Has parking in downtown Seattle become riskier? – KIRO 7 Seattle News

ByShannon J. Cortes

May 16, 2022

SEATTLE — Several car break-ins in various lots across the city of Seattle are raising questions about parking safety.

On Friday evening, Cory Sokol and Kalibria Flemming attended a concert at the WaMu Theater. They parked in different parking lots about a block apart, but their burglary stories are the same.

“The window was still there, just completely smashed,” Flemming said. “I turned around and found that the car behind us also had its window broken.”

“It’s not like a car or two, it was at least a dozen,” Sokol said. “There’s glass everywhere.”

Witnesses tell KIRO 7 that the same night, hours later on Capitol Hill, there was a similar series of break-ins at a lot on Melrose Avenue.

“We noticed that my friend’s car window had been smashed and her car had been searched,” the witness said. “We also noticed that the car next to her and a few others that remained had the same broken windows.”

Seattle police said there was no reason to believe the incidents were organized crime. Jim Fuda of Crime Stoppers agrees.

“Whenever these lots are wrapped, it’s crimes of opportunity,” Fuda said. “No one is there to stop them.”

According to Fuda, current staffing issues prevent officers from making these crimes a priority. He thinks the same pinch also contributed to the weekend increase.

When thieves strike and the windows break, it is often Owen Grimm who does the repair. As the manager of Chuck’s Auto Repair in Maple Leaf, Grimm saw firsthand an increase in demand for his services.

“A lot of people tell me the stores have been closed for two, three months,” Grimm said. “There is definitely an upside.”