Car thefts and prowls can be prevented; Here's how
By Jennifer Danner
Seattle Police Southwest Precinct
Crime Prevention Coordinator
As we all battle this difficult time in our community and in our world, the Seattle Police Department would like to remind our community about some important prevention tips, specifically related to two topics: gun violence and auto theft.
The SW Precinct, and the City as a whole, is seeing an uncharacteristic increase in gun crime and gun violence; as seen by the recent incident on Alki Beach on Sunday August 2nd. In an effort to decrease these incidents, we have a few vital suggestions:
-If you have firearms in your home, please ensure they are securely stored and ensure that you have the model and serial number recorded in a safe place (please keep in mind SPD provides free firearm cable locks! Reach out to me directly if you are interested in this offer!)
-If a firearm is stolen from your home, report this immediately to the Seattle Police Department by calling 911
-Call 911 immediately to report the sound of shots fired, be as explicit as possible as to the direction of where the sound is coming from, and report all other observed activity in the area
-If you witness someone displaying a weapon, or other types of suspicious activity, call 911 immediately
In addition to increases in gun crimes, we are also noticing high numbers of auto theft incidents. Please read the following recommendations related to preventing and decreasing auto theft occurrences.
What is auto theft?
-Theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle
What is a car prowl?
-Unlawful taking of motor vehicle contents or parts
Both of these crimes are referred to as crimes of opportunity and can happen very fast! An experienced car thief can break in and steal a car in less than one minute!
What are some prevention techniques for car prowl and auto theft?
-Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away, even for ‘just a minute’, please remember this is illegal in Seattle and in Washington (SMC 11.70.160, RCW 46.61.600)
-Remove remote garage door openers, key fobs and key cards from vehicle
-Always lock doors and roll up windows, even if the car is parked in front of your home
-Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked
-Items you don’t want to take with you should be stored in the trunk, or out of sight
-Put items in the trunk before you arrive at your destination
-Even non-valuable items should be hidden from view (such as electronic charging cables)
-If possible, park vehicle in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit area
-Utilize anti-theft devices (including steering wheel clubs- contact me directly for links to where to purchase these)
-If possible, activate alarm
What else can you do?
-Be observant! If you see something, say something!
-Remember to always report all crimes and suspicious activity to the Seattle Police Department by calling 911
-Organize and/or get involved with Block Watch
Below you will find my contact information, including email address and phone numbers. Keep an eye out next month for another crime prevention bulletin! Below you will also find upcoming events in the SW Precinct in the next month, as well as other resources- such as the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, the link for our online-reporting system and the link for how to ‘thank an SPD employee’.
Please contact me directly with questions, concerns, to request my presence at a future meeting, to discuss Block Watch, to request a free safety/security assessment of your home or business and/or if you are interested in free firearm cable locks.
Email address: Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk phone number: (206) 256-6820
Work cell phone number: (206) 471-2849
Upcoming events in SW Precinct-
·West Seattle Crime Prevention Council Meeting
o Tuesday August 18th, 7pm- 8:30pm, virtual (Microsoft Teams invite will be sent out soon)
·Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Number: (206) 625-5011
·Seattle Police Department’s Website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/
·Seattle Police Department’s Online Crime Reporting: https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting
·Seattle Police Department’s ‘Thank An Employee’: https://www.seattle.gov/police/about-us/contact-us/thank-an-employee
·Contact information for other SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators:
o North Precinct- (currently vacant) - please contact Sergeant Heidi Tuttle- Heidi.Tuttle@seattle.gov
o East Precinct- Joe Elenbaas- Joseph.Elenbaas@seattle.gov
o West Precinct- Barb Biondo- Barbara.Biondo@seattle.gov
o South Precinct- Mark Solomon- Mark.Solomon@seattle.gov