Jonah Spangenthal-Lee


For the last five years, I've covered the always-exciting cops and crime beat at Seattlecrime.com, PubliCola.com, KIRO Television, and The Stranger.

As a reporter, I've stood out in the rain at crime scenes, rode around in patrol cars late into the night, and pored over police reports in order to dig up and tell stories about just what goes on inside the Seattle Police Department, and the streets of our city.

I came to SPD in March 2012 to tell those same stories on the department’s blog, The Blotter, and help push out up-to-the-minute information on breaking news through SPD’s Twitter feed.

My days at SPD are just as long, exciting and fast-paced as they ever were in a newsroom, but now I don't have to sneak past police tape to get to a story.

I'm a born-and-raised Seattle resident with a penchant for messy cooking projects, and an encyclopedic knowledge of Star Wars and comic books. My wife and cats are very patient with me.

Police Increasing Patrols After Early Morning Gunfire Near South Seattle School

Police have increased patrols around a Rainier Beach elementary school after staff reported hearing gunfire early Wednesday morning. Staff and students at a preschool housed inside Emerson Elementary—in the 9600 block of 60th Avenue S—briefly sheltered in place around 6:30 AM after calling 911 to report the gunshots. Witnesses reported seeing a gold vehicle—with its alarm sounding […]
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(Updated) Police Investigate Threat at Amazon Headquarters

Update 3:15 PM: Officers completed a thorough search of the complex and have not found any indications the threat was credible. Police will continue to investigate the case and work to identify the person who left the threatening note. Seattle police are investigating after staff at Amazon.com’s South Lake Union headquarters found a threatening note on the company’s […]
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Officers Nab Madrona Burglar

Officers have arrested a 62-year-old burglar suspected in several break-ins in the Madrona neighborhood. An East Precinct patrol officer spotted the suspect standing in a parking lot the 1100 block of 23rd Avenue around 12:45 PM Thursday and stopped to talk to him. The suspect claimed he was not the burglar officers were looking for, and offered up […]
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Members of Teen Crime Ring Caught (Again) Breaking Into Pot Shops

Police have, once again, arrested several members of high-school aged crime ring after the the teens broke into two North Seattle pot dispensaries early Tuesday morning. After receiving reports around 3:30 AM of an alarm ringing at a dispensary in the 12000 block of Aurora Avenue N., officers arrived and found someone had used a brick to […]
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Sign Up Now For the First-Ever Seattle Police Hackathon!

Do you have Big Ideas about governmental transparency and open source data? Are you a 1337 h4x0r? Then sign up now to attend the Seattle Police Department’s first-ever HACKATHON on December 19th. SPD is working to release more video than ever before, while striking the right balance between transparency and privacy. That’s where you come in. During […]
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Suspect Wanted For Renting, Repainting, Returning Cycle Share Bikes

Police are searching for a velocipede vandal who rented two bikes from a Seattle bike share company last week, only to return them hours later covered in paint and scrawled messages. The suspect first rented one of Pronto’s bright-green custom-made bicycles from a bike station at 3rd Avenue and Pike Street around 5 AM on November 13th. Six hours […]
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(Update) Thanks For Helping Us Return Mike & Erin’s Stolen Wedding Album!

Detectives have identified the couple in the photos (thanks to all your tips) and are now working to return the photo albums to Mike and Erin. Thanks for all the help, everyone!   Do you know Mike and Erin? Major Crimes detectives found the couple’s wedding photos earlier this month after seizing a stash of stolen items from a prolific […]
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Detectives Arrest Everett Firefighter In Underage Prostitution Sting

Seattle police arrested an Everett firefighter Wednesday afternoon after he showed up for a rendezvous with an underage prostitute, who turned out to be an undercover detective. The Vice/High-Risk Victims Unit (HRVU) detective had exchanged messages with the 60-year-old firefighter during an online sting targeting men looking for sex with underage girls, and the man had agreed to meet up […]
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Officer Puts Herself In Harms Way to Protect Crowd From Horny Birds

Benjamin Franklin once described the bald eagle as a “Bird of bad moral Character.” While this characterization remains up for debate, one Seattle police officer was forced to put herself between a crowd of bystanders and the razor-sharp talons of two erotically-entwined eagles earlier this week after the birds crash-landed in a park. As Officer Vanessa Flick drove past […]
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