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June crime on Queen Anne: 29 burglaries, 46 car prowls, 36 car thefts, and more

July 7th, 2014 by Laura

We’ve had a lot of emails, Facebook messages, and tweets about crime on Queen Anne in June. The reader tips ranged from bold daytime home burglaries to small items stolen off porches and from yards. The weather’s been warm and it seems like criminals are taking advantage of it.

Provided below are June 2014 crime maps from Seattle Police Department (SPD), based on crimes reported to SPD. We’ve broken them out by the most popular crimes: burglaries, car prowls and car thefts – and included counts for June 2013 for comparison. This year, we’ve had more burglaries and car thefts, but fewer car prowls.

We also had one strong arm daytime robbery on Queen Anne, not shown on the maps below.

Reminder: report all crimes large and small to SPD. Something taken off your front porch? Car prowl? SPD has made it easy to report these small crimes online.

If you see a crime in progress or suspicious activity, call 911.

Burglaries: 29 in June 2014 compared to 18 in June 2013

Burglaries June 2014

In early June, two daytime robberies were reported to SPD with similar circumstances – 5 black males in their teens to early twenties, with backpacks. We do not have confirmation from SPD that these burglaries are related, but the circumstances are very similar. Plus, there was a third burglary two days later with a similar suspect description.

Below are June burglaries that have detailed SPD reports. Not all SPD reports include narrative descriptions, so the map will fill in the gaps on other reported instances.

June 4: 1800 block of 4th Ave N – this is the burglary we posted about on June 4. According to the SPD report, at 11:55am a neighbor reported seeing 5 young black males wearing backpacks on the porch of the house, then one inside the house throwing items down to the others. One suspect was also seen photographing a neighbor’s garage. The first floor of the house was locked when SPD arrived, but a second-story front window was wide open, where the suspects gained access. The victim reported to SPD that she left the window open only a few inches. The suspects fled the scene before SPD arrived.

June 4: 200 block of W Garfield – the same day as the 4th N burglary above. At 2:05pm a friend called 911 to report that the home had been ransacked and burglarized. Per the SPD report, she was arriving at the house with two children who live in the house. One of the children stated that “he was walking southbound down the alleyway from W Blaine St when he exited the alley and saw 5 black/hispanic males laughing and walking eastbound from the corner of W Garfield St and 1 Ave [He] recognized one of the male subjects.” He was able to identify the suspect from a school yearbook. SPD talked to the next-door neighbor, who stated that at 1pm she “noticed a group of four black males standing on the porch of residence… she thought they were friends because they entered the house through the front door – turns out that access was gained via breaking a basement window (not in the SPD report, but likely then opening the front door to let others in).

June 6: x block of W Raye St – victim called SPD to report that he heard someone knocking at the front door and the door bell ringing repeatedly. He did not immediately answer the door, but when he did, he saw “a black male with a backpack walking [northbound] along side the east of their house which is an alley then he turned [westbound] onto W. Raye Street.” Shortly afterward, the victim noticed that his laptop was missing and several dresser/cabinet doors were open. A kitchen window was unsecured and open.  According to the SPD report, an officer contacted the victim earlier in the day about “a suspicious/prowler 911 call of several black males with backpacks at the front door of the victim’s residence.”

June 8: 1800 block of 1st Ave N – victim called SPD when she returned home at 3am from a party next door to find her garage open and bike stolen. The victim’s unlocked car was parked in the driveway and the suspect used the garage  door opener to access the garage. Per the SPD report, a neighbor said she saw a man walk up the driveway and leave on a bike shortly afterward. She was unable to provide a description.

June 14: 2400 block of 4th Ave N – victim heard a loud noise at 11pm, turned on lights, but did not hear anything else. The next morning she noticed her kitchen window was partially open and called SPD. According to the SPD report, “the suspect had used a blunt device to pry the window in an upward position from the bottom wood frame… The suspect was able to move the window up but did not make entry.”

