“Do you have the time?”
A group of robbers working around South Seattle in the last week have been asking just that question to strike up conversations with their victims moments before they relieve them of cell phones, wallets, cameras and iPods—sometimes at gunpoint.
SPD Robbery detectives believe a group of muggers committed as many as nine street robberies or thefts from Columbia City to Rainier Beach between December 4th and December 11th, usually targeting their victims on weekdays, in the early evening hours. In four of the incidents, a suspect has flashed a handgun during the robbery. A number of the victims said they saw a white sedan at the scene of the crime.
While detectives haven’t caught these guys yet, there are ways you can make yourself a less appealing target for criminals. Click here for tips from SPD’s Robbery Unit on how to “broadcast confidence” and protect yourself from a robbery.
SPD Robbery Detective Dave Clement, who’s investigating the string of south end robberies, also has a bit of advice: “if someone comes up and asks you for the time, don’t give it to them.”
If you have any information for police about these robberies, please contact detectives at (206) 684-5535