Pedestrians being robbed at gunpoint in Capitol Hill

SEATTLE -- At least four people were robbed at gunpoint while walking in Capitol Hill during a nine-day span this month.

In the most recent incident, the victim, who was texting on his iPhone, had just walked up to his front porch in the 500 block of East Union Street at 5:25 p.m. Jan. 19 when a man walked up to him and asked for the time.

The victim later told officers he gave the man the time before noticing he had a gun in his hand.

According to the Seattle Police Department's report, the man took the victim's phone and walked off before changing his mind and coming back. This time he asked for the victim's wallet, too.

The victim showed the man he didn't have any money in his wallet, and the man walked off eastbound on Union Street, according to the report. Officers were unable to find the man.

Three other armed robberies occurred within a mile of Miller Playfield in the days preceding the Jan. 19 robbery.

At 9:30 a.m. Jan. 18, a woman was walking on 27th Avenue near East Thomas Street when a man walking toward her pulled a gun out of his coat pocket, pointed it at her and pulled the slide back.

At 3:10 p.m. Jan. 14 in the 2100 block of East John Street, a man with a gun stepped out from a bus stop and took the tote bag, cellphone, wallet and earphones of a man walking by, according to a police report for that incident.

The robber walked off, and officers were unable to find him.

The string of robberies kicked off at 7:20 p.m. Jan. 10 near 20th Avenue East and East Mercer Street when a man ran up behind a woman, put a gun to her head and said he was going to kill her, according to the police report for the incident.

The victim later told officers the man pulled the trigger and she heard the gun click before he pushed her to the ground and ran off with her purse.

"He actually put his handgun to her head and he threatened to kill her, then he pulled the trigger," said Det. Renee Witt of the Seattle Police Department.

For whatever reason, the gun didn't fire. But the thief did knock the woman to the ground and steal her purse and backpack before running away.

Officers met the victim at her daughter's house nearby but were unable to find the robber.

Neighbors in the area heard the woman screaming for help, and they've been on guard ever since.

"To know that there's somebody lurking, or stalking, and would readily do that, is very alarming," said Kris Parfitt.

The only good to come from the robberies is that they've helped the neighborhood band together.

"Through emails we've been talking about creating groups, neighborhood watch groups," Parfitt said.

According to the Seattle Police Department, The Jan. 19, Jan. 14 and Jan. 10 robberies are linked. Police are looking into connections with the Jan. 18 robbery.