SCAM ALERT: No, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office isn’t trying to reach you to make a deal

December 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Safety, White Center news No Comments »

Here’s an alert from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is aware of a scam call going to Western Washington residents regarding criminal cases and demanding money be transferred immediately.

These calls are a scam and they are targeting people who have no involvement in a crime. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is not calling demanding money from people involved in prostitution cases or any type of cases. Our office has never done that, and will not.

If you are charged with a crime, the way you will find out is through a formal summons or a warrant. Both must be handled in person.

Here’s the outline of one of the previous scam calls:

-The caller identifies themself as King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and says the call recipient is being prosecuted for contacting someone underage.

-The number being faked is 206-477-1200.

-The call recipient is told to send a MoneyGram for $890 in order for the charges to be dropped. Do not wire money to this person. Our office will never call and demand money in exchange for charges being dropped.

Similar scams happened back in July and mid-August.

If you receive what you believe to be a bogus call from someone pretending to be from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, here are steps you can take. This information comes from our Economic Crimes Unit, which handles felony fraud cases such as this.

-Don’t panic. This threat is not legitimate. Even if you take no action you will not be charged with a crime.

-Write down any information you can gather about the call. This may include the time you received it, what number showed on your called ID and any statements made by the fraudulent caller. While a recording of the conversation may be helpful to law enforcement, in Washington it is illegal to record someone without first telling them the conversation will be recorded. So, if you decide to record the call, give them notice, turn on the recorder, and then repeat your notice.

-Contact your local law enforcement to report the attempted fraud. The non-emergency number for the Seattle Police Department, for example, is 206-625-5011 and you also can make a report online. Save the documentation regarding the report after you’ve filed it.

-If the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has actually charged you with a crime, separate from these scam calls, notify your attorney.

If you have questions or want to verify that a communication you received actually came from us, the phone number for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is 206-477-1200 and our email is Prosecuting.Attorney@kingcounty.gov. We are happy to help you.

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UPDATE: King County Sheriff’s Deputies investigating gunfire, crash in North Shorewood

December 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Shorewood, White Center news 1 Comment »

3:47 PM: Avoid the 26th/107th [map] intersection for a while. King County Sheriff’s Deputies are swarming the area after a 3-vehicle crash that followed gunfire from a car a short time ago; the intersection is blocked off.

One person is reported to be in custody and another possible suspect is being sought. The Guardian One helicopter was there for a while to help (and at least one TV helicopter showed up later). Deputies have described the car from which someone was shooting as a white BMW sedan. … We’re at the scene now, added a photo, working to find out how the injured people are doing.

4:41 PM: We just talked to KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer. He says the car that was being shot at is a Toyota Corolla carjacked in Seatac (updated) on Saturday; it collided with two other cars at 26th/107th. Two people were in the Corolla after the crash, 1 ran, and was subsequently found. All three plus two people from the other cars were hurt, but none by gunfire so far as authorities can tell. No major injuries. The car from which someone shot at the Corolla, after some kind of dispute, is still at large. The three people in the Corolla are described as in their teens.

KCSO expects the intersection to be closed for at least 2 more hours. We have all this on video and will add that when our crew’s back. (added) Here it is:

7:35 PM: Nearby resident Jim says the vehicles are being towed, so the intersection might not be closed much longer.

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UPDATE: Robbery investigation in Top Hat

November 29th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, Myers Way, Top Hat, White Center news 2 Comments »

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are arriving at the West Seattle Marijuana Store in Top Hat (10825 Myers Way S.) after a report that the shop was robbed at gunpoint. Deputies are looking for multiple suspects who are reported to have left on foot. You’ll see deputies taking up “containment” spots for some distance around the area. The robbers are described as 3 Black men in their 20s, wearing hoodies – one blue, one green, one gray – and at least two with backpacks. Updates if and when we get more information.

ADDED MONDAY: No new details except that no one’s been arrested, says KCSO.

