West Seattle

West Seattle residents concerned over spike in break-ins

SEATTLE - Police say since the beginning of August they've seen a huge spike in burglaries in West Seattle.

Thieves stole a lot of Donna Thompson's things inside her West Seattle home, but nothing as personal as her sterling silver. She was 18-years-old when her husband, now deceased, started collecting them.

"My husband died in 2008," Thompson says. "They took it all."

Two weeks ago, West Seattle resident Christopher Mason held a would-be thief at gunpoint. Since then, police say the numbers more than quadrupled with close to 70 break-ins across their South Precinct in August.

Thieves broke into Kathy Fataftah's Prius last week, while just across the street thieves broke into Minh Do's car and truck.

Victims say they're frustrated because police can't seem to catch the thieves.

Seattle detective Mark Jamieson says police blame the crime spike partly on good weather.

"People left their windows open," Det. Jamieson says. "Some left their doors open."

Victims also say that's exactly what burglars did - cut their screens to get in - including Michael Smith, who woke-up to a prowler trying to crawl through his bedroom window. Smith says he screamed and the would-be burglar ran away.

Police say they've made a few arrests recently, one just yesterday in Arbor Heights. They say the spike is beginning to wind down.