There were 37 incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during August, a relatively low monthly total. However, serious crimes against persons, including a homicide, an aggravated assault and two armed robberies were more prevalent than usual.
On the morning of Aug. 2 police were called to a residence on E. Arthur Pl. near 29th by a passerby who noticed an open front door and what appeared to be a dead body inside the home. The police have reported that the victim was 51-year-old Trina Bolar and that she died of gunshot wounds. The police are withholding further details as part of their investigation of the incident.
On Aug 21 at 2 PM police driving west on Union in a patrol car that automatically checks license plates were alerted that a stolen car traveling east had just passed them. They then reversed direction to search for the car but were unable to find it. Shortly afterward another police unit in the area found it parked on MLK near Thomas and noted that it was unoccupied. The police then placed it under surveillance in hopes that the car thief would return. When he did so a bit later two patrol cars converged on him and officers told him to raise his hands. Instead of obeying, however, the car thief fled east on Thomas and disappeared. After a short search, officers found him in the back yard of a residence in the 300 block of 29th Ave. E. and ordered him to get on the ground. The car thief refused, however, and an altercation with police officers ensued in which the car thief tried to take an officer’s weapon and succeeded in getting an ammunition clip. After subduing the car thief, the police handcuffed him and called the fire department for help in assessing his injuries, after which he was sent under guard to Harborview and eventually booked into King County Jail. In addition to car theft and aggravated assault, the thief will be charged with several other offenses associated with the incident.
At approximately 8:30 PM on Aug. 22 a customer at a convenience store on Union near 21st ran out of the store with two packs of beer without paying for them. When an employee started to chase the thief a witness warned him that the thief might be carrying a gun. The employee continued to chase the thief southbound on 21st, however, and when he caught up with him the thief threatened him with what looked like a metallic object and thus became an armed robber. The employee then ran back to the store and called the police. Security cameras in the store recorded the theft, and the witness, who is a security guard at a nearby business, told the police that he had frequently seen the robber in that neighborhood.
In the late morning of Aug. 27 police were called to the supermarket on 22nd and Madison to investigate a robbery. A little earlier a store employee who was restocking a liquor cabinet found two men taking bottles from the cabinet and apparently putting them into a backpack. When employee grabbed the backpack, one of the men fled while the other told the employee to return it. The employee refused to return it, so the man threatened him with a screwdriver. At that point the employee ran away and the man with the screwdriver left the store. This incident was recorded by security cameras as was the fact that the first man had left the store with a stolen pack of beer. After the two men left, the employee searched the backpack and found liquor stolen from the cabinet and personal property that identifies the man who threatened the store employee.
Finally, there were five burglaries reported in Madison Valley during August.
1. On Aug. 10 police were called to a residence on E. 21st near Roy to investigate a burglary that occurred earlier in the month while its occupant was away. The resident’s niece, who was checking on the home during her aunt’s absence, found that the front door had been kicked open and that someone had ransacked the house. After calling the police, the niece found that the burglar took fur coats and crystal ware. The niece also told police that in mid-July her aunt had invited a man who had been driving around the neighborhood, and who is described as being white and in his late 20s, into her home for a couple of hours and during that time she told him that she would be away during early August. After he left the aunt found that he had stolen items while he was there and she reported the theft to the police. Police found no fingerprints during their investigation of the burglary.
2. On Aug. 12 the owner of a home on 24th near Howell reported that her home had been burglarized sometime during Aug. 10–11. Upon returning home on the 11th, the owner had found that someone had searched through drawers and closets, but had apparently taken nothing. Two old bicycles were stolen from the back yard however.
3. On Aug. 13 someone took a bicycle worth approximately $500 from the garage of a home on 27th Ave. E near John. During that day the owner had been unpacking boxes in the garage and had left the garage door open as he went back and forth between the garage and his residence.
4. Sometime during the night of Aug. 14–15 a burglar entered a rental residence on 24th Ave. E near Roy. The owner reported that the burglar stole numerous power tools that he was using during a remodeling of the residence. The police found no fingerprints.
5. Sometime during Aug. 12–22, a burglar stole a laptop and heirloom jewelry worth approximately $70,000 from a residence on 24th near Harrison. The owners, who were away on vacation, were renting their home through Airbnb during the period, and they also had tenants living in their basement and in a detached building. Although the owner’s bedroom and bathroom were supposed to be off limits to those with access to the residence, the burglar entered them and found the jewelry even though it was stored in a hiding place. The owners were unable to identify any suspects and because so many people had access to the residence the police did not search for fingerprints.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.