West Seattle Crime Watch: Another afternoon break-in

Julia wanted to get the word out about the burglary at her house on Thursday – including praise for the responding police officer – read on:

Thought it was worth putting the word out that our house was burglarized in full daylight (March 10th around 3pm) near SW Graham and 48th Street.

They tried to break the glass of the french doors in back of our house and were unable to get through both panes, but did manage to break in through a bathroom window.

They stole 2 flat screen TVs among other things. Luckily, they left our new kitten intact. Our neighbor heard the breaking glass but failed to call the cops right away.

Lessons learned: please be an observant neighbor and call the cops at the slightest suspicion (people break in to your house during the daytime too!), hide valuables, and don’t rely on a kitten to keep guard.

Shout out to the amazing Officer Rees who spared me from a panic attack by securing our house and standing guard.

P.S. Our break-in sounds strikingly similar to the Genesee & 38th break in on 3/9. Afternoon, back door, TVs gone & drawers rummaged.

Police actually say that more break-ins do happen during the day, since there’s more likelihood of homes being empty while their residents are away at work. P.S. Look for this week’s edition of the WSBeat police-report roundup later today.

31 Replies to "West Seattle Crime Watch: Another afternoon break-in"

  • jjjj March 11, 2011 (12:02 pm)

    “Lessons learned: please be an observant neighbor and call the cops at the slightest suspicion”

    I think your smart enough to now this is horrible advice. Perhaps you could define slightest suspicion. The SPD already has a tough enoguh time covering calls. Obiviously they do not need to be running around at the whim of the slightest suspicion from someone. I am sorry about your break in, but your advice is unrealistic. Did you have security mounts on your TVs? Home security system?


  • bridge to somewhere March 11, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    So sorry to hear about this Julia. How amazingly frustrating. Did you have an alarm on your house?

  • Stephanie March 11, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    This also sounds eerily similar to the break-In that we had at our house (on the same block as the break in on 3/9 at 38th). The pattern that I see is there are “metal scavengers” that go down our alley and take anything metal that you have laying around your property / yard. Then I think they case the neighborhood, cause within one day of something missing in the yard, a house has been broken in to. I hope the police are noticing the pattern as well.

  • NicePerson becoming Grouchy March 11, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    Julia — my condolences. I know just how violated you probably feel.
    This is one of my fears and reading the Blog has led to nightmares…. I had a dream this week that our house was broken in and they took electronics and the windows (hey, it was a dream)…. What are security mounts on the TV?

  • NicePerson becoming Grouchy March 11, 2011 (12:29 pm)

    I tried to edit my prior post to add —
    I say, call the cops based on everyone’s individual judgement — better to be helpful and potentially save your neigbor the heartache of loss than to “waste” the cops time.

  • george March 11, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    jjjjjjjjjj – you’ll feel different after you’ve been victimized. Any police officer will tell you that you are their eyes and ears because they can’t be everywhere at the same time.

  • squareeyes March 11, 2011 (12:38 pm)

    That’s close to home. Must let the neighbors know.

  • Julia (not the victim) March 11, 2011 (12:42 pm)

    So sorry to hear about this. I read some tips from a former burglar and he said that neighbors should ALWAYS check (and call police) if they hear the sound of glass breaking. Usually you only hear it once and people assume that everything is fine if they don’t hear another sound. Don’t assume!

  • JB March 11, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    jjjj – This is EXACTLY the type of 911 call the police want to get. “Hello, 911, I just heard pounding and breaking glass from my neighbor’s house. They are not home during the day. I think there may be a burglary in progress.”
    911 and police dispatch are capable of making the decision about how to allocate resources. What’s our other options as citizens and neighbors; go investigate and risk confronting an armed criminal? Take your bad advice elsewhere!

  • onceachef March 11, 2011 (12:55 pm)

    JJJJ…I’d say breaking glass is enough of a “slightest suspicion” to call the police…since when do we “support” being victimized. You can tie things down, add locks, whatever, and if someone wants your stuff bad enough, they’ll get it…I feel lucky you’re not my neighbor.

  • ajwren March 11, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Julia – sorry about this incident. I really appreciate you putting this on the blog. I’m right around the corner from you and will continue to be vigilant.

  • bridge to somewhere March 11, 2011 (1:38 pm)

    jjjj–to add to the feedback on your naive post, in fact the 911 call center has said dozens of times–including probably 5 times on WSB–that people are supposed to call 911 if they see/hear anything suspicious. Period. They have said over and over again that they will decide if the suspicion warrants a dispatch. So you happen to be entirely wrong in your claim that Julia’s advice was “horrible.” Her advice is absolutely consistent with SPD and the 911 call center’s.

  • Eliza March 11, 2011 (1:49 pm)

    jjjjj, I think you are smart enough to know that if you hear two broken glass sounds at your neighbors house and you know they are not home… oh wait, maybe the kitten didn’t like their china pattern and was tossing dishes around the kitchen, I get what you are saying, no need to be alarmed.

