Crime notes: Tips, burglaries, and more tips

Map of selected items from bhwn.org. V - Vehicle thefts and break-ins, B - Burglaries, R - Robberies, S - Shots fired, O - Other.

Selected scanner items from bhnw.org:
1/13 10:30pm — Burglary: 22nd and Kenny
1/14 1:30pm — Burglary: 35th and Graham
1/15 7:15pm — Vehicle Theft: 15th and Lucile
1/18 3:00pm — Vehicle Break-in: 12th and Atlantic
1/25 9:30pm — Shooting / Weapons: 12th and Atlantic
1/27 1:45pm — Robbery: Beacon and Alaska
1/29 10:30am — Other: 32nd and Myrtle
1/29 12:30pm — Other: 13th and Atlantic
1/31 5:30pm — Vehicle Theft: Beacon and Morgan
2/1 3:45pm — Robbery: Beacon and Brandon
2/4 1:15pm — Vehicle Break-in: Beacon and Horton
2/5 2:30pm — Vehicle Break-in: 17th and Plum

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Collen wrote to the mailing list about a daytime break-in on January 21st at 18th and College where they smashed the bathroom window and took a computer, several iPods, and a camera. He also mentioned that his girlfriend’s car window was smashed a few nights later nearby.

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John Wright also wrote to the list about a car theft and recovery:

Just wanted to let you know that my friend’s car was stolen on Saturday, 1/23, between 10:30 p.m. and Midnight. It was a red 1998 Honda Civic 4-door. It was parked on 17th Ave S near Holgate. We didn’t hear anything, and our dogs (who bark at just about everything) did not make a peep.

It was recovered Sunday morning in the Bryn Mawr area of Renton. It was sitting in a ditch, stereo stolen, steering console trashed, windows open. Rear passenger door was tagged on the inside with a gang sign. They stole the De La Soul CD, but left behind the Nirvana and Nada Surf. :)

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From SeattleCrime.com‘s Robbery Round-up:

January 15th, South Seattle: A man ran inside Cleveland High School and told officers working off-duty at a basketball game that he’d been carjacked at gun point. The man told police he was parked outside the school’s gym when two other men approached him, put a gun to his head and demanded his vehicle. The report says the victim told the robbers “he was ready to die” and to “go ahead and shoot if he was going to kill him.” The victim eventually handed over the car and the suspects drove off.

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After the jump, two lists of very good advice from Felicia and Craig via the mailing list.

From Craig Thompson:

In 2003, four neighbors on the northwest end of Beacon Hill created this list of what you can do to increase your own and your neighborhood’s public safety on Beacon Hill.

  1. GO out with your neighbors. Organize a group for a walk around your block. Bring a dog, bring a friend.
  2. CARE – Let people see you care. Put up good outdoor lights, and motion and light sensors that activate at dusk. Increase open spaces around your home, decrease hiding spaces. Take care of your parking strip and yard.
  3. BE AWARE! If you see a crime, report it. Describe who, what, when, where, how.
  4. CALL 911 for urgent matters. You MUST get an event ID number! This helps collect data on crime in the community.
  5. KEEP the non-emergency number on hand. Call 625-5011 to report your concerns.
  6. MEET your neighbors. Go to community meetings. Say “hello” on the sidewalk. Volunteer on projects. Invite people to
    dinner. Exchange phone numbers. Join a block watch. Create a disaster response team. Call 233-7123.
  7. FIND safe houses where you can go if you feel unsafe. If your home is broken into, go to a neighbor. Get help so you can watch your home until the police arrive.
  8. PAINT out graffiti. Call 684-7587.
  9. SECURE your vehicle. Park in a garage, carport, or legal off-street location. Use well lit areas. Buy a club or other device.
  10. BE brave. Be safe.

For home alarms, I recommend Guardian Security Services. They are local, they are prompt, they provide the option for a private security guard to come to your house (police may or may not respond to other alarms, depending on what’s happening in the precinct).

A printed version of this includes a checklist you can use to describe suspicious vehicles, persons, and activities on the Beacon Alliance of Neighbors website at:

http://www.cityofseattle.net/BAN/public_safety.htm

Consider doing a CPTED survey (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). You can contact the Seattle Neighborhood Group (contact details are on the page above), or you can work with neighbors who understand the principles. I do, as CPTED is one of the guiding principles for the forestry work I’ve done for six years, besides other experience.