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CRIME WATCH: Helicopter search; stolen car

October 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Helicopter, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Two notes tonight:

HELICOPTER: If you noticed Guardian One circling north White Center for a while earlier this evening – we didn’t know what that as about until we got a tip about a sizable response in the O’Reilly Auto Parts lot at 17th/Roxbury. There, we were able to talk briefly to a King County Sheriff’s Office sergeant; he told us they’re looking for a “fugitive” but would not elaborate further, aside from confirming that the helicopter presence was related. We’ll update if we find out more. (Added 9:10 pm: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott says the person they were seeking is “a homicide suspect wanted out of Seattle.”)

STOLEN CAR: Reported by Byron:

Our red 2007 Honda Civic 4-door, license plate 867WSD, was stolen from our driveway. Sometime between 9pm last night and 11:15 am this morning. (10600 block of) 27th Ave. SW. There’s a car seat in the back and a brand new Yakima rack and kayak carrier on the roof.

If you see it, call 911.

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CRIME WATCH: About the 17th SW/SW 107th SWAT raid

October 15th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME WATCH: About the 17th SW/SW 107th SWAT raid

Thanks for all the tips. We got to this scene at 17th SW and SW 107th, just west of the mini-mart, just as the SWAT operation was wrapping up. Some research revealed that it wasn’t a King County Sheriff’s Office operation – it was led by Renton PD. They weren’t able to provide us information immediately – but we just got some from KCSO’s Major Jeffrey Flohr, speaking at the North Highline Town Hall that we’re covering right now. He said the operation was indeed in partnership with Renton PD – it started with officers pulling over a car last night and finding 10 pounds of meth, leading to warrants being served today, including this one.

Maj. Flohr said several people were taken into custody today at locations including this one, and that drugs and money were seized.

We’re hoping for additional info from Renton PD tomorrow.

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CRIME: Robbery investigation at 15th/Roxbury

September 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME: Robbery investigation at 15th/Roxbury

Deputies are headed right now to the Texaco station/mini-mart at 15th/Roxbury for a reported robbery. The emergency-radio dispatcher has advised deputies that the robber implied he had a gun, though none was seen. He left on a bicycle, westbound. Initial description: “Unknown race male, 30s, 5’5″, thin, hood and mask.” If you have any information, call 911.

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CRIME: What closed White Center Starbucks for the day

September 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on CRIME: What closed White Center Starbucks for the day

Thanks for the tip. The White Center Starbucks had an unscheduled closure today. A reader told us the store was burglarized and that resulted in a broken window. We just talked with the company and they confirm the staff found a broken window upon arrival this morning, and decided to close for the day, but will reopen tomorrow.The broken window was on the drive-thru side. No other details on the crime so far.

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UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

July 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news Comments Off on UPDATE: Deputies investigating White Center shooting

5:46 PM: King County Sheriff’s Office deputies are in the 10400 block of 2nd SW, investigating a shooting. They say the victim was shot in the hand by someone who fled and is still being sought. No other details so far.

6:20 PM: KCSO says the victim also had left the scene before investigators arrived; they are checking with area hospitals.

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FOLLOWUP: Suspect charged in arson at ex-funeral home in White Center

July 20th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Fire, White Center news 6 Comments »

By Tracy Record
White Center Now editor

This afternoon, the former Yarington’s Funeral Home in White Center is just a burned-out shell and piles of charred debris. And a 35-year-old man is in jail, charged with setting the 2-alarm fire in the early hours of July 8th. Matthew Robert-David Hicks is charged with first-degree arson and second-degree burglary, his bail set at $200,000.

The King County Sheriff’s Office announced Hicks’ arrest today, though he has been in jail since Thursday night, two days after we broke the news that the fire was ruled arson. The charging documents say Hicks has “a lengthy history of crime”; King County Jail records show this is his sixth booking in less than a year (his record, however, appears to be mostly misdemeanors). We recognized his name because he was arrested in connection with a big White Center fire early last year, but released without charges.

The probable-cause documentation from the new charge against Hicks says he has been on investigators’ radar since the morning of this fire. An investigator who recognized him “from other fire events in the area” saw him kitty-corner from the fire scene that morning, standing near the gas station/mini-mart. The investigator says the next day, a private security guard watching the still-smoldering site told him that a woman had come by early that morning and said a man named “Matt” had been bragging about starting the fire. The investigator subsequently learned the same woman had told the same thing to firefighters at the scene the night after the fire. Soon thereafter, a sheriff’s deputy contacted the investigator, saying he was with Hicks and should come talk to him.