  • Shannon March 11, 2011 (2:26 pm)

    I made the decision last Sunday to call 911 when I was outside cleaning my car when I saw a kid riding a bike just jump off and drop it in the middle of the street and walk away. I knew that wasn’t normal, and he blocked a one lane bridge at that. I confronted him first about it. I called and let them know it was not an emergency. I was second guessing myself later about having made the call, but when the officers arrived, they didn’t seem to think my community “activism” was a waste of their time at all even though the call was labeled simply a found property call in the end. It’s better to be involved and vigilant than to hesitate and let hoodlums just walk away scott free in our neighborhoods, wether it be suspicion of burglary, bike theft, or just a punk kid blocking the road with an abandoned bike. There is at least a record of someone paying attention in the community.

  • maplesyrup March 11, 2011 (2:29 pm)

    jjjj- not to pile on here but suspicious neighbors are exactly how the cops caught an alleged murderer last month.

    Please, neighbors, don’t be shy about calling.

  • jjjj March 11, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    LOL. Some of you are completely missing the point. There is a difference between the slightest suspicions and suspicions. 911 does not want calls from people with the slightest suspicions. You know then the type of moronic calls they would be getting.

    “This is EXACTLY the type of 911 call the police want to get. “Hello, 911, I just heard pounding and breaking glass from my neighbor’s house. They are not home during the day. I think there may be a burglary in progress.”

    Your putting words into my post. First off her neighbor only heard breaking glass, and its not clear as to whether the neighbor whether she was home.

    And again, we dont know if the neighbor knew she was home!!!! If the neighbor did and heard pounding too, then that along with hearing breaking glass, would be suspicious.

    “You can tie things down, add locks, whatever, and if someone wants your stuff bad enough, they’ll get it…I feel lucky you’re not my neighbor.”

    LOL so what are you implying? The heck with it? Leave your house with a sign saying im not here and there is nothing here preventing you from stealing my stuff, easy steals here theif. HA Ofcourse if someone wants your stuff bad enough theyll get it. People kill for stuff! But better to be safe than sorry right? Or are you the type of person who avoids easily preventable situations? LOL, sounds like it.

    And personal attacks? Geesh. I am a good neighbor :) What would i have done in that situation? Go through some sort of check list. Breaking glass..check
    Pounding? Is she home? Has there been any construction there? Can i see anyone there. Unrecognizable cars out front? Give a howdy shout out the window? Lol Were on the west seattle blog. U live in west seattle, right? We are essentially neighbors. Perhaps we live on the same block lol.

    Grouchy-Security mounts on a tv are what they are. Something locking your tv down. Yes, of course they are and like any security system are capable of being removed or overcome, but they do make thieves think twice.

    “I think you are smart enough to know that if you hear two broken glass sounds at your neighbors house and you know they are not home… oh wait, maybe the kitten didn’t like their china pattern and was tossing dishes around the kitchen, I get what you are saying, no need to be alarmed.”

    Where do you get 2 broken sounds. You are jumping to conclusions. Yes, Julia stated there were two different break in attempt locations. BUT HER NEIGHBOR MAY HAVE ONLY HEARD THE SLIGHTEST BREAKING GLASS SOUND AND WE DONT KNOW IF THE NEIGHBOR KNEW WHETHER SHE WAS HOME OR NOT. WE DONT KNOW. THEY MAY NOT EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER. HER NIEGHBOR MAY BE AN AHOLE OR THE COOLEST PERSON ON EARTH, BUT THATS NOT THE POINT. Are you implying that a kitten can muster enough strength to toss dishes around and be heard by a neighbor? :)

    In my first post i never implied anything about the neighbor. Why because i said “they do not need to be running around at the whim of the slightest suspicion from someone” This wasnt targeted at Julia’s neighbor, but rather people in general.

    “My point was to reiterate the silliness of calling the police with the slightest suspicion. Again, there is a difference between slightest suspicions and suspicions. Use your intelligence, not your paranoid delusions. AND YES I HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF or as some of you say it “violated.” Its horrible and in my cases more often than not was easily avoidable, which makes it even more frustrating. :( And yes ofcourse i feel different from it (George, whatever thats supposed to mean). Its still not going to change my opinion of someones advice to call the police at the SLIGHTEST suspicion as being horrible. Apparently your opinion is opposite. We should be good neighbors to each other though ;)

  • kathy March 11, 2011 (3:06 pm)

    I purchased a security system from an ADT salesman that went through my neighborhood last year. Got a breaking glass sensor, in addition to alarms on all doors. Of the four houses immediately beside me, 3 of us have the home security signs out front. The house without the sign was the one broken into a month or two ago. I highly recommend getting an alarm system. It may not totally protect from a home break-in, but I think it’s got to be a big deterrent.

