There’s probably not a crime wave despite the raft of recent neighborhood burglaries, residents were told at tonight’s crime meeting, which is still in progress.
Most of the turnout was from the Ravenna and Roosevelt neighborhoods, as the meeting was held in Ravenna off of Northeast 65th Street. Of the folks who signed in and listed where they lived, only two wrote Maple Leaf. The meeting was pulled together by the Ravenna and Roosevelt blogs.
But KIRO-TV’s Eyewitness News had a crew there, and a Seattle police detective and a King County deputy prosecutor were on hand, together with Diane Horswill, police community coordinator for the North Precinct.
Detective Mike Cruzan led off by calling the arrests of six teens burglarizing a house in Maple Leaf last week “very encouraging. The time frame was very similar to the pattern we’ve been seeing.”
That pattern, common to many of a rash of recent burglaries in Maple Leaf, Roosevelt and Ravenna, is homes entered during the daytime when the residents are gone. Horswill brought reports showing that between Oct. 1 and Nov. 15, eight homes were broken into in Maple Leaf, five in Roosevelt, and 18 in Ravenna. At least a half-dozen burglary victims were in the audience.
Last week’s Maple Leaf case appears to have been six teens who took their high-school lunch break to break into a home. “One or two people or one little group of friends can be responsible for a lot in a short time. It’s not a crime wave,” Cruzan said.
He and Suzanne Love, a deputy prosecutor assigned to the unit that chases repeat burglars and car thieves, emphasized the importance of neighbors calling police when things don’t seem right.
“A good number of my cases would never come before me except for neighbors looking out for neighbors,” Love told the meeting.
In the Maple Leaf case, a neighbor across 12th Avenue Northeast saw the teens and called 911. The result was the near-immediate arrival of 10 police cars and five detectives, Cruzan said.
“That’s the kind of response you get for an in-progress burglary,” Cruzan said. “Somebody’s home is being violated and we don’t know if the resident’s inside. That’s a serious response.”
But Cruzan said most burglars would hate to find the owners home. “They are very opportunistic. If it’s easy, they’ll go for it,” he said. “A typical burglar doesn’t want to meet you. He wants to get some easy money and go.”