A look at Central District holiday burglaries and car prowls

Leave it to us to go looking in the shadows of the holidays but, admit it — when you go away for a holiday, somewhere in the back of your city-dwelling mind is the worry that your home or car is going to get broken into when you are away. Here’s a look at where the reported break-ins occurred this week. If anything, you can see the property crimes weren’t very widespread. Seems like thieves take holidays, too. Happy New Year!

Here’s a look at the CD burglaries reported in the past seven days. You can view incident details in the live map at SeattleCrime. One caveat: Not all break-ins are reported and it’s possible more haven’t been reported yet as people might still be out of town.


Meanwhile, here are the car prowls. A few people down around Swedish would like their old CDs, their registrations and their spare change back, please.

0 thoughts on “A look at Central District holiday burglaries and car prowls

  1. Amy the lost-puggle lady updated her original post and said that her lil’ buddy came home after eating some burglars.

  2. I had someone break into my car a few weeks ago and steal my stroller, but I did not report it (I am on 34ths near the Madrona Playfield).

  3. Anything like this needs to be reported to SPD.

    It guides them in knowing where more patrolling is needed, it creates the possiblity of the return of stolen goods to the owner, it provides proof of illegal activity if the perp is caught for some other infractions, it indicates the need for funding of police activity in your area, etc., etc., etc.

  4. Our very sad twenty year old truck has been broken into twice in the last year.(we live on 33rd in madrona) THe first time they stole the catalytic converter and the stereo the next time.

  5. Came out to find my spare tire missing from the back of my jeep. $500 later for a new tire and rim and of course, locking lug nuts!

  6. Hope you all are reporting these events to SPD. Statistics that show a decrease in various types of crimes may actually be showing a decrease in reporting the crimes, not a decrease in the actual events.

  7. My name is Gordon Curvey and I was born and I was brought up in the Central Area. My mom still lives in the house I grew up on (30th and Spring) since 1958.

    I am bothered by this section in the Seattle Times because most likely (not for sure) it is written by someone who is white. I am a African American by the way.

    I am sorry to say that white folks have taken over the CD. Walking there dogs all over the CD. The culture of the CD is GONE. My black community I grew up in is GONE.

    I used to go in Grocery Outlet of walk town Jackson St or Yesler St or Union St in the CD and would not see a white face. Now it is almost like walking in Ballard.

    I am not a black racist folks. I am just bothered that my black community in the Central Area is GONE. I drive down 23rd and pass by Powell Barnett Park and see a sea of white families and there kids in the play area.

    Again I would used to see ZERO white faces at Powell Barnett. Most whites in the CD hang to themselves with ZERO black friends. Again, whites have taken over the Central Area. I am tired of seeing white folks walking there dogs all over the CD.

    It bothers THE HELL OUT OF ME. I wish the Central Area would come back to the black community and our culture I used to know.

  8. Wow. I know gentrification and “white people taking over the CD” is a hot topic around here, but every time I read or hear this I think, “Who sold those houses they’d lived in or their parents had lived in for 50 years to those white folks for a profit?” Obviously your family didn’t do that since the house has been in your family since 1958, but someone did – a lot of someone’s did. I know this doesn’t address the issue of displacement of lower income people when apartments were razed for overpriced homes to be built or when their apartments went condo, or the rents were raised because of all those “white people taking over the CD” but it does address a HUGE proportion of the influx of white families in the CD – someone sold those houses at a profit, and it wasn’t, according to you, the white folks.

    Additionally, before the CD was considered an African American neighborhood, it was a Jewish neighborhood. I look down my block now and I see only three black families left – most of us are those “white folks” taking over your neighborhood. And I don’t like that it is losing diversity, and I don’t like feeling unwelcome on the neighborhood I have chosen to invest my money, my time, and my energy to make safer, more profitable, and more appreciated by the rest of Seattle. Comments like yours make me feel unwelcome, and this is just as much my home as it is yours.

  9. Central District – All Japanese residents were immediately taken out of their homes and sent to internment camps. This and many race restricted covenants to the north and south paved the way for many African Americans to find a new home in the Central District.

  10. Gordon: I’m sure lots of other neighbors–white, black, brown, asian, and more–will chime in on the gentrification debate. No doubt, it’s a complicated issue, and there are lots of reasons why this community has seen populations change over the last 100 years. Some of those reasons are deeply unjust, though not all of them. Not all of your white neighbors are racist interlopers out to take over the parks and bother the hell out of you with their white children on the swingset.

