Police received reports of 46 incidents in Madison Valley during March, about 25 percent fewer than had been reported in recent months. This drop was largely due to a drop in reported car prowls and vehicle thefts, which had been averaging around 27 incidents per month but dropped to 15 during March. In contrast, the number of burglaries during March was similar to the numbers in previous months.
1. On Friday, March 6 someone entered an unlocked residence on 30th Ave. near Pike during the daytime while its residents were away. The burglar apparently entered and left through the front door and took approximately $2000 worth of computer and entertainment equipment. Next door neighbors did not notice anything suspicious during the day and the police were unable to find any place in the residence where usable fingerprints might be taken.
2. On Tuesday, March 10 police were called to a commercial building on Madison near 31st by an occupant who noticed while opening for the day that a ground floor window had been smashed open during the night. The burglar searched through the office containing the smashed window, but ignored various valuable items and apparently took only a box of chocolates worth approximately $25. The police found no fingerprints in the office and there was no evidence that the burglar had entered other offices in the building.
3. On Friday, March 13 police were called to an apartment building on E 23rd Ave. near Aloha by residents who reported that someone had stolen a TV from their apartment sometime between midnight and 3:30 AM while they away from home. There were two guests sleeping in the apartment during the burglary, but neither were awakened by the burglar(s). The police report notes that the apartment was unlocked during the burglary, and that they found no usable fingerprints at the scene.
4. On Friday, March 20 police were notified about an attempted forcible-entry burglary at a specialty store on Madison near 27th that occurred at about 2 AM that morning. Although the burglary was unsuccessful, the police have not subsequently given a detailed description of the incident.
5. On Sunday, March 22 at about 6 AM police were called to a commercial building on Madison near 31st to investigate a possible burglary there. Police found that the the building’s emergency fire exit was unlocked and ajar, and that someone had forced open a door leading from the fire exit to a group of offices on the second floor of the building. The burglar then broke down the door to one of the offices on the second floor and proceeded to rummage through the office. Police found an empty beer carton in the office and an two empty hard apple cider bottles, but at the time the police report was filed it was not clear that anything had been stolen. The cider bottles and some tools presumably used in breaking into the office were submitted to the police lab to determine if they had usable fingerprints.
6. On Monday, March 25 at approximately 11 AM a burglar broke into a residence on 20th Ave. E. near Prospect by smashing a patio door at the rear of the home. Smashing the door apparently set off an alarm, which police responded to, but because the address associated with the alarm was incorrect, the police were unable to follow up. Later a neighbor phoned and told the police that an alarm had been ringing for some time and gave the police the correct address. When the police arrived at about 12:30 the owner showed them that the burglar had taken a large amount of jewelry and an iPad from the bedroom, but had ignored valuables in other rooms of the house. Although the owner didn’t have specific information about the value of the items taken, he estimated that it could be around $10,000 - $12,000. Police found no fingerprints.
Finally, on Tuesday, March 10 police were called to a store on Union near 24th by a worker who reported that a robber had entered the store, told her that he had a gun, and that she should give him all of the cash in the store, which amounted to about $200. After a description of the robber had been broadcast to police units in the vicinity, police found a person fitting that description at 24th and Cherry and detained him. When the witness identified him as the robber, the police searched him and found approximately $200 in cash. After being interviewed by the Robbery Unit, the suspect was booked into the King County Jail.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.