SEATTLE - It’s no doubt crime is rising in nearly every part of Puget Sound, including a pair of incidents where local law enforcement need help identifying criminals focusing women as their targets.
First in the South Sound, police are on the hunt for a trio accused of accosting victims at gunpoint while pulling cash at ATMs. Then, Seattle Police need your help identifying an especially violent man who targeted a woman as she walked into the secure section of her Central District neighborhood apartment.
The incident in the Central District happened at the end of May at an apartment building on S Jackson Street. Police say the woman was strolling into the lobby with takeout food, but was brutally assaulted before she ever made it home.
Seattle Police say a man somehow was able to rip open a locked door, and was then seen in surveillance video heading straight toward his unsuspecting victim. Without a pause, the suspect violently assaulted her, striking her head repeatedly before simply walking away.
Seattle Police say the assailant is a white man with a short, buzzed hair cut standing between 5’6" and 5’10" tall. He was seen wearing a camouflage shirt or jacket over a white t-shirt. Detectives think his hunched posture might be the key that helps the public identify him.
"It’s horrible, this guy needs to go to jail," said Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound director Jim Fuda.
Fuda has been around law enforcement for decades, and he called the attack in Seattle especially heinous.
"It’s absolutely brutal. An unprovoked attack to where he beats her that she has broken bones in her face and a concussion, it’s horrible," he said.
Now to the South Sound, where images released by the Fife Police Department show two suspects part of a trio targeting a woman who pulled up to an ATM in early August. They stopped her at gunpoint then took over her transaction, stealing hundreds from her account.
The woman ran away for safety.
Fife Police believe the trio may be responsible for similar armed robberies in not only Fife but also Parkland, Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Federal Way, Kent and potentially Seattle.
"A lot more inquiries and more registrations to our upcoming classes," said Mark Vinci who runs Model Muggings.
His program is returning to Seattle post-COVID, and it helps women learn self-defense.
Vinci says more women are reaching out to fill a class scheduled for this weekend in the Puget Sound area.
The brutal violence caught on camera in Seattle back in May highlights the violence seen in Washington and elsewhere that Vinci says is pushing more clients to reach out to learn how and when to fight back.
"It’s pretty violent and intense," Vinci said. "It could have been worse, fortunately for her, it wasn’t."
Crime Stoppers is offering reward for information in both of the cases. Tipsters can remain anonymous with calls to 1-800-222-TIPS or using the P3 Tips app.