UPDATE 1:48 P.M.
Seattle police say they have increased patrols in West Seattle in reaction to a spike in crimes targeting middle- and high-school students.
Police say that since January thieves have stolen backpacks, cell phones and cash from victims. One 15-year-old has been arrested in connection with a robbery near California Avenue Southwest and Southwest Lander Street on Jan. 20, police said in a news release.
On Wednesday, Seattle Public Schools sent parents of students at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School a letter alerting them about three separate incidents that day involving students.
Seattle police say that the city’s Department of Transportation is working to improve street visibility as a way to combat new crimes from occurring.
UPDATE 7:50 a.m.:
Parents of students at Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth International High School were alerted Wednesday night about three separate incidents involving students as they headed to school earlier in the day.
A letter was sent home to families of students at Chief Sealth International High School and Denny International Middle School describing the three incidents, and was forwarded to the Times by Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Stacy Howard. Students were warned to be careful going to and from school.
- A man, who appeared to be in his late 40s or early 50s, attempted to grab a Denny Middle School student at the corner of Thistle and 25th Avenue Southwest. The student “moved to the middle of the road and notified both family and school immediately. Both family and Denny Staff notified the Seattle Police Department, who are actively investigating,” according to the letter.
- A Sealth student reported that while walking to school, a man approximately 30 years old attempted to assault and rob her. Sealth staff immediately notified SPD and the student’s family. An investigation is ongoing.
- Another Sealth student said that while catching a Metro bus near her home, a man in his 20s or 30s caught the bus with her and attempted to talk to her in a manner that raised concerns. “When the scholar arrived at school, she reported the incident to school staff right away. Sealth staff immediately notified the Seattle Police Department, who took the man into custody for suspicious circumstances and then released him because he had not done anything illegal,” the letter said.
Police said the incidents involved three different suspects, according to the district. Seattle police and Seattle Public Schools Safety and Security have increased patrols in the areas, Howard said.
“We want our students to feel safe going to and from school,” Howard said in an email Thursday morning. “And we want to assure them and their families that we are continuing to work with Seattle police to find ways to stop incidents like this from happening.”