Former director to do time, pay back thousands she stole from Capitol Hill school program

Five years and a $125,000 civil lawsuit settlement later, a former director of a Capitol Hill after school program has been sentenced to 17 months in prison and ordered to pay another $82,000 in restitution for embezzling thousands of dollars from the program she increasingly used as her personal bank account, according to court documents.

Earlier this month, Cathy Reed pleaded guilty to multiple counts of theft from Kids’ Club, a non-profit after school program at 18th Ave E’s Stevens Elementary. From 2009-2011 Reed used Kids’ Club money to buy a new car, fund personal vacations, and even pay property taxes on her house. CHS first broke news of the allegations against Reed last October. At that time, Reed did not respond to multiple requests for comment, nor was she home when we knocked on the door of her Lake Forest Park home.

In court documents, the King County prosecutor said Reed’s actions were a clear case of a person who chose to live beyond her means.

“There is no evidence … of a gambling addiction, or of a drug problem, or of a compulsive shopping habit,” said deputy prosecuting attorney Amanda Froh. “Instead, those records tell the story of someone who was living her life, day by day, in a manner beyond what her income could sustain.” Continue reading

Blotter | Interlaken choking report case stalled

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • No new information in Interlaken case: The investigation of the reported choking attack on a woman jogging in Interlaken park has not turned up any new information. SPD said there are no updates in the case in which a woman said she was strangled until she passed out by a man inside park the afternoon of October 9th.
  • Carjack suspects still in LA: The teen suspects arrested by LAPD in a vehicle carjacked at gunpoint on Capitol Hill remain in California, Seattle Police tell CHS.
  • Rough night: A Friday night that started with a man reportedly being served “6-7 shots of Fireball whiskey and a beer” at a bar in the 900 block of 12th Ave ended with him covered in filth with few memories of the night’s events — and nearly $2,000 poorer. According to the SPD report on the incident, the man arrived at East Precinct headquarters at 12th and Pine Saturday night October 11th with details of his rough Friday night. The victim told police his friends told him he had tried to get into a club in the 1400 block of Broadway was left behind when only part of his group was admitted. The victim said he was told he waited around and then walked off. He told police he remembers trying to get into his apartment building after that but that his roommate did not answer the buzzer. The victim said the next thing he remembers is waking up in a hallway of a building in the 1000 block of E Mercer when an employee arrived and told him to wait outside in the entrance until security arrived. As he woke up, the victim discovered he was “all dirty” and that he was missing belongings. The victim said he didn’t wait to talk with security. Later, he also found that his credit cards had been used during the night. The victim told police he has a history of “blacking out when he drinks.” The report lists total losses for the victim at $1,961. Continue reading

SPD looking for more victims of downtown groping suspect

Police say they are looking for additional victims after a woman’s social media campaign against an alleged groper who she says assaulted her downtown pushed SPD detectives to step up their investigation and take the man into custody. Here’s SPD’s call for help tracking down more victims:

Department of Corrections (DOC) officers recognized the man in the victim’s photo as a level 3 sex offender, and contacted SPD investigators. DOC officers booked the man into the King County Jail Wednesday for violating the terms of his community supervision. Continue reading

City Council vote will pave way for new youth detention center at 12th and Alder

12th and Alder in a design rendering of "Concept A"

12th and Alder in a design rendering of “Concept A”

UPDATE: The Seattle City Council voted 8-1 Monday in favor of a land use bill that will give King County the ability to replace its crumbling Youth Detention Center at 12th and Alder.

Land use bills rarely evoke significant emotion or public attention, but Monday’s meeting drew a number of public commenters who opposed spending more money on a youth detention system that disproportionately detains African Americans.

Council member Kshama Sawant cast the lone “no” vote, saying the county should instead use a fraction of the estimated $200 million to repair the currently crumbling Youth Services Center and spend the rest on youth jobs programs. Council member Mike O’Brien said it was not up to the council to decide whether or not to continue investments in youth detention and that the old facility needed to be replaced.

Council members passed an amendment to the bill that would delay the implementation of the zoning changes until April 2015 so a racial impact study of building a new detention facility could be complete.

