Tuesday, May 8, 2012
April Police Blotter
As reported in major local media, vandals attacked several expensive plantings in the Gateway to Chile section of the Arboretum last Thursday, inflicting about $43,000 worth of damage on the installation. It's speculated that perhaps someone wishing to celebrate Cinco de Mayo was simply gathering decorations for the festivities, but this willful destruction right on our doorstep could easily have been just a senseless act, like some of the other property damage that regularly occurs in the area.
The above map, covering crimes reported in March, shows two acts of vandalism during the month (represented by spray-paint-can icons). But for the year to date there have been eight such incidents reported to police:
The kind of property damage generally inflicted when these crimes occur is minor, such as spray painting on the side of buildings, fences, and garbage containers. Earlier this year suspects attacked and damaged the display case in front of the Madison Park Bath House, the one that primarily exists to exhibit the meeting notices of the Madison Park Community Council. This was probably not a political statement--more likely the result of juveniles running amuck. There have also been some smashed windows reported this year, both on cars and on homes. In these incidents it appears that the intention of the perpetrators was probably theft, but they were interrupted in the act. In one case a woman noticed a man standing by her car late at night. The man seeing he was being observed, left the scene and the next morning the woman discovered her car window had a small hole in it, but the car had not been entered. A similar situation was experienced by a homeowner who investigated a noise and found her backdoor window broken, but with no sign of anyone in the area.
There was also one apparently purposeful act of vandalism that happened this year: A man deliberately smashed in an indoor plate-glass window at the Canterbury Shores Condominiums before calmly leaving the scene. No word on what led to this act of destruction, which was both messy and costly. Seattle Police Detective Mark Jamieson points out that vandalism is almost always a felony since the cost the property destroyed or damaged in usually in excess of $250, which is the felony threshold. The same $250 threshold applies to thefts, and most thefts in Madison Park therefore fit the felony category.
There were, in fact, two reported burglaries in the neighborhood during March. In the first incident, April 18 on the 1800 block of 42nd Avenue E., a small office building was broken into through a smashed basement window. The police report states that "the only property stolen" were three desktop computers and two external hard drives. In the second burglary, April 24 on the 3900 block of E. Boston St., a homeowner discovered in the morning that sometime during the night someone had entered the house through an unlocked kitchen door and stolen several items from a kitchen counter, including an iPad.
During April there were seven cars broken into in Madison Park, four on one night alone. That night was Tuesday, April 24, when there were car prowls on the 4100 block of E. McGilvra, the 1500 block of 37th Avenue E., the 3700 block of E. Prospect St., and the intersection of E. Madison St. and 43rd Avenue E. Two car prowls happened on the following night: on the 2000 block of 43rd Avenue E. and at the intersection of E. McGraw and Canterbury Lane. Another car break-in occurred on April 10 on the 2500 block of Canterbury Lane.
Two cars were also stolen from the neighborhood. One car was stolen from the 1500 block of 42nd Avenue E. on the night of April 4. It was a Toyota Land Cruiser, not particularly new. In what was probably a crime of opportunity, the stealers of that vehicle on rounding the corner to the next block discovered a new Mazda Miata convertible sitting in front of a neighbor's house with the keys either on the seat or in the ignition. Both cars were reportedly seen driving in tandem west on E. Madison St. by the driver of a car driving east towards Madison Park. That car was a Seattle Police vehicle, and the officer minutes later received the car theft report. But by then the thieves were long gone.
[On the map above, the dollar bills represent incidents of fraud, usually involving credit cards or identity theft, the star bursts represent burglaries, the solid car represents a car theft, the non-solid cars represent car prowls, and the bike represents---you guessed it---a bike theft.]