There were 57 crimes in Madison Valley reported to the police during April. This was down a bit from March, but was still above the long-run average of about 35 cases per month. April also saw the first homicide since I started doing the monthly crime report in March 2013. Strangely, this homicide is not included among the crimes given in the police reports data even though it was widely reported in the local news media. At about 2:30 AM on April 19th police received numerous 911 calls reporting gunfire in the vicinity of 22nd and Union. When they arrived they found a victim who had been shot in the chest. The victim subsequently died after being taken to Harborview Medical Center. The victim was later identified as a 24-year-old with a lengthy criminal history and an affiliation with the Central District gang Deuce 8.
In addition to the homicide, on April 3 at noon there was a potentially violent altercation between two men at the bus stop at 19th and Thomas. A witness left the scene after notifying the police that one of the men had brandished a knife. When the police arrived the two men were still present and they reported that they had a long-standing feud with each other over a woman. The police took the instigator of the altercation into custody and later charged him with harassment.
There were five burglaries reported during April, only one of which was a residential burglary.
1. Sometime during the night of April 1st a burglar gained entry to a restaurant in the 3100 block of E. Madison by smashing a window in the front of the building. The burglar apparently cut himself while climbing through the broken window and left blood spots and possible finger prints at the scene. An employee reported that nothing appeared to have been taken by the burglar.
2. During the night of April 14 a burglar gained entry to a specialty store near MLK and Madison by breaking the front window. Approximately $2,600 of merchandise was stolen, but police were unable to find any fingerprints.
3. Police were alerted to a possible break-in occurring at a business complex near 28th and Madison at 11:15 PM on April 15. When they arrived they found that the rear door to business had been smashed open but found no one on the premises. The person who contacted the police described the burglar as a white male about 25 years old. When the business owner arrived she determined that approximately $4000 worth of merchandise had been taken. The police were unable to find fingerprints at the scene.
4. On April 16 someone stole two bags from just inside the entry of a residence near 20th and Denny. The owner reported that she had left the bags unattended while she went to pick up another bag from her car. The stolen bags contained over $800 worth of merchandise.
5. Sometime between 5 PM on April 26 and 8 AM on the 28th, a burglar broke open the back door of a specialty shop near 19th and Aloha. The burglar then ransacked the business and stole approximately $30,000 worth of merchandise while causing an additional $2000 worth of property damage. The police report does not mention whether they found any fingerprints.
As is frequently the case, vehicle-related crime was the most numerous type last month, with fifteen reported car prowls, six vehicle thefts and four cases of license plate theft. There were six reports of identity theft, down substantially from March’s high of 23.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.