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Woman robbed at gunpoint at 12th and John

A woman walking just blocks from her destination was robbed at gunpoint early Wednesday morning on Capitol Hill.

According to police radio dispatches, the woman was held up at 12th and John around 12:45 AM by a suspect brandishing a silver handgun. The suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 5’5″ tall and in his late teens or early 20s. The suspect possibly had an accomplice but the victim said she did not get a look at the possible second person involved in the crime.

Police cruisers rolled through the area to search for the suspect who was last seen leaving westbound on John carrying the victim’s red purse. A K9 unit was not dispatched due to the amount of foot traffic in the area.

Police found a stolen Toyota Camry parked in the area but there was no indication the vehicle was related to the robbery. Police were also looking for any possible connections to a similar gunpoint robbery earlier Tuesday night in West Seattle.

The robbery comes amid a $400,000 injection of funds to increase patrols and increased safety measures including leaving the lights on at night in Cal Anderson Park in an effort to curb this summer’s increase in violent crime in the city. On Monday, Mayor Mike McGinn appeared on Capitol Hill as a new Gun Free Zone program was launched at area businesses.

The incident is the sixth gun-involved robbery on the Hill CHS has reported on since the end of July.

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40 thoughts on “Woman robbed at gunpoint at 12th and John

  1. This almost makes me want to cancel my trip home to Seattle for the summer. I’m so sick of hearing about hate crimes and violence in my hometown that I could vomit. What the hell is going on in Seattle? Get it together!

  2. Errr, westbound on John, maybe? 12th runs north-south.

    Seriously, though, a Night Walk program has to happen. I feel like an idiot taking Lyft home from my own neighborhood.

    • I also live on 12th and Denny, and with all of the Cal Anderson and surrounding crime I feel as though I am forced to live by a curfew. It is awful and the police station is right there. Right. There. And it doesn’t seem to be deterring anyone.

    • I live right near there and it sucks to factor the nighttime crime risk into my plans.

      I thought I was woken up hearing a mugging from my apartment early in the morning Sun. 8/11. I called 911 (who didn’t commit to responding) and couldn’t sleep for a while. There are no reports on the SPD website, so maybe I was wrong.

      • Well, I am glad that you called the police anyway, it is unfortunate that they did not respond. Although there have been events right in front of my apartment (ex: a hit and run involving several policemen just last week) that haven’t been recorded on the blotter (or at least I didn’t find it).

      • from my years on the hill, I’ve found it’s difficult to get them to respond to anything west of 15th and south of Roy Street. If they don’t respond, there’s no report and no statistic that a crime occurred.

        Watch your surroundings, stick to well populated areas and don’t be afraid to carry bear spray.

  3. As I’ve said before, the only reason Capitol Hill has so many street robberies (far more than reported) is that it’s perceived as being weak. Most of these are committed by thugs from the cd or south end whom are very aware of how oblivious most hill dwellers are- but also how politically correct and terrified of confrontation with black or brown people they are. Until people start treating everyone equally these crimes will continue. Sorry.

    • “far more than reported” — we hear, occasionally, about somebody deciding not to call the police after being robbed but it’s not the typical course of action for street robbery victims. Most commonly, unreported rip-offs I’ve heard about involve drug transactions.

      “perceived as being weak” — compared to what? Issaquah? 12 reported robberies downtown Seattle last week. 5 reported on Hill More likely a function of population and activity.

      • Are you suggesting predators don’t target people they think they can easily prey on? Are you suggesting stick up kids are not targeting people they perceive as vulnerable?

      • I have dealt with six attempted robberies in the last four years that were not reported to police. Please speak for yourself.

      • I also know many others who have been accosted in the night on the hill with no provocation, some badly injured, that never reported their assault to police. I find your comment very condoscending and sheltered. Please speak for yourself.

    • There’s a wave of robberies and assaults on Beacon Hill as well — this type of speculation doesn’t help anything. These robbers target people who have something to steal, who carry valuables on them, and generally don’t spend their lives fighting and brandishing firearms. That’s not a race thing. That said, once someone pulls a gun on you, it generally doesn’t matter if you can fight or if you’re packing.

      • They target people who won’t fight back, in areas where witnesses won’t jump in, where they will not be recognized, where they will not be caught. They target the path with least resistance and fewest consequences.

  4. The reason we have so many robberies is because we have a dense resident population and a huge nightlife culture. And because SPD is really good at not taking proactive steps to curtail crimes happening on their doorstep.

