Community Post

Reader reports another break-in at 26th & King

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.

0 thoughts on “Reader reports another break-in at 26th & King

  1. Hi,

    I live only 2 blocks north of you and have previously been very active in my neighborhood watch and still travel a 4 block radius from time to time. I am always looking to start up a more formal block watch group and if you are interested I would be happy to meet with you. More pertinent help is my skills as a formal general contractor which I donate free to anyone needing help in adding security to their home in the central district. I can help you add window push pin locks, real deadbolt protection, and offer advice on how to improve house security – all free of charge.

    I would also like to know of any drug houses or potential problems in the neighborhood and would like to hear a first hand commentary on which house you are having an issue with and which East Precinct officers you have had contact with.

    Please leave a message here if you are interested in in of the items I have mentioned here with a way to contact you. I am always a little cautious with posting my own email address in a comment but if the board shows my configured email address to other board members please feel free to contact me.

    Matt

  2. I think Matt’s ideas are much better than mine: alarm system (we pay $40/month for ours) and/or a dog. A big dog. One that barks :)

    We have an alarm system but I cant help but wonder if they really work. I mean do they really convince someone to break into someone else’s unarmed house? We havent been broken into but I can’t help but wonder if we’re just lucky.

    Matt I may take you up on your offer to CD members in the future. That is very kind of you.

  3. Yes – a big dog with bark and bite helps. Consider boobytrapping your place so when the criminals arrive… Get video monitors at your place or nearby or across your street as well.

  4. DO NOT BOOBYTRAP!!!! Totally illegal and you will go to jail if someone gets hurt. DO get a dog and a security system. DO continue to call the police EVERYTIME you see illegal activity. I have a similar house down the street from me.

  5. First off I am very sorry for what you have been through. It not only angers me, but I am very sad to hear that those worthless human beings came back a 2nd time.

    The above comment is correct – use of lethal booby-traps are illegal (in all 50 states)…unfortunately even scum bags are viewed more important that property. Non lethal means are an options i.e. marking dye or paint. Not sure how you would set that up, but I am sure someone out there could help you set something up.

    The alarm and dog(s) are always good ideas, but I think the best idea is getting out and meeting/knowing your neighbors – if nothing else – to wish one another happy holidays!

  6. do call the police every time you see anything

    find out who at the SPD is your neighborhood watch cop, contact this officer directly when stuff happens too

    get your neighbors involved, yeah some might think you are a bit looney, but everyone on your block calling really works

  7. I had my alarm system upgraded this year, and I can ALMOST say I’d feel sorry for anyone who tried to come in and steal anything.

    The brain-piercing piezo siren it blasts makes you feel like your eyeballs are going to explode! Spending any amount of time in the house is physically (and mentally) utterly painful and impossible…it’s unlike any alarm I’ve ever heard! My system is a GE-made panel sold by a company working with ADT called Elite Security Services. Even earplugs wouldn’t help with this baby.

  8. mistamatic – does that alarm sound even when you first walk in the door or does it give you 30 seconds or so to disarm your alarm before going nuts? Right now ours is set to give “warning beeps” but doesnt go off unless it isn’t disarmed within 60 seconds. That’s 60 seconds that could be spent grabbing stuff.

  9. I live a few doors down from you and would definitely like to arrange a meeting to discuss making our neighborhood safer. i own a bakery so could supply some treats. feel free to contact me

    stephanie

  10. Why aren’t the police turning up the heat on a known drug house? I would love for the police to be a bigger presence and put the heat on these guys. Maybe survey the house and when multiple gang members are in the house raid it.
    It makes me sick to my stomach that you have been robbed twice. I am so sorry.

  11. Purchase a discreet video camera package, available at fry’s in southcenter.
    Have them hardwired into the home, and digitally store the images for one year or more, ona monitor or hard drive tucked in your extra bedroom/den closet Since your home is being targeted, I suggest you fight fire with fire. If u have a video of them entering your home, you will send them away for once and for all, but until then, you are just replentishing their wish lists.
    My sister was burgled 3 times, until she did this vid camera install, and now two diff would be theives have gone away to jail, thanks to undeniable video shots of the perps. i am truly sorry to hear of your situation, and hope u can find a solution.

  12. hi there,
    my husband and i recently moved to MLK and King and we’d love to meet our neighbors as well. a weekend afternoon or evening would work for us…maybe at a local coffee shop?
    i can be reached at speakmemory@gmail.com

  13. We were robbed on December 7th. They came in through a bathroom window that they broke. Took all electronics and trashed the house. Three days later the police came to tell me there was another break in one block away. Both happened in broad daylight in full view of people passing by.