    But here’s my question: what’s up with your hate for the dogs? You really don’t like the pooches, huh?

  11. Hmmm…. maybe it’s because white people exercise their dogs and black people just chain them up in the yard?

    I actually don’t believe this but it points out how easy it is to cast stereotypes, no matter your color.

    What a load of reverse racism. I’m sure there are white people saying the same thing about Koreans in the north end, etc etc. It’s called change, and it comes to everyone and everything.

  12. Hi neighbor!

    Why would you want to live in a place where everyone is the same?

    Also, do you hate the black folks I see walking their dogs too or is your canine hate classified by race along with your view of people?

    Peace friend! –

    Your neighbor.

  13. Hey Gordon, what should us white folk do? Can i hire you to walk my dog? That would be one less non-black face for you to see and give you a little pocket change.
    I really think now that the nice black family that i bought my house from was racist because they made a lot of money from me. How dare them for selling at a good profit to a white boy and moving to Mill Creek

  14. Dear Gordon,

    I am very concerned over your comments. Why? You cannot judge a book by its cover. If you took the time to get to know people in your area you may learn that there is a diversity of opinion, religion, etc., and…you may find yourself agreeing with somebody that looks totally different than you.

    Based on your comments, I assume that you may have been a teenager in 1971. If I remember correctly, that was an interesting time. In those days, there was no Oprah, Obama, etc.

    I identify with 2 races, but that does not mean I have to be surrounded by my own 2 races. Wishing you peace for the New Year.

  15. Now you know how we Italians (me) and the Japanese (my spouse) felt when blacks took over the neighborhood! I am 80 years old and I was born in the house owned by my parents in the Central District. I went to war, came home, got married to my first wife(also Italian) and moved next door to my parents. After the war we watched the neighborhood change completely, the Italian families run for the hills from all the crime, and bars go up on everyone’s windows. After my wife died I married again, this time to a Japanese lady whose family owned their house since 1905 just off of Jackson. They survived internment, and all the way in to the 1980’s before being run out of their own formerly all Japanese block by crack heads and crime and more bars on the window. Research the neighborhood a bit and you’ll find that it was Italian and Japanese before it was your neighborhood, the communities were full of families not crime and drugs. Be glad you’re only “bothered” by seeing a bunch of colors you don’t like walking their dogs and playing in the park with their kids. Could be worse. Could be a bunch of drug dealers and folks putting bars on their windows in fear.

  16. How fortunate for gordon curvey’s mom to still be living in the same house since 1958. Very nice. As your neighbor, Gordon, I am appalled by your comments. You complain about the white folks in ‘your neighborhood’ and then state that you are not a racist. If I were to complain about the a particular race other than my own, I would be labeled a racist, I’m sure…If u look back and re read your statement, subsituting black for every time u say white, and white for everytime u type black, it reads like racist bigot redneck trash.
    And yet, you are quite comfortable whining about other people out walking their dogs and invading your exclusive black playgrounds. Do u wanna know why we all walk our dogs? ‘cuz the more non criminals on the sidewalk, the harder it is for the criminals out roaming the streets to participate in criminal behavior, if they think someone is watching them. Because we are watching them. and talking to the police.
    We are sick of the crime and all the crooks milling around on our streets. We, meaning the working class, people who actually work jobs for a paycheck so we can afford to buy houses and pay the taxes that support your exclusive parks, playgrounds, and city litter pickup services, etc. Before it was your exclusive black inner city club ‘hood…the CD was white jewish , and italian with some asian. How do u think those people feel, seeing how run down their old ‘hood became under black ownership..? I do notice that when the CD became a black ‘hood, this area was over wrought with crime, crack, murder, robbery, rape…and amazing how much black on black crime there is…. and so now you are complaining that the white folks are ruining your all exclusive black establishment? I suggest u go live in Kent, where u can be surrounded by fellow blacks, and u will be right at home with all the crime, drugs, and mayhem..
    Evidently, you havent continued to mature as you age, Gordon, as your attitudes espouse bigotted racism and hate. Meanwhile, the rest of us asian, white, hispanic and yes, black folks have learned to live peacefully, productively and happily with one another, regardless of race. I don’t care what color you are. I’m like many people, I don’t consider what color people are, ‘cuz I dont care. Race is irrelevant. Color is a non issue.
    Behavior is what I look at. Behavior is what I judge people by, if I am to judge them at all.
    Gordon, I urge you to take off your glasses of negativity, and put on a pair of lenses that only see the beauty and kindness of the world. Look for the good, there is lots of good and love in this world…because seeing the good will make u feel happy…
    I didn’t chose to be the race I am, so I think the same is true for you, gordon. Stop looking at peoples skin color and look at who they are, what their behavior is. I believe you will be pleasantly suprised, and your life will be enriched with blessings that you will never have by the limits of skin pigmentation..