Though Hicks denied starting the fire, he talked with the investigator about having been in the building befooe the fire. Once the investigator was able to get onto the site, he determined those were details that only would have been known by someone who had been there. The investigator also found two places where the fire had started, neither with any potentially accidental sources of ignition.

The probable-cause narrative goes on to say that he tracked down the women who had said “Matt” was bragging about starting the fire. She said she was an acquaintance and that they both lived unsheltered. She also said “Matt” seemed to have “mental issues” and was known for talking to himself. She also said he had a street reputation for being “a pyro” and that she had witnessed this in an area park a year or two earlier, with Hicks playing with matches.

From there, the probable-cause document concludes by noting that when Hicks was arrested, he “fought with officers.” Also noted: The burned building was last appraised at more than $800,000.

Hicks is scheduled for arraignment on July 30th.

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FOLLOWUP: 2-alarm White Center fire ruled arson

July 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, Fire, White Center news Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: 2-alarm White Center fire ruled arson

(WCN photo from last Thursday, as fire flared up for a second day)

Last week’s fire that gutted the former Yarington’s Funeral Home in White Center has been ruled arson. That’s what King County Fire District 2 Chief Mike Marrs tells WCN. The two-alarm fire drew firefighters and apparatus from multiple departments last Wednesday (WCN coverage here), and flareups brought firefighters back the next day; no one was hurt. Investigators are not commenting on anything else about the fire, except to say it’s a “very active investigation.”

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Gunfire incident, no injuries reported

July 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on Gunfire incident, no injuries reported

(WCN/WSB photo, Thursday evening)

Seattle Police converged on a house at 18th/98th after gunfire was reported near Holy Family early Thursday evening. We covered it on partner site West Seattle Blog because the initial report was “20th/Roxbury” though the subsequent investigation moved a bit south of the city-limits line. Here’s what it boiled down to: Though SPD initially reported an injury, police at the scene could not find anyone wounded, even after questioning multiple people who had been in the house. We don’t know whether anyone was arrested – we won’t be able to request a copy of the report until Monday.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME: Flare gun turns supermarket shoplifting case into robbery

June 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news Comments Off on WHITE CENTER CRIME: Flare gun turns supermarket shoplifting case into robbery

When a shoplifting case turns violent – or threatening – that can lead to a felony criminal charge. That’s what prosecutors say happened in the case of 42-year-old Kanyel L. Boldien. He is charged with first-degree robbery for an incident at Saar’s Super Saver Foods in White Center a week ago. Court documents say Boldien was at the store early that morning with his 48-year-old girlfriend, and that she was shoplifting. When store security tried to stop her, prosecutors say, he threatened them with a stick – and then a flare gun that they thought was a firearm. Deputies arrested them at their South Delridge apartment later that day. Boldien remains in the King County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. We’re not sure about his girlfriend’s status – jail records don’t show her having been booked.

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UPDATE: Another White Center shooting

May 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 9 Comments »

12:59 AM: For the second time in less than 7 hours, somebody’s been shot in White Center. Only very early information so far – deputies are out searching the area. The dispatch was to 16th/100th. No further details yet.

1:28 AM: The King County Sheriff’s Office confirms one person was shot, a male victim reported to be in stable condition and taken to Harborview Medical Center. No one’s in custody. The location is now descrbed as the 10600 block of 16th SW.

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UPDATE: Deadly shooting near White Center Library

May 6th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 13 Comments »

6:16 PM: 107th is blocked just east of the White Center Library as deputies investigate a deadly shooting. KCSO says the victim is a 20-tear-old man. No other details yet.

8:29 PM: We checked with KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott, who says this is all they currently know:

5:20 PM, a deputy was in the area of SW 107 near the 1400 BLK on an unrelated call when he heard multiple gunshots. As he came around the corner on 14 AVE SW he saw a male running away from the scene and a second male lying on the ground. He lost sight of the suspect and put out the last known direction of travel and began life-saving measures on the victim. Medic 1 arrived on scene and continued life-saving measures but the victim died at the scene, a 20 year old male. Witnesses stated the suspect fled in a vehicle, unknown description. Major Crimes is on scene investigating.

