Friday, June 7, 2013

May Police Blotter

Senseless destruction is a constant in the neighborhood

Though we don't discuss the subject very often in our monthly crime reporting, acts of vandalism occur fairly frequently in Madison Park. This past month an incident at McGilvra Elementary School brought some added attention to the problem, however.  As reported in the Madison Park Times, vandals have trashed the School's garden on a couple of occasions this spring, including an incident on May 6 when a bird feeder was knocked over, a picnic bench was broken, and a retaining wall was tagged.  Property destruction  (indicated by spray-paint-can icons on the map above) happens in Madison Park virtually every month, with many of these incidents going unreported to the police.

Typical of these crimes is graffiti on signs, trees, walls, and garbage containers. An incident on May 29 at a condo building on the 2400 block of 43rd Avenue E. is a case in point: everything on the list was apparently tagged except for the dumpster. The crime map shows only incidents where police were called and there was an investigation.  Incidents reported to police online (which we will discuss in more detail below) do not get recorded on the official crime map, so there are probably more property-damage reports each month than those we officially know of.  Last year the bathhouse's notice board was trashed on a couple of occasions, though public property is hardly the sole target of neighborhood vandals.  Fences seem to be an inviting place for disseminating graffiti (if, indeed, graffiti can be considered something that's disseminated).

Last month there were five neighborhood vehicle break-ins investigated by the SPD: on the 3100 block of E. Madison St. on May 3, on the 2100 block of 40th Avenue E. on May 13, on the 1600 block of 39th Avenue E. on May 20 (two incidents), and on the 2400 block of 42nd Avenue E. on May 22.  No vehicles were reported stolen.

There was only one reported house break-in during the period.  On May 7 a home on the 1100 block of 36th Avenue E. was burglarized.  The homeowner reported that when she entered her computer room she noticed that her desktop computer was missing, along with her iPad and its case.  It appeared that the perpetrator had entered the house through an open window, making use of a lawn chair which was found propped against the house.  Fingerprints and a palm print were lifted from the crime scene.

There were also two found-property reports duirng May.  In one incident on May 17 a homeowner reported to police that she a had discovered a yellow and black Huffy mountain bike a her house.  The police report notes that the serial number did not match any bicycles reported stolen.  In a second incident, on May 3, a passerby noticed that there was a red package in the street at 33rd and E. Madison Street.  Police determined that it was US Postal Service bag and retrieved it.

A note about online crime reporting: SPD provides a fast, convenient way for victims to report property crimes by utilizing a website ( rather than calling 911. The advantage of this method of reporting is that a case number is assigned to the incident (one that can be used for insurance purposes) and the victim doesn't have to wait around for a police officer to arrive at the scene to take a statement. This system should not be used for reporting any crime in progress or any incident where the police should evaluate the crime scene.  It is available for reporting property crimes only.

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