Rise in thefts at West Seattle shopping center leads to more patrols

KING 5's Amy Moreno reports.

More officers are on patrol at a popular West Seattle shopping center after crime statistics showed an alarming increase in thefts. 

Officers were alerted to the problem when they looked at the latest crime numbers for that area and talked with local business owners.   

Store owner Kirk Keppler says his business, like the others here, has seen its share of crime. 

“It comes in waves, and it's definitely gotten worse” he explained. 

He's one of many business owners who are glad to see the officers around Westwood Village.

“I love the extra police being here, but we need more - more hours, longer time periods, we need more patrols in the surrounding areas,” he said.

In addition to shoplifting, police say they’ve noticed an increase in some of the thefts escalating into robberies.  Police say a few weeks into the new patrols they’ve already had a positive impact.

"They've also made arrests on things like auto theft” Detective Patrick Michaud explained.  “They recovered a stolen vehicle; these smaller crimes do tend to be a symptom of something else that might be going on.”

Police say the stats also show some of the suspects were jumping on Metro buses to get away, so they're also working with drivers and King County Metro deputies to get them suspect descriptions as soon as possible so they'll know if someone involved in a crime might be onboard.

Police say the patrols will continue until they see the numbers change.

© 2017 KING-TV


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