Terrie Johnston, crime prevention coordinator for Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct, recently sent an update to all Block Watch captains about crime trends in North Seattle. Johnston said most August burglaries occurred during daytime hours, many of them before noon.
The bulk of the entries are non-forced through open or unlocked doors and windows. (Still a few through dog-doors as previously reported) I noticed several entries through unlocked garage doors, which can be harder to protect. If you can access your home through the garage, please think of the door between the garage and house as an exterior door. They should be solid; wooden or metal with good deadbolt lock and a door frame that is anchored into the wall studs. Window screens are easy to cut or remove so don’t consider them adequate defense for an open window. Victims reported they left doors unlocked as they were only walking the dog, or at a nearby park with their kids and didn’t plan on being gone long. We think 9 minutes is a long time for a burglar to be in your home. Laptops, jars of coins, jewelry and tools were popular stolen items this month. One burglar entered an unlocked garage and stole the victim’s car using the valet key left in the glove box of the vehicle.
On 7/30/11 people on Densmore Ave. N. were having a party in their basement and a guest came upstairs to find four burglars inside the house. They were chased outside and fled in the suspects’ vehicle. An astute individual reported 2 motorcyclists stuffing their back packs with stuff from a suitcase they later discarded. The witness gave good descriptions and even a license plate number to 9-1-1. Officers ended up arresting one of the thieves a short time later near the Home Depot parking lot. Turned out the motorcycle was stolen. The suitcases seen had the victim’s name on the ID Tags which helped verify a burglary had occurred; and most of the chase was caught on an in-car camera of the patrol car. Great work by North Precinct patrol and by the great witness who called in the Suspicious Activity which lead to the arrest. You are our eyes and ears!
Johnston also said the 27th annual Night Out Against Crime on Aug. 2 was a big success, with 1,327 blocks across the city registering to participate, a 12 percent increase from last year. The big news, however, is that more than half of those – 720 blocks – were in the North Precinct, twice the number of the city’s other four precincts combined.