Tag Archives: July 4th

4th of July, Bike thefts, etc.

We recently received the following letter from Terrie Johnston with sage advice on fireworks, calling 911 on the 4th, and bicycle thefts. Terrie is the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the North Precinct. She is available to help set up block watches, perform residential and business security audits. Contact her for assistance: 206-684-7711 or terrie.johnston@seattle.gov — her position is only funded through December 31st, so act now!

Dear Block Watch Captains/Contacts: Fireworks:  Wanted to get this information to you before the 4th.  Please remember that fireworks are not legal in the City of Seattle.  The 4th of July is perhaps the busiest day of the year for our 9-1-1 Communications Center.  The Comm. Ctr. becomes overloaded by non-emergency fireworks calls.  So only for July 4th , DO NOT call 9-1-1 unless you have life threatening emergency and need immediate response from Police, Fire or Medics.  You may use our non-emergency line to report Firework violations at 625-5011.

Bicycle Thefts: Since January, 2011 through first week of June, 2011 there have been 97 bikes stolen from the North Precinct neighborhoods.  Our Burglary detectives see stolen bikes being sold within hours of the theft on e-bay; Craigslist; in pawn shops and even on the street (one thief was selling stolen bikes on the Burke Gilman Trail).  The reported dollar loss for these thefts is approximately $80,000.  What can you do to prevent losing your bike and increase the likelihood of getting it back should it be stolen?

SPD Detectives recommend writing down the serial number of your bike and keeping the number in a safe place.  Look for the ser. number on your bike’s head tube, seat post tube, under the crank, or on the frame’s rear wheel mount.  Take a photograph of your bicycle.  If your bike is stolen, call SPD to report the crime and give the call taker that serial number and any other identifying marks for your bicycle.  Try to get a police incident number that you can use for your insurance claim.

Always lock your bike, the whole bike (through the frame and both wheels).  Use more than one kind of lock if possible.  Our detectives report bolt cutters are used to cut through the locking devices.  Not all locks are equal, and you get what you pay for with locks.  If the lock’s manufacturer offers a warranty or insurance, register the lock and get the serial number of it.

Lock your bike to something permanent.  Lock it in a visible spot and someplace nearby.  Lock your bike even if you are parking it on a porch; in the basement, the garage or storage unit.  Storing your bike inside is preferred.

As always, use 9-1-1 to report anything suspicious.

If you want to see crime go down in your neighborhood, don’t buy stolen goods.  If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I’ve sent out statistics on burglaries and bike thefts in my last two emails.  The numbers seem high.  Remember that the North Precinct comprises 42% of Seattle’s population.  If the North Precinct neighborhood was a City, it would be the second largest City in the State of Washington.  Tacoma and Spokane do not have the population we have here in the North Precinct.  Thanks for sharing this information with your neighbors.

Terrie Johnston
Seattle Police Crime Prevention