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Owner of Seattle's Woodland Coffee frustrated by rising crime

Vanessa Daiger says in the five years they’ve been open, crime has worsened.

SEATTLE — A frustrated Seattle business owner says she's tired of dealing with break-ins and threats to her customers and workers.  

She’s reaching out to nearby businesses to see if they want to band together to create a safer environment in their community.

Crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department show a rise in burglaries and thefts at businesses in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Businesses in this area have dealt with countless break-ins and say when they call for help police can’t always get there.

Vanessa Daiger owns Woodland Coffee in the Ballard neighborhood and says in the five years they’ve been open, things have gotten worse. The last few weeks have taken a sudden turn.

“I've never seen it like this,” Daiger said.

Daiger said employees don’t feel safe walking to work and they had a recent sex crime occur inside the shop.  

“For me, to have to call the police four times in one week, that's never happened for me to have to ask people to leave multiple times a day. That's never happened,” she said.

Daiger said she reached out to police for help.

“I called SPD and asked if they could have extra patrols and that hasn't taken up and decided to take things into my own hands,” she said.

She called a local security company to see about hiring private security. The owner of the company suggested getting businesses to join together and share the cost.

Daiger sent a letter to other businesses asking if they'd join her. 

It might seem desperate, but she's determined to make this gathering spot a safe space. 

"I have to try. I have to try everything I can,” she said. “These people are my family. I just can't let them sit in danger. I feel like it's my responsibility.”

So far, the response to her letter has been positive, but Daiger said she has no formal plans or a timeline. She simply wants to talk with other businesses and see if they have ideas on what they can do to make the area safer.

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