There were 44 incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during July, more than double the June total. Because the June total was so low, however, the July total only made it into the “low-normal” monthly range. Readers of this series will not be surprised to learn that July’s increase was mostly due to a rebound in car prowls and vehicle theft, which together made up almost half of the July total. There was a burglary and two robbery incidents during July, one of which started as a shoplifting incident.
On July 5 police were called to a restaurant on E. 19th near Roy to investigate a robbery that had taken place around 1 AM on July 4. After entering the building through an unlocked door, the robber entered an office area on the second floor and stole a laptop. Video footage of the burglary enabled a supervisor at the restaurant to provisionally identify the robber as a former employee who had been demoted and fired for performance and attendance problems. The supervisor suspects that the robber stole the laptop because records documenting her firing were contained on that laptop. The manager also indicated that the fired employee had been dating a current employee, and that he believes that the later may have cooperated in the burglary. Police subsequently found that the suspected robber and the current employee currently have the same address and phone number.
On July 9 at about 3:30 AM police were called to 27th and E. Madison to investigate an attempted robbery. When they arrived they found a highly intoxicated victim who told them that a would be robber had thrown a rock at him and then hit him with either a baseball bat or a guitar in an attempt to take his wallet. Although the victim gave different accounts of the incident, police believe that the robber asked the victim for “weed” and became angry when the victim didn’t have any. The victim was unable to identify the robber, but told the police that he thinks the robber is from the Capitol Hill area. The victim was transported to Harborview for treatment of injuries to his left hand and arm.
On July 16 shortly after 8 PM police responded to a shoplifting report at the supermarket on 22nd and Madison. When they arrived, an assistant manager told them that she had observed a shoplifter, described as a black male in his late 20s or early 30s approximately 5′10″ and weighing about 200 lbs., fill a blue/green tote bag with about $1000 worth of merchandise. When he attempted to leave the store without paying for the merchandise, the assistant manager confronted him and asked if he was going to pay for it. The shoplifter told her that he had a receipt, but the assistant manager stated that she didn’t believe him and followed him as he exited the store heading south on 22nd. As she did this, the shoplifter turned around and told her that if she continued to follow her, he would kill her. At this point the assistant manager stopped following him and his offense changed from shoplifting to robbery. Security cameras at the store recorded the incident.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.