June 13-15: 1800 block of 4th Ave W – victims called 911 when they returned from out of town and discovered that someone had burglarized the house, after gaining entry from a 17” x 15” dog door.

June 17: 700 block of Crockett St – victim called 911 after waking to a noise at 4:30am and finding a female suspect through the window. Victim described her as white, 25 years old (+/- 5 years), brown hair. He yelled at her to get out and she responded “Oh I’m sorry I thought this was my [house] I was just trying to check on [redacted].” Per the SPD report, “There were observable signs of attempted entry to the bedroom window which included an opened security gate, a removed window screen, pry marks, and fingerprint smearing. The suspect(s) used a ladder to gain entry onto the balcony and attempted to gain entry through two other windows. The crank window had been damaged and left partially open. The sliding window had also been partially opened but stopped by the wooden dowel in place. No entry was made.”

June 17: 2400 block of 4th Ave N – victim called 911 to report that her bike had been stolen from her open garage during the day while she was working in her front yard.

Key findings:

  • Do not leave windows open, even a few inches, when you are not home
  • Do not leave garage door openers in unlocked/accessible cars
  • Burglars can fit through dog doors
  • Burglars will enter open garages even when you are home
  • If you store a ladder outside, burglars will use it
  • Be a vigilant neighbor and call 911 if you see suspicious activity

Car Prowls: 46 in June 2014 compared to 60+ in June 2013

Car Prowls June 2014

Car Thefts: 36 in June 2014 compared to 14 in June 2013

Car Thefts June 2014

Other property crime:

Reported property crime included multiple license plate thefts, and this list of reports to Queen Anne View:

June 5: Porch Items Theft – a reader just east of Queen Anne Ave N reported that between 10am and 2pm a large basket (18″ x 24″ x 16″) with garden shoes and umbrellas was stolen.

June 6: Garden Theft – a reader in the 2000 block of 1st Ave W reported that “someone came into our gated yard and clipped our day lilies. And helped themselves to our garden gloves too after coming onto our porch and looking through our shoe collection located in a rack close to our front door.”

June 6: Shoe Theft – neighbor of the reader above (garden theft) had 3 pairs of shoes stolen off their front porch in the 2000 block of 1st Ave W.

June 6-8: Package Theft – reader had 2 UPS boxes stolen from their porch near 1st Ave N and Lynn St. Packages contained 3 soap dispensers, reader found the open boxes, but not the soap dispensers.  SPD report filed.

June 21 (estimated): Bike Theft – reader had a bike stolen from their garage near 4th Ave W and Blaine St. Bike lock cable was cut, bike stolen.

June 25 (estimated): Burglary – 4th Ave N and Newton St (note: no SPD report available). Reader reported that his neighbors were burglarized midday on a weekday. The thieves entered the house by pushing a window unit air-conditioner though the window. The burglary took place after the nanny left to take the baby to the park.

June 26: LFL Vandalism – Little Free Library at 2nd Ave W and Boston St was vandalized and the bird-bath planter near it was knocked over.

July 1: Paintball Vandalism – reader reported that her car and others near 3rd Ave W and Crockett St were vandalized with paintball guns.

If you see a crime in progress or suspicious activity, call 911.

From our 2013 meeting with SPD, here are tips directly from SPD officers:

If you see something that is suspicious or are a victim of a crime, call 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011). Here are some tips from the officers, to give you their perspective:

  • SPD officers gravitate to hot spots of activity – for example, repeated reports about suspicious activity at a park raises SPD’s awareness. A particular location can become a hot spot for proactive patrols.
  • Response time – with the limited number of SPD officers, you may not get instant gratification from a call for something like suspicious activity – but if you call for every incident, the tracking data will show there’s an ongoing issue, and SPD can target it proactively
  • Call a lot – to echo point #2, don’t stop calling just because the first call didn’t yield results. Tracking data is key, and calling repeatedly on criminal or suspicious activity does not make you a nuisance. Calls feed into the tracking database, which is key for identifying trends or hot-spots
  • When to call – the officers emphasized that residents need to call for both large and small issues. Don’t let smaller crimes go unreported: Did your car get broken into but nothing taken? Report it. Did a strange person walk through your backyard? Report it.

