Community Post

Crime Update from EPCPC

Last night was the East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meeting, which provides a monthly opportunity for residents to chat with police officials about crime in their part of the neighborhood.

The good news: SPD’s Captain McDonagh says that crime is down over the last month in all but one category.

Commercial Burglaries: There have been 30 commercial break-ins in the last month, up 8 from the previous period. There’s a new pattern of thieves who break into one shop that doesn’t have an alarm, then break through the walls to neighboring shops and rip them all off without triggering the alarms on the other properties. SPD’s advice: make sure your business’s alarms are always set at night, and remove any tempting targets from the view of the front windows.

27th & Spring: Neighbors there still have “substantial concerns” about two houses on the block.  My almost-accurate quote:

It’s frustrating!  We’re living with fabulous neighbors and in a great neighborhood.  We know where the problems are and its really frustrating that more can’t be done.  The block is very supportive of police efforts, but I don’t want drugs, and don’t want guns on my block.  There have been shootings tracked back to that house. There have been hijackings tracked back to that house. So I guess the question is how can we help you (SPD) to clean this up?

Shootings: Police are still working the case of the shooting at the Garfield Community Center. There are definite gang affiliations mixed in, but police aren’t getting much information from anyone who was involved.  It’s a common theme: witnesses have important information, but refuse to help police take dangerous gunmen off the street. Victims who can speak aren’t giving information either. But detectives are stil following up, trying to work several different angles.

Issues Around Garfield: SPD has an officer who is dedicated to the school, the Teen Life Center, and the area around it. He’s there all day, getting to know the kids and helping to prevent and solve issues in real time.  Capt. McDonagh said that he was involved in a case on Thursday that calmed some potential violence.

Gang Activity: Is up around Lavizzo Park at 22nd & Main. Officers have noticed that some activity seems to have migrated there from other areas such as 28th & Jackson. The park will become a new focus for police.

Residential Burglaries: Are down after the summer spree. Several cases from the summer were charged, and an East Precinct detective was responsible for the recent case that resulted in recovery of a large amount of stolen goods.

Drug Activity: Is down in the area.  Police have had several god buy/bust operations on Union and around 12th & Jackson.  Weather is probably also a dampening factor.

I-90 Tunnel Robberies: Were a growing problem in the summer and fall, but have declined in the winter.  Capt. McDonagh says there are rumors that SPD doesn’t have jurisdiction there, but that is not true.  However, time is of the essence if anyone ever runs into trouble there. The cameras in the tunnel are recorded but the recordings are not kept for very long, so make sure and call 911 immediately so that police can get the tapes and help catch the bad guys.

Capitol Hill Ricin Threat: Is being taken very seriously by cops. They’re getting all sorts of tips from the community about suspicious people and activity and are working every angle they can.  They’re also involving all sorts of other state and federal agencies to try and trace the letters back to their sender.  Capt. McDonagh said that some of the letters were less handled than others and may be of more evidentiary value.  There was also an interesting comment that media sources may report the name of potential suspects in cases like this, but that SPD won’t be able to confirm it for legal reasons.  Not sure if that’s a hint that we should be expecting something like that soon, but Capt. McDonagh was clear that they currently do not have a suspect in the case.

0 thoughts on “Crime Update from EPCPC

  1. Scott,
    Thank you so much for reporting on the East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meeting. It is really interesting and helpful to see all these issues summarized. Love the CDNews.

  2. Was there any response from SPD to the 27th and Spring concerns raised by folks from the neighborhood?

  3. The Captain said they are doing all they can while staying w/in the law, but gave no specifics. He pointed out that whatever they do needs to translate into effective action in the legal arena. The reps from that area also talked with a CPT officer for quite a while after the meeting.

    On a different note, the Captain also mentioned that a man carrying a sawed-off shotgun and handgun was arrested in the Key Bank lot the night after the Key Bank drive-by.

  4. a Seattle Times article from last summer sparked me into asking questions about the I-90 tunnel cameras. the reporter didn’t mention anything about the cameras in the tunnel in the article. i emailed both the reporter and the city with my questions. i didn’t hear back from the reporter at all but i did hear back from the city saying that the cameras belong to DOT. i didn’t send an email to the DOT because the signs state that they are used for recording vandalism against the facility so i wondered if they would really use them for crime incidents.

  5. An officer at the meeting last night said that they can access the recordings from the camera, and that officers on that beat know about the time constraints involved. Capt. McDonagh also said that they have a good working relationship with WSDOT in cases like this.

  6. “The Captain said they are doing all they can while staying w/in the law, but gave no specifics. He pointed out that whatever they do needs to translate into effective action in the legal arena”

    I do not buy it! . Ask him to define what he means by staying with the law, what specific laws? Some of us are lawyers, most of us are well educated. He needs to talk to us as educated peers.

  7. My home was broken into a few weeks ago (second time in 7 months) and I’m confident occupants from the house on 27th & Spring or their friends were involved. The criminal took a crow bar to our door, creating damage beyond repair, and stole our TV, a laptop, a camera and a few other items. Luckily a couple of neighbors witnessed this genius walk out my front gate with a bag of our stuff and our TV set in hand. Three neighbors gave chase and ended up cornering him; he dropped our stuff and ran directly to the house on 27th & Spring (white w/ red trim). The police went to the house, but apparently since they did not witness him run to the house, they could not go inside.
    The police claim they’re very aware of the individuals in this house and the problems they create within our neighborhood. The officer said “neighbors need to increase their awareness of this location and report all suspicious activity. Call and report them as much as possible”. He seemed frustrated that there was not more he could do.