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Why aren’t there more details about this theft in Maple Leaf?

Posted by Mike on March 29th, 2012

Mike emailed us a copy of a police report from Wednesday afternoon. About all that can be learned from it is  that a “theft-oth” was “completed” at 2:26 p.m. in the 8100 block of Latona Avenue Northeast.

It happened here: “STREET/HIGHWAY/ROAD/ALLEY/SIDEWALK.”

“Do you have any other details of the occurrence?” Mike asks.

No, we don’t.

It’s the usual, redacted two-page police report that’s posted online for most “property crimes,” as opposed to crimes committed against people, such as robbery or burglary.

For those, more serious, crimes, the full six-page report is – eventually – posted, although still with redactions.

Having police reports posted online is good government. Having virtually no details attached to the vast majority of the reports is a step backward. We complained about it at a meeting last year with the mayor. Update: Detective Mark Jamieson, a spokesman for Seattle Police, called to say that about a year and a half ago, when the reports went online, staffing drove the decision to initially only post the full reports for major crimes. But, he said, the department is heading in the direction of posting all full reports.

The map at right shows similar thefts that have been reported so far this year. It understates the frequency because many of the icons represent multiple thefts – the one at Northeast Northgate Way/ Fifth Avenue Northeast, for example, stands in for 14 occurrences.

We don’t usually report on, or try and chase down details of, crimes such as shoplifting, mail theft or “theft-other.”  In general we do report anything more serious – there was a shooting late Sunday night at a bar in the 500 block of Northeast Northgate Way, for example – but getting details can take days unless the Seattle Police Department sends out a police blotter post, which in this case they did.

For more on neighborhood crimes, and why we report on them, go here.



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2 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Disabled Neighbor // Mar 31, 2012 at 2:32 am

    Dear Neighbor near Roosevelt and 82nd,

    On Wednesday night around 8:30pm I tripped on the uneven sidewalk and took a very bad fall on the wet sidewalk. It wasn’t a stumble – I went flying and skidded. My knee was cut open, there are numerous bruises on my forearms from trying to break my fall, my wrist was cut open on gravel, and my hand is fairly banged up.

    I am disabled, have been battling a flu-like virus for over 6 weeks, and had been up all night tending to a sick pet who later died. I just wanted to get to the store for food. I cried out for help and lay on the wet pavement writhing in pain for awhile waiting for a car to stop or someone to help me. No one did. Even though I was wearing light colored clothing, perhaps they didn’t see me, but you did.

    I got up only to see that your lights were on inside, the front drapes were wide open, and you were sitting on the couch staring at me. At no time did you appear concerned or bother to ask me if I was alright. You could’ve cracked the window and at least said, “Are you okay? Do you need me to call someone?” What I really needed was for someone to care and help me up. I was bloody and in shock and it was obvious as I had to pass by your window that I’m a woman.

    Your apathy is what’s wrong with the world and especially with our neighborhood. Over the years, I’ve stopped for many a passed out drunkard by the tavern just to make sure they’re okay. I don’t drink or use drugs, if that’s what you were thinking. You would’ve found that out had you bothered to check on me.

    I’m shocked, saddened, and humiliated by this. It should go without saying that should you ever need help? Don’t count on me.

    The hero here is Nancy at Safeway who knows me. She was kind enough to help me clean up and calm down. If you see or hear something out of the ordinary you do not have to go outside, just crack a window and make sure everything’s okay.

    Sincerely,

    Long time resident who would stop to help.

  • 2 Grace // Apr 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    I have more details about this “other” theft and I’ll send them in more detail to MLL. In short, it was gas theft. A young guy was stealing gas from a gas tank in the middle of the day by DRILLING a hole in the tank. A neighbor saw him so the guy ran off.