Car prowls and vehicle theft in Madison Valley during April dropped from the 25 incidents in March to 12, driving the overall number of incidents reported to the police down to 56. Reported burglaries dropped from eleven to nine, but there were three reported robberies.
1. On April 9 at 7AM a burglar, described as a white female in her late 20s or early 30s with sandy brown hair, gained entry to an apartment building on 20th near Madison. Once inside she also gained entry into locked storage areas inside the building. The building manager was unable to determine whether anything had been taken during the burglary, but was able to provide the police with video footage of the event.
2. On April 10 between noon and 2 PM someone kicked open the front door of a residence on 25th near Mercer and rummaged through the house. Although there were valuables in plain sight in the home, the burglar apparently took nothing. Police found no fingerprints at the scene.
3. Police were called to a pharmacy on Madison near 22nd at 5:20 PM on April 15 to investigate a burglary that had just occurred. When they arrived, the pharmacist told them that a man had jumped over the counter into the secure area of the pharmacy and stolen several bottles of medicine. The burglar and an accomplice then quickly fled. Police obtained a video tape of the incident that had been recorded by security cameras.
4. Sometime between April 15 and 17 someone broke into an apartment complex under construction on 24th near Denny. The burglar tried to break into a storage area in the complex with a pry bar, but was unsuccessful. The burglar also broke into a construction trailer at the back of the complex, but at the time of the police report it was unclear whether anything had been taken from the trailer. Police were not notified of the burglary until April 21, so police did not search for fingerprints because many people had been in the area between the time of the burglary and the arrival of the police.
5. During the afternoon of April 19 a burglar broke into a residence on 21st near Republican by smashing open a basement window. Once inside, the burglar took electronic equipment and jewelry worth at least $1000. The burglary was discovered when a resident returned home around 4:00 PM, but the police were not notified until 10:30 that evening.
6. On April 20 police were called to investigate a possible burglary at an apartment building on 24th near Howell. When they arrived, a resident told them that he had found the door of the building’s storage area open and that several of the storage compartments inside the area had been forcibly opened. Police were unable to determine whether anything had been stolen from the compartments, however.
7. Shortly after 6 PM on April 25th police were called to a building in the 2100 block of E. Madison to investigate a burglary in progress. When they arrived, the complainant told them that upon hearing strange noises she investigated and found that someone had cut the lock on a gate outside a shed. When she investigated further she found someone standing outside the shed with a bag containing items taken from the shed. When she yelled at the burglar, he dropped the bag and fled.
8. On April 26 the manager of an apartment building on Madison near 19th observed a woman gaining entry via the building’s call box. Once inside, the woman, described as a white female aged 25–40 with blond hair, entered one of the building’s restrooms where she remained for a while before leaving the building. Soon after one of the building’s employees found an empty package that was addressed to a nearby apartment complex. The manager told the police that she believes the woman has been gaining access to apartment buildings through entry codes that are not secure. The police subsequently learned that the woman had been frequently seen around an abandoned house in the neighborhood. The apartment building manager gave the police photos of the woman that had been taken by security cameras.
9. Late at night on April 29 a burglar entered an apartment building on 24th Ave. E. near Denny and stole packages from a mail area. The apartment manager supplied police with a video of an unknown white male entering the building and taking the packages.
The three robberies included one that began as a shoplifting incident, but ended up being an armed robbery.
1. Shortly after midnight on April 14 police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the grocery store on 22nd and Madison. When they arrived, an employee told them that a man had threatened him with a knife and then stolen approximately $300 from his cash register. After grabbing the money, the robber fled south from the store. Curiously, the robber is a well-known customer at the store and had even applied for a job there. As a result, the store has information about the robber that the police will be able to use apprehend him. The police also obtained video footage of the robbery.
2. On April 25th at around 11 PM a clerk at the grocery store on Madison and 22nd was threatened with a fire extinguisher by a shoplifter trying to take items from the store. The shoplifter, who thereby committed armed robbery, is known by employees of the store and police were given video footage of the incident.
3. Early in the morning of April 28, there was a reported strong arm robbery on 26th Ave. E. near John. The victim told police that he had had personal items taken during a physical altercation with an acquaintance that occurred after they had been drinking with friends. The victim refused medical assistance.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.