News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Maple Leaf crime update since late April

June 21st, 2014 · 8 Comments

Late last week Michael emailed:

Hey, just a heads-up that our house on 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 97th Street was broken into via a kicked-in basement window on Tuesday the 17th of June.

Small LED TV, jewelry, purses (thankfully emptied of their contents), a NOOK and a small amount of cash were stolen.

Seattle PD responded and cleared the house and filed a report. One of the responding officers said August tends to be the worst month.

Please be attentive and don’t be afraid to call 911 if you see suspicious people/vehicle(s).

The map at right is of property crimes in the neighborhood since our last report in late April. Specifically, it shows home and commercial burglaries and car thefts/car prowls. (And possibly stolen bicycles, because we forgot to uncheck that box on the police crime map.)

The map also emphasizes a point another neighbor emailed about earlier in the month.

“So you’ll know, the northwest portion of Maple Leaf is quite prone to crime and is probably the base from which many car prowlers and burglars originate.”

Crime in the Northgate area is something we’ve reported on often. For example, “Home intruder reported, plus an amazing 38 crime incidents near Northgate,” or “And the best place in town for a kid to get arrested is … the mall!

On the map, the circles in that area show 2, 6 and 18 individual reports, almost all of stolen cars or car prowls.

That’s one sort of crime this neighbor is concerned about.

“Last Thursday, June 12th, I saw a tenant at the Olympic View apartments (9800 Fifth Ave. N.E.) working on his late-model Toyota Tundra pickup, parked in the carport area of the building. We talked a bit and he said that the system for sound and navigation (telematics) had been stolen out of his truck, at around 3 to 3:30 p.m.

“I would encourage you to mention this occurrence in the Maple Leaf Life blog, as there have been similar incidents at this address.”

His concerns run more deeply, though.

“In September of 2008, several – three or four – young guys tried to steal the sound system out of a truck, south of where I live. The owner of the truck, who himself was just 19 years old, came out and could see this occurring from the balcony of his apartment, so he grabbed a rifle.

When the thieves saw that, they started to run away. One of them reportedly bent down to get something out of his clothing – shirt or pants not detailed in news reports – and that led the owner of the truck to fire his rifle and kill the guy who had (reportedly) been reaching for something.

I recall this well, as I was home that evening and could see police cars and yellow tape, blocking off Fifth Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 98th Street down to Northeast 97th Street. The aborted theft occurred in an apartment building right off the corner of N.E. 97th St. and 5th Ave. N.E.

The young guy who killed the alleged thief was himself taken to trial and found guilty of manslaughter in the second degree, if memory serves (recall reading the final result in the print edition of the Seattle P-I). He served several months.

My fear is something similar could happen here; or as I’ve said, the thieves could work their way up the hill onto the rest of N.E. 98th St.

The Seattle Times account of that 2008 shooting is here. The report on the man’s nine-month sentence for second-degree manslaughter is here.

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