Reader SL gives us a detailed report on a series of property crimes that have affected them, which they believe are coming from a neighboring house:
My housemate and I were hoping to alert the neighborhood regarding a series of recent burglaries that have occurred at or in front of our home near 26th S and S King. On September 15th, our home was broken into, in broad daylight, in full view of the street. The robbers opened an old living room window (that we’d never been able to get open ourselves, and had to hammer to close after the robbery) from our front porch (!!), and entered our house around 4 or 5 pm. When my housemate (the homeowner) arrived, the scene looked as if the robbers had been interrupted, as they left a flat-screen television, laptop and other relatively portable electronic items on the floor. The house had been rummaged through, but not thoroughly. They made off with a laptop, a watch, an iPod, and an expensive digital camera. The police took prints and were sympathetic, but not hopeful. Several days later, the corner drug dealer (there is a drug house – up for foreclosure sale – filled with known gang members only two doors away) taunted my housemate as she padlocked our fence, saying: “What? You afraid you’re gonna get robbed again?” The occupants of this house were noted to be standing around, looking toward our house when my roommate arrived on the day of the first break in.
A second incident occurred shortly after Thanksgiving, while another housemate was moving out. She left her Zipcar unlocked and unattended for approximately five minutes, while she and a friend entered our house to get a mattress. In that short amount of time, someone apparently walked by and snatched a large backpack from the Zipcar, containing a wallet/credit cards, a laptop, clothing, and the title to a new vehicle. The police were called, but they didn’t respond in person to this incident. (Again, people were observed lingering around the suspect house, and they all turned and went inside when the police were called – loudly – from a cell phone, while standing by the car.)
Last night (December 13th), I returned home from Christmas shopping to find that our house had been thoroughly trashed and robbed yet again. This time, they got everything they left the first time, and everything that had been replaced. All bedrooms were tossed completely. They entered the house from a high bathroom window – that was locked – over our back deck, and climbed into the bathtub to get in. They took two laptops, three iPods, the flat screen, antique jewelry, wedding jewelry, a highly sentimental box of childhood memories (with zero monetary value), all chargers and cords, liquor, checkbooks, credit cards, a new professional digital camera – and a spare set of keys to the house. (They left another set of keys that were located in the same drawer as the house keys, so it would seem that they took the time to try out the keys first.) The police responded in person this time, took photographs and fingerprints, and the list of missing items. They had little advice or hope to give us. (They actually suggested that we just get a safe. For our tv?!) Obviously, the locks have been changed and we’re taking further security measures and also talking to our realtor. This is unbelievably frustrating, violating, and traumatic. We had just begun to feel at ease again, and now we’re wondering if it will ever be safe to leave our house unattended.
The police were told that we suspect the people who live two doors down (they’ve also been caught in person, stealing small items from our porch last year), and their response was, “Oh yeah. We know that house.” Great. Drug activity goes on in broad daylight on our corner and well into the night. The police don’t really seem to care about it.
We’ve reported it multiple times. We don’t know if we’ve been targeted because of our intolerance for illegal activity on our corner, or just because we have an older house that seems easier to break into than the new construction and Dwell homes that have gone up recently. It does seem like our comings/goings were being watched – my housemate is an artist and business owner, who works from home, and they just *happened* to pick the rare moments during both robberies when no one was at home. Other neighbors we’ve talked to since the first robbery have reported car and bicycle thefts in the past year. Our 80 year-old neighbor has had her home, the house she grew up in – the house that survived her internment during the WWII Japanese “relocations” – repeatedly robbed. It’s disgusting. People in our area should be aware, since these thefts haven’t been fantastic enough to make the news.
Also, since both of our robberies happened when the perpetrators would have been visible to the neighbors and passerby, we’re looking for anyone who may have witnessed anything yesterday (i.e. people loading items over the fence, etc.) or in September. It is believed, based on specific characteristics, that both home robberies were committed by the same people.
CDNews recommends that anyone affected by a criminal property become a regular police informant. Watch closely, keep detailed notes, call 911, and tell them everything you see. There’s nothing bad about being a snitch if people can’t keep their hands off of you and your stuff.