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CRIME: Mailbox break-in

May 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 6 Comments »

The photo is from Barbara, who reports: “This happened sometime last night on 20th Ave in White Center – a good reminder for folks to pick up their mail every day.”

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CRIME: Accused Grace Church burglar charged

May 2nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 1 Comment »

(King County Sheriff’s Office photo)

Almost a week after his arrest, the man suspected of breaking into Grace Church remains in jail. 39-year-old Zachary J. Ufkes is charged with second-degree burglary, his bail set at $10,000. The charging documents say Ufkes smashed a window with a rock last Sunday and was found eating and drinking items from the church’s kitchen (chocolate ice cream and Sprite soda, according to a social-media post by the King County Sheriff’s Office). Prosecutors noted that Ufkes’s record includes a 2004 conviction for attempted murder; this newspaper story about that case says he beat, stabbed, and choked a woman with whom he was staying, after she asked him to move out. He also has burglary and assault convictions, and had a case pending for allegedly violating a domestic-violence no-contact order, plus a Department of Corrections arrest warrant. Case documents also say he gave deputies a fake name but they ID’d him through fingerprints.

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WHITE CENTER CRIME WATCH: Robbery suspects arrested

April 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks for the tips. That was part of the scene at 16th/112th as a King County Sheriff’s Office search wrapped up early this morning. We asked KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott for details:

The Ladybug Espresso at S. 126/ Des Moines Memorial Drive was robbed at gunpoint at 5:20 AM by two suspects who fled in a car. A short time later, the same suspect car crashed into a fence at SW 112/ 16 AVE SW; the suspects fled on foot. They were both caught a short time later by deputies and arrested. They were both booked into Jail for investigation of robbery.

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Shooting victim found in White Center

February 21st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 3 Comments »

King County Sheriff’s Deputies are trying to sort out a shooting in downtown White Center. We got a tip that a shooting had been reported at 16th/Roxbury and went over to find out more. Between the last deputies at the scene and KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott, here’s what we have learned: A man was found with a gunshot wound to the knee – found in the 9600 block of 15th SW, per Sgt. Abbott, but they don’t know exactly where the shooting happened; he says the victim, a 30-year-old man, has been “uncooperative” so far. Deputies at the scene said they first responded to a report of multiple gunshots. No arrests so far.

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State Gambling Commission arrests 11 after investigating ‘a café in White Center’

February 19th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Photos from Washington State Gambling Commission)

Announced by the Washington State Gambling Commission:

Gambling Commission agents made 11 arrests following an investigation into a Seattle business that has been operating illegal gambling.

For the past year, our agents have been conducting a joint investigation with the Seattle Police Department into illegal gambling activities occurring at a café in White Center. The café does not have, and has never had, a license to operate gambling. While serving a search warrant on Feb. 5, agents located evidence of illegal gambling, including: electronic gambling machines, cards, dice and gambling records.

During interviews, agents learned that the business was charging players an hourly fee in order to participate in the gambling activities.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been to this location. Our agents have conducted six other investigations into the café’s illegal gambling activities, beginning in 2004.

Seven players and three employees were arrested and booked into the King County Jail. The players were charged with professional gambling in the third degree, which is a gross misdemeanor. The employees were charged with professional gambling in the first degree, which is a Class B felony. One of the employees was also arrested in 2011 when we served a search warrant at the same location.

The business owner was arrested at the airport on Feb. 14 as he returned from an international trip. He was booked into the King County Jail on the following charges: ownership or interest in a gambling device; professional gambling in the first degree; money laundering; use of proceeds of criminal profiteering; and leading organized crime (class A felony).

The WSGC did not identify the business, but its announcement on social media showed SPD cars in the street on Delridge just north of Roxbury.

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FOLLOWUP: Southside Pizza robbery suspect back in court

January 31st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Crime, White Center news 1 Comment »

As reported here last week, the suspect in the violent, video-recorded Southside Pizza robbery is out of jail after a judge cut his bail. Thursday was 27-year-old Vernon Jackson Jr.’s first scheduled court appearance since leaving jail.It was a short one – a routine “case-setting” hearing, at which his lawyer told the judge they’re still putting the case together. Jackson’s next hearing is set for February 27th.

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