RAINIER VALLEY – Earlier this month, we learned that the Rainier Valley has seen an increase in violent street robberies.
The incidents have usually involved two to three male suspects who target a person walking alone and demand the victim’s cell phones, iPhones, iPods, wallets and jewelry. In some cases, weapons have been used, and in others, victims have been assaulted and – in the case of Danny Vega – even killed.
According to police, the robbers are targeting victims near bus stops and Light Rail stations who are distracted by phones or iPods.
“Some of the hotspots for this activity have been near the Mount Baker Light Rail Station, the Columbia City Light Rail Station, the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Way S & S Othello Street, and the area of Rainier Ave S & S Henderson Street,” read a recent community bulletin from South Precinct Commander Captain Michael Nolan and Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon.
Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray said the agency has not seen reports of issues at light rail stations or on the trains.
“All our stations are monitored VIA closed circuit cameras,” he said. “If anyone ever feels unsafe they should stay at the station and hit one of the emergency call buttons which will connect them directly with authorities.”
But longtime Rainier Valley resident and regular transit user Elizabeth McDaniel has started driving more instead of using the bus. ” I’m very concerned about the rise in street robberies especially since many of my family members use public transportation.”
Photo/Rainier Valley Post