The total number of police reports in Madison Valley fell back from its August high of 40 to the usual level in the mid thirties. In September, however, there was an increase in the number of reports involving vehicles, this category being made up of car theft (7 incidents) and car prowls (3 incidents, of which 2 occurred in the Arboretum). There were no robbery or assault reports during the month, but five burglaries were reported.
1. On Sept. 10 between 8 and 9 AM, someone smashed the glass front door of a business space near 23rd and John. Upon entering the business space police found two broken coin operated candy machines and much disarray. After contacting the building’s owner, police learned that the previous tenant of the space was in the process of moving out and the new tenant was moving in. The owner was unable to provide contact information for either tenant, however, and the police were therefore unable to determine if any loss had occurred beyond the smashed front door and the broken candy machines.
2. On Sept. 14 a resident on 26th Ave. E. between John and Denny reported that a burglar had entered his home sometime during the previous three weeks while he was out of town and had taken a gun, car keys and a credit card. The victim reported that a neighbor, who had subsequently moved away, told him that he had heard a disturbance and called the police, but a check of police records showed no such call. The victim also reported that part of the time he was away a friend had been living in his home. The victim was unable to provide the gun’s serial number. The police report notes that the victim seemed confused about elements of his story, which made it difficult to determine what actually happened.
3. On Sept. 22 residents of home on 21st Ave. between Olive and Pine reported that they had been burglarized while they were on vacation. Upon returning home they found that someone had broken through a front window and rummaged through the house, taking several laptops, a digital camera, a gaming system and cash. They also reported that a professional cleaner had been at the house on Sept. 19 and had not noticed anything amiss. Police found fingerprints on the inside of the broken window.
4. During the morning of Sept. 23 someone gained entry to a house on 30th Ave. near Pine by throwing a brick through the glass portion of a side door. The resident reported that nothing seemed to be missing however, and police found no fingerprints.
5. Also on Sept. 23 someone forced open the back door of a house on 29th Ave. near Pike sometime between 7 AM and 4 PM. Although the police report does not list the items that were stolen, it notes that the owner’s TV was recovered nearby. Police found fingerprints at the scene.
Lowell Hargens is a Madison Valley resident and former University of Washington professor of sociology specializing in the statistical analysis of data.