In 2012, 55% of voters approved a $210 million levy to build the new 144-bed facility. The existing center has 210 beds. Detention data shows the current center is typically less than half full.

The council bill would alter the zoning code to allow for construction of the new center, even though one already exists on the 9-acre site. The new facility, called the Children and Family Justice Center, will also include a courtroom and gymnasium:

The project includes building a new 136,992 square foot (sf) courthouse with 10 courtrooms, a new 98,031 sf juvenile detention facility with 154 dorms, and a new four-level parking structure with 440 spaces. The existing buildings will be demolished, leaving 2.8 acres of the county-owned property at 12th Avenue and Alder Street unused.

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Alleged Broadway Grill hacker now charged with stealing and selling 2 million credit card numbers

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.14.42 PMThe Russian man charged with stealing credit card numbers from the now shuttered Broadway Grill is now accused of stealing up to 2 million credit card numbers far beyond Seattle and leading a large international hacking syndicate, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

On Tuesday a federal grand jury in Seattle returned a “second superseding” indictment on Roman Seleznev, charging him with an additional 11 counts related to hacking, stealing credit card information, and selling the numbers through “carding” sites.

In a press release, Seattle’s acting U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes said Seleznev was a leader in the international marketplace of stolen credit card numbers and even created a website to teach others how to do it. New information examined by the grand jury showed Seleznev was operating his criminal scheme right until he was apprehended in Russia, according to the press release.

Seleznev allegedly used severs around the world to conduct his operations and sold credit card numbers through the website “2pac.cc.” In a separate indictment in Nevada, Seleznev faces racketeering charges.

Seleznev was indicted in Seattle in 2011 but wasn’t taken into custody until July 5th. DOJ representatives wouldn’t say how the suspect was ultimately captured or how he ended up in Guam, his first stop in U.S. territory. The arrest of Seleznev, the son of a member of Russia’s Duma, set off international protest as his home nation called his seizure a kidnapping part of a string of disputes with the U.S. over cybercrime.

According to the 2011 indictment, Seleznev’s hack of the Broadway Grill point of sale system resulted in at least $1.7 million in losses to banks and credit card companies. Seleznev’s charges include five counts of bank fraud, eight counts of intentionally causing damage to a protected computer, eight counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, one count of possession of unauthorized access devices, and two counts of trafficking those devices. He also faces five counts of aggravated identity theft.

Phone tracking helps police nab suspect after armed hold-up on 14th Ave E

Guns were at the center of a burst of crime around Capitol Hill overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. In addition to the E Pike shooting incident, police were called to a gunpoint robbery on 14th Ave E between Harrison and Republican around 10:30 PM. One person stopped nearby the crime was carrying what police say was an illegal concealed pistol. Police were able to track down the suspect in the hold-up and seize yet another pistol thanks to the victim’s phone tracking:

Police arrested two suspects and seized two guns after a late night robbery on Capitol Hill.

Officers spoke with a man who had just been robbed at gunpoint around 10:30 PM Saturday night. The victim recounted that as he was walking in the 400 block of 14 Ave East, a man approached, pointed a gun at him and demanded his “stuff”. Gun in hand, the suspect made off with the victim’s wallet and cellphone.

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Shooting on E Pike: Man hit in arm in Pike/Pine street assault — UPDATE: Arrest

One person was reported hit in an early Sunday morning shooting in the 1000 block of E Pike.

Police and Seattle Fire units rushed to the scene just east of the Havana parking lot amid crowds of nightlife revelers in the heart of Pike/Pine. The incident was reported just after 1:30 AM. A suspect wearing a red hoodie was reported running from the scene.

The victim was reported by police to be a male in his 30s shot in the forearm who was “conscious and alert” at the scene.

UPDATE: Police say the suspect is a 24-year-old who reportedly opened fire in a dispute involving a former girlfriend:

Before 2 AM an angry ex-boyfriend found his former girlfriend with another ex-beau at 11 Ave and Pike Street on Capitol Hill. The confrontation escalated to the point where the incensed ex-boyfriend pulled out a gun and fired multiple rounds, striking the victim in the arm.

