News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


More theft/crime in Maple Leaf – report it!

December 18th, 2016 by Mike

Amy emails:

Hi Mike & neighbors~

I’m writing to let everyone know that lots of thefts are happening in our neighborhood right now… Can you please remind our neighbors that it is ever-so-crucial to file a police report for even the most benign theft? It’s very easy to do online, and you can even include pictures.

In a recent crime prevention meeting we learned that Officer Kennedy (the Maple Leaf community officer) was not even aware of our growing problems of mail theft, package theft (including home-delivered groceries), car prowls, etc. If a police report is not filed, the police department is not aware of the growing issue and the need to justify more patrolling (& hiring).

Crime – car prowls, mail theft, burglaries – have been a constant theme since Maple Leaf Life launched six-ish years ago.  We have never managed to demonstrate we are more victimized then the rest of the city – and we’ve tried. (Map shows police reports here since the beginning of November.)

Many neighbors appreciate news of crime occurring here. Some don’t. We’ve had people complain that the bank robbery we posted really occurred – not here! -but in some other neighborhood  (i.e., literally across the street in Northgate), that we are conflating Maple Leaf with the dreaded Pinehurst, that reporting crime news lowers their property value.

A good summation of our response(s) from five years ago is here (note the comments):

Roundup of neighborhood crimes – and why we write about them.

“We do operate on the basic assumption that it’s better to know than to not know.”

Amy continues:

In the past week alone, I’ve found…

*  several piles of stolen (& opened) mail around 12th Ave NE, 15th Ave NE, Ne 98th, NE 97th, & NE 96th.

* 2 stolen bags of home delivered groceries scattered on the sidewalk.

* an increase of empty beer bottles on the streets & in round-abouts on 12th Ave NE.

And since early November I’ve heard of several home burglaries and car prowls, and have also been the victim of similar crimes myself in the past two months.

A Twitter feed of our Neighborhood’s Police Beat (L2, aka Lincoln 2), can be found here:

Please, let’s be extra alert for one another and report suspicious activity and signs of theft, even if not of your own property.

PS: Some reporting info from SPD, so that you have it handy to relay….

[

Comments Off on More theft/crime in Maple Leaf – report it!Tags: , , ,

August crime in and around Maple Leaf

August 28th, 2016 by Mike

A round-up of some burglaries, vehicle thefts and prowls, and mail theft as August comes to an end. (Shown in map at right.)

But first, from Seattle Police this week.

“After stealing $800 worth of cologne and pulling a knife on Northgate Mall security Tuesday, a 49-year-old man claimed he had swallowed heroin in an apparent—and ultimately unsuccessful—effort to get out of going to jail.

“Police were called to the mall around 8 p.m. after the suspect dashed out of a store with 10 bottles of cologne, valued at over $830, and tussled with security guards. He then brandished a knife and fled, but was arrested a short time later by SPD officers.”

Brad emails on Wednesday.

“Last night a friend and I came back from vacation. Her car was parked at my house (by Sacajawea) and she put her suitcase in between her car and another. She came inside for less than two minutes. Went back to her car and it was gone!

“There was nothing of real value to anybody (clothes, make up, gifts etc) but costly to replace. Hoping whoever stole it dumped it somewhere close. If anybody sees it can can they report it. Thanks.”

(Comments here STILL aren’t working, but you can report on our Facebook page.)

On Monday Damien emailed:

Before our family left for a week-long vacation, a brand new, dark grey 4 Runner was parked at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue and Northeast 82nd Street. When we got back, we noticed it had been hit by another vehicle. There is quite a lot of glass left behind from the offending vehicle’s headlight and blinker, and the 4 Runner has a damaged rear bumper.

Wondering if anyone is or knows the owner of the 4 Runner, it doesn’t look like it has moved in almost 2 weeks.

Over at Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf are reports of:

* An attempted break-in at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 100th Street.

* An actual break-in at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 96th Street.

* Luggage theft at 17th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th Street.

* Stolen Subaru from Northgate.

* Mail theft along Eighth Avenue Northeast near Northeast 96th Street.

* An entire bank of mailboxes prowled on 12th Avenue Northeast between Northeast 102nd and 103rd streets.

