. The suspects then fled in what police describe as an older, full-sized white sedan with tinted windows and violet paint on the sides, driving westbound across Beacon Avenue.
Police were unable to locate the suspects, described as two black males: one 6’2″, thin, wearing a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and armed with a handgun, and the other 5’5″, medium build, dressed similarly.
Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley are seeing a wave of jewelry robberies, say Seattle Police. In just over a week, there have been more than 20 incidents of these robberies on streets, at bus stops, and at stores in Southeast Seattle.
According to police, the suspects typically either grab people from behind, or walk up to them, ask a question, and then grab the victims’ jewelry and purses. Police believe the series of robberies began on August 14, when two suspects robbed a woman on Beacon Hill after she left a local market.
One neighbor, Anna, commented here on the BHB about being victimized in a recent street robbery:
“I was robbed last week, and a shoulder bag was taken from me. It happened mid-morning, on Beacon Avenue near the golf course. It was two young African-American men; they came up behind me, grabbed the bag, and ran. I reported it to the police, but I wonder how many people this has happened to who didn’t report it.
“I’ve lived on Beacon Hill forever, and I am always aware of my surroundings and who’s around me, but this is the first time I’ve been afraid to walk around in my own neighborhood during the day. I’ve not been out walking much since it happened, and I don’t know when I’ll feel safe enough to do so on a regular basis.”
If you have any information about these crimes, please contact the SPD Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535.
by Kiersten Throndsen, KOMO Communities (Beacon Hill Blog news partners)
A burglary turned home invasion left a 70-year-old man with cuts to his wrist, according to police.
It happened Friday, around 1:30p.m., near 12th Avenue S. and S. Nevada Street.
The victim told police he heard noises coming from the back of the house. When he went to check it out he found the two men inside.
The victim tried to fight the suspects off but they pulled out a knife. He told KOMO News they used a telephone cord to tie his hands and feet together and left him in a bedroom while they went through the home.
Nearly 30 minutes later the victimâ€™s granddaughter came home and found him. She called 911.
The man was treated at the scene for cuts to his hands.
An iPad, jewelry and money were reportedly stolen from the home.
Three people have been arrested for allegedly macing, then robbing a 12-year-old girl in Beacon Hill Monday.
The girl was walking near 25th Avenue South and South Dawson Street around 2:45 p.m. when a group of three people in a car drove past her and pulled up on the street, Seattle police said.
As the girl walked toward the car, a man and woman got out, asking for directions to nearby South Brandon Street.
The girl complied, but as she started to walk off, one of the suspects sprayed the girl in the back of the head with mace. Then they grabbed the girl’s backpack, knocked her to the ground, and demanded she give over her cell phone.
The attackers then jumped back into the car and sped away. The victim wasn’t seriously hurt.
However, several witnesses called 911 and officers found the car near 46th Avenue South and South Othello and arrested the three people inside.
Taken into custody were a 20- and 22-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman. All three were booked into the King County Jail for investigation of robbery.
Once at the jail, the woman set off a metal detector, and officers found she had hidden a can of mace inside her bra, police said.
The Blotter says, “Information developed during the on going investigation led detectives to the identity of one possible suspect. Victims were able to point out the suspect in at least three of the robberies during a photo line up.” Yesterday, the 17-year-old suspect was taken into custody and booked into the Youth Services Center for investigation of the robbery charge.
Street robberies have been on the increase in Southeast Seattle lately, according to a Seattle Police community alert issued yesterday. The robberies often involve 2-3 suspects who demand phones, iPods, wallets, or jewelry from individual victims. In some cases, weapons were displayed, while in others, “body force” or the threat of it was used.
Victims typically were distracted by using their phones or listening to iPods. Many of the robberies clustered around transit stops and stations, particularly Mount Baker Station, Columbia City Station, and the areas around Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. and S Othello Street, and Rainier Ave. S. and S. Henderson Street.
These “hot spots” are in Rainier Valley, not on Beacon Hill, but there have been a few incidents on the Hill in the last month as well.
On December 2 at about 4:30 p.m., a man got off the bus at Beacon Avenue South and South Columbian Way, and was then accosted at Beacon and South Ferdinand Street by two suspects, one of whom held a gun to the victim’s stomach. They demanded his cell phone and the cash from his wallet. One of the the two then pepper-sprayed the victim, then they ran east on South Ferdinand. The suspects aren’t described in the police report.
