Thursday, September 22, 2011

Police Blotter 9/22/11

A month without a break-in?

For a period of 29 days (August 18 through September 15), Madison Park did not experience a single residential break-in (or at least not one that was reported to the police). It was looking like we might actually experience a full month without a home burglary in the neighborhood. But it was not to be. On September 16, a late-afternoon break-in at a residence on the 3800 block of E. Crockett Street, in Canterbury, ended the run.  Nevertheless, it may be that we're beginning to see the usual end-of-summer decline in this kind of activity.  To date, at least, there has not been another such incident reported.

Car break-ins, however, continued unabated.  There were nine car prowls in Madison Park proper during the period since our last Police Blotter on August 18, plus another nine incidents reported at various locations in the Arboretum.  Here's the run down of car break-ins in the neighborhood:  one on 8/26 on the 3400 block of E. Valley St., one on 9/1 on the 4000 block of E. Madison St., two on 9/7 on the 4000 block of 43rd Avenue E., one on 9/6 on the 1200 block of McGilvra Blvd. E. and on the same day another one on the 700 block of the same street, one on 9/8 on the 4000 block of E. Madison St., and one on 9/12 on the 1900 block of 42nd Avenue E.  There was also one car stolen in the neighborhood, that incident occurring at 5:30 am on September 6 on the 2300 block of 42nd Avenue E.

Other crimes included a case of harassment involving a landlord and tenant on the 3900 block of E. Madison St. (the giant exclamation point on the map above), with the tenant allegedly making threats (and apparently being hauled off by police for his efforts), a "bar fight" on the 4200 block of E. Madison on August 20 (that one involving an altercation between a patron and the female barkeep), and an arrest of a suspect under a warrant on the 1400 block of E. Galer St. on September 13.  And there was the usual slew of  lesser criminal incidents (theft of mail, dog off leash, credit-car fraud, and petty theft) to round off this month's Police Blotter.

"I need a locksmith" scam artist at it again

Apparently he's at it again. We've alerted our readers on more than one occasion to the well-known (at least to his victims and readers of Madison Park Blogger) scammer who preys upon certain sympathetic souls who fall for his well-honed line about being locked out of someplace and needing money for a locksmith. We received this report from Nat Stratton-Clarke at Madison Valley's Cafe Flora last week:

"There is a man conning people out of money going around the neighborhood saying that he is a janitor from Cafe Flora early in the mornings. He is slim, in his early twenties and African American.  He went to Ines Patisserie yesterday morning around 6:30 AM asking her for money and told her that it was his first day at the restaurant and that he needed $52 for a locksmith because he locked himself out. He also approached our executive chef two weeks ago with the same story while she was by herself at her car a few blocks down the road from Flora. She didn't feel comfortable confronting him ( and I am glad that she didn't!).  I just want make sure people know that he does not work at Cafe Flora. None of our janitors work that early in the morning and none of them can lock themselves out because they are always here with a manager. Hope this hasn't happened to anyone else!!!"  

While it could be a copycat scam artist, it's probably the same infamous guy.  It's not apparent in these incidents that anyone actually forked over any money, however, so perhaps the word is out.  In the earlier incidents people gave the cash and wondered at their gullibility after the fact. Of course using the line about being a janitor at Cafe Flora when trying to scam an actual employee of that restaurant would not be a winning strategy in any circumstance. Nevertheless, the "I Need a Locksmith" scammer is known in the past to have hit the very same house twice with similar "locked out" stories.  Its clear that when it comes to conning people, his attitude can be summed up in that old adage: bold is gold.

Criminal, or just weird?

We also received this report earlier in the week from a reader on 42nd Avenue E., south of E. Madison St.:

“I have just filled a police report regarding a man in the neighborhood who has shown up at my house three times in the past 24 hours.  He first appeared at my garden gate late yesterday (Sunday) morning, while I was working in the garden. He looked like someone from the neighborhood who had been out running. However, once he began talking, it was clear that he was either using something or perhaps had a mental condition.

He then left plants at my front door early this morning while my husband and I were out walking. We learned that the plants were purchased early this morning from a nursery in the Boeing Field area. We thought it concerning but not totally alarming until he showed up at the gate about 7:00 PM this evening with flowers. We called the police.

He is white, about 5'9" tall with short brown hair, clean shaven and in his early to mid 40's. This evening he was wearing jeans, a dark shirt, black baseball cap and dark glasses. He seemed confused when he saw my husband and did not recognize me; but did he remember that he had met a [houseguest] at the house. We told him [the houseguest] was gone to California. He said his name was David, and was heading for Arizona in a couple of months. He left quickly.

The police asked that if anyone sees him to please let them know. Sadly, there is now a lock on the front gate. We hope that it will not have to be there for long, but this just seems a bit too odd to ignore and we wanted to let others know, just in case he shows up at their home or yard." 

1 comment:

  1. There was another burglary on Sunday 9/25 in Canterbury on 38th Avenue E. Two neighbors both saw a suspicious car/occupant parked near the house at the time of the burglary. One neighbor wrote down the license plate # and another neighbor took a picture of the car w/license plate #. Word is the driver of the car has been picked up by police and they are checking fingerprints.


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