Thursday, January 10, 2013

November/December Police Blotter

Criminal Activity in November

Relatively quiet (except from the victims' perspective)

The year ended on a pretty typical note crime-wise, with the number of incidents reported to the police in November and December significantly lower than the levels Madison Park generally experiences during the summer months. 

But that doesn't mean that cars were not stolen, houses were not broken into or that the kinds of weird and stupid criminal behavior that often occurs in Madison Park took a holiday as last year ended.  Here's the rundown:

Dine and Dash:  A not-too-bright scofflaw ordered, ate and then proceeded not to pay for the most expensive item on the lunch menu at Cafe Parco one afternoon in late December. The well-fed diner told the waiter that he didn't have to pay because God had told him the meal was free. The police took a dim view of the situation when they arrived on the scene. A quick background check on the suspect disclosed the fact that he was wanted under three separate felony warrants (one for escape from custody) as well as one misdemeanor warrant. The unrepentant diner was swiftly transported to the precinct station.

Harassments:  A couple of days later, a patron of The Attic, described as a large black male wearing a red Santa hat, reportedly threatened to shoot the bartender.  The police had no trouble locating the suspect at 41st Avenue E. and E. Madison St., but the clearly inebriated man resisted arrest and ultimately had to be physically restrained.  He was positively identified by the bartender (just in case there was a separate red-Santa-hat-wearing guy running around the neighborhood threatening people) and taken off to jail.

There were also a couple of harassment incidents in November, one involving telephone threats to a dental office and one involving an altercation between condo owners which resulted in threats.

Burglaries:  There were four house break-ins reported in the two-month period, a couple of them involving rather brazen behavior on the part of the perpetrators.

Sometime before November 25, a home on the 4000 block of E. Newton St. was broken into while the owners were on vacation. Upon their return that day they discovered their patio door ajar and after entering the house beheld a scene of “disarray,” according to the police report. Each room had been ransacked. A knife and “pry tool” were found in the house that did not belong to the victims, and there was evidence on an exterior door of an attempted entry .

On November 26, a home on the 2100 block of 38th Avenue E. was the subject of a forced-entry burglary sometime between 7 am and 6 pm, when the victim arrived back home and found that the back sliding door’s locking mechanism had been broken and the house quite obviously had been searched. Missing were an expensive watch, a .45” pistol, miscellaneous jewelry, a Bose stereo system, and the victim’s passport.

On November 29, at a home on the 500 block of 36th Avenue E., the owner came downstairs to go for a run at 6 am and noticed that an interior door leading to the garage was unlocked.  Investigating, she discovered that the garage door was partially opened. It was later discovered that her husband’s wallet and her purse had been stolen from the house.  Earlier that morning, at around 4 am, the homeowners had heard their dogs barking and had investigated without noticing anything amiss. Apparently the suspect left the house at that point since there was no evidence that there had been any incursion past the kitchen, where the dogs had been sleeping.  Unfortunately, both the wallet and purse had been left in the kitchen area.

On December 13 at about 4:30 am, several police cars were dispatched to the Washington Park neighborhood to investigate a report that there was a “suspicious two-door” car parked next to a vacant house in the 3400 block of E. Valley St.  The caller had told the police dispatcher of having seen two men exit the car and proceed to walk about the area (presumably, the men were as “suspicious” as their car.) The police, however, did not discover any cars or people in the area who seemed suspicious.

Probably not coincidentally, at 7:15 that morning, a report was received that a house just two blocks away from the E. Valley St. location (on the 1000 block of 37th Avenue E.) had been broken into earlier.  A patio door had apparently been drilled into just above the lock and the door opened without the homeowner hearing a sound.  The hole may have been used to slip some wire over the deadbolt, allowing entry.  Laptops, iPads, and cellphones were lifted from the inside area just a few feet from the patio door.  The victim later reported to neighbors that a purse was also stolen and the thief or thieves were sophisticated (since the GPS locators on both the iPads and the cellphones were apparently disabled after their removal from the premises).

On December 29 the dry cleaners at 3100 E. Madison St. reported that their front door had been shattered during the previous night and the store's cash box had been removed (although there had been no money in it).

Criminal Activity in December

Car prowls: Incidents occurred on the 2400 block of 41st Avenue E. on November 17, the 500 block of Hillside Drive E. on December 3, the 3800 block of E. Blaine St. on December 5, the 1600 block of 42nd Avenue E. on December 10, the 3100 block of E. Madison St. on December 21.

Car thefts:  Cars were stolen from the 3200 block of E. Madison St. on November 6, and from the intersection of 43rd Avenue E. and E. Madison St. on November 9.

Incidentally, on the map above that weird black-on-blue icon with the bolt of lightening on it (or whatever it is) represents a "reckless burning" incident which took place in the Arboretum on the day after Christmas (maybe someone disposing of Christmas wrapping paper?).

[Starburst icons show location of burglaries, car icons show incidents of car break-ins (or in the case of solid cars, a theft) and the red icons with the exclamation points show incidents of harassment.]

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