North Seattle

A week in Seattle cellphone robberies

Genuine KOMO crime reporter cellphone

SEATTLE -- It's no secret cellphones are a popular target for thieves. It's why I have to tell people I don't have a phone if they ask to borrow one and then feel like a jerk for the rest of the day.

But, this past week in Seattle seemed to feature cellphone robberies of every kind: successful robberies, failed robberies, robberies at gunpoint, robberies by possible prostitutes and more.

So, let's take a look back at this week in cellphone robberies.

One cellphone to go

Two people were sitting in a restaurant in the 6000 block of Martin Luther King Junior Way South around 1 p.m. May 11 when a man walked in, grabbed one of the diner's iPhones off the table, and ran out, according to the Seattle Police Department's report for the incident.

The diners chased after the man, cornered him in the parking lot, and waited for officers.

According to the report, the man told officers he tried to steal the phone to get $200. He was booked into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

The shoeless cellphone thief

A woman was standing outside of her apartment smoking and talking on her cellphone at 2:10 p.m. May 11 near 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 120th Street when a man without any shoes walked up and asked her for a cigarette.

The woman told him she didn't have one for him and asked why he didn't have any shoes. He explained he'd been swimming and walked off.

But, he came back seconds later, grabbed the woman's phone, put it to his ear, and ran off, according to the police report. A witness told officers he saw the shoeless man hop into a car and drive away.

There's an app for that

A woman was riding the Route 8 bus with a few friends and family members shortly after 2:30 p.m. May 11 when someone grabbed her iPhone out of her hand and hopped off the bus near South Dakota Street and Martin Luther King Junior Way South, according to the police report.

Two would-be do-gooders offered to chase down the thief and get the victim's cellphone back. But, when the victim followed them off the bus she saw them all walking away together, according to the report.

Officers arrived and used a tracking app on the victim's cellphone to follow the thieves around the neighborhood, eventually finding them on a Route 7 bus. All three were booked into the Youth Services Center.

Attack and grab

According to the police report for the incident, a woman was sitting on a sidewalk bench in the 400 block of Northeast Northgate Way around 3 p.m. May 13 when a man ran up, grabbed her hair, and pulled her to the ground.

The victim dropped her cellphone, which she was using prior to the attack, and the man grabbed it and ran off through the Northgate Mall Parking lot.

Costly walk home from school

A student was walking home from school at 3:20 p.m. May 13 when he noticed someone following him near 39th Avenue South and South Orcas Street.

According to the police report, a second man got out of an SUV parked on the street, looked at the man following the victim, and then started taking swings at the victim.

The man took the victim's iPhone, got into the SUV with the man who had been following the victim, and drove off, according to the report.

The ol' switcheroo

A man was walking near 10th Avenue South and South King Street around 7:10 p.m. May 13 when two women asked to use his cellphone, and he agreed.

But, when the victim tried to get his phone back, one of the women put it in her pocket and handed him a different but similar-looking phone, according to the police report.

When the victim pointed out that wasn't his phone and he would like his back, please, one of the women reportedly pulled out a knife and told him he better take the impostor phone.

The victim was afraid he was going to get stabbed, so he ran to a nearby business and called 911. Officers found the women in a wooded area commonly used by narcotics users, drug dealers and prostitutes. They were booked into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

Argument against upgrades


Finally, two people were walking near Northeast 64th Street and Ninth Avenue Northeast shortly before 7 p.m. May 14 when a man in his late teens approached them.

According to the report, the man pulled out a large handgun (which may have been a replica of a German Luger) and demanded the victim's cellphone, saying, "I'm not messing around."

The victim told officers she would have given the man her phone. But, when she pulled it out, he turned it down, possibly because it is quite old and worth little to nothing.

When the other person with the victim pointed out to the man he was being watched by someone from an apartment balcony, he ran off. The same man may be responsible for stealing a cellphone from a University Village store 15 to 20 minutes later.