Monday, May 25, 2009

MAY 18-21

There were several car prowl incidents in the area during the past week, including a report by one of my neighbors that Friday night at about 11pm they discovered that several men were going through their car, which was parked on the street. The men got away, but not before taking a digital camera from the glove compartment. In another incident, thieves stole a cell phone and GPS system, gaining entry to the car by smashing the passenger side window. Another smash-and-dash incident occurred in the Arboretum parking lot, where a car was broken into and a debit card was taken, along with other items. Charges of $400 were made on the debit card before the card was reported stolen.

The bottom line appears to be don’t leave valuables in your car, especially if it is parked on the street or in another public location. One of my fellow bloggers who does the blog for Wallingford ( raised the issue of car prowling with the Seattle Police earlier this Spring. In response he was sent a document entitled Preventing Car Prowl, which he describes as “more depressing than helpful.” His summary:

· Thieves will break into your car and there’s nothing you can do about it
· Your best bet is to remove every worldly possession you have from your vehicle
· Even so, they’ll assume you’re hiding something under the seat
· It doesn’t matter how crappy your car is, they’ll still break in
· They’re going to wreck your window and probably the door.

If you experience a car prowl incident please do report it to the police via 911. As noted by Wallyhood, the police state that "part of the calculation used to determine how many officers to assign to an area is based in part on reported crime."

If you’d like to read Police’s official document, you may do so here: Preventing Car Prowl.

Madison Park was apparently fairly quiet, crime wise, during the past few days. Here are a couple of out-of-the-ordinary crime reports:

In the wrong place at the wrong time: The manager of an E. Madison Street apartment building in Madison Valley called the police to report that he had seen a woman enter an apartment using a key! He supposedly felt this was suspicious since the apartment in question was not rented by the woman. The police came and made contact with the woman, who told them that she had sub-let the apartment from a man who had later assaulted her. She said she had a restraining order against the man, which the police were able to verify. However, while doing this verification, the police also did a check on the woman and discovered that there was a warrant issued by the Spokane police for a woman using that name as an alias. The description on the warrant seemed to be “very similar” to the woman in question, so the police promptly arrested her and transported her to the police station. After some delay, the arresting officer was able to examine a photo of the woman described in the warrant, finding the woman to be “markedly different” from the woman just arrested. She was released. Her commentary on the incident was not recorded in the police report.

Am I missing something?: A Madison Park resident reported to the police that in early April he had answered an ad on Craig’s list to become an “executive driver” for Victoria’s Secret. The ad stated that the job would entail providing limousine service for Victoria’s Secret “executive family members” when they flew into western Washington. He later was contacted and told he had won the job and that he would be receiving advance payments for taking the assignment. He did receive a $4,000 check, following which he said he checked with both Victoria’s Secret and the issuing bank to determine that the check was good. He was assured that the check was valid. He later received additional checks from the same source, but he told the police that he didn’t deposit them because he had become suspicious. Sure enough, his bank soon informed him that the original $4,000 check he had deposited was fraudulent. The “victim” then sent an email to the source of the check stating that he was reporting him to the police “and never to contact him again.” All of this happened over a two week period. There was no information in the police report on whether or not the man's limousine services were ever utilized by Victoria’ Secret executive family members while in Seattle.

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