* A hit-and-run damaging two cars along Eighth Avenue Northeast.
* Mail theft along Northeast 91st Street between 15th and 20th avenue northeast.

* Stolen mail found along Northeast 96th Street between 15th and 17th avenues northeast.

→ No CommentsTags: , , , , ,

Cafe Piccolo closes, more mail theft reports

February 21st, 2016 by Mike

Cafe Piccolo is closing this month after a decade serving Maple Leaf dinners.

The last day for the restaurant, at 9400 Roosevelt Way N.E., is Feb. 29th.

On its Facebook page, Cafe Piccolo says, in part:

Thank you Maple Leaf and Café Piccolo fans for 10 years of devoted business! Café Piccolo will close its doors on February 29th under the Carlino ownership. This was not an easy decision to make, as we have grown fond of all of you and attached to the community that has supported us through the good times and the challenges of a not so great economy.

Our great staff that you have come to know will be staying on to help with the transition to the new owner. We are confident that we are leaving the restaurant in very good hands, someone who will be able to take this location to the next level and grow with the neighborhood.

Since the restaurant is not open Sundays or Mondays, that effectively means the last day to eat there is Saturday, Feb. 27th.

Thanks, Chris, for the heads-up on Piccolo. Thanks, also, to Terry for the news last month that Hang Fire Design gallery and True Color Hair Design, both on Roosevelt, have shut their doors.

Also, earlier this weekend Jesse wrote to say:

On Friday night, February 19th, at 10:45 p.m. I stepped outside (corner of 8th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 103rd  Street) and saw a blue truck with a covered bed, man driving and woman in the passenger seat, stop at our mailbox bank. She saw me and he sped off towards Roosevelt. I have never seen this truck in the past and it was obvious that they were there to steal mail.

Last week a similar mail theft was reported at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 102nd Street.

→ 10 CommentsTags: , , , , , ,

Loose Australian Shepherd at park – plus mail theft at NE 102nd

February 12th, 2016 by Mike

Just before 3 p.m. Brooke emails:

Just saw a loose Australian Shepherd running around at the park. When I tried to go up to him he took off running across Roosevelt and headed toward Northeast 85th Street.

A few minutes later Rick emailed to Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf:

Witnessed a middle-aged Caucasian woman w/glasses and green top taking mail from multiple mailboxes along 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 102 Street around noon. SPD responded in person. Thank you. She was driving a similar Ford U haul van with Arizona plates.

→ 2 CommentsTags: , , , ,

Mail theft – and an important Community Council meeting

January 21st, 2016 by Mike

Update Jan. 23: Jim has emailed directions for group mailboxes. We’ve posted them in comments.

A neighbor emails:

I’m writing to report that mail theft continues to happen in Maple Leaf. The latest was on Northeast 96th Street, between 15th Avenue Northeast and Roosevelt Way Northeast, and it happened between Tuesday 1/19 and Wednesday 1/20.

Aside from reminding readers to make reports to the police and to the USPS, I was wondering if you could also ask readers how they’ve gone about getting those giant, multi-residence locked mailbox units installed that are seen throughout the neighborhood.

Some of that information is available in comments on previous mail theft posts. The map shows mail theft reports here for all of 2015.

(Some good news: On Wednesday another neighbor posted on Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf: “I got a call from SPD today. They called to tell me that they found some credit card convenience checks that were stolen out of our mail. They found them in a backpack belonging to a gentleman that they arrested.”

Another email, from the Maple Leaf Community Council, is important. The council is having a general meeting next Wednesday, Jan. 27th.

It’s largely concerned with land use, zoning and Metro routes.

But the council is also looking for additional members for its executive board – the folks who do most of the work on our behalf.

January represents our “Call to Election” for those willing to serve on the Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board. Elections will occur in April and anyone interested in standing for election at that time will need to attend Executive Board meetings as an observer in February or March. With long-time volunteers Donna Hartmann-Miller stepping down from the Executive Board last year and David Miller retiring in April this year, we need volunteers more than ever.

The community council has a long and honored history representing our neighborhood. We’ve written about it before:

“The Maple Leaf of today did not just happen but instead reflects hundreds of volunteer hours dedicated on behalf of the Maple Leaf neighborhood.”

