Police search unsuccessful after woman robbed on 24th Ave

Police are investigating a reported armed robbery after a woman was mugged and thrown to the pavement on the backside of the Midtown Center commercial block at 23rd and Union Tuesday night.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, the suspect grabbed the victim and claimed to have a gun pressed against her as he shoved the woman down and stole her wallet on 24th Ave just after 10:30 PM Tuesday.

Police spread out across the area and a K9 unit searched for the suspect described as a black male around 5’6″ and heavyset, wearing a white tank top, and dark jean shorts, last seen fleeing the area on foot to the east.

The search was not successful and there were no arrests. No serious injuries were reported.

CHS Crime Dashboard — Reported robberies by month — East Precinct (Source: SPD)

With a rise in gun incidents and shootings across the city, robberies are down so far this summer in the East Precinct and the area around the Midtown Center has seen fewer incidents of gun violence after a spike earlier this year.

In May, developers announced a $23.25 million deal to acquire the Midtown block for long-planned redevelopment.

Man shot in leg overnight at 12th/Olive

A man was shot in the leg and police received conflicting reports about the possible shooter in a shooting early Thursday morning near 12th and E Olive St.

Police were called to reports of people yelling and multiple gunshots just before 2 AM near the 1700 block of 12th Ave. They arrived to find a male who had suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.

The shooter was initially described as a white male with a slim build, bald head, and wearing an all blue sweatsuit or possibly medical scrubs. But other witness accounts provided a different description. According to police dispatch radio reports, the victim told police the shooter had accused him of breaking into a car.

Police searched the area for the shooter. A K9 unit was not immediately available but a dog brought to the scene later helped officers search the area yard by yard. Police were also hoping to collect video evidence of the incident from a nearby resident.

We do not have further details but the male’s injuries were not described as life threatening by Seattle Fire radio.

Thursday’s incident took place a block from the site of a November 2016 shooting in which the victim eventually died from his injuries. SPD has not announced any arrests in connection with that case.

Capitol Hill gunfire? Two incidents overnight

Gunfire echoed around north Broadway early Sunday morning after a Capitol Hill service station worker said he opened fire to ward of a robbery attempt. Meanwhile, police were investigating more gunfire earlier Sunday after an apparent gun battle near Pine and Broadway in the middle of nightlife crowds overnight.

There were no reported serious injuries in the incidents.

Officers rushed to the area of Broadway and Roy just before 6 AM to reports of gunshots. Arriving police were told the 76 Station worker opened fire on two males attempting a robbery, according to East Precinct radio reports. At least one shot struck the back window of a tan van as the suspects reportedly attempted to flee on 10th Ave. There were no immediate arrests.

Earlier, a wave of violence across Seattle continued with a bout of gunfire near the Broadway parking lot between Pike and Pine just before 1 AM.

Police responded to a report of around eight shots in the area and found at least one bullet-riddled car and a victim who apparently not seriously injured. The female was reported as “uncooperative” by police and refused to stay at the scene, according to radio dispatches.

Witnesses told police of an SUV-type vehicle that sustained bullet damage, another car, and a possibly armed male fleeing the area on foot. Police were checking with area businesses that may have video evidence from the shootout. Seattle Fire was called to the scene for possible injuries from the gunfire but quickly released.

Blotter | Broadway gun arrest, ‘well-known community member’ prostitution investigation

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here. Yes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • Broadway gun arrest: Seattle Police are thanking a “watchful resident” for reporting a threatening man with a gun outside a bar Saturday night amid Broadway and Pike/Pine streets choked with nightlife revelers. Police responded to the report of the man armed with a handgun with “his finger on the trigger, and “pounding his chest and breathing heavily” outside Therapy in the 1500 block of Broadway just after 10 PM Saturday night. According to police, they were able to track down the suspect after his silver Audi became stuck in traffic near the Shell station at Pike and Broadway:
    Officers searched the area and within about ten minutes, found the suspect stuck in traffic. East Precinct bike officers quickly coordinated with nightlife emphasis foot beat officers and formed a plan for a high risk vehicle stop. Officers stopped the car and spoke with the suspect. Officers learned that the man had a license to carry a concealed weapon. They also found his loaded 9mm handgun. Since brandishing a gun isn’t covered by permit, officers arrested the man for a misdemeanor weapons violation.
    “Many thanks to the watchful resident for seeing something suspicious and then quickly sharing the information with bike officers who were patrolling the area,” the SPD brief on the arrest reads.
  • ‘Well-known Capitol Hill community member’ investigation: KIRO has made a big deal about the investigation of a “well-known Capitol Hill community member” for allegedly “training sex workers for ‘highly paid’ escort work and providing them to government leaders.” While the TV station chose to break the news on the March 1st search warrant to collect evidence at the reported “Capitol Hill” home of the unnamed suspect in the midst of fallout from Mayor Ed Murray’s sex abuse scandal, CHS is aware of the investigation and can report that, no, the search warrant was not for the mayor’s home despite what the comments section of the TV news site might tell you. In typical TV fashion, the address isn’t even really on Capitol Hill. But more importantly, the prostitution and “government leaders” element overshadows allegations of sexual assault being investigated after a 22-year-old man told police he was drugged and raped by the suspect. At this point, there are no charges in the case.
  • First Hill knife arrest: SPD arrested an alleged car prowler in an incident last Friday on First Hill:
    Officers arrested a man for robbery Friday afternoon when two men interrupted a car prowl in the First Hill neighborhood. Two men doing building maintenance in the 1200 block of James Street at 3:45 p.m. Friday, went downstairs to retrieve items from their trucks when they spotted a man helping himself to stuff stored in the bed boxes of their vehicles. The two men confronted the suspect who pulled out a knife and threatened the victims. The victims retreated and called 911. Officers arrived and began searching the building for the suspect they believed was still inside. The Officers eventually found the suspect, placed him under arrest, and booked him into King County Jail for investigation of robbery. Officers checked the area where the suspect was hiding and found all of the victim’s belongings.

