News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


A rash of stolen or pilfered cars in the city – and the neighborhood

July 9th, 2011 · 6 Comments

Two readers this week told us about cars stolen or broken into.

The scenario is often much like Katie’s:

FYI just wanted to let you know we got our car stolen Tuesday night. It was parked at 17th Ave. N.E. and 80th Street, on 17th. It was your obvious choice of stolen car — the 1990 Honda Civic. Still, we’ve never had a problem before. The police found it in West Seattle the next day with its speakers, glove compartment and stereo ripped out.

And MissVixxen tweets “multiple car break-ins in Maple Leaf. Lock your doors and leave nothing in your car.”

Auto theft and auto prowls (where the thief breaks into the car but doesn’t steal the whole thing) for years were the most common crimes in Seattle.

After a dip about five years ago, auto thefts here have skyrocketed by nearly 19 percent in 2010 as opposed to 2009, our news partners The Seattle Times reported last month.

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area jumped from 37th to 13th, with 16,192 vehicles reported stolen in 2010. The region leads the state with more than 55 percent of all auto thefts.

The Times reports a possible reason for the increase: “Dan Donohoe, a spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors believe the increase last year could be attributed to the release of a number of thieves who had been sent to prison in recent years. ‘We think they were getting out,’ said Donohoe.”

We called up the police crime map for stolen or prowled cars from June 1 through today. That’s it, above. The solid cars are the ones that were stolen, the ones with a white dot were prowled.

We count right at 22 car crimes in Maple Leaf during that period. (Some of the icons represent up to three crimes in the same location.) That’s more than one every other day.

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