The number of incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during April dropped from March’s total of 71 to 57. As is often the case, the change was entirely driven by a change in the number of car prowls, which fell from 38 to 24. There were five burglaries, and once again one of them resulted when a car prowler found a garage door opener in an unlocked vehicle.
1. On April 13 police were called to a residence on 22nd near Madison to investigate a burglary at an attached garage that had been left open during the previous night. The burglars took a bicycle and digital gaming equipment and apparently left no fingerprints.
2. On April 17 at approximately 5 AM two burglars broke into the lobby of an apartment complex on 19th near Mercer and stole several packages from the mailbox area. The burglars, described as an adult and a child wearing gloves and dressed to hide their identities, were recorded by a surveillance camera. Although they were not called until 11 AM, police carried out an unsuccessful search of the neighborhood for suspects matching the descriptions of the burglars.
3. At around 1:30 AM on April 25 residents of a home on 21st near Aloha were awoken by noises coming from the ground floor of their house. When they got up to investigate they saw light from flashlights downstairs and then saw two burglars exit from their front door. After calling the police they found that the burglars had entered by breaking the window of a side door and unlocking it. The burglars stole credit cards from a purse, but apparently had too little time to take anything else. The police found no fingerprints.
4. Sometime during the night of April 28–29 a burglar broke into a home under construction on 24th near Pine by breaking open the locked front door. The burglar stole approximately $2200 worth of tools. There were no surfaces suitable for taking fingerprints.
5. Also during the night of April 28–29 a burglar gained entry to a garage on 20th near Denny by using a garage door opener obtained from a car prowl at that location. The burglar, who apparently was riding a bicycle, stole a bicycle worth $1100 from the garage and left his own bike at the scene. The police found no fingerprints in the garage and none on the burglar’s bike, which had been left out in the rain.
In addition to the April burglaries, the police department has released a description of a burglary that occurred earlier this year. At about 3 PM on Feb. 22 a burglar entered a residence on E. Helen near 24th through an unlocked window. When he unlocked the front door to let an accomplice inside, however, an alarm sounded and both fled south on Turner Way. Two witnesses were alerted by the alarm and one of them took a photograph of the burglars with her cell phone. She then returned to her nearby home, got into her car, and drove southbound on 23rd in search of them. She found them near 23rd and John, and took another photo of them as they crossed Madison on 25th . Meanwhile, a resident of the burglarized home returned home and found that the front door was open and that a laptop was missing. The police arrived shortly after 3:20 and the witness who had followed the burglars showed them her photos. The police then mounted a major search operation for the burglars and at around 4 PM detained one near 25th and E. Howell and at around 4:45 found the other hiding in a hot tub at a residence near 25th and Denny. After he had been arrested, the police found that the latter burglar had arrest warrants out for vehicle theft. Both burglars were booked into the King County Jail.
Finally, there was an incident classified as an armed robbery during April.
On April 5 at about 7 PM a man walked into the Safeway at Madison and 22nd and loaded a grocery cart with six containers of laundry detergent. After he took the cart out of the store without paying for its contents, two store employees confronted him, but the man claimed that he didn’t know what they were talking about and that he was doing nothing wrong. At that point one of the employees noticed that the man was concealing a jackknife behind his back and the two employs broke contact with him to prevent an escalation of the confrontation. Before leaving the robber, however, one of the employees took a picture of him with a cell phone. In addition, surveillance cameras in the store recorded the event. When they arrived at the scene police searched the neighborhood but could not find the robber.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.