Saturday, October 9, 2010

Police Blotter 10/9/10

It’s always something

Those who were wishing for a reprieve from neighborhood crime simply because summer was ending have yet to see those hopes realized. We continue to have our share of break-ins (of both homes and cars), stolen autos and, of course, the occasional death threat. More on all that in a minute.

First, however, here’s an epilogue to a crime we told you about on our last Police Blotter where the whole thing was captured on the homeowner’s video-surveillance system. In that incident a burglar entered the garage of a Washington Park home during the night and made off with a purse that had been left in a car. Within minutes, the thief apparently tried to make use of a Visa card found in the purse, but was not particularly successful. The victim posted a comment to our blog (she was one of two crime victims who happened to write in last month). Since many MPB readers may not click on the “Comments” link at the bottom of blog postings (therefore not benefiting from the feedback provided by other readers), here is what Lauren, the owner of the purse in question, had to add to our story:

“I was the person who had their house broken into and caught it on video. The guy called Rover’s the next day and asked how much I had on my Rover’s gift card. Rover’s called me to tell me someone had called trying to use my card. The guy then called back, made a reservation, showed up, and Rover’s NEVER called the cops on him when he arrived to use my stolen card. Nice. Really nice.” It would have been poetic if this story had turned out just a bit differently. Rover's, of course, is that very upper-end French restaurant in Madison Valley (2808 E. Madison St.).

The second crime victim who added a comment to the Police Blotter was the homeowner and burglary victim whose neighbors saw someone suspicious in the area but didn’t take any action. Here’s his commentary on that inaction: “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.” To which he adds, “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.”

Here’s what’s been happening, crime wise, in Madison Park over the past three weeks:

Cars were broken into on the 3700 block of E. Blaine Street on 9/19, on the 1300 block of Lake Washington Boulevard E. on the same day, on the 600 block of 36th Avenue E. on 9/28, and on the 1600 block of 43rd Avenue E. on 9/30. Cars were stolen from the 2000 block of 42nd Avenue E. on 9/21 and from E. McGilvra Blvd., somewhere near the Seattle Tennis Club, on 9/28.

Property damage, meanwhile, was reported at a business in the 2000 block of 43rd Avenue E. on 10/2, and incidents of graffiti were reported on the 4100 block of E. Madison St. on 9/21 and on the 1900 block of 38th Avenue E. on 9/27.

A homeowner used the Seattle Police Department’s on-line reporting system (called CORP) to report a theft from his or her home, located in the 2300 block of 38th Avenue E., on 10/6. Three home break-ins were also reported to the police the old-fashioned way. One of these burglaries occurred on the 800 block of 36th Avenue E. on 9/19. A day or so later, a burglary also occurred on the 1900 block of 37th Place E. In that incident the victim reported that someone entered his garage while it was open (and while the victim at home), taking his leaf blower, cordless drill, and toolbox.

Another burglary took place on the 4200 Block of E. Blaine St. on 10/2. This was a forced-entry affair, with the burglar entering through a living room window. To quote from the police report: “The window had been left slightly ajar in order to air out the residence, which was afflicted with food odors due to a defective refrigerator. The suspect(s) accessed the residence by removing the window screen. Upon entry, the suspect(s) stole the victim’s purse, which…would have been visible from the outside of the residence if the suspect(s) had looked into the window.” Also stolen were three bottles of wine, two bottles of tequila, a bottle of Pravda vodka, and a bottle of Tanqueray gin. Since the stolen purse contained the victim’s keys (in addition to her cell phone, cash and credit cards), the police advised her to rekey all of the locks in the residence. The home's dog-alert system, unfortunately, was deactivated at the time of the crime. Quoting the report: “Her basset hound was sleeping on the upper floor and did not detect the burglary.”

We end with two reported cases of “harassment” in our neighborhood. Someone on the 2300 block of 43rd Avenue E. called the police to report receiving unwanted messages on Facebook! (The police advised the victim on how block such messages). The second harassment incident could be more serious, but probably isn't. A business owner on the 4100 block of E. Madison St. reported that he had received an indirect death threat from a former employee. By “indirect” we mean that there was no actual evidence of a death threat, just the idea someone had that the former employee could be mad enough to want to kill his onetime boss. This possibility was apparently raised by a former lawyer of the employee’s, who spoke to the employer’s lawyer about his concerns. Into the “Inactive” bin is where the police have placed this lawyer-to-lawyer, not-quite-even-hearsay report.

[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, handcuffs represent arrests under warrants, and red exclamation points represent cases of harassment. This map covers the period from September 19 through October 7.]

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