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After Emphasis Effort, Robberies Down Near South Seattle Transit Lines

When robbers began targeting transit riders along South Seattle train and bus lines late this summer, commanders in the South Precinct took action, putting more officers on bikes and foot beats to combat thieves stealing cellphones and jewelry.

Those efforts are apparently paying off. “Since we’ve started the emphasis, our street robberies have dropped about 50 percent over what they were in August,” South Precinct commander David Proudfoot said Wednesday.

Using precinct crime data and information gathered through SPD’s SeaStat program, analysts established specific days of the week and hours for most effective deployment and then increased high-visibility emphasis patrols in the Rainier Valley.

For example the precinct’s Community Police Team has been assigned to bike patrols in the neighborhood, Third Watch officers are deploying in extended evening shifts to work foot beats, SPD’s Traffic Unit officers are supplementing South Precinct’s patrols, and Gang and SWAT units will be deployed when available.

The South Precinct also is using its Mobile Command Center in the Rainier Valley emphasis areas to increase police visibility.

The department is focusing attention on suspects committing crimes in multiple precincts. The South Precinct’s Anti-Crime Team is working with the Department of Corrections to arrest known repeat-offenders in the Rainier Valley with active warrants.

In addition, the South Precinct is dedicating officers to visit Rainier Valley schools and build relationships with community groups. It’s also working with the city’s Joint Enforcement Team to ensure businesses—such as pawn and jewelry shops—believed to be buying stolen jewelry and electronics are properly permitted and are following state-required guidelines on all purchases.