Last, work with your neighbors. If anyone tells you not to, or attempts to introduce neighborhood politics into your relationships with your neighbors, or in anyway interferes with your neighborhood public safety effort, ignore them. If someone tells you stuff you just can’t believe, then don’t.

An example is a block watch captain a few years ago saw Latino men coming to a neighbor’s house, staying, and leaving. She reported this to the police, and then went around that neighborhood telling everyone else to spy on her neighbor and report everything to the police. The reality was that the neighbor’s husband was a contractor, and the Latino men were long time employees coming by the house to get paid.

Use your best judgment, in other words, and don’t see things that aren’t there. In another instance, an African American business woman had her car break down on a Saturday and was waiting for the bus across from the Red Apple. She was reported as a prostitute – she wasn’t.

If you work positively with your neighbors, you can counter the fear associated with crime.

and some more great tips from Felicia following up some good comments from Didi about dogs, lighting, and graffiti:

  • I agree with Didi that owning a Dog is a great deterrent to theft, as well as leaving on outside lights. Getting flood lights is the best option that has been successful in decreasing crime in Renton, Bellevue and Redmond areas that are apt to break-ins (yes, the Eastside also has crime).
  • Leaving on a radio tuned to a ‘talk radio’ station, is helpful if you can increase the volume enough to ‘show’ thieves that someone is home, while not upsetting neighbors.
  • If you get the paper (does anyone these days?), it’s important to bring the paper inside (and garbage bins) to show that someone is home.
  • Leaving on lights in the ‘front’ and ‘back’ rooms of the home during the day, also makes thieves think someone maybe home. Opening blinds and curtains (strategically) can also be the one ‘little’ thing between a secure home and a break-in.
  • As you do with your car, move high value items from the view of the street – your windows (TVs, Stereo’s, Antiques, etc). If you look at your home from the street, think ‘what can I see that is worth stealing?’ Then move those items.
  • As there are employees at Pac Med/Amazon that park in N. Beacon Hill, you may want to find one and see if they’re willing to park their car in your driveway for the day. This may throw off the thieves if they see a car home. Of course, make sure you aren’t liable for any car-break ins, by signing a contract and having the person get a car alarm.
  • Vary your routine. I remember deploying to Iraq and being told to ALWAYS VARY YOUR ROUTINE! Changing your routine on a monthly basis is WAAAY better than being predictable over a year.
  • Get a house sitter (relative or hire a house sitter) if you are going to be out of town. If you are so concerned about break-ins, get an unemployed or student (relative or friend) to house sit during the day.
  • Trim foliage in a way that opens up your property to the view of neighbors and traffic.
  • Buy foliage that is a haphazard to navigate (anything with THORNS). I great landscaper or security firm can assist in this. If you can plant bushy thorny foliage below windows and fences, this is all the better. Holly, Rose Bushes are ‘thief deterrent’ plants that come to mind. It also beautifies the property!
  • Get a security firm to examine your locks. Upgrade your home’s locks AND doors/windows to products that make it hard for a thief to see through and break in. Thieves will quit if they are unsuccessful at entry.
  • Get an alarm system if you can afford one!
  • If you see someone doing something out of the ordinary, report it to authorities, as many of this list serve do.
  • BEST OF ALL – KNOW THY NEIGHBORS! Exchange numbers, trade ‘security secrets’, and have dinner at least once a year, etc.

I truly am impressed with the community on N. Beacon Hill! I personally think that if the area has more small businesses and new residences, therefore more traffic and prosperity, it won’t be such a ‘hot spot’ for theft.

One thought on “Crime notes: Tips, burglaries, and more tips”

  1. I just wanted to let everyone know that an Apt. Bldg on 12th & Grand was broken into at least two times. The first known break in was on 1/20. The man was 6ft., maybe a little taller, very slim, African descent with a notable accent. Short hair. Wearing a baseball hat, black sweatshirt and tan pants. When confronted he took off, the police were called.

    Additional bars were scheduled to be added to that window but he broke in again the day before the installation.

    1/28/10 – break-in at the same point of entry. He went into the back yard through a gate, forced open a window, and slipped through the bars into the storage area.
    Then he kicked in back door to ground floor apt. and stole all jewelry, cash, small electronics, computer equipment. He also injured a small dog. We don’t know if it’s the same person, but because of the previous break-in, it seems most likely. Keep a look out.

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