Several burglaries have taken place at Madrona homes and businesses over the last few weeks, and although one of the suspects was recently apprehended, an overall uptick in crime in the neighborhood means it’s more important than ever to make sure your home is secure. Here are some tips from the Seattle Police Department’s crime prevention coordinator:
Many burglars gain entry through unlocked windows, so make sure they are locked any time you leave the house (including second-story windows). If your windows slide horizontally, the addition of a wooden rod in the window track adds extra security. Close the blinds when you are away to block views of valuables inside your house.
Make sure your exterior doors are strong and have at least a 1″ deadbolt.
Consider adding motion sensory lighting, especially in dark, secluded backyards.
Always answer the door when you’re at home. This doesn’t mean open it to just anyone, but talk through the door to make any potential burglars aware that the house is occupied. If you’re home alone, make them think there are others in the house by yelling “I’ll get it!” or something similar, to further deter them.
Consider a security system if you don’t already have one set up.
Mail theft is especially rampant during the holidays, when many residents are having gifts delivered to their homes. If you’re not at home during the day, have packages delivered to your workplace or to the home of a trusted neighbor who can be present for delivery.
Most importantly, don’t wait to call 911 until after something happens. Let police know at the first sign of suspicious activity.
Multiple neighbors have also reported that a possibly stolen United States Postal Service truck has been seen several times in the neighborhood over the past few weeks, along with men wearing headlamps lurking around homes and claiming to be mailmen. If you see one of these suspicious men or a mail truck in the neighborhood at an unusual time of day, call 911 right away.
There was several postings on Madrona Moms about a suspicious man parked near Epiphany School the other day. The description was as follows:
My husband and I were playing with our 3 year old near the preschool play area and the main play area near the gym. We noticed a man pull up and stop near the preschool area and park. He sat there and seemed to be watching us. After about 10 minutes he drove away but we then saw him pull up on the other side of the road (Denny) and park. Again he was looking our direction.
The second time we were near the main play area near the gym. He was parked outside of the parking lot on the street (Denny).
This happened in the evening and both times he was parked far enough away from us that we could not see his license plate. I can only say he appeared to be Caucasian?, maybe 40’s, wearing sunglasses, silver vehicle.
Have you ever made Top Ramen and while the water is boiling crack an egg and drop it in with the noodles? If not, you should try it or another ramen recipe, but I would not advise trying to do it in your hot tub. Who knows what these vandals were thinking, but whoever they were left quite a mess for one of our Madrona neighbors. According to Komo News, someone egged a Madrona residence’s car and then proceeded to put a dozen eggs in their hot tub. The home located near 36th and Pike have a lot to clean up, hopefully this is a one time incident for them and the neighborhood.
Some startling news; another Madrona Business was literally broken into this weekend. Nena’s Gift Shop next to Verité on 34th Avenue near Spring Street was burglarized on Saturday night. From what information I was able to gather, it seems that only $40 was stolen from the cash register, however the damage sustained to the glass front door is estimated to be about $800. This incident however, reminds me of the slew of break-ins and burglaries that hit the Madrona neighborhood in September of 2011, where Kismet Salon and Juniper located near the tennis courts at the Madrona Playground were burglarized of nearly $45,000 worth of high end clothing, jewelry and cosmetics. Just a few days afterward, Glassyaby’s offices on 34th Avenue were broken into along with several other offices where electronics such as computers and other items of value were stolen. Hopefully, this is not the beginning of another rash of break-ins.
Seattle Police Officer, Heather Conway, is tweeting while she is on duty today from 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM to give the public a better idea what a typical day is like for a police officer. Officer Conway regularly patrols the Seattle neighborhoods of Madrona, Leschi, and the Central District. Click the link to read more about Officer Conway and to learn where to follow her tweets for the rest of her shift.
The news has been on Madrona Moms about a carjacking that took place in Madrona this past Tuesday night. A woman was driving home on Martin Luther King Jr. Way from Columbia City when she took a right on Cherry. Right before she got to 34th Avenue a car bumped her and she stopped to check for damage. Two men from the other car approached her car on either side and the man on the driver side tapped her window with a gun. They told her to put all of her belongings on the passenger seat and to get out of the car. She was allowed to leave, so she started up 34th Avenue towards the Madrona Business District.
Her car was one which has a proximity key. When she got out of the car the key was in her pocket, thus it caused her car to turn off when she walked away. The Seattle Police were able to recover the car not far from where she left it. The police are checking for prints and are reviewing nearby traffic cameras to see if they can get any further information.
Luckily the woman was not harmed. One theory the police had is the driver might have gained the carjackers’ attention with her ring. While the woman lost her possessions that she left in the front seat of the car, she did not lose her ring. I was told she took the gum she was chewing out of her mouth, took the ring, and stuck both of them in her hair.
Please be aware of what happened and be safe. Attached is a safety article on carjacking by US Department of State. This carjacking incident happened around 7 PM on a Tuesday night so it seems this could happen at any time. If someone hits your car, don’t hesitate to call 911 and keep them on the line until you know you are safe.
Madrona is not the only Seattle neighborhood dealing with home break ins. Last Friday, the prolific burglar, Keone K. Padilla, was sentenced to 76 months in prison by the King County Superior Court. Padilla robbed a plethora of Seattle homes including those in Magnolia and Queen Anne. According to a Q13 Fox News report, Padilla was previously convicted in 2009 for a burglary. However, within a month, he had already burglarized over 30 Seattle families, typically stealing electronics, jewelry and guns. Additionally, he broke into unoccupied homes during the day which is similar to some Madrona home robberies.
In 1976 the movie Network came out. In the movie’s most famous scene Howard Beale, the recently fired anchor man of the network, gave a passionate diatribe and told everyone to go to their window and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”…and many people did. The funny thing is 35 years later the tirade would work almost word for word (maybe mention iPads instead of steel-belted radials) if given today.
I was walking around Madrona today and I saw signs stapled to the telephone poles around the neighborhood that read “Burglar at Work!” After the rash of burglaries, not only in the Madrona commercial district but also in the residential Madrona neighborhood, I was not surprised to see the signs. In fact, I was glad to see it and thought about the famous movie scene almost immediately.
The sign goes on to give sound advice: keep your eyes open, lock your doors and windows, leave exterior lights on at night, and report any suspicious activity by calling 911. I would also add you should keep your valuables so they are not easily viewable from the windows and if you see someone suspicious use your camera (I think video would be easier) on your cell phone. The worst case scenario is you have a random picture on your phone for a little while.
Just last week my neighbor had their home broken into during the day while they were at work. The burglar(s) methodically went around the house taking off window screens until they found a window that was unlocked. So while the Madrona business district has been hit at night, residents should be on alert during the day. Madrona is still a safe neighborhood, but it will be even safer if we take a little inspiration from a movie made years ago and keep aware of suspicious activity.
I have been meaning to write an update about another break in of a local Madrona business. This is the information as I have heard through the neighborhood, so some of my information may be slightly inaccurate. But the news on the street is someone (more likely multiple people) broke into the garage where Glassybaby’s offices are (on 34th Avenue, not on Union) and made their way to the third floor. I guess there are individual offices (not related to Glassybaby) that share the floor with each offices divided by glass walls. Thus the burglars shattered several glass walls to get into each office and stole computers and whatever else they could find of value.
This seems to be a disturbing trend. Just recently two retail locations were also robbed and reportedly lost up to $45,000 of inventory. I am crossing my fingers that the Seattle Police are following up on any leads that they may have.