Several readers have emailed or posted in the Forum about their experience with car prowls. From the Forum, a poster described her experience with a car prowl at Galer and 1st West, and another resident cited one at 9th Ave W and W Bothwell St. Via email, we received reports of frequent prowls on 9th Ave W between Halladay and Raye, and a reader who’s car has been rummaged through twice in the past few months.
We’ve pulled the SPD stats for January car crimes (prowls and thefts) from the SPD Report map– and there was nearly a car prowl a day on Queen Anne in January. There were also a number of car thefts, bringing the total number of car crimes to 49 for the month.
Here’s what the total map looks like – car prowls + car thefts (49) for January – note, only incidents reported to SPD show up on the map:
And, here are the breakouts for car prowls (26) and car thefts (23) – click the maps for larger views:
Car Prowls, January 2013
Car Thefts, January 2013
I contacted Francisco Tello, SPD Crime Prevention Program Coordinator East and West Precinct, for more information on preventing car prowls. In addition to keeping any items out of sight and reporting car prowls to SPD, Tello also encourages people to report suspicious behavior. For example, a Queen Anne resident emailed him about a man looking into every parked car as he walked down the middle of Warren Ave N, and they had a good description of the man, a specific time of day, and a location – all excellent information for SPD.
In this example, and for other suspicious activities and people, Tello advises calling 911 as soon as possible. Here are the key items of information that help SPD when you call 911:
Another key tip: Tello advises practicing describing people, as when incidents happen, it’s typically sudden and you’ll want to be able to provide a useful description. Some items that will help SPD: race, gender, height, weight, age, clothing, and any distinguishing features. Are they carrying a backpack? What color is it?
Remember to report all crimes and suspicious activity to SPD by calling 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011). If someone breaks into your car, but doesn’t take anything, report it – this is how SPD builds their database of crime statistics. For more on reporting crimes, see the recap of the SPD Queen Anne Community Meeting.
And, to end on an up-note, SPD’s West Precinct Anti-Crime Team (ACT) conducted a car prowl detail on January 19th, arresting two suspects for car prowling in the vicinity of 900 Block of Westlake Avenue North.