News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


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

May 8th, 2012 by Mike

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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Police say local burglary suspect also wanted for robbery, questioning in other burglaries

October 27th, 2011 by Mike

The 15-year-old burglary suspect arrested here Wednesday after a witness chased him down is also a suspect in a robbery, and could be linked to numerous local burglaries, Seattle Police said this afternoon.

“You’ve had quite a flurry of residential burglaries down there,” said Terrie Johnson, police crime prevention coordinator for the North Precinct. “Many of them involve people coming around the back of a house, looting portable electronic equipment from the home. Juveniles are often seen.”

Officers hope they made a dent in the problem with the arrest shorty before noon Wednesday of a 15-year-old who had already been tackled by a neighbor. “Detectives will be trying to link up and charge the suspect with other crimes, residential burglaries being one of them,” Johnson said.

According to the police report, the suspect is a student at South Lake High School on Rainier Avenue South, which our news partners at The Seattle Times described as “the city’s only alternative-high school for at-risk teens.” The report states he is also wanted for investigation of a robbery, which Johnson said occurred in south Seattle.

According to the police report, a neighbor in the 1900 block of Northeast 80th Street heard the sound of glass breaking , “looked out his window and observed a black male looking through the open rear kitchen window of his neighbor’s residence.”

The window was broken and the suspect was standing on a bench he had pushed under the window, the report states. When the suspect saw the neighbor, he ran westbound on Northeast 80th, chased by the neighbor, according to the report. The neighbor won at Northeast 80th and 16th Avenue Northeast, it states. Police arrived and made an arrest.

The report also says a black female was seen standing at the bus stop at Northeast 80 and 19th Avenue Northeast, and a witness said she seemed to be a lookout. She goes to the same high school as the suspect, the report states, adding that she was handcuffed at the scene, but then released.

Details from neighbors who observed the arrest are in our earlier post.

Johnson said nearby home burglaries during the month of October occurred:

  • On Northeast 80th in the 300, 1800, 1900 and 2000 blocks.
  • On 17th Avenue Northeast in the 7700 block.
  • On 15th Avenue Northeast in the 7700 block.
  • On 18th Avenue Northeast in the 7700 block.
  • On 20th Avenue Northeast in the 7000 block.
  • On 24th Avenue Northeast in the 7300 block.
  • On Fifth Avenue Northeast in the 8300 block.
  • On Ravenna Avenue Northeast in the 8500 block.

The police report on Wednesday’s burglary arrest also mentions a second burglary that occurred an hour earlier and approximately five blocks to the south.

“That arrest was the result of watchful (neighborhood) eyes and great 911 calls,” Johnson said.

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