A few days earlier, in the afternoon on November 28, another man got off the bus at Beacon and South Orcas, and was confronted by two men in the area of 22nd Avenue South and Orcas. One man pointed a silver handgun at the victim and said “give me everything you got.” The victim gave him a wallet, an iPod, and a backpack. The suspects were described as “an Asian male wearing a black BB hat, a black hoodie with the hood up, and black pants,” and “an unknown race male wearing a black and red jacket.”
The next day, in nearly the same location at about 6:45 p.m., another victim walking home from the bus had a run in with two men, one of whom pointed a “small dark semi-auto handgun” at him. They took the victim’s wallet and jacket. The suspects were both described as Asian males, about 5’8″. One was “possibly Vietnamese or Korean… thin build, shaved almost bald head, and wearing dark clothing including a hooded sweatshirt with a light colored design on the front.” The other was “possibly Filipino, chubby build, bigger lips, wearing all dark clothing including a hooded sweatshirt.” The latter was driving a white Honda Prelude before the two pulled over and confronted the victim.
On November 15, two teenagers were waiting at a bus stop in the 7100 block of Beacon Avenue South when a man displayed a handgun and demanded their iPhone 4 and blue iPod Nano, saying “I need your phone, give me it, this is my shit.” The suspect was described as a black male, 5’6″-5’9″, possibly 16-19 years of age, weighing 175 pounds, with a short black afro, and wearing a blue jacket with a royal blue hood and collar and blue baggy jeans.
To keep yourself as safe as possible from this type of crime, the Police suggest a few basic principles, including:
Carry minimal items.
Don’t bring your entire handbag or wallet with you unless you need to.
Plan your route and pay close attention to your surroundings.
Avoid listening to music through earphones when out on the street.
Donâ€™t use or flash valuables like laptops, iPods, iPads or iPhones on the bus or train.
If someone demands your property and displays or implies in any way that they have a weapon, don’t resist.
Neighbor Kevin Haag posted this to the beaconhill mailing list yesterday. We are reposting with his permission:
A sad story (but with a happy ending):
At 7:30 tonight at the Beacon Hill library, I was unlocking my bike while—I found out later—in the children’s section, a young man pulled on a ski mask and snatched an elderly woman’s purse. He burst out the main doors behind me and ran northeast across Beacon Ave. Several of us chased him and at 18th and McClellan his ski mask and the purse were recovered. The young man got away, but witnesses returned to the library to offer descriptions to the police officer called in by the library staff. The purse was returned to the owner and her ID was still inside, but all of her cash was gone.
About one hour after I spoke with the officer at the library as a witness, he personally called to clarify what I had seen and informed me that everyone’s care paid off. He said that thankfully a neighbor noticed a young man acting suspiciously a few blocks away from where the purse was found, called 911 and ultimately SPD arrested the young man on a metro bus and
found the missing cash on him.
Thanks to everyone that spoke with SPD regarding the incident—especially the neighbor who happened to notice someone acting oddly on their street. I, for one, will recall this time less as a tragedy and more as a positive experience that really brought out the best in our community, including caring neighbors and a responsive police department.
Together we can proclaim that this is our community, and when you’re on Beacon Hill you will be cared for.
Katrina noted a dark teal Toyota Corolla being driven recklessly at high speeds around the neighborhood near 20th and Brandon recently.
Sometime overnight on the 26th, Mike’s white 1997 Subaru station wagon was stolen from where it was parked on 13th and Judkins.
Sunday evening, Mahalie and others along Cheasty had a suspicious visit from a supposed door-to-door magazine salesman.
Lindsay mentioned seeing a man driving slowly through the neighborhood near 15th and Dawson on Sunday in a tan Crown Victoria-like sedan, taking photos of houses. Willie wondered if he saw the same guy near 20th and Hanford the same night.
Hazel mentioned a neighbor’s property on 20th between Hinds and Spokane had been broken into on Sunday. Maryann responded that she’d seen a couple of kids in baggy clothing acting shifty as she walked along 19th near Spokane Street around 5 or 6pm that night.