“Property crime elsewhere in the country dropped, but new FBI crime statistics show that Washington leapt from third in 2012 to first in 2013 thanks in part to a 6 percent jump in car thefts. The trend demands changes on the ground and in state sentencing policy.”
You can read the full article here. If you experience property crime of any time, be sure to report it to SPD. For many crimes such as car prowls and thefts of items valued below $500, you can report them online.
As a victim of property crime overnight last night, I can attest that the online reporting tool isn’t the most user-friendly – but persevere so our Queen Anne stats can hit the database… even if there’s not much being done about them (yet?).
If you’ve ever had your car prowled, you know how frustrating it can be. Even if you keep nothing in your car, you can tell it’s been prowled – and if you don’t lock it, chances are high it’ll happen.
If nothing is taken, you cannot file an online police report – so no stats for the Seattle Police Department. However, if something is taken, even as minimal as spare change, the crime can be reported online, and it should be, so SPD is aware of the activity.
In September, there were over 60 car prowls on Queen Anne – you can click the map for a larger image. For reference, in June we had 46 car prowls.
If you’re curious how bold our local car prowlers are, you can check out a video from a Queen Anne resident’s security camera. Due to a faulty alarm, the owner hasn’t been able to lock the car parked in the driveway in the video. You can see the car prowler testing car doors and entering the unlocked car. About 35 seconds in, you can see a good image of him:
Reminder: if you see suspicious activity, call 911.
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.
If you see a crime in progress or suspicious activity, call 911.
Burglaries: 29 in June 2014 compared to 18 in June 2013
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.
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 Thefts: 36 in June 2014 compared to 14 in June 2013
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.
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.
The 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.
From the Seattle Bike Blog comes a scary story of what may be “attempted vehicular assault” on a cyclist this morning on the Ship Canal Trail near Seattle Pacific University. According to an email sent to the Seattle Bike Blog, a cyclist was almost run down by a man driving a white, late 90s Jeep Grand Cherokee on the trail (yes, on the trail, not on the road).
If you saw anything this morning around 7:30am or have seen the car described, please contact the Seattle Police Department. Here’s the description from the blog:
“55-65yr old white man, plaid shirt, wire glasses, driving a late 90′s white jeep grand cherokee. This was on the Ship Canal Trail between 3rd and 6th avenue (right near SPU and the Ship Canal. Cops came and took a report, but neither me or the really nice neighbor who came down and also gave a report to the police got a license or photo. The police will likely write it up as attempted vehicular assault, this was at about 7:30am this morning.”
Luckily, the cyclist is safe, but his bike was totaled, as you can see in the photo. For the full story, go to the Seattle Bike Blog, and keep an eye out for the suspect.
From SPD – this incident occurred this morning, Monday, June 3rd, near Coe Elementary. Please call 911 if you see the suspect or have more information. And, remember to report all crimes to 911 as soon as possible.
A woman left her 4- year-old son in her parked car while she walked her daughter to Coe elementary school in the 2400 block of 7th Av W, this morning just shortly after 9:00 a.m.
When she returned, she noticed a Hispanic male, between 25 to 32 years of age, light complexion, 5’9” to 5’10”, very thin, with shaved head, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans, walking away from her parked car abruptly. The woman did not realize anything had happened until she got to her vehicle. Her 4- year-old son told her that the man tried to get into the car by trying all the doors.
The woman then watched the subject get into a bright red, shiny Pontiac Grand Am. She tried to follow the vehicle but lost sight of it. She did not call 9-1-1 until 20 minutes later.
Officers arrived and conducted an area check for the suspect. He was not located. Officers immediately notified the surrounding schools in the Queen Anne area.
We’ve been tipped to some suspicious activity near the intersection of West Galer & West 5th. Over the last few days, during morning and early afternoon hours, several people have noted a male being on their property, ringing doorbells (we’re assuming to see if the house is empty) and generally giving people the creeps. As always, the tipster would like us to make everyone aware of this and if you see any weirdness going on to report it.
The Police non-emergency line (206) 625-5011
If it is an emergency use 911
The Police now have “Tweets by Beat” that you can sign up to follow via Twitter. There are several beats for the Queen Anne neighborhoods but the @SeattlePDQ2 and @SeattlePDQ3 are the ones for the top of the hill area. Lower Queen Anne is @SeattlePPDD1. More information can be found on the Tweets by Beat website.
Queen Anne View reader Lincoln told us he found several damaged cars Wednesday morning while walking his dog in Upper Queen Anne:
I noticed a number of parked cars with significant damage. One was on Queen Anne Ave in front of Bartell’s (parked diagonally), and a few more were around the corner on 1st Ave W near Crockett (parallel parked). The damage must have happened last night – there were still bits of shattered plastic and glass on the ground near the cars.
We’ve been unable to find a police report on the incident so far, but will pass along any details if/when we do.
The FBI is asking for your help in finding this suspect in a bank robbery Friday afternoon at the US Bank on 8th Ave. N, between Dexter and Westlake Ave. The armed suspect is described as a white male in his 40s to 50s wearing black clothing. Here are the security photos:
“Based on similarities in the subject’s appearance and in robbery methods, investigators believe this subject may have been responsible for the robbery of a Key Bank in Issaquah on March 24, 2012,” the FBI said. If you see the suspect, you’re asked to call 911.
It’s that time of year when the weather warms up and car prowlers step up their activity. Using Seattle Police data, we compiled a map of Queen Anne car prowls for the month of May so far. By our count, 25 different incidents scattered around the neighborhood — with some definite clusters:
The tennis courts at Rodgers Park are currently littered with graffiti. A concerned neighbor reported the graffiti to the City’s Graffiti Report department of Seattle Public Utilities, and writes in to let readers know how to do the same when encountering graffiti in the neighborhood.
Neighbors living at the corner of Galer Street and 4th Avenue N report finding one of their windows shot with a BB gun. “Has anyone seen or heard anything in the past couple of weeks that could explain my new window decoration?” asks homeowner Lawrence Stein.
Mr. Stein is over at the corner of Galer St. and 4th Ave. North and noticed the BB gun bullet hole in his front front window on April 5. He believes the incident occurred April 3rd or 4th. The hold is about one inch in diameter.
Seattle Police Department took no report, saying they do not come out for BB guns, a bit surprising given some newer BB guns have much more power and range than a child’s toy.
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