16th/Madison shooting adds to Seattle gun violence spike

The week’s spike in gun violence across Seattle continued overnight with a shooting in the gas station parking lot at 16th and Madison that sent a male victim to the hospital with wounds to his upper back and leg.

Police were called to the area of 16th and Madison around 12:45 AM after 911 callers reported hearing multiple gunshots in the area. Officers found the victim in the Shell station parking lot at 16th and Madison conscious but “very uncooperative,” according to East Precinct radio dispatches.

Callers reported seeing a light colored or silver vehicle speed from the scene after the gunfire. Minutes after the E Madison shooting, SPD was called to more gunfire reported around 18th and Marion but there were no reports of injuries.

SPD says the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries in the shooting and that the department’s gang unit is investigating the incident.

The early Sunday morning incident joins a spate of gun violence across the city ending a week that included five shooting victims in three days. The E Madison victim made six and another man shot later near Beacon Hill bumped the tally to seven by Sunday dawn. Earlier this week, SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole said the department is working with its federal law enforcement partners to tackle the latest wave of gun violence.

“We are outraged by the gun violence, and neither our department nor our community will tolerate it. We have been working consistently with our federal, state, and county partners, and convened a meeting today to redouble our efforts,” O’Toole said in a statement.

The shooting victims include a couple in their 70s caught in the crossfire of a shootout along MLK early on May 4th and a deadly shooting May 3rd in a parking lot along Rainier that took the life of a young woman.

Family still looking for answers in unsolved death of Devan Schmidt

This week marks two years since the death of Devan Schmidt.

The 29-year-old died inside a Madison Valley home on May 2nd, 2015. The medical examiner was unable to determine a cause and manner of death but noted that the investigation scene and circumstances around her death were “concerning for homicidal violence,” and asphyxia “could not be ruled out,” according to documents provided by a family member to CHS.

Her family has continued to seek justice and the Seattle Police Department case remains open.

Schmidt’s loved ones sent CHS the following statement and are asking for help in finding out what happened that May 2nd morning in Madison Valley.

It has been two years as of today that our beloved daughter, sister, auntie, and friend’s life was abruptly taken away. Devan C. Schmidt will always be remembered as a woman who loved life, adventure, family, friends, laughing, being silly, a good book to read, and dancing in the rain. She is loved and missed by many and will never be forgotten. We still have many unanswered questions and ask that anybody who has information regarding her death or the circumstances surrounding it, please contact the SPD homicide division.

— Friends and family of Devan Schmidt

If you can provide information, call the SPD homicide tip line at (206) 684-8763.

Convicted Broadway Grill hacker sentenced to 27 years

Seleznev in happier times with stacks of cash (Image: Department of Justice)

Roman Seleznev, the son of a Russian lawmaker and a prisoner once reportedly dangled in exchange for Edward Snowden, was sentenced to 27 years Friday morning in a milestone that should mark the beginning of the end of a long story in Capitol Hill crime and justice and an international scheme that included ripping off customers of the Broadway Grill. The Department of Justice announced the sentencing following Friday’s federal court hearing in Seattle:

A 32-year-old Vladivostok, Russia, man was sentenced today to 27 years in prison for his computer hacking crimes that caused more than $169 million in damage to small businesses and financial institutions, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes of the Western District of Washington.

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, aka Track2, was convicted in August 2016, of 38 counts related to his scheme to hack into point-of-sale computers to steal credit card numbers and sell them on dark market websites.  U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones of the Western District of Washington imposed the sentence.

“This investigation, conviction and sentence demonstrates that the United States will bring the full force of the American justice system upon cybercriminals like Seleznev who victimize U.S. citizens and companies from afar,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco said in a statement.  “And we will not tolerate the existence of safe havens for these crimes – we will identify cybercriminals from the dark corners of the Internet and bring them to justice.”

Seleznev was convicted last summer in a $1.7 million international computer hacking and identity theft scheme that included stealing credit card numbers in 2010 from the now-shuttered Broadway Grill on Capitol Hill and the Mad Pizza chain, among other local businesses. In August 2016, a federal jury in Seattle found Seleznev guilty on 38 counts, including computer hacking, wire fraud, and identity theft. He faced up to 34 years in prison.

