Sunday, September 19, 2010

Police Blotter 9/19/10

Burglary captured on video

There have been two residential burglaries in the neighborhood over the past three weeks, one of which was captured on a home video surveillance system. That burglary occurred at 4:51 am on September 13 at a Washington Park home located in the 1000 block of 32nd Avenue E. The crime became apparent to the homeowners later that morning when the wife discovered her purse missing from her car, which had been parked in the garage. After her husband reviewed footage of the surveillance video, he called the police.

To quote from the police report on what the video revealed: “A light skin[ed] male (possibly black) around 20-27 years old approach[ed] the garage on foot while being followed by a car. The male walked in the garage (quickly indicating it was open) at 0448 hours and out of the camera’s view. The subject then emerged carrying a plastic bin with unknown miscellaneous objects [and] then approach[ed] the passenger side of the awaiting car. The suspect then put the bin into the trunk of the car and went back in the garage. The suspect emerged again at 0451 with the purse taken out of the passenger front seat of the car in the garage, went back to the awaiting car, got in and fled Southbound on 32nd Ave. E.”

The police investigator reports, “I viewed the video footage and it is great quality. It clearly shows the face of the perpetrator of the burglary. It clearly shows the car the burglar uses to put the stolen items into, but the make and model are unknown. It appears to be an older, possibly 1980’s model four-door dark sedan with a boxy body style.”

A little more than an hour after the purse was stolen, the perpetrator may have tried to use a Visa card that was in it to buy gas at the Shell station at 1700 E. Madison St. However, the credit card (although valid) was declined at the gas pump three different times. It was then used to make a small purchase in the convenience store. As anyone who frequents that gas station knows, before card authorization occurs at the pump the purchaser is required to enter the zip code of the card’s billing address. This is not a requirement for purchasing sundries in the store, however.

There was another Washington Park burglary the previous evening, September 12. This occurred on the 1500 block of 39th Avenue E. In that incident, a woman returned home to find damage to her rear entry door, later discovering that her 32” flat-screen TV was missing and that her garage door had been left partially open. A neighbor subsequently reported having seen a "suspicious person" in the neighborhood earlier in the evening, described as a black male, 25-35 years of age, six feet tall, wearing a dark shirt, dark pants and a flagger’s vest.

There also was a third, non-residential, burglary, which occurred late last month at the Bathhouse (1900 43rd Ave. E.), which is home to the Madison Park Cooperative Pre-School and the Madison Park Beach lifeguards' office. On August 27, possibly during the night (though there was no evidence of forced entry), someone entered the building and removed a video camera and other items, most of which were kept in desk drawers.

Although there has only been one car theft over the past three weeks (on the 4100 block of E. Lynn St., 9/11), there have been plenty of car-prowl incidents: on the 1700 block of Lake Washington Boulevard E. on 8/31, on the 1800 block of 43rd Ave. E. on 9/1, on the 800 block of 34th Avenue E. on 9/10, on the 2700 block of E. Foster Island Road on 9/11, on the 3100 block of E. Madison St. on 9/13, and on the 1800 block of 40th Avenue E. on 9/16.

We generally see a big slow down in these kinds of crimes once summer ends. So perhaps that’s a small metaphorical silver lining to these literal dark clouds.

[Key to crime-map symbols: starbursts represent burglaries, solid cars represent car thefts, un-solid cars represent car prowls, spray-paint cans represent property damage, upraised hands represent shoplifting, dollar bills represent thefts, and handcuffs represent arrests under warrants. This map covers the period from August 27 through September 18.]


  1. How many of these crimes do the police actually solve?

  2. One of the break-ins referenced in your blog occurred at my home. Three different neighbors saw someone very suspicious, loitering and poking around in ivy and bushes. Yet, no asked him what he was doing or called the police. All of them had very unsettled feelings about him and his behavior. One neighbor even watched this suspicious person walk in the open front door of another neighbor's home. But, he immediately turned around and exited, so the police were not called. Whether the thief saw the homeowner's dog or realized the homeowners were in the home is unclear.

    One reason no one questioned him was because he was wearing a bright orange utility vest (and drove a green late-model van). The vest made him seem "official" looking. However, he wasn't acting pfficial and he was in the neighborhood on a Sunday evening, not normal business hours for a utility worker.

    If it looks like a rat, walks like a rat, smells like a's probably a rat. CALL THE POLICE !!! The police will respond and question someone suspicious. If the person is doing nothing wrong, there is no harm done. However, once contact is made with a would-be thief, an identity can be made and potential burglaries avoided.

    Call the police if you see someone or something suspicious. Keep a record of serial numbers for your property. Secure your homes better and use your alarm if you have one.
    I'd like to think we're all a little smarter on our block now.

  3. The last post about someone in a utility vest is interesting...I have a business in Madison Park and last week a guy came in wearing a utility vest confirming my address and jotting it down on a clipboard....something did not seem right about him...sort of concerned now.

  4. i was the person who had their house broken into and caught it on video. the guy called rovers the next day and asked how much i had on my rovers gift card. rovers called me to tell me someone had called trying to use my card. the guy then called back, made a reservation, showed up and rovers NEVER called the cops on him when he arrived to use my stollen card....nice. really nice


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