There were only 47 incidents in Madison Valley reported to the police during May, and as usual the decline from previous monthly totals was due to a smaller number of car prowls. There were eight completed or attempted burglaries and an armed robbery reported during May.
1. At about 3 AM on May 7 a highly intoxicated male wearing only shorts entered a condominium on 26th near Olive and woke the two residents. When one of them yelled at him to leave, he yelled back that it was his house and that he wanted her to leave. When she threatened to call the police he grabbed unsuccessfully at her phone, at which point both residents pushed him into a bathroom and then fled to their respective bedrooms and locked the doors. When the police arrived shortly afterward they heard sounds of things being smashed coming from the second floor of the building and found that the front door had been barricaded from the inside. The residents then emerged from their bedrooms and removed the items blocking the front door so that the police could enter. When the police went upstairs the intruder surrendered and was taken into custody. The intruder caused approximately $1500 worth of damage in the residence. When they questioned him, the police learned that the intruder had consumed a large bottle of vodka and believed that he was in Vancouver, B.C.
2. During the early morning of May 12 a burglar gained entry to a storage area at an apartment building on 20th near Republican and stole two bicycles worth approximately $16,000. The police were notified that evening and they found fingerprints at the scene.
3. Sometime during the evening of May 13 a burglar entered a business on Madison near 23rd through an unlocked back door and stole an employee’s backpack. The employee did not notify the police until he had returned to his home in the early hours of May 14.
4. On May 18 at about 10 AM a burglar attempted to enter a residence on 25th near Union by entering through a window covered by blackout curtains. His attempt was unsuccessful, however, because while reaching through the curtains he touched the head of a resident who was asleep on the other side. The burglar fled when he realized that there was someone on the inside of the house, and the resident saw him running north across his neighbor’s back yard when he opened the curtains. When the police arrived, they put a tracking dog on the burglar’s scent, and the dog led them to a bus stop serving southbound buses on MLK. The police found fingerprints on the window through which the burglar attempted to enter the house.
5. Also on May 18 at around 1 PM the landlord of a vacant residence on 24th near Highland found five people in the home. He told the people to leave and then quickly left himself. When he returned later in the day, he found that the burglars, described as three white men and two white women all in their 20s, had stolen power tools worth approximately $300.
6. Police were called to a vacant residence on 22nd near John on May 20 to investigate a break-in at a detached shed on the property. A real estate agent who was acting on behalf of the property owners found a woman in the shed on May 15, and after being told a suspicious story about why she was there, told her to leave. The agent then installed a padlock on the shed. On May 18 the agent returned to find that the padlock had been broken and that there was a sleeping bag inside. On May 19 the agent returned and found food, sleeping bags and backpacks in the shed. The agent informed the owners that there were squatters in the shed, but the owners declined to notify the police because they did not want homeless people to lose their property. On May 20 the agent found that the padlock had been completely removed from the shed and that there were numerous personal items inside, at which point the agent decided to call the police. The police collected the various items that the squatters had left behind and submitted them to the SPD property unit.
7. Also on May 20 police were called to an apartment building on 20th near Republican to investigate the burglary of a storage area. The burglar gained entry to the storage area, which is located beneath the apartments, by removing a venting panel in a door. Items worth approximately $4500 belonging to the occupants of three apartments in the building were taken but no fingerprints were found.
8. On May 24 at about 10:30 AM a burglar broke into a home on 19th near Harrison through a rear window and stole electronic and gaming equipment worth about $1000. The police were notified later in the day and found fingerprints on the window.
On May 6 at about 11:30 PM two men brandishing handguns and wearing ski masks and hoodies robbed a convenience store near Madison and 29th. Upon entering the store they demanded the money from the cash register and pointed their guns at the store attendant. The attendant opened the register and while one of the robbers took money from it the other shoved the attendant and hit him in the mouth with his handgun. When the attendant fled to the back of the store one of the robbers fired his gun, alerting a witness who was getting into her car across the street. As they left the store the robbers told the witness to “get down” and then fled east on E. Arthur Place. The robbers took approximately $1500 and the store attendant suffered four broken teeth and a lacerated upper lip. The incident was recorded on the store’s security camera.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.