During December Madison Valley was the scene of 64 incidents reported to the police, down slightly from November’s total but still well above the monthly average for 2014. Thirty of the incidents were car-prowl thefts, almost double the November total, but no vehicle thefts were reported. The police reports give descriptions of six burglaries during December.
1. On Dec. 1 at around 2 PM a burglar set off an alarm in a home on Harrison near 31st by smashing a window in the front door and unlocking the door. When the owner returned home around 3 PM she found that the burglar had taken a laptop from an office in the residence and a pile of change from a bedroom. She also found that the burglar had left a half-full can of Coca Cola, which the police took in evidence to search for possible fingerprints.
2. On Dec. 11 at 1:30 AM two burglars attempted to enter a specialty store on Union near 24th by smashing open a glass pane in the business’s front door. When they smashed the glass they set off an alarm and video cameras, causing the burglars to flee the scene. The video recording was not good enough to yield descriptions of the burglars, however, and the police K-9 unit was unable to locate any suspects.
3. During the night of Dec. 17-18 someone gained entry to offices in a commercial building on Madison near MLK and stole video equipment worth $500. Because there were no indications of forced entry, the police believe that the burglar(s) had keys to the building. When the business owner tried to notify the police of the burglary on Dec. 18, she was told that the police department’s call load was high and asked to call again on the 19th. When the police arrived to investigate on the 19th, they decided not to look for fingerprints because there were no printable surfaces in the vicinity of the missing equipment and because too much time had elapsed since the burglary.
4. At around 5 PM on Dec. 20, a burglar set off an alarm in a residence on Republican near 30th Ave. E. by kicking in the back door. When the owners returned about an hour later, they found that many lights had been turned on and that many drawers in their residence had been opened. The burglar stole camera equipment and jewelry worth approximately $4700. Police found no fingerprints in the home.
5. A woman called the police on Dec. 26 to report that in the previous few days there had been a forcible-entry burglary at her father’s residence on 23rd near Howell. The burglar(s) smashed open a window on the first floor of the home and then searched for valuables. Because the father was away on vacation, the daughter was unable to specify exactly what had been taken, but police were able to recover fingerprints on a jewelry box.
6. On Dec. 29 at 10:30 PM police responded to a report of a burglary at a residence on 26th near Pine. When they arrived the victim told them that upon arriving home about an hour earlier the back door was open and that it appeared someone had broken into the house through a window on the first floor. The police report states that the burglar(s) stole close to $12,000 worth of property, but does not give details about what was stolen.
Police also received reports of one robbery and one aggravated assault during December.
1. A woman called 911 around 9:30 AM on Dec. 3 to report that she had been punched in the face by an acquaintance who had taken her ID and a credit card. When the police arrived she told them that she and the acquaintance had shared a bottle of vodka during the night in a residence on 19th near Thomas, but that around 7:30 in the morning she discovered that her cards were missing. When she accused the acquaintance of taking them, he punched her twice in the face and left the residence where they had spent the night drinking. After following him to his car and threatening to call the police, the victim returned to the residence and fell asleep. When she woke, she called to determine the balance on the credit card and found that $300 had been spent that morning, whereupon she called 911. The victim told the police that she only knew the robber’s first name and that he lives somewhere in Federal Way.
2. Around 9:30 AM on Dec. 5 two men who were playing ping pong at a location on 19th near John started fighting during their match. The Fire Department medical unit was called and when it arrived the men told told a story about having fallen down during the match. When the police arrived, however, they admitted that they had had a fight. Both suffered injuries and one was taken to Swedish Hospital. Although there were no witnesses to the altercation, staff at the facility where they were playing reported that the two frequently argued during their ping pong games, but that their arguments had not previously escalated into fighting.
Additional information can be found at the SPD’s police reports website.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.