  14. I’m the homeowner of the house that got burgled. We would LOVE to set up some kind of a meet-and-greet and discuss neighborhood watch options! and just get to know some of our neighbors. :)

    I can be reached at angelarenae@yahoo.com, although I currently have limited email access (due to all of the computers in the house having been stolen).

    Thank you all for your kind words and support.

  15. That really sucks. :-(
    My place was robbed once and the violation was unbearable… to know they had gone through our personal things. The cops actually tols us that thieves know people have insurance and will replace things, so they usually come back to strike again within 3 months. Real encouraging, huh? They didn’t even bother to fingerprint and told us to forget about it, move on, secure the house better.

    Eventually we started selling off things that we didn’t use a lot that were just thief bait – game consoles, DVDs, games, extra computers and parts. Now our expensive stationary items are cable-locked to the furniture. We have photos of the items and their serial number codes posted (privately) to our online photo sharing account in case of loss. Unfortunately the guy started coming by and throwing rocks through the windows while we were home, making threatening calls, and we had to move away. I really feel for you…. especially getting hit over and over again.

    Definitely take up Matt on his ideas about beefing up your home security. Window stopper-locks are especially cheap and easy to install. Our old (1920′s) windows now have them, and they keep the window from going up more than 2″. Deadbolts aren’t too expensive or difficult either. Starting a more active neighborhood watch group and email alert newsletter thing would be a great idea!

  16. I am also new to the neighborhood and moved in across the street from Angela. My wife and I would love to meet our neighbors and find a way to make our block safe and trouble-free.

    I had some packages delivered to my house while I was away for Thanksgiving and they were missing when I returned home. I can be reached at frank.laub@gmail.com

  17. I live half way across the states, a family member of one of the victims of the recent robbery, and I feel so helpless. I feel helpless and very angry. Helpless because I can’t protect my family member’s life/privacy and angry because nothing is being done about these break ins! I find it hard to believe for how much illegal activity is going on in the neighborhood, that the police can’t or haven’t done anything to alleviate the situation. What, they don’t have one police officer to spare, to keep a watch on the house where all this suspected illegal activity is taking place?? I find that very hard to believe. If these people are dealing drugs from the neighborhood, I would think the city/police would want to do something about it. Not only would they be able to arrest the person(s) selling drugs, but also be able to arrest them (upon further search of the property) for all the stolen merchandise. For as much activity that been taking place in that neighborhood, you would think this wouldn’t even be an issue. This is yet another reason why I am further disappointed in the distribution of the police force/presence in the United States. I’m guessing if I sat outside in a car and video taped the illegal activity going on in the suspected house, I would have enough evidence in less than a week to get the person(s) arrested and convicted. I do believe we pay taxes in this country, to have police protect our neighborhoods and our property. So tell me, what exactly is going on here?

  18. just curious what part of beacon ave s. do you live on? I live on the south end, down by cloverdale. Was wondering if I need to do a beef up on my security or not?

    Thanks, Gia

  19. Google group is a great idea, and it’s probably safer to discuss in a more private forum.

  20. Flaub – That family has lived in that house for many decades. Various members of the extended family, sons, daughters and granddaughters, come and go from prison. When they come home, there’s trouble until they leave again. You just published the owner’s name and identified yourself as the person possibly slandering him. There have been attacks (and resulting arrests) by people in that home on neighbors who confronted them (years ago). I fear you’re being reckless, and I speak as someone who once tried to clean up that block and paid dearly, until moving.

  21. You have at least 4 homes on the block owned, for decades, by the grandparents of felons. Those felons come home when they’re out of custody, and all sorts of problems happen. Good neighbors were run out 20 years ago, and the neighbors who replaced them have since been run out. Each in their turn did Block Watch, tried to have drug houses abated, etc., only to be relentlessly terrorized and run out / forced to sell eventually. Good luck. The same people who will harass you when you try to take them on, and make your life miserable, did the same to the family I bought my house from 20 years ago, and the same to me until I gave up and got out. 20 years of community police team, block watch, neighborhood meetings, etc. did nothing. They will never leave and that block will continue to be hell until the grandparents die and their houses are sold.

  22. It appears that this house is for sale and, upon closer inspection, it is about to be foreclosed. I think they are asking too much but I wonder what interest there would be in having the neighborhood buy up the property so that we could then dictate what happens to it and/or the tenants. As to publishing the owner’s name, these are public records that anyone can look up. To me, reckless is when you sell drugs on the corner and don’t expect your neighbors to do anything about it. It’s when you snicker and gloat when your neighbors have a break-in. I would like to learn what you went through, please contact me privately if you’d like.

  23. I agree. If various members of the family come and go from jail, well I think it is safe to assume and/or allege that they are the bad seed.

    Hopefully the foreclosure will remove them from the area!!