Burglary Rate Falls But Residents Worry About Crime

At last night’s meeting of the Victory Heights Community Council, residents heard a presentation by Elizabeth Scott, the Crime Prevention Coordinator from the North Precinct of the Seattle Police Department (SPD), who said that compared with a similar period last year, burglaries are down in the Lincoln 2 sector that Victory Heights is part of.

Read the entire minutes of last night’s meeting.

However this did not assuage the concerns of some residents who, citing personal experience (and recent articles in The Seattle Times), felt SPD was not treating property crime seriously. Even though her job is helping residents with crime preventation, and not being a spokesman for the department, she said dispatchers have to prioritize cases and burglaries can be a lower priority at times depending on what other calls are coming in. “There are limitations to what we can do.”

Given the recent publicity in The Times, the new police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, said they would be reviewing police procedures. It is still important to report any robberies because it does provide data to the police department of what is happening where and how resources are allocated. On the prevention front, Elizabeth reminded us to lock your doors, make sure your house looks occupied even when it’s not, and store and lock up any ladders or tools that are outside that could be used to enter your house.

Meanwhile, if you need to report a non-emergency such as a homeless encampment or abandoned car, you can call 684-CITY, or use the new Find It Fix It app for your Android or iPhone. For added safety, you can register your mobile phone at Smart911.com with your personal information which would then be displayed if you ever call 911 to let them know who you are and your home address, which might be invaluable during an emergency.

And while burglaries are down, car thefts are up, particularly if you drive a 1990s Honda, Toyota or Subaru. Very often these cars are used by joy riders who leave them on the side of the road afterwards. Lock your cars, use a Club, and never leave valuables inside.

The next meeting of the community council is Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at the Co-Op Preschool building in Victory Heights Park starting at 7 PM.

 

Seattle Disabled Commission Meets at Northgate Oct. 1

In partnership, the Seattle Commission for People with Disabilities and the Seattle Police Department invite everyone to attend a community meeting and discussion with the Commissioners and Police Chief Jim Pugel on issues important to the disability community. It will be held at the Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th Avenue NE, at 6 PM on Tuesday, October 1st.

Everyone is Welcome!  This is the first of four meetings that will occur in different areas of the city. This is a great opportunity to engage with Commissioners and the Chief of Police.

ASL interpreter and CART services will be provided, and attendees are asked to please refrain from using heavy fragrance.

Other accommodations please contact: Ronald Ramp ronald.ramp@seattle.gov or call (206) 684-0390

 

Arson Suspected During Burglary On 20th Avenue NE

From the Seattle Police Department Blotter:

Neighbors observed smoke coming from a North Seattle home and called Seattle Fire Department (SFD).  On 5/26/13, just shortly after 9:00 p.m., officers responded to a home in the 11000 block of 20 Av NE . SFD was already on scene and advised officers that when they arrived they found the front door open with its window broken out.  SFD contained the fire which appeared to have been started in a back bedroom closet.

After further investigation, it was determined that the residence had been burglarized and then a fire started.  The suspects attempted to enter via a basement door and when that didn’t work they entered through the front by breaking the window.

It is unknown at this time if anything was taken. Arson Bomb Squad (ABS) responded and took over the scene.  CSI responded also and processed the scene.

 Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call 9-1-1. Anonymous tips are welcome.

Twitter Feed Features Seattle Police Neighborhood Activity

Until now, the best way to get real time police activity was to have a police scanner (or an iPhone app–several are available) but the signal-to-noise ratio is pretty bad with most calls being irrelevant to the average citizen.  But now, per this article in the Seattle Times, you can get a Twitter feed that features news and activity from the Seattle Police Department (SPD) targeted for specific neighborhoods.  Victory Heights is PDL2 in SPD lingo, or more formally, North Precinct, Sector Lincoln, Beat L2.  Their twitter feed is here. You can visit the feed with a browser or follow it with your Twitter account.

Incidentally, if you hear sirens from fire or aid trucks and want to know where they are rushing to, this page from the Seattle Fire Department provides real-time 911 dispatches, just click on the “Today” button to generate an up-to-the-minute listing.

Crime Stats For June; Summer Safety Information

Not much crime was reported in Victory Heights during June 2012, with just a residential burglary on NE 100th on the 6th. This map is from the Seattle Police Department.

Meanwhile, Terrie Johnston of the SPD reminds residents that fireworks are illegal in the City of Seattle.

The possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited.  Fireworks offenses are gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine.  Fireworks pose a fire hazard to property and present a safety risk to those who use them.  Every year the Seattle Fire Department responds to fireworks-related fires and injuries.  The holiday related fires and injuries are preventable.

Our 9-1-1 center becomes overloaded with non-emergency fireworks calls on the 4th of July.  For this day only, DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless you have a life-threatening emergency and need immediate help from police, fire or medics.  If you know me or my work, you know that it is my constant endeavor to encourage the public to use 9-1-1 to report suspicious circumstances, in addition to reporting crime.  HOWEVER,  my message applies to all days of the year except July 4th.  This is the busiest day of the year for our Call Center. Reports of fireworks; barking dogs; drunken parties; gunshots fired; boating mishaps;  burns, noise complaints, etc. are commonplace during this holiday.  Delays in dispatch are a reality. If possible use the 625-5011 line to report any fireworks violations.

Our car prowl reports continue, and may even increase in numbers during the summer.  I’ve attached a tip sheet for preventing car prowls, which I hope you will find helpful.  I’ve seen reports of car prowls around Carkeek Park and Greenlake, and pretty much throughout the other North Precinct neighborhoods.  Here are some of the items reported stolen in a car prowl this month:  Cameras; clothing; wallets; ID; social security cards; cash; car keys; cell. phones; MP3 player, coins, laptops, suitcases, gym bags, power tools, loaded guns, GPS, catalytic converter, golf clubs  and a  passport.  Try to leave your car empty if possible, and park it in a garage or up in your driveway if you can.

National Night Out will be Tuesday, Aug. 7th this year.  Registration is up and running on our website, www.seattle.gov/police.  Hope you can participate this year.  I am here to help answer any questions you may have about Night Out, Block Watch, crime, etc.  I thank you for your continued participation and for sharing these emails with your neighbors and other contacts.