Friday, October 15, 2010

Police beat, an update

Columbus Day burglary foiled by alarm

McGilvra’s Bar & Restaurant was on the receiving end of an unwelcome early morning visit by one or more burglars on Monday. At 4:40 am the perpetrator(s) removed the pins from two of three hinges and then ripped the back door from its frame. Apparently intent on liberating cash from what they thought was a safe near the bar, they entered the pub and quickly found and cut the wires to the alarm system. But from that point forward, it seems that things went awry. What might have looked a bit like a safe—at least from a distance—was really a mini-refrigerator. And that disabled alarm turned out to have a back-up system which, according to pub owner Peter Johnson, is very loud inside the premises and can also be heard outside.

It appears that the would-be burglar(s) panicked, leaving in a hurry when realizing their mistakes. Nothing was taken in the raid, says Johnson, though the mini-frige was moved a couple of feet from where it normally sits. Johnson says he’s surprised that they didn’t at least grab a bottle or two of booze. He figures he got off lucky this time. Most break-ins of businesses in the Village occur through the alley side, although there was one notable exception last year, when Madison Park Hardware was entered through the front.

KOMO manufactures some news

Although several neighbors have asked whether there’s been an uptick in residential break-ins recently, there doesn’t seem to be any statistical evidence to support their concern. Any generalized unease about home burglaries, however, has certainly not been assuaged by KOMO TV’s recent hyping of one particular example here in the Park.

On Tuesday evening, the TV station decided to play up the case of a supposedly suspicious man seen in the neighborhood, a guy who wore an orange safety vest as though he was some kind of worker but, in hindsight at least, seemed to have been a likely suspect in a residential burglary. KOMO trumpeted its upcoming coverage with “teasers” during the early portion of the news, implying that orange-vest-clad men were on a burglary spree here in Madison Park: news at 6:30!

When the “Live from Madison Park” story was finally reported at the top of the 6:30 news segment (with cameras and reporter positioned for full effect on McGilvra Boulevard), it turned out to be about an incident we reported on this blog many weeks ago. KOMO’s reporter didn’t mention that, by then, the case they were covering with so much fanfare was exactly a month old. The idea that homeowners should be suspicious of men in orange vests was a bit much, frankly, given that no one actually saw the burglary occur and no one at the time thought the vest-clad man was suspicious enough to warrant calling the police.

Which, of course, was the point made by the victim, who was interviewed for KOMO’s piece. She reiterated the comments she had made on this blog, namely that neighbors need to be more vigilant—and if they see something suspicious they should report it immediately.

In ending his story, the KOMO reporter stated that “Seattle police say they have not seen a pattern of thieves using vests to confuse neighbors,” a fact apparently overlooked by KOMO’s news anchors when hyping the story. We, at least, know better.

Referral made in sexual assault case

The Seattle Police have confirmed that the detective investigating the incident involving an alleged sexual assault at the Seattle Tennis Club this summer has now forwarded the case to the King County Prosecutor for consideration of charges against the alleged assailant.
[Middle photo: the alley side of McGilvra's, located at 4234 E. Madison St.]


  1. I called the police last summer on a few 20 something boys that were in orange vests randomly knocking on doors. I could tell they were suspicious because of their pattern. They knocked on only select doors, and went up 41st, then down the ally, and then back up 41st. Yes, I followed them in my car to see what was up. And no, I am not an older, paranoid person, with nothing better to do, I am 25 and can recognize a "front" when I see one. They left nothing on the doorsteps of the homes they "cased". I am not sure if anything was done about it, but I felt like someone needed to be alerted. I say we all keep our eyes and ears open regarding anything suspicious.

  2. Another reason to keep protection at your house.


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