    Gordon’s Neighbor

  17. I think that the Boeing “Don’t forget to turnout the lights,” era and redlining had the most impact on why the area became seemingly rundown and less to do with residents not caring. I’m sure that many cared for their homes immaculately while at the same time being denied access to credit and services taken for granted by others Thankfully a few folks remained and came to live here even then.

    Under these conditions the area was bound to eventually fall apart. Remember under red lining white and black folks and all others were not likely to receive the same terms for a mortgage if they were lucky enough to get one at all. In all other areas of the city people were able to receive mortgages to buy homes.

    Just think about it for awhile and imagine the impact if homes in your area can’t as easily be bought or sold is combined with a drastic economic downturn where people are going to have to move and some are going to lose their homes. Who are the likely buyers? Speculators? Are speculators that motivated to care for the area. Many could care until they are ready to sell and seemed sometimes to use the fact that an area was run down due to their neglect to gain favor to do as they would with the neighborhood. Red lining defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining

  18. When you said “I used to go in Grocery Outlet” did you mean Rogers? the Outlet has only been there for a couple of years; it was Rogers for many years before that….

    and I find it awesome that in the Outlet the customers are black, brown, white, asian…..and English is not the only language you hear. That’s what I love about living in this neighborhood (since the late 70’s) – all the different kinds of people.

  19. Where do you live now gordon? Still at your mom’s or did you have to move to a blacker area so you don’t have to be around white people. For those that don’t know gordon, he used to be on public access doing a rap video show back in the 80’s or 90’s and was known for his somewhat anti-white views.

  20. When we wanted to buy a house back in 1996, we were living in Ballard. That’s where I wanted to stay. I liked it there, and it felt like home. But there was no way we could afford to buy a house in Ballard. We ended up buying a run-down house in the CD—it was a little out of our range—and moved in in 1997. Now this feels like home.

    I’m not sure what Mr. Curvey would have liked us to do. Try and find a black family to buy the house instead? Rent an apartment for the rest of our lives, because we couldn’t afford to buy a house in the neighborhood “where we belonged,” with the rest of “our kind”?

  21. I live in the Central District and I am white. I moved here recently – my partner and I wanted to get off the Hill and when searching Craigslist, we found our home. I do consider it my home, even though I rent. I love living here and it’s a shame to now know that some of my own neighbors dislike my presence so intensely, as seen in Gordon’s comment. Jeez, man. You don’t even know me. You might even like me, we might even get along and be friendly and even friends. How is begrudging my whiteness and my presence any different than begrudging blackness? How is your comment different than the white-flight suburbanites lamenting over their handful of new African American neighbors given the fact? Times, along with their grievances, have to keep moving. We have to keep trying to progress to a better future of happy and harmonious coexistence, even if it is only the future still. Right?
    However, I do see your point in some ways. You had a community, and the void that community has left has been filled by a new community. I understand – that is something to grieve. It’s hard to see your surroundings dissolve and change. However, please, don’t do it in such a way that perpetuates the age-old tensions and hatred that caused social/geographic/financial/political racial segregation to start in the first place. I am your neighbor and I’m a nice lady, I have all sorts of interests and stories, and I would love to be part of your community. Won’t you let me?

  22. I can see everyone’s point, although Gordon’s seems a bit provocative – I think intentionally so.

    Lots of things contributed to the CD’s post-war changes: Redlining, fear of black neighbors, a culture that said everyone needed to live in a ranch house outside the city. It important to remember also that prior to WWII, there just weren’t that many black people in Seattle. There was a big influx during the war when people flocked to Seattle to be defense workers, and then after the war when black people from the south migrated north. The CD was one of the few places they could live.

    As white flight happened, a lot of fine old houses were carved up into duplexes or triplexes with absentee landlords. That lead to a lot of shady renters of all colors, which lead to problems in the neighborhood.

    The rise of the Black Power groups in the sixties freaked out a lot of white people, which caused more problems, some of them real, and a lot of them of perception.

    The Boeing Bust, as others have noted, wreaked havoc on the entire region, and the CD was one of the most affected: People were just walking away from their homes, and there weren’t that many people to take them over. The planning for the Thompson Expressway and the whole Judkins/Reject thing made it even worse.