It was not immediately known if a suspect who ran from state troopers near the Lakeview Blvd exit of I-5 minutes after the shooting was involved in the assault on E Pike. Police were searching the greenbelt around the area where the person who ran from troopers was apparently holed up in the tree-covered area. UPDATE 2:29 AM: One person found in the St. Mark’s greenbelt has been taken into custody in the Lakeview incident. Troopers have detained two additional people in the traffic stop.

Police were able to gather a suspect description and information about his possible identity from witnesses and the investigation at the shooting scene.

The incident follows weeks of extra patrols and the assignment of gang units to Pike/Pine to quells a late-summer crime spike in the area. Friday, SPD officials meeting with business owners and community members said that robberies and street violence had dropped following the emphasis patrols.

UPDATE 10/12/2014 7:30 AM: SPD says the suspect is in custody:

Officers have arrested the 24-year-old suspect from this morning’s shooting on Capitol Hill. Police arrested the suspect and recovered the handgun when he turned himself in to officers at the North Precinct.

Last nights shooting appears to have been the continuation of an incident in Snohomish County, where the suspect may be facing additional charges.

After interviewing him, officers booked the man into King County Jail on investigation of assault.

UPDATE 10/12/2014 2:55 PM: The 24-year-old is currently held for investigation of domestic violence assault. In 2012, the suspect pleaded guilty to fourth degree assault and vehicle prowling in a case in which a Bellevue police officer said the man spit on him after he was arrested for busting a light and breaking into a vehicle at a mall. In a request to have his 60-day sentence changed to work release, the man’s defense attorney wrote that he didn’t remember much of the night in the Bellevue incident and was suffering from “intoxicated delirium” and had consumed so much alcohol that he required care at the hospital where he spit on the police officer.

SPD: Pike/Pine robberies decreasing with two-fold increase in weekend police patrols

Discussing Pike/Pine crime at the East Precinct (Image: CHS)

Business owners and community member discuss Pike/Pine crime at the East Precinct (Image: CHS)

A month of ramped-up of police activity to stamp out Capitol Hill robberies and assaults seems to be making an impact, or at least that was the consensus among Seattle Police top brass, including Chief Kathleen O’Toole, and a group of Capitol Hill business owners who met inside the East Precinct on Friday afternoon.

East Precinct Captain Pierre Davis said there has been a 42% decrease in street robberies over the past month as he’s doubled the weekend police presence in Pike/Pine. On Friday and Saturday nights Davis said he is now deploying up to 30 officers around the Pike/Pine area. The push required the support of the chief and Mayor Ed Murray to divert limited resources to patrolling Capitol Hill’s nightlife activity, Davis said.

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By CHS’s count, combined robberies and pickpocket incidents across Capitol Hill fell from 38 reported in August to 16 in September. In 2013, the tally went from 21 to 11 in the same period. More of the latest Capitol Hill crime trend totals here

“Not everyone gets this,” Davis told CHS. ” We may have to look at making this permanent. That will take resources.” Continue reading

Police search Interlaken Park after woman choked in attack — UPDATE

Seattle Police searched the Interlaken greenbelt Thursday afternoon after a woman reported being choked unconscious by an attacker as she walked near 21st Ave E and Interlaken Pl E.

The assault reported just before 3:30 PM drew a large SPD response to the area as medics were called to evaluate the victim reported to be a woman in her 50s. UPDATE: The victim in the incident is a 44-year-old area resident, CHS is told.

The woman told police she was walking in the area when she was approached by two black males. One of the suspects “choked the woman out” rendering her unconscious, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. We do not yet know if the attack involved a robbery. UPDATE 10/10/2014 9 AM: CHS has talked with a person with knowledge of the incident and confirmed that our account of the attack described here is correct and that one of the males may have been acting as a lookout. UPDATE 10/10/2014 11 AM: CHS has received a copy of the SPD report on the incident. A portion of the report has been added to the bottom of this post. Continue reading

Big police response after DOC officer injured

One person was taken into custody after a Department of Corrections officer was reported injured and bleeding from the head in an incident in the 1600 block of E Olive St around noon.

All information is preliminary at this time and has not been confirmed with Seattle Police or Seattle Fire.

A “fast backup” alert was sent out across East Precinct radio just before noon Thursday at an the address of the Sound Mental Health facility near 16th and E Olive St.