In 2010, the Secret Service detailed that the breach that exposed information from hundreds of credit and bank cards as part of a single-day hack of a vulnerable Capitol Hill restaurant’s point of sales system. The son a Russian politician, Seleznev’s case gained international attention when he was taken into custody by United States law enforcement in 2014 while attempting to board a plane in the Maldives. The Russians called it a kidnapping and accused the U.S. of trying to trade Seleznev for Edward Snowden. Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate violent Boylston phone mugging

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here. Yes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • Boylston robbery: Police were unable to make any immediate arrests but collected a lot of hopefully useful evidence with the help of witnesses and video after a Sunday night, April 9th phone robbery on Boylston. Officers were called to the area around Boylston and Union just before 10 PM on April 9th after a 911 caller reported hearing a woman yell for help. Police were directed to a nearby apartment where friends were treating the victim for a swollen lip, cuts and bruises to her face, and head pain. The victim told police she was walking home from dinner in the Pike/Pine neighborhood and walking home when two suspects “came up behind her, held her down, and hit her multiple times in the face,” according to the SPD report on the incident. The victim provided police written notes on what she remembered from the attack: Continue reading

Blotter | Police investigate shooting on Melrose in reported domestic violence incident

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here. Yes, CHS is still on hiatus but we’ll continue to keep the news engine warm and post from time to time as events warrant.

  • Melrose shooting: One person was taken into custody following a domestic altercation involving a man and woman each reportedly armed with a gun that escalated into bloodshed along Melrose Ave E Monday morning. According to police and Seattle Fire radio dispatches, a male was reported shot outside a building in the 100 block of Melrose Ave E just before 11 AM. A search was quickly started for a female reported leaving the scene and ditching a gun as she fled. Seattle Fire arrived to begin treating the male victim as the female shooter was located near Harrison and Summit and taken into custody. Police recovered multiple shell casings from behind the building and a .45 caliber handgun that was reportedly dropped by the victim during the incident. Officers also found blood on a nearby UPS truck and were searching for the shooter’s weapon reportedly dumped in the area. Nearby streets were closed in the area during the search. The victim wast reportedly transported to Harborview. We do not have further information on his condition. UPDATE 12:57 PM: SPD confirms initial reports from the scene and says the victim did not suffer life-threatening injuries: Detectives are interviewing a 19-year-old woman after a man was shot Monday morning in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Dispatchers began receiving calls to 911 just before 11 AM stating there had been multiple shots fired in the 100 block of Melrose Avenue East. Officers arrived and found a man with multiple gunshot wounds in a nearby alley and spoke to witnesses, who reported seeing a woman fleeing the area immediately following the shooting. Witnesses also reported seeing the victim of the shooting throw a gun in some bushes not far from where he was found. Medics transported the 32-year-old victim to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Dispatchers later received a call from a woman, who said she had shot the man. The woman said that she would wait at an intersection for officers to arrive. Officers quickly found and detained the 19-year-old woman who is now being interviewed by detectives. UPDATE 3:45 PM: SPD says the man who was shot will be booked into jail for investigation of harassment in a possible domestic violence crime: The man wounded in this morning’s shooting will be booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Harassment upon his release from the hospital. Detectives have determined the man and the woman involved in this morning’s incident had previously been in a relationship. The woman told police she had gone to meet the man this morning to return his property, a firearm, and observed him charging at her with a gun in his hand. The woman fired at the man, striking him in the leg. She fled the scene but was contacted by police a short distance away, and was interviewed and later released by detectives. The Seattle Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit is investigating the case.

Blotter | E Spruce fire, Broadway gunshots, drugged drink incident update

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

  • 12th/Spruce fire: A vacant home slated for demolition was fully engulfed in flames and the fire had spread to a nearby structure as Seattle Fire responded to the scene near 12th and Spruce just after midnight early Monday morning. SFD received multiple reports of a two and a half story house in the 1200 block of E Spruce burning and threatening a neighboring building around 12:08 AM. Arriving units found a wall of flames and began to battle to bring the blaze under control. Callers reported that the property was derelict but may have been occupied by squatters, according to Seattle Fire radio dispatches. It took more than 45 minutes to bring the fires under control. A search of the properties revealed no victims. The fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate what caused the blaze. The house at the center of the blaze was acquired by Hardy Development Company in 2014 and is currently undergoing permitting for demolition. UPDATE: Seattle Fire reports that the fire that began in an adjacent shed most likely originated on a mattress and there were signs of “homeless activity” in the shed and the house. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 damage to the vacant home.
  • Broadway gunshots: Seattle Police and several people on the streets of Capitol Hill reported multiple gunshots early Sunday morning. 911 callers and SPD officers reported anywhere from three to six shots somewhere to the southwest of Broadway and Madison. There were no reports of injuries or damage and no immediate reports of officers locating shell casings or other evidence to pinpoint the gunfire.
  • Drink drugging update: The owner of a Capitol Hill bar where two men suffered drug overdoses says she has spoken with one of the victims about the likelihood they were targeted at a party earlier in the night at not at her bar. Barbie Roberts, owner at Purr, said nightlife patrons should still be vigilant and keep a close eye on their drinks. We’ve posted an update and a message from Roberts on our report on the incident.