This came into the inbox Friday night from a longtime WSB’er who prefers to be unidentified:
After dark tonight a young woman knocked on our door near 45th & Edmunds [map] to offer new windows and energy efficiency survey. She was polite and left when we declined. Within an hour we found a gang ‘drop box’ on our corner. While assuming the two activities are unrelated it makes me
uneasy and we will be more than usually vigilant tonight.
We hadn’t heard about “gang drop boxes,” so asked a followup:
Seems gangs ‘drop’ a cardboard box where they want to mark territory or schedule some event. Because it’s just a cardboard box most of us would ignore it. Our corner box was heavy cardboard 8x8x3ft. A gang name was painted on it. We don’t know if there is an event code on it because we don’t know about this stuff. The box would have been dropped between 6:00 and 8:00 tonight. The original shipping label was to an individual on Queen Anne.
A family member with law-enforcement ties is the one who spotted it, our e-mail correspondent explained, adding that the family member subsequently spoke with a police officer who offered this additional information: “… that the boxes (or spray paint on garages, etc.) act like a GPS system for the gangs. He said for us not to worry because the paint color on this box would say ‘keep going’ as an arrow would.” We can’t find any evidence of this phenomenon on Google, but maybe it’s known by another name – we’ll make a note to follow up with police next week to find out if this is something new and if there’s something you should do if you spot one. (Or maybe YOU have expertise to share?)