There were only 17 incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during June, an incredibly low number. It is unusual for a monthly total to fall below 40, so June’s low total is quite surprising. Reports of car prowls almost disappeared, with only one report in June compared to a monthly average in the high teens. Have victims of this type of crime have stopped reporting it to the police? In addition, other kinds of incidents such as property damage/graffiti, petty theft and shoplifting, were also infrequent during June. There were, however, a fairly typical number of burglaries reported during June.
1. Sometime during the night of June 2–3 a burglar entered an apartment complex on E. Madison near 24th through a door that had been taped so that the latch bolt would be inoperative. Once inside the burglar entered an unlocked apartment that was being remodeled and stole $7000 worth of tools and building supplies. Police found fingerprints on a counter top inside the apartment.
2. On June 8 police were called to a house on E. Thomas near MLK to investigate a burglary that occurred sometime in the previous week. The current resident told police that someone had entered the house and stolen a blue Soma Smoothie bicycle worth approximately $700. The resident also told police that she suspects a man who she has found in the house previously when it was unlocked, and who had been in the neighborhood during the past few days. The resident gave the suspect’s name to the police and noted that he has a reputation for bicycle theft.
3. On June 9 police were called to a community center on E. 19th near Aloha to investigate a burglary. A worker at the center told them that someone had ransacked a storage room and then stolen $120 in cash that had been hidden in two places in the center. The worker noted that the two cash storage places are fairly common knowledge among those who attend and work at the center, and that a third, known only to herself and the owner, had been untouched.
4. Sometime during June 21st someone entered the kitchen of a house on E. 20th near Aloha through an unlocked door and stole two iPads. The owners learned of the theft the next day when one of them received an email asking for his Apple ID so that the data on one of the iPads could be cleared. At first the owner thought the email was a prank, but when he asked his wife to check, she found that their iPads were missing, at which point the owners notified the police about the burglary. The person who sent the email subsequently told the owner that he had purchased the iPad from someone who listed it on offerup.com, and he told the owners that he would return the iPad and cooperate with the police in apprehending the burglar, described as a short white male in his early 20s with close set eyes and blond hair.
5. On June 24 police were called to a residential complex on Union near 24th to investigate an attempted burglary that had occurred sometime on June 22. The owner of one of the units in the complex had found that the screens on the west side of his unit were damaged in what looked like an attempt to break into the unit. During their investigation police noted that other screens in the complex had also been damaged and found fingerprints on them.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.