The number of crimes reported to the police increased from around 30 in March and April to the mid-30s in May. Perhaps as a result of the heightened police patrols in the Arboretum, car prowl theft (4 incidents) was no longer the most numerous type of report. Instead, property damage/graffiti (7 incidents) took over first place, almost doubling from its March–April levels. In addition to 4 reports of stolen vehicles, there were 4 burglaries during May.
1. On May 14 a burglar broke into a home on 19th Ave. near Highland Dr. while the owner was briefly away and stole computer equipment and tools. The intruder left behind a crow bar used to force open the back door of the house, but police were unable to find fingerprints on it.
2. Sometime during the night of May 15–16 two businesses in the 2800 block of Madison were burglarized. The burglar(s) entered by smashing a front window and stole cash, merchandise and a laptop computer.
3. On May 23 a burglar pried open a window in the back of a house on 19th Ave. near Aloha and stole computer equipment and cameras while the owner was away. The police could find no fingerprints.
4. During the night of May 26–27 someone pried open the side door of a home under construction near 26th Ave. and Helen and stole several power tools. Police found no evidence that could identify the burglar(s).
May also witnessed 4 assault/robbery reports.
1. On May 11 shortly after midnight police were called to the home of a person who claimed to have been assaulted and robbed by two assailants who had been following him home from a party at 20th Ave. and E. Cherry St. In the neighborhood of 20th and Union the assailants allegedly pushed the victim down and took his wallet and backpack. Unfortunately, the victim was too intoxicated to give a description of the assailants or to explain how they were able to take his wallet and backpack. The victim refused medical assistance.
2. On May 15 at approximately 10:30 PM a robber attempted to steal several bottles of champagne from the liquor store at 23rd and Union. When the robber attempted to leave the store with the bottles, the clerk told him that if he didn’t give the bottles back he would summon the police. The robber refused and claimed to have a handgun. Outside the store the clerk again told the robber to return the bottles at which point the robber punched him in the mouth and fled. After arriving at the scene around 10:45 the police made an unsuccessful search for the robber.
3. On May 27 at around 10:30 PM the police were called to 21st Ave. near Olive St. to assist a person who feared assault by someone who was following him north on 21st. After the potential assailant threatened to kill the victim with a broken wine bottle, the victim hid in the back yard of a friend’s house and had the friend call the police. The police then made an area search for the assailant but were unable to find him.
4. Around 10:30 PM on May 31 an assailant unsuccessfully tried to steal a laptop computer from a pedestrian on Madison near 25th. After the assailant headed west on Madison, the victim called 911, and when the police arrived he gave a description of the assailant. Soon afterward other officers spotted a person matching the description near 19th and Madison and placed him under arrest after the victim identified him as the assailant.
Harassments and minor thefts made up the bulk of the remaining incidents reported to the police during May. Police reports are underestimates of such activity because many incidents are not reported to the police.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.