    But I personally think that it was the crack epidemic – which started just as the first seeds of gentrification were being sewn – that really messed up the CD. It’s hard to overstate the effect that crack cocaine had on formerly solid middle-class black families.

    Personally, I like the way the neighborhood is now. It reminds me of a more affluent and enlightened version of what it was like when I was a little girl in the late ’30’s – early ’40’s.

  23. I get Gordon’s point. I’ve lived not more than 4 or 5 blocks from him for going on 12 years now. I’m (mostly) white and yes, I walk my dog who is also mostly white. I’m less concerned about whether my dog and me are part of a problem or part of a solution, but I am concerned how rapidly this or any neighborhood can change.

    It seems to me that the key here is community. Gordon sees his vanishing while others are hoping to create something new. Personally, I chose the CD over places like Fremont or Ballard precisely because all my neighbors wouldn’t be white. Perhaps my block had always been a little more integrated (my house was owned by a Japanese couple and the house across the street by a Jewish family) and I guess I just wanted to live near people I wasn’t totally familiar with.

    I’m about to lose my favorite neighbor, who just so happens to be African American. Even if I set aside Gordon’s anger and frustration, it’s true that my new neighbors will most likely be white. I’m sad not about the color of the people moving onto the block, but because I’m losing a neighbor who’s just a great guy.

    I expect that not unlike Gordon, someday I’ll likely complain that the CD is completely foreign to me. Maybe it’s just not possible for a modern community to exist for everybody, whether black or white, young or old, rich or poor, straight or gay or whatever else. In the end something has to give and I don’t know if anybody is to blame or even if there’s anything that anybody could or can do about it. All I know is that even if my perspective is from the other side of the coin, I get it and hope the CD retains a strong link to its African American history, regardless of whatever future it may hold.

  24. Got a feeling a lot of us white people moved out here cause we’re sick of living next to white people too. Sorry Gordon.

  25. When we moved into Judkins Park in ’97, Powell Barnett was a wasteland of a park. There were NO kids playing in it. It was a dump. I think it’s a nice park now, even if it has been overrun by white people and their kids.

    I just know how back we’re going when we romanticize that place.

  26. Of course, I meant to say, “I just DON’T know how back we’re going when we romanticize that place.”

  27. Personally, this neighborhood can’t gentrify fast enough for me. Gosh, an end to non-stop robberies and gang violence? Wow, that sounds HORRIBLE. A neighborhood that is not littered with trash? OH NO! A lack of crack-smoking criminals loitering on every corner? WOE IS ME!

  28. Old Timer said “Personally, I like the way the neighborhood is now. It reminds me of a more affluent and enlightened version of what it was like when I was a little girl in the late ’30’s – early ’40’s.”

    Amen to that! Me, too!

    And while some blame the crack epidemic, which surely destroyed 2 generations (thus far) of families, prior to crack there was plenty of crime in the CD. In the 70’s when the Black Panthers did the pancake feeds and had their headquarters in Madrona, they ran out of their place there and chased down and beat up the guy who robbed us of our groceries and my purse coming out of the Madrona IGA. That wasn’t the first time that year I was robbed on the street. It was the FIFTH time that year. So crime has been a problem for ages in the CD and didn’t suddenly spring up when crack arrived.

  29. 23rd and Jackson was a very romantic place back when three of the corners were vacant lots. The flames from buildings torched by arson cast such a cheery glow…..

  30. Dear Gordon, If you were in need at your mothers house due to a natural disaster or medical emergency or a personal emergency…would you refuse help from your neighborhood? If you were in a position to help others in your neighborhood, would you? Is there a situation or experience that would potentially change your views about your neighborhood?

  31. Another old timer, I get what you are saying, but it seems like crime was everywhere in the 70’s. Remember the group that blew up the power plant in Laurelhurst and bombed the Safeway in Bellevue and Capitol Hill? And, as you say, there was community in the panthers and such – even though they scared the bejesus out of some people, lol.

    It seemed like, just as things started to look up for Seattle in the early 80’s, the CD got crack, and that really slowed us down.

  32. There are still plenty of blacks in the central area who aren’t going to leave any time soon. I also love the quiet tension that has existed since the mid 90s when whites moved in. There are so many whites who want the blacks out so bad and vice versa. It cracks me up when whites get quiet if they see a black person and give them that look of disdain over their shoulder, or the way black kids act like whites are trees and ignore them. This is true proof that separate but equal works.

    Take that mlk!