‘More muggings are happening’; Parents concerned as SPD investigates 14 student robberies

Seattle Police say they are now investigating 14 armed robberies around schools in North Seattle.

Some of them have occurred at or near Ballard High School and Whitman Middle School since September. The large case number has parents upset and demanding action.

"For the last seven weeks, we just keep hearing more and more muggings are happening, and it’s scary," said parent Andrea Morrison.

Morrison’s like many other families in North Seattle aren’t allowing their children to walk home after school.

"We’re telling the kids, walk in groups, walk with purpose, but it doesn’t make a difference it’s happening to groups of kids," she said. "Now we’re picking up our students or having other people pick them up."

The Seattle Police Department (SPD) held a press conference Wednesday providing information about the investigation and discussed the department’s response to these violent crimes.

READ MORE: Seattle Police investigating 14 armed robberies at Ballard-area schools

According to authorities, detectives have linked 14 reported robberies since the start of the school year. Police Captain Todd Kibbee said three of those incidents took place Tuesday near the Roosevelt neighborhood and Bishop Blanchet High School.

"There have been uses of force, guns displayed," said Kibbee.

In most, if not all instances, students were targeted for their AirPods and phones.

In each of these robberies, four to six suspects appear to be involved, most involving three to six teenage boys in ski masks or hoodies. There have been reports of some female suspects committing similar crimes in and around the Mt. Baker neighborhood.

Suspect vehicles have been described as either a red Kia, gray Hyundai or a red/silver sedan.

Assistant Chief Kibbee revealed at the press conference, authorities recovered two cars believed to have been used by the suspects, but are still looking for the suspects themselves.

"We need action," one parent told FOX 13.

SPD says it is increasing patrols in the neighborhoods affected and having police officers work overtime to ensure student safety, but parents question that tactic.

"They said they’re going to do that when they have resources available," said Morrison. "But we know that they’re understaffed, so I don’t know what kind of promise that is."

In the meantime, some parents have banned together to create a self-reporting map of student muggings. That data is then shared with police.

"We just hope it encourages more people to come forward," one parent said.

SPD says it believes these robberies are underreported and are asking any victims to come forward. They’re also asking for anyone with video or information to come forward and share it with police.