May 8

Burglar hits Maple Leaf home while owner is outside gardening – plus other home burglary news

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This arrived overnight from Terrie Johnston, Seattle Police crime prevention coordinator for the North Precinct:

I talked with a gentleman today who lives in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Evidently, yesterday during the glorious weather we had, he was gardening in the front yard. A thief, unseen by neither the homeowner nor nearby neighbors, entered this home through the unlocked back door and took cash and prescription medications from a back bedroom.

I know it may be inconvenient to keep your doors locked when you are home and gardening, but these crimes are quick and contribute to our burglary rate increases during summer months.

Johnson’s email also included this about the “prolific burglar” we wrote about in March who made a practice of targeting occupied homes: “The 19-year-old serial occupied burglar and auto thief who was hitting the north end neighborhoods hard approximately eight weeks ago has been charged with nearly 10 years. He is in jail and won’t be released for a long time.”

And she told this story:

A 39-year-old, white female was arrested last week for multiple burglaries in the north end, some in which the residents were home at the time of the crime. She confessed to detectives that she is an addict, and she preferred burglaries to prostitution. She spent the day with detectives showing them houses she had hit. She told the detectives that she was surprised how many people leave their house keys out in mailboxes; or on the front porch.

She also told the detectives that she often looked in the windows and could see the desirable loot in plain sight (purses, cash, electronics).

We haven’t done a Maple Leaf burglary report since March, but in the past two months there have been roughly 15 home burglaries here, plus another half-dozen business burglaries. See map above (some of the icons represent more than one burglary).

We also heard over the weekend from Eric, a regular reader, who told this door-to-door story:

On May 3 at around 3:30 p.m. we had a knock to our side door here on 12th Avenue Northeast just off Northgate Way. There was a fairly heavy-set guy with a lisp whose first words to me were not “hello” but consisted of some hurried mumbling asking about what street he was on. He was relaying this information to someone on his cell phone as I stood there confused and thinking he might have just had a car emergency outside our house.

He then went straight into asking me, in a very excited but strangely uninterested way, if I wanted a free carpet and/or furniture cleaning. I said something about being a renter and no thanks, to which he repeated that it was totally free and who could say no and all that while he was peeking into the door. When I said no thanks again he just shrugged and made a dismissive motion while walking away and saying “ok then.”

It was one of the most-odd people I’ve had come to the door and definitely freaked us out for a bit. Just figured I’d send along my story in case a bunch of others have dealt with the same thing or know much about it.

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Sara W

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  1. Hit and run last night 9:50 pm to our parked vehicle in front of house just off Roosevelt Way.
    Dark color extended cab,shortbed pickup with tool box. Pickup sits high. Silver trim left on ground. This truck will have front corner driver side damage. Never even slowed down, security photos cannot make out make or model though. If anyone sees this vehicle please post.

  2. Watch out for the guys hanging doorknob flyers. Our front door was open. Wife in back room office reading email. She heard noise and thought it was a passing truck. Her jewelry from upstairs bathroom went missing. Only evidence is flyer on front porch. The next week I witnessed a flyer hanger trying the front door of neighbors house after he hung the flyer.

  3. Someone got into my car last week and stole my ipod. I don’t know how they got in because there was no sign of forced entry and I know I locked my door. We live in north Ravenna. The ipod was not in plain site and (it was in a special compartment) — nothing else was taken or broken, I guess I have that to be grateful for. 🙁

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