For more details read this post.

Next Wednesday’s meeting is from 6-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary, Northeast 95th Street and Fifth Avenue Northeast.

Here’s the council’s full email: [

→ 8 CommentsTags: , , ,

Neighbor praises new police response to mail theft

December 10th, 2015 by Mike

Ten minutes.

That’s how long it took three police squad cars to arrive after a neighbor reported mail thieves in action.

Got them, too.

From an email this morning:

Yesterday afternoon I noticed two individuals (Caucasian female and Caucasian male, roughly mid 20s to early 30s) peering at homes, but otherwise just walking leisurely down the sidewalk (Eighth Avenue Northeast).

I readily acknowledge walking in the city isn’t a crime! They had no bags, and also didn’t have jackets, only sweatshirts (which I found odd as temperatures were in the low 50s).

Thirty minutes later I observed them with brown cardboard packages. He had a large package that appeared to be difficult to carry (2′ x 2′ x 2′) and she had 3-4 smaller packages.

I called 911 and provided the dispatcher with a description and the direction they were traveling.

Before SPD’s arrival, the male and female disposed of the packages (presumably storing them in a car or other location); they then started looking for more packages.

At that point, Seattle PD apprehended them (less than 10 minutes after my phone call, with 3 cruisers responding).

The response by the officers was swift and efficient. From my perspective, it was a significantly more positive experience than neighbors had 1-2 weeks ago (vehicles damaged). For reference, the incident # is 15-427242.

Let’s hope yesterday’s intervention slows down the holiday mail and package theft!

Also, see the Dec. 6th comment from Alarmed! in this recent post:

There seemed like a lot of signs of mail theft and we wanted the reminder to go get the mail when it arrived. Little did we know how often our chime would go off. Boy, were we shocked!

We’ve had the chime for a couple months now, and our mailbox has been opened by someone who is not us about once a week for at least the last 6 weeks. Usually on a weekend night. Usually around 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. Occasionally 4-5 a.m. Usually when it’s raining. [Read more →]

→ 16 CommentsTags: , ,

Still more mail theft reports in/around Maple Leaf

December 6th, 2015 by Mike

Lucas emails this weekend:

I’ve read (and re-read) the article and comments from the November mailbox break ins. –

I’m afraid to report that ours and several others locking mailboxes were pried open sometime between 11:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. this (Friday) morning. Ours was left hanging open with our junk mail left soaking wet. We live on Northeast 90th Street and 17th Avenue Northeast.

We’ve reported it to USPS and are filing a police report as well. It’s unfortunate that these events keep happening in our neighborhood. It makes me nostalgic for the time when we had mail slots in our house.

We’ll be placing our mail on hold and considering options for a mail service. The mailbox is, unfortunately, damaged to the point where it will no longer remain closed.

Earlier in the week Jesse (Victory Heights) mailed:

“Hi Maple Leaf Life,  I caught a package thief on camera and am wondering if there is a way I can send pictures your way to warn others?”
On Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf he added: “He’s wearing an old school emblem Mariner’s flat-billed cap and red and black buffalo checkered jacket and sunglasses. ”

→ 5 CommentsTags: , , ,

Updated: Reports of mail theft continue in Maple Leaf

November 12th, 2015 by Mike

Update Friday 11/13:

A neighbor on Eighth Avenue Northeast reports her locked mailbox was pried open, the contents taken and the box destroyed, sometime between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Update 2:30 p.m.:

From Nextdoor Northgate/Mapleleaf:

Sorry to report that a set of locked mailboxes were pried open (guessing with a crow bar) and mail was stolen. This was in broad daylight and probably shortly after the mail was delivered in the early afternoon.

Police have been contacted, but if anyone saw anything or anyone suspicious please report it. (Location was Second Avenue Northeast and Northeast 91st Street.)

We have lived in Maple Leaf for over 20 years. I am so sad that our neighborhood seems to have taken a real turn for the worse lately.


John emails this morning:

“Second known mail theft from Northeast 97th Street in two weeks (not counting the suspicious character we confronted recently on Eighth Avenue Northeast).

“11/12/15 8:20 a.m. I found 2 letters in the gutter in front of the school from one of my neighbors on 97th. Outbound bills, opened, checks missing.