  • marty March 11, 2011 (3:48 pm)

  • george March 11, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    Sorry jjjjjj, your rant is way off base for most people. I’ll leave it to the police’s advice, not yours. Your oppinion of “horrible advice” did not miss my mark, or the “moronic call” idea. Let’s ask the pros, shall we?

  • careful March 11, 2011 (4:31 pm)


    Are you smart enough to know the difference between “your” and “you’re”? When you are then you can tell me when I should or shouldn’t call 911. Until then they can tell me if I have made a silly, unneeded, time-wasting call.

    p.s. One word is a possessive and the other is a contraction involving a pronoun and a verb.

  • Julia March 11, 2011 (4:41 pm)

    Thanks everybody for the kind words. It is really scary to be robbed so it is nice to hear all the supportive condolences of neighbors. The cop was the one who told me he wished my neighbors would have called sooner when they heard breaking glass so I was paraphrasing his observations & advice. Maybe the term “slightest suspicion” was a bit hyperbolic, but as many people have pointed out: the cops want you to call so they, as professionals, can discern the severity of the situation. I have to say I have super fantastic neighbors who ARE looking out as they eventually did call the police because they did see a suspicious scene.

  • itsme March 11, 2011 (4:47 pm)

    Well, if our neighbors had bothered to look out the window and call 911 after they heard a thumping sound on their deck, then we might have been spared the burglary at our house. They heard sounds on their deck in the middle of the night and did nothing. If they had looked out their window, they may have seen people taking stuff out of our house.

    As for the police, I’m curious if any of these burglaries are getting investigated. Ours was put in the “inactive” file a week after — despite finerprints and a very lengthy police report with details and pictures. I’m very frustrated with our local police even though their initial response seems good. But, how much follow-up happens and how many have been caught?

  • kbrow March 11, 2011 (5:32 pm)

    I think it’s a good idea to encourage people to be proactive, especially because many of us instinctively resort to being a mere bystanders or explaining away suspicious activity. I saw something out of place the other day and did not make a call because I thought, “it’s probably nothing, and I don’t want to call and feel silly or feel like I’m wasting someone’s time.” It would not have hurt for me to make a call. I appreciate the reminders to be a proactive and observant community member.

    I think people are often hesitant because they don’t want to meddle, or overstep bounds, or they think someone else is taking action. I am thankful to live in a conscientious community with members who strive to look out for one another.

  • s March 11, 2011 (5:59 pm)

    Jjjj: I think you’re splitting hairs here. Everyone else on this post understands what Julia meant. It was good advice.

  • Westie March 11, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    I want all the potential burgalers to know that I cruise through my local alleys on the way to and from my house when I go out. I look to see if there’s anything funny going on. It’s a lot easier to put a little extra effort to look out for your neighbors then to have to deal with all the bullsh*t when your stuff gets stolen.
    Jjjjjj: you have issues.

  • Westie March 11, 2011 (7:02 pm)

    Julia, your kitten sounds cute, but you should consider getting a cute doggie to hang with the kitty. Anyone messes with us or our neighbors and these dogs of mine are gonna sound the alarm. Oh and jjjjj, watch out cause my dogs can dial 911 too!

  • Jo March 11, 2011 (9:42 pm)

    3/10 another afternoon break in within a block of 48th & Graham. Between 1:15 and 4 pm Thurs. Broke top glass of back window with rock to unlock bottom and gain entry. Screen removed, but we must have scared them off when we came home. This really appears to be a pattern in our neighborhood. Around 6:30 pm I observed a tallish fairly lean man in a grey North Face jacket with a black yoke, and a dark knit stocking cap walking past my house down the hill. It was odd when I saw him walk past my house again less than 20 minutes later and again turn my corner. Police have incedent report

  • Neighborly March 12, 2011 (1:02 am)

    Maybe we should have less stuff, and then we won’t have to be so protective of it all.

  • redblack March 12, 2011 (2:13 pm)

    thieves rely on people not responding to “slightest suspicions.” they usually figure that if they make one loud sound to gain entry, people will think “what was that?” for about 5 seconds; if the sound doesn’t recur, most people will go on about their business.
    if you hear an unusual sound from nearby, go to the window and check it out. there may or may not be something untoward going on, but it’s better to be vigilant than to be victimized – or to allow your neighbors to be victimized by your inaction.
    being aware of what’s going on on your block is not succumbing to hysteria or paranoia, and the cops want you to be aware and report your suspicions. after all, you probably know your neighborhood better than they do.

  • Norman March 16, 2011 (10:50 pm)

    And there lies the key. These days a person has to look over their shoulder.They have to be aware of what can happen and what might happen,In desperate times people do desperate things just to survive.We as a people need to watch each others backs.

  • Buck March 23, 2011 (4:51 pm)

    EXACT SAME THING 3/23/11 10:30AM
    5200 block of 42nd SW

    Black male, ‘nicely dressed’ in black, with PINK BACKPACK.

    Attempted break-in through window. Thwarted by alert neighbors, thank you!!!


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