Arriving police officers reported the DOC officer was down and injured and that the suspect had been taken into custody.

Seattle Fire medics were called to the scene.

Washington’s Most Wanted? Show on hunt for Capitol Hill tagger

LOLCAM 20141006_005100_2 (2)The TV program Washington’s Most Wanted is leading the hunt for this Boylston Ave tagging suspect caught on surveillance video early Monday morning:

Justin Christie was in bed when the motion sensor on his surveillance camera set off an alert on his phone.

“As soon as I saw it, I jumped to the door and wanted to scare him away at least, but by the time the alert came through, he had already finished; he was pretty quick,” said Christie.

What the suspect left behind will cost the Home Owners Association between $300 and $500 to remove.

“I respect street art. I don’t think this is street art,” said Christie.

The video was provided to police who passed it on to the show’s producer who, in turn, shared it with us. The producer tells us police are looking for tips to help identify the tagging bandit. “[T]he tagging subculture responsible for millions of dollars in damage every year,” the show reports. You can call 1-800-222-TIPS with information or SPD directly at (206) 625-5011.

With SPD pushing SeaStat data-driven policing, here’s a look at Capitol Hill 2014 crime trends

It's no SeaStat. But CHS has pulled together this look at  Capitol Hill crime trends

It’s no SeaStat. But CHS has pulled together this look at Capitol Hill crime trends — yup, there’s an uptick. More charts and tables, below (Source: data.seattle.gov SPD dispatch data)

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 11.59.06 AMFriday, SPD brass will be back on Capitol Hill along with East Precinct commander Capt. Pierre Davis to update the Pike/Pine business community about the status of increased patrols in the area following a late-summer surge in street crime. The noon meeting follows weeks of “emphasis patrols” including deployment of gang units in Pike/Pine. It also caps a week of Seattle Police status updates as Chief Kathleen O’Toole — or Kathy as Mayor Ed Murray called her in a recent press conference — rolled out reports on her first quarter in command of the force and updated City Hall about her department’s new statistical approach to policing.

Monday in front of the Seattle City Council, O’Toole credited SeaStat, a newly purchased system used to map crimes and deploy officers, with putting the kibosh on what the chief said is a rising wave of crime in her new city. But she said community feedback is also driving the department’s decisions.

“We have to respond to community feedback,” she said.

“Although we’ve implemented the SeaStat system that does compile data, we’re also supplementing that with the info we get from the community.”

While we wait for SPD to update its official tallies for the first three quarters of East Precinct crime data, CHS has pulled from data.seattle.gov a dataset based on all reported incidents to compare crime around Capitol Hill through the first three quarters of 2014 vs. the same period in 2013. The good news: The overall total of reported incidents is almost exactly the same. The bad news: Things haven’t improved after 2013’s crime-y gains. Here are the totals for all East Precinct beats covering Capitol Hill.

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Blotter | SPD says group could be responsible for a dozen Capitol Hill robberies

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • Robbery gang busted? SPD says the teens arrested in Los Angeles with a vehicle stolen in a violent Capitol Hill carjacking could be connected to a string of robberies in the neighborhood —
    Detectives believe a group of teenagers arrested in a stolen car last week in California could be responsible for at least a dozen recent robberies on Capitol Hill.
    SPD Robbery detectives say the group of four young men—all between 14 and 17 years old—targeted intoxicated victims on Capitol Hill because they were more likely to have trouble identifying their assailants. Police also recovered cellphones and other electronics in the suspects’ stolen Ford Fusion, and are working to tie the items to any recent robberies. Detectives are now working to extradite three of the suspects to Seattle. The fourth suspect may be facing additional charges for unrelated crimes in California.
  • Alley mugging: A victim in an early Sunday robbery told police his assailants were three to four black males who made off with his new iPhone 6. According to East Precinct radio dispatches, police were called to the alley behind Neighbours around 1:35 AM where the victim was treated by medics for injuries suffered in the crime. The suspect descriptions were mostly general but the victim said one of the thieves was dark skinned and around  5′” to 5’9″, wearing light jeans, a white jacket, and light blue sneakers. The suspects were last seen headed south in the alley toward QFC. There were no arrests. Continue reading