“DO NOT MAIL CHECKS FROM YOUR MAILBOX. At best, your payment will vanish. At worst, the thieves will wash your checks and forge them. And anything else you mail this way is liable to disappear — they don’t know your letter to Mom doesn’t have a check in it until they’ve stolen and opened it. Forget all about that red flag on your mailbox — I haven’t used mine in 20 years.

“Certain types of pens (”uni-ball”, among others) have special inks formulated to get trapped in the paper and resist washing or other document alteration (some documents are required to be signed in blue or color to make photocopying more difficult).

“I never have anything delivered to my door — I have things delivered at work. While walking my dog, I have found stolen/emptied Amazon boxes numerous times. Finding batches of stolen mail is almost routine.

“Here’s a fun hobby project for you tech-savvy folks: if they can get good video of snow leopards in Kyrgyzstan with a camera trap, it couldn’t be too hard to bait a mailbox in Maple Leaf.”

The map shows police reports of mail theft in Maple Leaf so far this year.

→ 7 CommentsTags: , , ,

More reports of mail, package theft

September 26th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails overnight:

I thought I would share a tip about mail theft from tonight (9/25/2015). We installed a mailbox alarm on our mailbox that triggers inside the house whenever the mailbox is opened, in part to notify us when our mail comes and in part to notify us if someone opens our mailbox at odd hours, since we’ve had sporadic mail theft for the past few years.

Tonight at exactly 10:00 p.m. our alarm went off, so I went out to the street to find two individuals going through mailboxes as they walked down our hill. We live on Northeast 98th Street at 15th Avenue Northeast, and they were walking east/downhill.

I immediately called 911 to give the police a chance to nab them as well. There were two individuals of average weight, one taller than the other (one male, one female?), both in black clothes/black hoodies, carrying a big black umbrella. I didn’t get a better description than that, but at least it’s something. Maybe someone else has noticed similar goings-on or people who match that description.

There was a similar report last week, about a man in an older red sedan. “He came by a few minutes after UPS and appears to be following the UPS guy and grabbing packages behind him.

“We’ve called the police … If anyone has seen this person before the police would of course be interested. Additionally, if anyone else has lost packages in the last few days they will be interested as well.”

Below are mail thefts reported to police in the neighborhood so far this year.

→ 3 CommentsTags: , ,

Unusual tale of porch package theft-and-switch

August 15th, 2015 by Mike

Marco emails this theory of how package thieves may be working the neighborhood.

Bottom line: They pretend to be delivering a package, but instead take yours and leave behind an empty box.

I thought it might be a good idea to share this with the community. Yesterday (8/13/15) I was expecting a package to be delivered. What I had not expected was that the package did not require a signature to be delivered. The delivery person (USPS in this case, but otherwise fill in your carrier of choice), evidently left the package at our door on the outside steps.

Here’s the important part: What my wife came home to find was an entirely different empty package which had been opened up and turned upside down to look like a “normal” sealed package as it would have been left by any number of delivery services.

The contents of this box were two additional labeled mailing bags from The Gap which were addressed to a neighbor 10 blocks south (also in Maple Leaf). Those bags were empty and stuffed into the box as filler. I didn’t know the name, but both of two shipping envelopes had the same address nearby, so I used Google to find what I though was the person and left a message at their work of what had shown up on our stairs….

The next morning I got a call from the neighbor whom I’d left the message for – the one to whom the two Gap packages were addressed. They told me that, not only were they the intended recipient of the Gap items that had not arrived, but they also had come home to an empty mystery box with yet another Maple Leaf address on it, and filled only with packing materials.

So apparently someone is going around the neighborhood looking for packages delivered outside the house. They probably use the empty boxes from previous thefts as a decoy as they approach the houses to make it look as if they might be bringing a package, but instead they leave the empty box, and take the packages that have been left making it appear as if they might be just leaving again with the same package.

That’s the best explanation we can come up with. Regardless, I phoned the North Precinct and they sent two officers over who followed up with the Gap addressee as well.

We hear stories of mail or package theft, but checking the police crime map only turns up three reports during this entire summer (since June 1).

[

→ 8 CommentsTags: , , ,