It’s pretty rare that we get to hear about a “Stop, Thief!” incident that turns out well, but we’ve got just such a story for the Police Blotter this month. The crime took place on a Saturday evening, two or three weekends ago. It was the kind of warm summer night when, even though it was already past midnight, people were still sitting out at sidewalk tables in front of the various Village restaurants and pubs. Barkeep Simon Greene was on duty that night at The Attic, and his brother Andrew (the bartender at Bing’s) had just dropped down on break to say hi. Simon says that he suddenly had one of those “something’s not right with this picture” moments when he saw a guy ambling along the sidewalk in plaid shorts and a suspicious manner. Not long thereafter there was a commotion, a woman screamed that her purse was being stolen, and the perpetrator and two female accomplices took off running, with Simon and Andrew, joined by their friend Alison from Cactus!, in hot pursuit. Alison was on the phone with the police as she chased down the plaid-panted purse snatcher, who took a wrong turn and ended up running down a dead end. In the story told by Simon, Alison yells “Drop It!” to the thief, and he immediately drops the purse just before the police arrive. Nice scene.
One of the females, meanwhile, was also chased down, but the second got away. Simon said he was hesitant to use physical force on the woman, which he felt would have been necessary in order to keep her from escaping. Unfortunately, she apparently had stolen the victim’s cell phone. But the purse was returned and two criminals were sent to jail, all thanks to the quick thinking (and fast running) of our “Hero Squad” trio, who Simon modestly refers to as the “B Team”. All in a night’s work.
Here’s the rundown on the other criminal activity that was reported since our last Police Blotter on July 21 (three weeks ago):
There were two cases of harassment reported: one on the 2000 block of 43rd Avenue E. involved a dispute with a neighbor, which included alleged threats to kill; and the other, a case on the 4000 block of E. Madison St., was a phone harassment situation possibly related to a domestic dispute.
Two cars were stolen from the neighborhood, one from the 600 block of 34th Avenue E. on 7/31 and one from the 1200 block of 39th Avenue E. on 7/23. Additionally, there were six car prowl incidents: on the 500 block of 36th Avenue E. on 7/23, on the 1100 block of Arboretum Dive E. on 7/26, in Broadmoor on the same day, on the 4000 block of E. Madison St. on 7/30 (in which a laptop and cell phone were taken), on the 800 block of Lake Washington Boulevard E. on 8/9, and on the 1300 block of the same street on 8/12.
There were also a couple of disturbances reported, one which was a fight between two men at the baseball field in the Arboretum (no one arrested). Interestingly a surveillance camera was stolen from a “public” building on the 3700 block of E. Madison St. on 7/30 (isn’t that the site of the Russian consulate building?).
Finally, a report of a theft on 7/25 from the 2400 block of Canterbury Lane E. gives me a great segue to a discussion of the Seattle Police’s new on-line reporting system, which was used by a resident to report this crime. The system is rather ponderously called Seattle Police Department Community Online Crime Reporting System (CORP). But it’s rather nifty in that if you have a crime to report that is not currently in progress (like someone stole your lighted Fourth of July display sometime during the night) and there is no known suspect, you can go here to make an online report. Hassle free! Remember that the Seattle Police have stated on many occasions that precinct staffing is determined each year based on the number of crime reports made in each precinct. For this reason, reporting crime in our neighborhood--even if we don't think that the crime reported will be investigated or solved--is important.
[Thanks to Mark Long of The Attic for clueing me in to the story of the foiled purse snatching.]