Here are the key items of information that help SPD when you call 911:

  • Good description of the person
  • Location – street name, number or hundred block, or address
  • Direction of travel
  • Identifying features and/or items: race, gender, height, weight, age, clothing, and any distinguishing features. Are they carrying a backpack? What color is it?

Let’s hope that July will be a better month for Queen Anne residents. Keep an eye out for your neighbors, especially during the height of vacation season and warm weather.

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Vandalized Queen Anne Little Free Library featured on KOMO

July 2nd, 2014 by Laura

Last Friday, we published a post on the first Queen Anne Little Free Library, and how it fell victim to vandals overnight. On Monday, a reporter from KOMO asked us to connect the station with the LFL steward so they could run a story on the vandalism.

The segment aired on last night’s KOMO news broadcast, and since then, we’ve already received an email from a local Vietnam veteran who’s offered to fix the LFL for free. The vandalism is only part of the story, the LFL is a memorial to the steward’s late husband, who served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

If you happen to find the message book that the vandals ripped off the LFL, please let us know. It includes hand-written messages to the LFL that are irreplaceable.

Click below to see the KOMO feature:

LFL KOMO

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Queen Anne’s first Little Free Library falls prey to vandalism

June 27th, 2014 by Laura

Queen Anne is a great place for Little Free Libraries – loved by our community, each with its own personality. So, get ready to get mad… someone vandalized our neighborhood’s first LFL on 2nd Ave W last night.

In the before and after pictures of the side of the LFL, you can see that the little window message box that held the journal was torn off, along with the trim surrounding it.

LFL vandalism before

Before

LFL Vandalism after

After

To add insult to injury, they also knocked over a birdbath planter in the garden space surrounding the LFL.

LFL garden vandalismThe LFL steward will restore the library. This particular LFL has significance beyond book-sharing, it’s also a memorial to the steward’s late husband.

If you find the missing message box, please let us know and we’ll get you in touch with the owner.

A police report will be filed today. In addition to last night’s vandalism, the steward and her neighbor both had items stolen off their front porches back on June 5.

Sadly, the warmer weather seems to coincide with an uptick in crimes on Queen Anne. We’re putting together a June crime roundup based on SPD reports. If you have been the victim of a crime, let us know. All tips will remain anonymous.

Please remember: report all crimes both large and small to SPD. For crimes like car prowls and items stolen from porches/backyards, you can use the online SPD tool to report it. As always, if you see a crime in progress or suspicious activity, call 911.

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Suspicious circumstances on Boston St, similar to early June robbery/assault

June 18th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchYou may recall the post earlier this week about the tag-team of daytime attempted street robbery suspects with a red/maroon van on Galer St.

The victim filed a report with SPD and gave a very good description of the woman who approached her and tried to steal her purse. (“A woman about 5’2, medium to heavy build, long black hair, looked like she was of Hispanic descent. Also dark and defined eyebrows.”)

Today, a reader wrote to let us know that something similar occurred today on Boston St:

“I just wanted to let you know that this afternoon, I had an event happen to me which was similar to that listed in the Queen Anne View, where I was approached by a short woman, asking for help, and a red van was circling… She was about 5′ to 5’2″, older, gray hair, Hispanic or Asian maybe? with a silver cane.  If this is not a connected event but someone who actually needed help, I would like to apologize for not stopping, but when I saw the red van circling, I was suspicious, so I called the police to help instead.

This occurred in the parking lot at 1st Ave N and Boston.  I reported it to the Seattle Police.  You may want to let readers know it is still happening.”

