After a seven-month run of double digit monthly burglary totals, March saw a return to a more typical total of five. The decline in burglaries, and a few other types of reported crimes, was offset by a surge in car prowls (38 reported incidents), however, so that the overall total of reported crimes was one more than February’s total of seventy. In fact, one of those car prowls was a key element in the fourth burglary described below.
1. During the morning of March 2, just after the residents had left for a short vacation, a burglar broke into a home on E. Valley near 26th by breaking a dining room window and then unlatching it. While entering, the burglar apparently suffered a cut because blood was found at various locations around the inside of the home. The burglar took jewelry, an iPad, passports, credit cards and personal checks, and started using the credit cards shortly after leaving the home. The residents called the police when they returned home on March 6, and when one of the officers arrived he realized that he had found one of the stolen credit cards at the scene of another burglary that he had investigated two days earlier. The police have a suspect for that burglary and have a video of her using a stolen credit card for a purchase at a art supply store on March 4. The police have submitted blood samples and possible fingerprints as evidence in the case.
2. Sometime while its occupants were sleeping during the early morning hours of March 6, a burglar broke into a home on Galer near 22nd by prying open a basement window. The burglar rummaged through the kitchen and stole approximately $300 in cash from a wallet and some jars containing allowance money. The police found fingerprints at the scene.
3. During the morning of March 15, someone entered the unlocked office of a business in a commercial building on Madison near 28th while the business owner was temporarily away, and stole a laptop computer. Police were not notified about the burglary until the following day and therefore did not search for fingerprints because the office had had several clients in it since the burglary.
4. Sometime during the night of March 21-22 someone used a garage door opener that was left in an unlocked car in a driveway on 26th near Mercer to gain entrance to the residence there. Once inside, the burglar took a bicycle and wet suits from the garage area, and a laptop and a wallet containing credit cards and $300 in cash from the kitchen area adjacent to the garage. The victim, who was asleep in an upstairs bedroom, was not awakened by the burglar’s activities. The police found no fingerprints at the scene, but the burglar left a bag containing clothing and shoes in the garage.
5. On March 28 police were called to an apartment building on Madison near 25th to investigate a burglary that had occurred on March 16. Someone had broken into the locked storage area of the apartment complex and stolen approximately $1800 worth of tools and surveillance equipment. The police did not search for fingerprints because of the time lapse between the burglary and when it was reported to the police.
In addition to the burglaries, there were two robberies in Madison Valley during March.
1. On March 9th at 11:30 PM a woman parked her car near 21st and Union and walked to a nearby food truck. On her way back to her car she was approached from behind by a male who placed a hard object, which she thinks was a gun, at the back of her head and told her to give him her money. The woman told the robber that she had no money, but he searched her and found $640 in one of her inside coat pockets. After taking the money the robber told the woman not to turn around and fled north on 21st. The woman did not contact the police about the robbery until March 12 and could not provide a description of her assailant.
2. On March 15 at about 10:30 AM a 76-year old women who was arriving to attend an activity session for seniors being held at the Miller Community Center was knocked to the ground by a robber who seized her purse from behind. When she got up to see her assailant she recognized him as the occupant of a lime green van that had been parked in a disability parking space that she had passed when she was walking from her car to the community center. After taking her purse, which contained a cell phone, identification and credit cards, the robber ran back to his van and drove north on 19th Ave. E. The victim described the robber as a black male, aged 20 to 25, of medium build, with short hair and dressed in black. The victim was not able to see the license place of the robber’s van.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.