News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Maple Leaf crime update since late April

Posted by Mike on June 21st, 2014

Late last week Michael emailed:

Hey, just a heads-up that our house on 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 97th Street was broken into via a kicked-in basement window on Tuesday the 17th of June.

Small LED TV, jewelry, purses (thankfully emptied of their contents), a NOOK and a small amount of cash were stolen.

Seattle PD responded and cleared the house and filed a report. One of the responding officers said August tends to be the worst month.

Please be attentive and don’t be afraid to call 911 if you see suspicious people/vehicle(s).

The map at right is of property crimes in the neighborhood since our last report in late April. Specifically, it shows home and commercial burglaries and car thefts/car prowls. (And possibly stolen bicycles, because we forgot to uncheck that box on the police crime map.)

The map also emphasizes a point another neighbor emailed about earlier in the month.

“So you’ll know, the northwest portion of Maple Leaf is quite prone to crime and is probably the base from which many car prowlers and burglars originate.”

Crime in the Northgate area is something we’ve reported on often. For example, “Home intruder reported, plus an amazing 38 crime incidents near Northgate,” or “And the best place in town for a kid to get arrested is … the mall!

On the map, the circles in that area show 2, 6 and 18 individual reports, almost all of stolen cars or car prowls.

That’s one sort of crime this neighbor is concerned about.

“Last Thursday, June 12th, I saw a tenant at the Olympic View apartments (9800 Fifth Ave. N.E.) working on his late-model Toyota Tundra pickup, parked in the carport area of the building. We talked a bit and he said that the system for sound and navigation (telematics) had been stolen out of his truck, at around 3 to 3:30 p.m.

“I would encourage you to mention this occurrence in the Maple Leaf Life blog, as there have been similar incidents at this address.”

His concerns run more deeply, though.

“In September of 2008, several – three or four – young guys tried to steal the sound system out of a truck, south of where I live. The owner of the truck, who himself was just 19 years old, came out and could see this occurring from the balcony of his apartment, so he grabbed a rifle.

When the thieves saw that, they started to run away. One of them reportedly bent down to get something out of his clothing – shirt or pants not detailed in news reports – and that led the owner of the truck to fire his rifle and kill the guy who had (reportedly) been reaching for something.

I recall this well, as I was home that evening and could see police cars and yellow tape, blocking off Fifth Avenue Northeast, from Northeast 98th Street down to Northeast 97th Street. The aborted theft occurred in an apartment building right off the corner of N.E. 97th St. and 5th Ave. N.E.

The young guy who killed the alleged thief was himself taken to trial and found guilty of manslaughter in the second degree, if memory serves (recall reading the final result in the print edition of the Seattle P-I). He served several months.

My fear is something similar could happen here; or as I’ve said, the thieves could work their way up the hill onto the rest of N.E. 98th St.

The Seattle Times account of that 2008 shooting is here. The report on the man’s nine-month sentence for second-degree manslaughter is here.



Tags: Uncategorized

8 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 littleleers // Jun 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Protecting your property and possibly your life…and the guy was convicted of manslaughter? Wow,not that I am overjoyed that a stupid and selfish man took what did not belong to him…and paid with it for his life,….

    Only way I would convict a renter or owner is if someone was found to be shot in the back..meaning that they were fleeing and no longer a threat.

    No wonder burglaries are increasing….it is an ‘easy crime’ with few if any consequences.

  • 2 DanL // Jun 21, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Several weeks ago, I found the remains of several forcible open Sentry Safe and a metal cash boxes on the road between the PacMed Center and the library. They were undoubtedly stolen from someone’s business or residence.

    There’s a homeless encampment in Thornton Creek behind the PacMed Center. (Which I suspect is the cause of the high human fecal content in the water). There are several shopping carts in and around there which they use to haul their belongs around. During the daytime, they’re out begging for money; but they return at night. I had a brief conversation with one of the “campers” and he said they felt safer in Thornton Creek than at a homeless shelter or any other neighborhood homeless camp. Most of them appear to be in the early 20’s which means that they have no future or any idea of how to get out of the cycle of homelessness. Begging for money, car prowling, shoplifting, residential burglary, etc. are the only “job skills” that they have to make a living and they are in a target rich environment.

  • 3 Jesse // Jun 21, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Why would you uncheck stolen bicycles? Mine is my primary form of transportation. It’d be a major life disruption for me.

  • 4 Tyler // Jun 23, 2014 at 10:36 am

    @littleleers The thief was shot in the *back* of the head. So yeah he was fleeing. Bad situation all around either way.

  • 5 Thomas Paine // Jun 23, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I’m glad the Seattle Police took this seriously. I’m seeing a lot more of them around Maple Leaf the last few months. I also recommend planting thorny bushes like holly in front of windows you want to burglar-proof, putting up lots of outdoor lighting, and putting a bar in sliding glass doors to make them harder to get open.

  • 6 John Smith // Jun 27, 2014 at 10:57 am

    I found out that the police are aware of the homeless camp in Thornton Creek behind the Pac Med building and are working with the Parks department to resolve the issue. They are hoping to have them moved along by next Tuesday.

  • 7 zebulon // Jun 30, 2014 at 10:27 am

    The beggars standing in the middle of the street on 5th and Northgate Way are technically jaywalking, are they not? Can’t we get the police to keep people from standing in the middle of the road? It is unsafe, and really makes Northgate look like a $hithole.

  • 8 Dan // Jun 30, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Because Northgate has historically not looked like one? :)