Robbery Spike in Downtown Kent: How to Stay Safe

City Hall/Kent PD Campus now a designated e-commerce zone

Kent News: Kent police officers shot and killed a 20-year-old Seattle man wanted for violating a no contact domestic violence order after he attempted to flee the scene.

City Hall/Kent PD campus designated e-commerce zone

In his weekly crime trends report, John Pagel of the Kent Police Department noted they are seeing a spike in personal robberies in downtown Kent. Several of them have been associated with the website Offer Up.

In these cases, a person offers to sell something and then arranges to meet the buyer. When the buyer produces the money to pay for the item, the seller pulls a gun to steal the buyer’s money and also keeps the item.

Pagel was quick to note that there is nothing wrong with the Offer Up site, but criminals are exploiting the buy-sell platform to commit their crimes.

To help prevent such crimes, the Kent City Hall/Police Department Campus on 4th Avenue has been designated as an e-commerce zone. If buying anything over the internet, the police department encourages buyers and sellers to choose a safe, public place like the City Hall/Kent PD campus to meet during daylight hours.

Another recent crime trend is the theft of running vehicles. For example, of 29 daytime vehicle thefts, 12 of the vehicles were stolen while the cars were warming up in the morning and three of the vehicles were stolen when left running at stores and gas stations. More than 50 percent of daytime auto thefts occur when vehicles are running but left unattended. Do not leave your vehicle running, unlocked and unattended at home or while you are out and about.

John Pagel is the Target Zero Manager – South King County/Community Education Coordinator for the Kent Police Department. He can be reached at 253-856-5800.