On a per capita basis, your odds for getting mugged on Capitol Hill probably peaked in the mid-90s but after a small swarm of street robberies around the Hill this weekend, August 2014 appears to be shaping up as the worst month in recent years for robbery in the East Precinct beats covering Capitol Hill.
This weekend pushed the month over the top with a roster of reports coming in:
- 8/22 2:52 AM: Two males reportedly hit victim near Broadway Market QFC. Medics were declined. Victim lived nearby.
- 8/23 1:32 AM: Victim found on sidewalk near Broadway/Pike, suspect last seen fleeing on the Harvard Market stairs. Suspects described only as “group of black males in their 20s.”
- 8/23 1:55 AM: Report of fist fight at 11/Union turned out to be street robbery. Suspects ran northbound on 11th Ave described as three black males, all wearing beanies and shorts. Two adult male victims suffered head lacerations in the scuffle.
- 8/23 3 AM: Suspect reportedly stole something from a female victim’s purse. She fell chasing the thief near 13th/Olive St. Her male counterpart told police he thought suspects fled to Cal Anderson. The perpetrator was described only as a “short, white male.”
- 8/24 10:21 PM: E Pine near Harvard. Caller reported 10 people attempted a strong arm robbery, trying to take wallet out of victim’s hand and threatened him with knife but didn’t show. The group was described only as black males and female teens. The group was last seen leaving the area on Harvard.
Those don’t count another armed robbery report we’re looking into from Sunday morning from a victim who didn’t report the crime until later in the day. We’ll update when we learn more. We’re not aware at this point of any arrests in the weekend crimes.
According to the numbers from data.seattle.gov, the weekend swarm pushes August’s Capitol Hill robbery total to 26 — the highest single month total in the years the system’s data is available online. As with all datasets involving crime reports, the usual caveats apply: The incidents are recorded as reported robberies regardless of whether investigation determined an actual crime occurred.
The August boom in Capitol Hill incidents ends a string of relative calm on the robbery front for the area. Even with this late surge, 2014’s robbery totals for the area are nearly 19% below where they were at this time in 2013. You might recall one string of pellet gun-point robberies racked up several victims last summer.
For the most part, August 2014’s totals include mostly strong arm muggings though the month did get off to its troubling start with a botched pistol-point hold-up in Cal Anderson that ended with its victim being hit in the head with a grazing shot that required stitches and treatment for a skull fracture but otherwise left the victim amazingly unharmed.
A teen allegedly attempting to flee from police in that August 1st hold-up was caught with a phone and wallet belonging to the victim minutes after the just-after-midnight crime. The teen told police another teen had pointed the gun at him and demanded he hold the weapon and the victim’s property as police arrived. The teenager reportedly attempted to flee but slipped and fell as police moved in and found the gun in bushes, nearby. He told police about being forced to take the gun. He also reportedly vomited as he was being taken into custody. He has been charged with first degree robbery. He turned 18 this week.
An uptick in warm weather crime on the Hill — especially around Cal Anderson — has become an annual part of the neighborhood’s summer. Earlier this month, CHS reported on ongoing efforts to combat the trend including new, temporary staffing in Cal Anderson and continued East Precinct “emphasis patrols.”