It may or may not be coincidence, but it’s a good reminder to be vigilant about your surroundings. This is the time of year when we typically see crimes rise in the neighborhood. As lovely as our summer weather is, it also seems to coincide with an increase in crime.

More to come on residential break-ins, car prowls, and car thefts. If you see suspicious activity or a crime in progress, call 911.

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Stolen Car: 1964 blue Ford Galaxie 500

June 18th, 2014 by Laura

There has been an increase in crime lately, so there will be some upcoming posts that highlight residential burglaries and car prowls. In the meantime, we have a reader who has asked that we post information on her stolen car.

It’s a very recognizable car – a bright blue 2-door 1964 Ford Galaxie 500. It was stolen the morning of Monday, June 9th, where it was parked in front of the owners’ house on Dexter Ave N between Crockett and Newton.

If you see this car or have any information on it, please call or text 206.384.1720

Stolen Car Ford Galaxie

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Daytime attempted robbery and assault on Galer St early this month

June 14th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchThe summer criminal activity continues. We received the heads up from a victim of a daytime street robbery that took place on June 2. She wanted to pass along the information to Queen Anne View readers as a warning to be safe.

What’s especially notable about this crime is that it took place at 11:15am and on a busy street – Galer St between 2nd Ave W and 3rd Ave W (for reference, one block west from Trader Joe’s).

Here’s her account of the incident:

On Monday June 2nd, I was walking on Galer between 2nd Ave W and 3rd Ave W. A woman came out of an alley between those two streets and told me she needed my help. She pointed into the alley trying to signal me to go in there. I asked her what’s up? She said she needed help with her car. I asked her “what do you need?” She said “I need your purse”, and she grabbed my wrist. I pulled away and started running west bound toward Garfield. She chased after me and the maroon van in the alley also started coming after me. I ran up to somebody walking toward my direction. When I turned around, the van turned around and drove off into Galer and 4th Ave W, past Top Pot doughnuts.

I called the police and filed a report but I have not heard anything from them.  Somebody also told me that they heard a similar story happening to somebody a few months ago where a woman asked for help with her van but the person was in a hurry and didn’t inquire but also felt a weird vibe.

The woman was about 5’2, medium to heavy build, long black hair, looked like she was of Hispanic descent. Also dark and defined eyebrows. I hope this helps and that nothing serious will happen to anybody from these people.

Edit to description: the victim wrote us today to clarify the suspect’s age, estimated to be in her 20s.

The victim filed a report with SPD. If you know anything about this incident, or have seen the suspects in the neighborhood, please contact SPD via the non-emergency number – 206-625-5011. If you see suspicious activity or a crime in progress, call 911.

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Updated SPD Blotter account of SPD shootings

June 5th, 2014 by Laura

SPDThe SPD Blotter has published a more complete account of the activity today at Seattle Pacific University. Please note, we are leaving this post in the capable hands of SPD’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, as this is SPD’s official account of what happened – including clearing up earlier reports of a second shooter that were on Twitter and other media outlets:

Gunman Kills One, Wounds Two at Seattle Pacific University
Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on

A 26-year-old gunman opened fire on the Seattle Pacific University campus Thursday afternoon, killing one and injuring two others.

At 3:23 PM, police received a report of a gunman at Otto Miller Hall, just north of 3rd Avenue and W. Nickerson Street.

The suspect fired several rounds from a shotgun and began reloading his weapon when a student building monitor heroically intervened. The monitor, a man in his 20s, pepper sprayed the suspect before tackling him to the ground. Several bystanders also seized upon the suspect—who was also carrying a knife and additional ammunition—and took his gun.

Police arrived within four minutes of the first report of the shooting and called for medics, who arrived on scene and began transporting their first patient less than 10 minutes after the first 911 call.

Medics transported a man in his 20s with critical injuries to Harborview Medical Center, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Medics also transported a second woman in her 20s, also with critical injures, a man in his 20s with pellet wounds to his neck and chest—he is currently in stable condition—and another man in his 20s with minor injuries sustained during the struggle with the suspect.

