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Despite banner start for Capitol Hill burglars & bandits, 2013 SPD stats show overall drop in crime

8446957768_dcdae2a9a5Wednesday night, following a disturbing series of incidents including two stabbings in Cal Anderson Park, groups, local businesses and neighbors will hold a rally and march to launch a new “block watch” initiative on Capitol Hill.

While statistics compiled by the Seattle Police Department show that crime totals increased on Capitol Hill in 2012, CHS’s analysis of the start of 2013 shows that SPD’s totals actually show crime is down in the area compared to the same period in 2012.

Here are the totals for the four East Precinct beats that cover Capitol Hill for the first three months of the year:Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 11.16.52 PM

A major downtick in reported thefts has helped fuel the drop but fewer assaults and a flat performance for vehicle thieves rounded out the overall 10% drop compared to 2012. Burglaries — including commercial and residential break-ins, on the other hand, nearly doubled compared to the same period last year. And the much smaller total of reported robberies also showed a disturbing jump.

The breakdown by beat reveals the hotspots — and where things cooled down compared to last year:

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 11.26.03 PM

  • Burglars have been busier everywhere on the Hill but especially in the southern beats of C2 and E2
  • Robbery reports in the north in C1 are pretty rare — there were zero in the first three months of 2012. There were four there in the first three months of 2013 plus an increase everywhere else but western E1.
  • Thefts, covering everything from store ripoffs to stolen bikes, were down significantly in every beat but up north in residential C1. We’ll check in with East Precinct to see if there is any explanation for the drop. We’ve heard anecdotally, for example, that there has been an increase in theft related to liquor now being available in grocery stores — these numbers don’t seem to bear that out.

The totals do show, however, that overall, Capitol Hill’s first three months of 2013 were less crime-y than the same period in 2012. If it helps, take a look at the datasets the next time you feel like things are going to hell in a handbasket. The numbers say, nope — well, except for the burglary part. When the numbers for April and May are released, we’ll update and see if the story remains the same.

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11 thoughts on “Despite banner start for Capitol Hill burglars & bandits, 2013 SPD stats show overall drop in crime” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Thanks, Justin. These numbers look good… and are in line with what I keep saying.

    There are just a handful of a##holes getting too comfy at/around the park. Community eyes & Community police measures will help to move them along.

    • we can only hope you’re right, Tammy Jo. It doesn’t seem to me like SPD responds very quickly, but that’s probably just my perception.

      I realize I live in a city and should expect more crime than someplace rural, but when day after day I see the same thing in the exact same place involving the exact same people, something is wrong.

      • I own property on Capitol hill and the east precinct has responded in less than two minutes en force wehn i had a break in. ditto squatters in a rental- the squatters had warrants on themand were taken away in tears. they all had money for booze cigarettes and dogs but no money for rent…….
        The cops on the hill do a good job from what i have experienced

  2. Uh . . . when burglaries in the area called C2 go from 8 to 24, isn’t that an increase of 300%? Not 200%? And thus the single highest increase in the entire chart?

    • 24 is 3 times 8 (300% more) but there is only a 200% INCREASE. An increase of 100% on 8 events would be 8 more events for a total of 16, etc.

  3. The problem with this post is that it contains actual data and thus I can’t just make stuff up based on anecdotes related by my friend’s cousin.

  4. Any story that uses data on crimes reported is going to be flawed when it comes to the less serious crimes. No one I know on the hill would even bother to report a minor theft anymore with burglary being the jump-off point for reporting, and perhaps not even then. An accurate story would require one collect their own data. I will get right on that, as soon as I find my data collector..

  5. Today Seattle University students received an email regarding an attempted theft on campus in the library.
    (Complete e-mail posted below).
    This e-mail was to the campus from Interim Director Randall H. Carroll.
    The excerpt I have below was most troubling:

    “I think that no one can afford to lose everything they have worked for for this academic year, by neglecting to secure their property. This laptop contained all of the persons academic papers, study notes for finals, everything they had worked for this year. If one can afford to lose all of that at this time of the year one may disregard this notice and advice.”

    First of all, we all know that the crime in Capital Hill is a problem, but it is everyone’s problem.
    We all have a role to play, when possible, and at times required, by some.
    Seattle University is in the unique position of being able to deal with some crime on its campus, which in turn helps the whole community.
    The statement above from Randall Carroll seems to make light of a bad and potentially dangerous situation as well as infers that if you don’t listen to them then it is your fault if a crime is committed towards you. It is obvious that no one can actually afford to loose things through theft, but we also are to believe that those that attempt to protect us are held to a higher standard and that we believe they give it their best effort. In this case, I am not sure what the effort is and if the poorly worded statement was some attempt at humor or just the words of an Interim Director that does not have his heart in the concerns of the campus and the surrounding community.

    Further, I wrote to the Interim Director, as well as the Cchool President, Student Law school bar president, and School class president as well as the assistant for the president. Not a word in return…
    Below was the response that I sent:(make sure to read the follow-up response from this Interim Director”.

    “I think blaming a potential victim is not the correct way to address this situation, especially when the campus also depends on the protection of the public safety office. It seems just an informative warning would be more appropriate without the added sarcastic blame scenario. Statements like this are also unprofessional and unhelpful in educating the community.”

    Response from Interim Director Randall Carroll: “sorry you feel that way”

    That was all. Nothing else..Nada…Zilch…
    So Capital Hill, this is what the neighbors have become. Uncaring, self-righteous, self-appointing, and unappreciative of the community that they are a part of…Sorry Capital Hill, I though they were better then such petty statements and lack of compassion or concern whatsoever, guess we were wrong.

    Complete E-mail:


    Yesterday the Department of Public Safety received a report from a community member that an attempted theft of a laptop and backpack had been discovered in the Library. The reporting party had walked away from the the backpack that contained the laptop. Upon returning the reporting party discovered the backpack was gone and scanning the library discovered a dark skin younger female standing at the elevators on the 3rd floor with the backpack. The reporting party confronted the woman and retrieved the backpack. The female ran from the area and Public Safety officers responded. Unfortunately, the call to Public Safety was delayed just enough to allow the suspect to disappear from campus. The property owner was very fortunate to have returned when they did, as a moment later the suspect would have been on the elevator and the property lost.

    I think that no one can afford to lose everything they have worked for for this academic year, by neglecting to secure their property. This laptop contained all of the persons academic papers, study notes for finals, everything they had worked for this year. If one can afford to lose all of that at this time of the year one may disregard this notice and advice.

    The Department of Public Safety is asking all community members to keep all personal property with them at all times and to keep the property secure. One must realize that it takes a moment in time to steal unattended items. We ask again for community members to help each other by reminding each other not to leave valuables unattended, should we observe that conduct. We also ask that community members immediately report any and all activity that appears to be suspicious or questionable. Do not wait to call.

    5911 or 911


    Randall H. Carroll
    Interim Executive Director
    Department of Public Safety & Transportation
    Seattle University
    901 12th Avenue
    P.O. Box 222000
    Seattle, WA. 98122-1090

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