February’s police report total for Madison Valley was similar to January’s, close to 70. Once again, incidents involving car prowl and vehicle theft were the most prevalent and burglaries remained in the double digits (10). However, we had a respite from reported crimes against persons such as aggravated assault and robbery.
1. During the early morning hours of Feb. 1 someone gained entry to a package storage area in an apartment building on 19th near Denny and took the packages being stored there. Residents later found the opened packages in a stairwell of the building and reported losses of approximately $270. The apartment building had suffered a similar burglary a year ago and subsequently installed surveillance cameras. A video of the burglary was not available at the time of the police report.
2. On Feb. 4 police were called to a residence on Union near 26th at 11:30 PM to investigate a burglary that had occurred while the resident was at work. The burglar smashed open a sliding glass door to gain entry and stole a digital camera and a laptop. Police found no fingerprints at the scene.
3. Sometime between 10:30 AM and 5:30 PM on Feb. 5 a burglar entered an apartment on 23rd near Denny through an unlocked bedroom window. Although not all of the residents had assessed their losses at the time of the police report, items valued at least $1000 as well as personal documents were stolen. Police found fingerprints at the scene.
4. On Feb. 7 someone smashed open a window on a garage at a residence on 22nd near Denny. Because the window was made of frosted glass, the would-be burglar did not know that there was a stacked washer/dryer just inside the window that prevented easy access. The obstacle apparently caused the burglar to give up trying to enter the garage and the owner found nothing missing.
5. On Feb. 8 at about 2 AM police were called to an apartment building on 25th near Denny by a woman who heard someone tampering with the screen on her bedroom window. When she went to the window she found man who told her that his grandmother lived in the building and that he was trying to get into her apartment. The man fled when the woman told him that she was going to call the police. Police searched the area after they arrived but did not find a suspect.
6. On Feb 12 a resident on Pine near 25th reported a burglary that had occurred on Feb. 11. She told them that earlier that morning she found that the screens for several of her windows had been removed and that the screen for her bedroom window had been cut. Upon investigating further, she found that someone had stolen a cell phone and some clothing from packages that had been delivered earlier on the 11th. Because she returned home late in the evening on the 11th the resident did not notice the missing screens at that time, and police were unable to find fingerprints on the screens because of the heavy rains during the night.
7. On Feb. 22 police were called to a residence on Madison near 32nd to investigate a burglary that had just occurred. A woman who was house sitting for a relative returned from a brief errand at 12:20 PM and saw the burglar exiting the home, After being observed. the burglar, described as a black male in his 20s about 5′ 7″ tall and wearing a blue hoodie, fled west through an alley near 32nd and Ward. Police searched the area but were unable to find the burglar, who apparently entered the home through a back window. Police recovered some of the items that the burglar was in the process of taking and found finger prints on them.
8. On Feb. 22 there was a non-forced burglary at a residence on Helen near 24th. The incident involved additional violations, but the police have not posted a description of it yet.
9. Also on Feb. 22 a burglar broke into an apartment building on 19th near Denny by “hot-wiring” the electronic entry system. Once inside, the burglar broke into an apartment in the building and stole two Music Man guitars, guitar equipment and a laptop. The victim had been posting a sales listing for some used guitars on Craigslist during the past few months, and gave the police the name of a person who wanted to buy a guitar which was not for sale but was stolen during the burglary. Police found fingerprints at the scene.
10. On Feb. 23 at around 10:15 PM the owner of a home on E. Washington Place was awakened by loud noises coming from his back door. When he went to the back of his house to investigate he found that someone had tried to force the door open with some kind of prying tool. The burglar must have been frightened away because the owner saw no one. When the police arrived they could find no suspects in the neighborhood nor any evidence of further damage. Police sent a light bulb that the burglar had loosened in its socket above the back door to the police lab for possible fingerprints.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.