West Seattle residents voice concerns after recent spike in street robberies

SEATTLE -- Some West Seattle residents say there is growing concern after a recent rash of robberies.

Bold and brazen robbers are targeting people for their cell phones and purses in the West Seattle community.

Just a few weeks ago, Gus Hadaj was visiting the West Seattle Starbucks on California Ave when he became a witness to a robbery.

"There were two girls about 15 or 16 years of age and two boys about the same age jumped in and grabbed the iPhone and ran," said Hadaj.

According to the West Seattle Blog, Seattle Police have gotten reports of more than two dozen similar robberies since the start of the year in West Seattle alone. Over the weekend there were three more reported robberies, and the suspects are usually teens.

"I ran out but I'm too old to catch up with them," said Hadaj. "The girl was miserable and was crying and everything."

Now the community is banding together, hoping to spread the word and catch these greedy grabbers in the area.

Until then, West Seattle resident Jacqueline Silver has taken matters into her own hands. She wears purses that can strap around her body and can’t easily be taken.

"If someone tried to grab it I could grab them," Silver explained. "It's on my body and someone can't just pull it off. If they pulled it, it would pull against my neck.

She also says she avoids walking around distracted with a phone or anything else in her hands.

"I don’t want to be attacked and I know it’s a possibility," said Silver.

People in the area say it's a problem the community is actively trying to fix by spreading awareness of these crimes and holding community meetings with police to come up with solutions.