Month In Review: April Edition

As our city progresses through the COVID-19 public health crisis, we are all facing daily challenges as we adapt to new, temporary way of life. For the Seattle Police Department, that has meant moving quickly to identify and combat emerging crime trends, while continuing to quickly respond to 911 calls, investigate crimes, and provide public safety service to our city.

April began with an example of how policing can often be more than fighting crime. Officers from the West Precinct and Harbor Unit saved a man’s life following a medical emergency on a boat on Lake Union.

With so many businesses temporarily closed, Seattle has seen upticks in burglaries—mostly at businesses—in some neighborhoods. But Seattle police continue to investigate these crimes and have made a number of arrests for burglary and theft. Here are some ways to make your business a less appealing target for thieves.

Police have also seen an increase in car thefts during the stay-at-home order. With hundreds of thousands of Seattle residents keeping close to home, and the City suspending 72-hour parking restrictions in many residential areas, vehicle owners are going days without realizing their car has been stolen. Our Auto Theft Unit would greatly appreciate it if you’d go, right now, and check on your car. If it’s not where you left it, call 911. If it’s still there, great. Be sure to check on it again soon.

Officers also arrested felons in possession of firearms in separate incidents in South Seattle, the Central District and Capitol Hill.

SPD’s Bias Crimes unit investigative work also continues. A group of men, believed to be affiliated with a white nationalist hate group, recently plastered stickers on businesses in the Chinatown-International District. The Bias Crimes Unit is investigating this incident and SPD encourages anyone who believes they have been the target of bias to call 9-1-1.

Lastly, the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development (OED) is warning small businesses about scammers seeking to prey on the small business community that has already been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Predatory scams tend to target immigrant- and refugee-owned businesses, taking advantage of either language barriers or misinformation. If contacted by a scammer, OED recommends businesses report scams to the Washington State Office of Attorney General, by calling 1-800-551-4636 from Monday to Friday 10 AM to 3 PM or by completing a claim online.