As police began searching the campus, SPU staff implemented the school’s active-shooter emergency plan, previously developed by school security and Seattle police, alerting students and staff to shelter in place. Police SWAT teams swept through the campus, and found a number of students and faculty members hiding in classrooms and offices.

Amidst the chaos of the incident, police had received reports of a second suspect, but officers and detectives have determined the gunman acted alone.

So far, police have not found any connection between the suspect, Seattle Pacific University or any of the victims. Detectives are searching additional locations for evidence in the case, and plan to book the suspect into the King County Jail for Investigation of Murder.

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Official SPD statement on SPU shootings

June 5th, 2014 by Laura

The SPD Blotter has provided the following official statement on the shootings today at Seattle Pacific University (SPU):

SPDOne person killed, three injured after gunman opens fire at SPU
Written by Detective Renee Witt on June 5, 2014

One person was killed and three others injured Thursday afternoon after a lone gunman opened fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University. Police have one suspect in custody, an adult male who was subuded after being pepper-sprayed by a student security guard. No one else is being sought in connection with the shooting.

All of the victims were taken to Harborview Medical Center. One 20-year-old male victim died at the hospital. Another male victim was reported in stable condition. In addition, one woman had life threatening injuries and another woman was reported in stable condition. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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Shooting at Seattle Pacific University

June 5th, 2014 by Laura

SPDFor information and updates on the SPU shooting today, you can follow a live blog of events at The Seattle Times. Official updates are being posted on the SPD Twitter feed.

Note: traffic is being impacting significantly on Queen Anne as the area around SPU is closed to traffic.

 

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Bold daytime burglary on Upper Queen Anne

June 4th, 2014 by Laura

QA Crime WatchWe have a report from concerned neighbors about a bold daytime break-in and burglary today around 2pm near 4th Ave N and Howe St.

A neighbor saw three young men (late teens/early 20s) wearing backpacks photographing a neighbor’s garage. The neighbor called 911 for suspicious activity, and the three criminals began throwing stuff out the second story of the targeted house. While the neighbor was on the phone with 911, they saw her and one mouthed “put down the phone”.

According to friends and neighbors, SPD arrived within five minutes. A report has been filed with SPD, but heads up that there is a group of very brazen thieves robbing houses on Queen Anne during the daytime when neighbors are at home and in sight.

Edited for proper terminology – burglary.

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Woman attacked and robbed on Upper Queen Anne Friday night

May 24th, 2014 by Laura

You may have seen the lost dog post for Leyla earlier today – she is now home safe and sound. Here’s more background info from concerned friends of Leyla’s owner, and we’ll include more as we get it.

QA Crime WatchLeyla’s owner was walking her last night (Friday) around 10:30pm when she was attacked and robbed. The general location of the attack was on Upper Queen Anne near the corner of Warren Ave N and Blaine St. She doesn’t remember much, as she woke up in the Emergency Room and everything is fuzzy since.

Heads up that while 10:30pm doesn’t seem late, especially in the summer months when it stay light until nearly 10pm, it’s sadly unsafe to walk alone at this time in the neighborhood. Stay safe and don’t walk alone.

If anyone has information on the attack, please contact SPD at 206-625-5011.

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Heads up on door-to-door solicitors targeting Queen Anne

March 6th, 2014 by Laura

No SolicitorsWe’ve had several readers write us about some shady door-to-door magazine salespeople in the past week across Queen Anne. Last June we provided information on solicitors from SPD, and our SPD contact has confirmed this information is still up-to-date.

A key point to note is that there are no licensed door to door magazine sales in the City of Seattle. Here are SPD’s tips to keep in mind as the solicitors make the rounds in our neighborhood.

