In light of recent criminal activity in our area, we wanted to share this information from Terrie Johnston, Crime Prevention Officer for the Seattle Police Department.
Johnston says that earlier this week a dog walker in Rodgers Park in Queen Anne (1st Ave. West and West Raye Street) saw a group of young men drinking and being obnoxious. The man confronted the group and told them to take the party elsewhere. He was then stuck and wrestled to the ground by the suspects who left in a car. The victim was not able to give a description of the suspects or the car. Officers checked the park and surrounding area but did not locate the suspects. Here is what Johnston recommends:
If you witness strangers engaging in criminal activity, please call 911 first and try to give a good description. We would not dispatch a lone SPD officer to handle fiver or six unruly individuals, and we would never want you to put yourself in an unsafe situation, when 911 could be called.
Robberies usually take less than two minutes to commit. Once a robbery begins, your main objective is to end it as quickly and safely as possible. Never resist a robber. You are dealing with a volatile individual and the stakes are not worth serious injury or death. Be as cooperative as possible. The longer the robbery takes, the more nervous the robber becomes. Once the robber has left, call 911 immediately. Make notes regarding the description of suspects.
Most victims tell us that the crime happened so quickly they weren’t able to get a good look. This is something we can all work on improving. Practice getting good descriptions of people and cars around you. Like anything, the more you do it the better you become. Practicing this when not in crisis may carry over in the event you ever need to be a witness to a serious incident. When describing the suspect, use yourself as a ruler, since you know how tall you are. Try to note the most impressive features about the individual such as tattoos, scars, complexion and glasses. It is helpful for us to know which way the “bad guys” went, so geographic awareness is crucial in good reporting. Don’t chase the robber. This invites violence and the police could mistake you for one of the criminals.
If it has been awhile since you met with your neighbors, you can call Johnston to schedule a Block Watch meeting. She can discuss the prevalent car prowls, and personal safety. Her office phone at the West Precinct is 206-684-4741.