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“Those are your shoes?” Burglar to Maple Leaf neighbor

Posted by Mike on March 24th, 2013

A week ago Terry looked outside his apartment on Northeast 98th Street and saw a burglar – wearing Terry’s shoes.

Here’s what happened. I woke up at around four a.m. on March 16th, and saw two guys outside, down on 5th Avenue NE, both on bicycles. One of them ran up onto the stairwell for the north entrance/exit, just outside my bedroom window. I don’t believe he saw me.

When I went out to the north door, to see if he was still lurking there, I noticed that a pair of white tennis shoes had been left by that door, inside the building! That led me to go check on some of the shoes I had routinely been leaving outside the door of my apartment (so as not to track dirt into the apartment). I noticed that one pair of black Rockports was missing; that’s when I figured he’d swapped his old shoes for mine.

I then went back into my apartment, which is when I saw the guy outside the window, but by the stairwell. I was angry and opened the window and asked that he return my shoes. He replied, “Those are your shoes?” I replied in the affirmative.

It probably wasn’t a good idea, but I went back to that door and saw the guy there. He then opened the door and took my shoes off and started to put his tennis shoes back on. I grabbed my shoes as fast as I could and prepared to run, if need be; but he didn’t advance.

Terry called 911, but the police didn’t find the two culprits.

“I am afraid that the burglars will be back, since they have correctly identified this building as vulnerable,” he emails. “I would greatly appreciate it if you could post something about this incident, as it would help me and the other people in the building. It’s my hunch that the burglars will also be looking for other opportunities.”

Since early in the month when we last reported on burglaries here, the police crime map shows only four other residential burglaries in Maple Leaf.

They occurred in the 9700, 10000 and 10200 blocks of 15th Avenue Northeast, the 800 block of Northeast 100th Street and the 9800 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast.

Tags: Uncategorized

9 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 neighbor // Mar 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Say WHAT???

  • 2 Sue // Mar 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I’m sorry but I find this kinda funny. One, his house wasn’t broken into, thus no “burglary”. Two, he was left with a pair of shoes, unauthorized swap we may say. Police must have had a slow night to even respond as in the end there was no harm no foul.

  • 3 ridiot // Mar 25, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Try that in a store some time- just leave your old shoes behind as trade.

  • 4 Steve Swarigon // Mar 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I can’t believe with so may breakins that the police cannot catch these theives. Stakeout the leaf. My house was broken into in Jan. These theiving punks probably think it is easy because there is no security presence. I know several people who have had home invasions in ML in the daytime, not to mention the neighbors with car burglaries. I have lived here for over 10 years and it seems that this neighborhood is way more seedy than it used to be. I think I’m going to move out of here before I get hit again.

  • 5 Sue // Mar 25, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Something else people take this time of year are plants. They can be very expensive (probably more than a used pair of shoes) Its sad to buy a $30 hanging plant for granny and have someone take it. Just need to put stuff in perspective.

  • 6 Dan // Mar 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Hilarious! I’m guessing this was more a crime of opportunity than a realtime thief. He was certainly easily guilted into giving the shoes back. Good for standing up for yourself!

    We had our house broken into about 4 years ago (when those highschool kids were doing it on their lunchbreaks and were finally caught). A basic security system, warning stickers, motion lights and generally making your house less inviting helps a lot. I think crime rates are actually down now aren’t they?

  • 7 Janine // Mar 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Move over Northgate, you have an up and coming “seedy” competitor – Maple Leaf!
    Knock on wood, I’ve not yet had my car prowled or my rental home invaded in the 9 years I’ve lived down here in the bogs. It’s been pretty darn quiet and safe feeling overall, especially considering the amount of traffic and activity in the area. It could be partly due to luck but I suspect it has more to do with the relatively low value of my car, and dwelling to the perspective thief. It would really upset me however, if somebody came in and trashed my home! You all probably realize that you are living in a highly regarded area with an abundance of valuable things to steal, including nice shoes! I grew up just down the road: 19th Ne and Ne 77th, from the late fifties to the early seventies. Many things have changed during that time, some for better, some for worse. Our mom bought our house for around $8000 in the late 40’s. We were considered borderline scum despite being white in a predominantly white, Protestant, Catholic neighborhood: single mom (shameful “divorcee”) who worked for peanuts but somehow was able to pay the mortgage if not the utilities every month. As I recall, our “progressive” neighborhood north of the UW accommodated one Jewish family, one Asian (?), one black family and even a childless black/ white couple on our block. Of course there were gays but those were the true Don’t Ask Don’t Tell days. We were never robbed that I recall, although I’m sure some homes were. We had little, materially, that anyone would want to take. The area was not without crime, however. Aside from the everyday personal violations often swept under the carpet at that time: domestic violence, sexual predation in schools, on the team and within the churches, there was the occasional murder and much social turmoil brewing in the late sixties, early seventies: bombings in the University District, helicopters combing our block with their search lights night after night. Then the neighborhood pharmacies were getting robbed at gunpoint for narcotics. Ah,the good ol’ days! My only regret is it that I cannot afford to own a home in the neighborhood I grew up in. Too bad, so sad, we say :) All the best!

  • 8 MapleLeafBob // Mar 25, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    In regards to home burglaries and invasions – my suggestion to some people is to do all the normal things mentioned above about motion lights etc… Also, do not leave valuables in areas that are easy to see like an Ipad or laptop on a table right next to a window.

    There are also lots of dogs needing a home at shelters. Adopt one, train it, and let it room around your house during the times you are gone. I guarantee is some punk kids opened your screen door or peak into your backdoor window and heard some loud barks they would move on. It’s a win win win situation. The pup gets a home, you get the most loyal friend you could ever imagine, and burglars stay out of your house.

  • 9 anna // Apr 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I may have let him keep the shoes if it were me – he probably needed them more than I did.