Street Robberies, Muggings and Thwarted Car Prowlers

The latest issue of the Public Safety Newsletter discusses an increasing number of street robberies or muggings taking place.  

"Victims are approached by the suspect(s) who ask for the time, ask for money, ask directions, etc. and then grab the victim's property such as purses, cash, keys, wallets, cell phones and then run away.  Sometimes the suspects attack when they pass the victims.  Several victims have been knocked to the ground or struck during the commission of the crime."

The Seattle Police Department makes the following recommendations:

  • Before leaving home, decide what you actually need to take with you rather than taking your entire handbag or wallet.
  • Minimize the possessions you carry.  Carry valuables in an inside pocket or small bag worn under your coat or clothes.
  • Wear clothing and shoes that are comfortable, low profile and appropriate for the weather.  The most fashionable choice may not be the safest choice.
  • Plan to travel on main streets that are well-lit with lots of traffic and people around.  There really is safety in numbers so travel with others.
  • Learn to be well aware of your surroundings and know who is around you.  If someone makes you feel uncomfortable ask yourself, why?  Are they too close?  Are they watching you?   Are they trying to engage you in conversation?
  • LISTEN TO YOUR INNER FEELINGS AND ACT ON THEM.  You may decide to cross the street, move to another location or go to the store and ask for help.

To minimize potential injury, tell yourself you will not risk safety over money or other possessions.  Shock and fear often cause us to react or resist when confronted.  Robbers often then increase their aggression to get what they want.  Most victims who are hurt in strong arm robbery incidents are hit or thrown down on the ground while playing "tug-of-war" in refusing to give up their purse or wallet.

  • Practice getting good descriptions of people, so that you will be able to provide details to 9-1-1.  Pay attention to where you are, such as street names, geographic locations, etc.
  • Have your cell phone available to call 9-1-1.
  • If a stranger asks you a question, step back and give yourself room to move away quickly in necessary.
  • Maintain confident body language on the street, with head up and neutral face.  Look at the passerby.  Avoid being an auto-pilot on the streets.

You can read the entire newsletter here: Download Public Safety Newsletter April 14 2010 Street Robberies

It's not too soon for us to start thinking about our Block Watches and upcoming Seattle Night Out.

Last week's Police Blotter from the West Seattle Herald reports a thwarterd car prowl on Beach Drive:

A sharp-eyed citizen and an alert officer led to the arrest of two adults and two juveniles on suspicion of car prowling early Friday. The citizen called in the suspicious behavior in the 3000 block of Beach Drive, along with a description of a dubious vehicle and its occupants. About 20 minutes later, an officer spotted the likely suspects and pulled them over near Beach Drive and SW Douglas. In the rear seat were two tennis rackets that had been stolen from the original site, as well as a number of other possible stolen items. The car was impounded for detectives. Two suspects were booked into King County Jail, a third was booked into the Youth Service Center. The fourth was released to his grandmother but will face charges along with the others. Three of the suspects were from the Burien area. Another was from the Delridge area.

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