    • Here is your debate topic of the day: Do we want the Police to be more pro-active in stopping street robberies before they occur? Just last week the Courts put the brakes on NYC’s stop and frisk law as unconstitutional as practiced. The Mayor and Police Chief strongly object, claiming crimes against persons are down substantially.

      So, are you willing to be stopped and patted down simply because you are on the street? Is this worth it to possibly reduce street crime? Discuss.

      • There’s a lot of ground between “doing nothing” and “frisking random civilians”. Putting foot patrols in affected areas to increase police visibility would do a lot to curtail this trend.

      • I doubt it. The police cannot be everywhere all the time. There have been robberies steps away from the police station as a matter of fact.

      • Sure. But creating the perception that SPD cares and that they’re actively watching would deter a certain percentage of the less brazen muggers. The fact that it IS happening on their doorstep is pretty criminally emboldening.

      • I understand a lot of it comes down to funding – they just received funding to put out two foot patrols, but it’s not guaranteed for next year. Clearly there needs to be a community approach to this problem as well as a law enforcement one.

  5. Unfortunately Capitol Hill is home to a large portion of the homeless population of Seattle, it being so close to downtown, and has many parks and other areas suitable for, as I call it, “guerilla camping.” Capitol Hill also has a dense population of sex offenders, and convicted drug traffickers and prostitutes, being that there are, as I counted, 6 or more halfway houses. This creates the market for drugs, which brings in drug dealers and gangs (which, whether SPD or general citizenry might wish to disagree… Seattle does have gangs. See all the groups of people on corners wearing all Red?), which brings in guns. So, with that said, of course there will be violence and crime. As CHS has said, as long as there are people there will be crime. Alsom times are tough, and people need money. Just certain factors create a higher density and different types of crime.

    • Are you saying that people in halfway houses are continuing to use drugs, and not “in recovery”? Horrors! What a surprise!

  6. Yes, this needs to improve/stop/what-have-you… but, let’s face it – Seattle is a city of complaining more than changing.

    My organization has been offering free self-defense and awareness seminars (1-3 hours) to Capitol Hill organizations, groups, students, individuals for the last 9 months. Aside from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Social Outreach Seattle, NO ONE has bit. Instead, we’ve stepped-up our weekend safety patrols around the areas of the Hill most severely hit.

    The influx of city money to increase police patrols hasn’t done a whole lot. Turning on the flood lights at Cal Anderson has done even less. Keep being complacent about your safety, and we will keep seeing stories like this.

  7. I am sure the NRA thinks this is all OK but the best way to fix this is give everyone a gun. The NRA has far too much power in this country.

    • Yes I’m sure this person was a member of the NRA.

      Do you never get tired of yourself? You can’t possibly believe what you say…

  8. from the AP

    The Seattle city attorney has rejected a bid by police to crack down on 28 people who had repeatedly failed to respond to civil charges for drinking in public or sitting or lying on sidewalks.

    The Seattle Times ( ) reports Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel wrote a letter to City Attorney Pete Holmes asking for criminal charges be filed against 28 people, who had all ignored three or more tickets.

    Pugel says the crackdown would help them fight street crime in downtown Seattle.

    On Tuesday, the city attorney told the police department they had not shown that alternative approaches, including social services, had failed to address downtown problems.

    Holmes says he needs more information before he could take further action.

    If the city can’t take care of the small stuff then there is no hope for stopping the bigger issues. “Broken Window”.

    • “Simply identifying three defaulted civil infractions is not the same as explaining the chronic nature of specific people’s uncivil conduct or efforts to either address the underlying human-services problems or stop the behavior short of criminal charges.”

      It’s true. Sorry.

      Our Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) partnership diverts low level offenders who commit crimes due to substance abuse or mental health challenges to treatment and services rather than incarceration. It is currently being piloted in Belltown. Based on a successful program developed in the United Kingdom, low-level drug offenders are diverted to community-based treatment and support services rather than prosecution. This reduces pressure on our court system and helps repeat offenders break the cycle of addiction and poverty through access to housing and other supportive services. LEAD partners include the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the King County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington Department of Corrections, The Defender Association, the ACLU, and the Belltown LEAD Advisory Board. (

      • FYI – City Attorney is uncontested so another four years of coddling criminals and targeting police for being aggressive with thugs.

  9. What’s frustrating is that most of these incidents are happening within the same few block radius – between 10th-12th and John. I live a block away, and have seen absolutely no increased police presence in that area. Obviously that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any, but judging from the comments, it seems most of the residents of this area haven’t noticed any, either.