An 11th Ave E man returned from a business trip last week to discover his front door was not unlocked like he left it two days earlier. Inside, he found his home ransacked and his flat screen television, an expensive wrist watch and other items were missing from the house. According to the police report on the incident, someone had smashed open a basement window to gain entry. The police could not sweep for finger prints because the man had come in contact with much of the potential evidence before police arrived.
You might think that an area like north Capitol Hill with its expensive homes would be a prime target for burglars but a successful residential burglary in the area is actually a relative rarity so far this year.
This map of all 2010 residential burglaries on the Hill investigated by SPD shows just how few have occurred within the ring between Interlaken and Aloha and 10th and 24th Avenues. Of the ones that are mapped, several were callouts for signs that somebody had unsuccessfully attempted to bust in like a broken window or a damaged door.
With warmer weather, SPD says the number of home break-ins usually increases — maybe one reason not to be too sad about our grey skies. We recently featured a list from the department of summertime burglary prevention tips. Here it is again.
SPD Summertime Tips:
It is not unusual to see an increase in residential burglaries during the summer months. With the warmer temperatures, we want to open our windows and enjoy the fresh breezes. Unfortunately, these open windows and doors can be an opportune time for a burglar to strike We are still recommending leaving your windows locked, especially when you are away from the house. If you absolutely need the windows to be open, find a way to pin the windows open (no more than four-inches). Putting a shorter dowel in the track of your sliding door/windows would work, and many of the vinyl windows have locks in the tracks allowing windows to be blocked yet open. Or pins can be purchased to screw onto the tracks of your windows.
Remember, that if you are in the back yard gardening or having a bar-b-que, you may not hear nor see someone slip into the front room. Keep your doors locked, even when you are home.
One Seattle burglar, recently arrested on Queen Anne told Burglary detectives that he likes to walk around the neighborhood during the day, merely looking into windows to see if there is any merchandise he wants. If so, this will be his next target. So I am now recommending leaving blinds down in the rooms that have your electronics; or your home office which might be home to your safe, mail, banking statements, etc.
Many of us have remodel projects during the dry weather. This brings strangers onto the block, with unknown vehicles and tools. As a result, neighbors can get complacent about strangers in the neighborhood, and consequently won’t report a possible burglar if they see one. Please remember you can use 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity. Be prepared to share details w/the call taker and explain what is abnormal in what you are reporting. Watchful neighbors remain your best alarm! Burglars like secluded backyards, so keep your shrubbery trimmed to allow neighbors natural surveillance.
If you will be gone on vacation please check that all doors and windows are securely locked before you leave. If you have an alarm system, make sure it is activated when you leave. Use automatic timers on interior lights. A timer can also be used on a portable radio. Photo electric cells screwed into the light socket of your front and back porch lights will “automatically” turn lights on/off depending on the level of darkness. Make sure items such as children’s toys, ladders, tools, lawn furniture, etc. are put away. Inform a trusted neighbor about your vacation plans. Your neighbor can gather newspapers, mail, etc for you during your absence. Have someone park their car in your driveway and use your garbage/recycling bins while you are gone.