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.]