In recent weeks, a burglar or burglars have been targeting the Blue Ridge and North Beach areas and concerned neighbors are trying to get the word out. Patty Jahn knows of several people who have had their homes or cars broken into and is worried, “We just want to make sure people are safe,” she says. According to police, many of the burglaries happen between midnight and 4 a.m. while people are sleeping inside. Computers, cars, cell phones, iPods and other electronics have been stolen, police say, adding that only once has a flimsy back door been broken in, otherwise the burglar(s) get in through other means.
We spoke with an officer from the Seattle Police Department who patrols these neighborhoods and says there are things you can do to make yourself a harder target. He says that during a few of these burglaries, the door between the garage and house was left unlocked and the garage door opener was in the car out front. The officer says to double check your doors and windows, and don’t leave spare house keys in your car. You might also want to check your pet door. At one house, which was hit multiple times, the thief came in through the dog door. It was big enough to get half way through so the burglar could reach up, unlock the door and let himself in.
Being the holidays, the officer reminds people to not leave presents out in the open, which could be tempting to the burglars. “I need to take my own advice on this,” he said, saying that people should write down the serial numbers for their electronics. When this officer comes to a house that has been broken in to he wants to know the serial numbers of stolen items so police can check pawn shops and online sites.
The officer says that the crime spree has subsided since the day after Thanksgiving and thinks the police presence may have scared the burglars for now. He will continue to patrol the neighborhood looking for anything suspicious and urges neighbors to call 911 if they see anything suspicious. (Thanks Rudy for your help on this story!)