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Police calls drop with seizure of three motels on Tukwila International Boulevard

The Boulevard Motel is one of three motels on Tukwila International Boulevard seized by the federal government in August. - Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter file photo
The Boulevard Motel is one of three motels on Tukwila International Boulevard seized by the federal government in August.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter file photo

Tukwila International Boulevard saw a significant drop in police calls the month after three motels were closed in August for criminal activity in a massive multi-agency raid, according to Tukwila's police chief

"The pedestrian traffic has changed significantly," Chief Mike Villa told the Tukwila City Council Monday night. "It's a different environment in the Tukwila International Boulevard corridor."

Villa compared the crime statistics from Aug. 28-Sept. 27 to the same period last year:

• 25 percent decrease in calls for service on Tukwila International Boulevard, or 885 calls in 2012 to 665 this year.

• 4 percent decrease in calls for service citywide

• 33 percent decrease in calls for service in the areas immediately around the motels – the Great Bear Motor Inn, the Boulevard Motel and the Travelers Choice Motel.

In 2011 and in 2012 the three motels accounted for 17 percent of all police calls in Tukwila, including rape, robbery assault, drug transactions, gun crimes and prostitution.

Villa offered the new statistics at Monday's City Council meeting, but told council members they don't mean the job is done; his officers told him they're "having a hard time" finding the criminal activity in the activity."

But, he cautioned, "it's still up there. We still have to work it."

It's also possible that the criminals have moved elsewhere, he said.

One of the City of Tukwila's priorities for 2013 is to reduce crime on International Boulevard.

The future of the three properties is in the hands of U.S. District Court. The properties were seized under federal forfeiture statutes.

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