Mike emailed us a copy of a police report from Wednesday afternoon. About all that can be learned from it is that a “theft-oth” was “completed” at 2:26 p.m. in the 8100 block of Latona Avenue Northeast.
It happened here: “STREET/HIGHWAY/ROAD/ALLEY/SIDEWALK.”
“Do you have any other details of the occurrence?” Mike asks.
No, we don’t.
It’s the usual, redacted two-page police report that’s posted online for most “property crimes,” as opposed to crimes committed against people, such as robbery or burglary.
For those, more serious, crimes, the full six-page report is – eventually – posted, although still with redactions.
Having police reports posted online is good government. Having virtually no details attached to the vast majority of the reports is a step backward. We complained about it at a meeting last year with the mayor. Update: Detective Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for Seattle Police, called to say that about a year and a half ago, when the reports went online, staffing drove the decision to initially only post the full reports for major crimes. But, he said, the department is heading in the direction of posting all full reports.
The map at right shows similar thefts that have been reported so far this year. It understates the frequency because many of the icons represent multiple thefts – the one at Northeast Northgate Way/ Fifth Avenue Northeast, for example, stands in for 14 occurrences.
We don’t usually report on, or try and chase down details of, crimes such as shoplifting, mail theft or “theft-other.” In general we do report anything more serious – there was a shooting late Sunday night at a bar in the 500 block of Northeast Northgate Way, for example – but getting details can take days unless the Seattle Police Department sends out a police blotter post, which in this case they did.
For more on neighborhood crimes, and why we report on them, go here.