Tag Archives: police

Personal Safety Warning from Seattle Police Department

Received today from Terrie Johnston at Seattle Police Dept:

Dear Block Captains/Contacts:

We wanted to notify you that there have been three separate sexually-motivated attacks on women across the North Precinct. The descriptions of the suspect vary, as does neighborhood, time of day and day of the week. The common threads have been that the women were either walking or running by themselves, and were approached by an unknown male. Two of the incidents occurred next to wooded areas. SPD Patrol officers and Detectives are doing all they can to identify and apprehend the suspect(s). I will keep you informed of our progress. In the meantime, please review these personal safety tips:

  • Awareness and avoidance: Keep alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Do you know your location? Do you know the street names, hundred block? East, South, West, North? Could you tell the 9-1-1 call taker to where they need to dispatch responders?
  • Trust your instincts! If you have an uncomfortable feeling-honor it! Leave, cross the street, double-back. Forget “being nice”. If you feel uncomfortable, move! Don’t hesitate to make a scene or scream if necessary.
  • Try to get good descriptions of anyone acting suspiciously or threatening. Start from the head and work down. Most likely you know your height, so use this to gauge theirs.
  • Try and stay on streets where you can be easily seen by others. Well-lighted streets are best.
  • If traveling alone, take a charged up cell phone with you if possible. Know what is available to you along your route. What time does that store open or close? Does that apt.bldg. have a security guard? Is there a payphone?
  • Ipod earphones, etc. may prevent you from hearing someone approaching. As does texting while you are walking, waiting for the bus, etc. You need to be aware when out if public spaces.
  • Traveling with another person, is tried and true in reducing street crime. Going with two others reduces the risk even more.
  • Carrying a minimum amount of possessions is advised when out and about. It isn’t necessary to carry all your credit cards, check book, cash, and so on, every time you go out. Take what you need for this trip. Keep valuables close to the body, in inside pockets. This frees up your hands and does not invite pickpocketing.
  • Body Language: Stand tall, walk confidently with your head up, eyes open and constantly scanning the surroundings.
  • Try not to show fear. Keep a neutral face that shows you are “in charge”.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the street. Shoes that are comfortable and allow you to run if necessary. Choose clothing that allows you to move, and does not block your vision.

And as always, please call 9-1-1 for anything suspicious or to report a crime in progress.

Do not hesitate to call me at the North Precinct if you need more. Also, please check our website for more info.http://www.seattle.gov/police
Thanks for sharing this information with others on your distribution list.

Terrie Johnston
Seattle Police Crime Prevention

Burglaries, Car Prowls, Vicinity of 13th and 95th

Update July 21st:

A family in the 12XX block of NW 95th St reports their house was also entered the night of the 17th-18th. The woman heard noises in the kitchen and when investigating found a medium height person in a white tee shirt there. She screamed and the intruder left, leaving behind a dark sweatshirt. Police responded, but as yet no report shows up for the incident.

Update July 20th:

The July 17th 10:30 PM incident and the July 18th 3 AM incident now have substantial narratives in the online police reports (click on the links below to retrieve the amended reports).  From those reports, it is clear the incident reported on the MyBallard forum is the July 18 3 AM incident, and the nearby incident was actually near 110th and Phinney. Also the stolen vehicle from that incident was recovered. The July 18th 3 AM incident was classed as a forced entry because a window screen was removed to enter the house. All three incidents involved minimal or no force to enter, and the residences burglarized were occupied at the time.

A number of burglaries have occurred since July 16th in the vicinity of 13th Ave NW and NW 95th Street. Some of the information presented here is preliminary — police report narratives were not yet available, and some of the information is second hand.

We have confirmed three incidents and there may have been a fourth (to see the police reports, you will need to register):

  • Jul 16 2011, 3 PM, reported Jul 18 2011 THEFT-CARPROWL 12XX BLOCK OF NW 95TH ST (Police Report)
  • Jul 17 2011, 10:30 PM, reported Jul 18 2011 BURGLARY-NOFORCE-RES  92XX BLOCK OF 13TH AVE NW (Police Report)
  • Jul 18 2011, 3 AM, reported Jul 18 2011 BURGLARY-FORCE-RES, VEH-THEFT-AUTO 92XX BLOCK OF 13TH AVE NW (Police Report)

There was also a report in the forum at MyBallard.com which may correspond to the third one above. There is an inconsistency in that the police report indicates a forced entry, but the forum posting indicates entry through an open window. The poster also indicates “The police said that there was another house about 3 blocks away that was robbed shortly before ours.” I haven’t found evidence on the police reports website of that event yet.  The MyBallard forum posting has a great last line:  “… and one ‘amazing’ guard dog is now for sale. ”

A few tips:

  • Lock doors and windows when asleep
  • Report ALL suspicious activity on 911 while the activity is happening. When in doubt whether an activity or person is suspicious, report it. The 911 operators will triage the calls. Also it is a good idea to leave your phone number and address, and ask for the responding officer to contact you.
  • If dialing 911 from a cell phone, be VERY clear of your exact location.
  • Get to know your neighbors front, back, to the sides and diagonally as well. That way you can also alert them.
  • Longer term: consider setting up a block watch and having Terrie Johnston conduct a security audit of your home or business.
  • Sign up for and hold a Night Out Against Crime event on Tuesday August 2nd.

A similar or possibly related case occurred a few weeks ago and is reported here. Crown Hill Neighbors held a Crime and Public Safety Community Meeting on June 23rd and the wrapup includes contact information for and tips from Terrie Johnston (Community Crime Prevention Coordinator) and Scott McGlashan (Community Police Team Officer).

If you have more information about any of these events or related events to share, please feel free to email news@crownhillneighbors.org or reply in the comments below. If you reply in the comments, please do not specify the exact address.

Crime Prevention/Public Safety Meeting Wrap-up

On June 23rd, about 50 of us gathered for a community meeting about crime prevention and public safety in Crown Hill. The speakers were Community Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston and Officer Scott McGlashan, Community Police Team Officer for Ballard and Crown Hill.

Terrie Johnston & Scott McGlashan
Terrie Johnston & Scott McGlashan fielding questions in Crown Hill

Terrie briefly went over some of the recent history of  crimes in all of the Ballard (including  Crown Hill). Compared to last year, residential burglaries and car thefts were very slightly down over last year. She said looking at recent breakins, 45 percent were non-forced, meaning entry was gained through an unlocked door or window, or by key. Some residential burglaries were eased by tools already on site such as ladders or garbage cans propped up to reach an open window. Terrie mentioned a recent string of arrests where a number of  criminals suspected of many crimes in the North Seattle area were recently apprehended thanks to alert neighbors and excellent police work by SPD officers and detectives.  Terrie described some of the free services she can provide: 1) residential or business security survey; 2) help with setting up block watches; 3) providing information to neighbors about resolution of calls to police, and lots more.  She said that part of  having a block watch is getting to know your neighbors and that can have many benefits beyond just crime prevention.  Terrie mentioned two upcoming events sponsored by SPD: 1) the North Precinct Picnic on July 9th; and 2) Night Out Seattle on August 2nd. Finally, Terrie’s last day in her position as Crime Prevention Coordinator will be Dec 31st. Her position is being eliminated as part of the budget cuts sweeping through all levels of city government. So act now if you would like to have Terrie conduct a free security survey of  your home or business or help out with setting up a block watch on your block (terrie.johnston@seattle.gov or 206-684-7711).

Continue reading Crime Prevention/Public Safety Meeting Wrap-up

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