Tips from SPD:

This is the peak time of year for door-to-door sales, including those using traveling sales crews.  There are many legitimate companies in this industry with professionally trained salespeople, selling between the hours of 8:00am and 9:00pm, and a long history of law-abiding customer service.  There are, however, less reputable companies in this business willing to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals who trust people knocking at their door.  Sometimes residents forget to practice good personal safety.

Seattle Police officers respond to calls from citizens concerned about door-to-door salespeople.  The results have ranged from the officers checking identification and sending the seller to the City of Seattle Revenue & Consumer Affairs office for their business license, to arrests of individuals posing as residential sellers, but wanted on warrants. There have also been arrests for aggressive behavior, threats made against the resident, burglaries, and assaults.

Homeowners may consider posting a sign indicating “No agents,” “No peddlers,” or “No Solicitors.”  In Seattle, it is unlawful for any residential seller to attempt to gain admittance for the purpose of selling at any residence displaying one of these signs.

With these facts in mind, what should you do when a person knocks at your door?

BEFORE OPENING YOUR DOOR: LOOK FOR PROPER IDENTIFICATION.  Acknowledge the knock since ignoring it may lead to an attempted burglary.  It is preferable to speak to strangers through your door.  In Seattle, all door-to-door sellers must display the residential sales identification which includes the seller’s photograph on their outer clothing.  The residential sales agent’s license has the name of the licensee as well as the agent.  It shall be endorsed with the type of product or service being sold. The license is only valid for the product or service specified.  If you have any questions about whether a company is properly licensed, call the City of Seattle’s Office of Revenue & Consumer Affairs at 206-684-8136.

DISCLOSURE REQUIRED:  Each residential seller shall, immediately upon contacting the prospective buyer, disclose their name, company and the product or service represented.  If requested to do so, they shall leave the premises immediately.  If the individual does not leave, or if an attempt to gain access is made by asking to use the bathroom, the phone or get a drink of water, refuse the request and ask the individual to leave.  If you feel intimidated, pressured, or threatened at any time, call 911.

USE GOOD JUDGEMENT: It is safer not to allow the salesperson into your home.  You are encouraged to avoid paying immediately.  Do not give the salesperson cash or a check, as it may be pocketed and you will never receive the product ordered.  Instead, find out from the seller how you can order directly from the company or receive the bill upon receipt of the product/service.  If the salesperson is concerned about losing their commission for the sale, offer to provide their name when placing your order.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: In Seattle, if you make a purchase, the salesperson must tell you of your right to cancel the order and the contract must include a statement regarding the right to cancel.  For each sale of ten dollars or more, the seller must provide a receipt or contract to the purchaser.  Do not leave any blanks on your contract.  Be sure the contract or receipt is dated and that it states the terms of the transaction, the amount of payment made and the name and address of the residential seller.  It must also include a notice informing the buyer of their right to cancel the order any time prior to midnight of the third business day after the date of the transaction.  A completed Notice of Cancellation (in duplicate) must be provided to the purchaser at the time they purchase from the seller.  You do not need to provide a reason for canceling your order.

DO NOT GIVE IN TO HIGH PRESSURE TACTICS:  Never be afraid to say “NO!”  If a salesperson in your home tries to pressure you into buying their product, terminate your conversation with them.  Take the time to contact the company directly if you still have interest in the product or service.  Avoid making an immediate purchase in order to receive a “free gift.”  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

When should you call 911? If an unlicensed sales person shows up at your residence, call 911 and report it.  Calling as soon as possible with a good description,  direction the suspicious person is traveling, and address will all help officers locate the suspect(s).

And, as a general reminder, it’s not just the non-licensed solicitors that are targeting our neighborhood. Car prowls and break-ins are still occurring with too-regular frequency. For any suspicious activities or people, SPD advises calling 911 as soon as possible.

Here are the key items of information that help SPD when you call 911:

  • Good description of the person
  • Location – street name, number or hundred block, or address
  • Direction of travel
  • Identifying features and/or items: 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).

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