Police Blotter: Arson in Crown Hill; hit and run incident in Ballard; several burglaries; police investigate reports of squatting
By Cassandra Baker, Intern
7:45 a.m. on May 24th. NW 85th St and Mary Ave NW
Police are searching for an arsonist who set a fire that damaged an apartment building in the Crown Hill neighborhood on the morning of May 24th. The fire was set at around 7:45 a.m. in the carport, and several people were able to put it out with garden hoses. The fire burned the walls of the building and a nearby parked car, but no one was injured.
10:52 p.m. on May 19th. 3rd block of NW 82nd St
Police responded to reports of a residential burglary on the night of May 19th. The victims said that the break-in occurred between 10:00 a.m. and 10:45 p.m. The suspect forced open a window in the back of the house and went through various drawers and cabinets inside. Several pieces of jewelry were taken, including an engagement ring. The suspect left the residence through the back door. The responding officer believed the suspect wore gloves. The house had a security system, but the alarm was not on at the time of the burglary.
9:00 p.m. on May 19th. 9th block of NW 45th St
Police responded to reports of a hit and run incident near the Ballard Fred Meyer on the night of May 19th. The victim said that at about 8:30 p.m. he was driving behind the suspect. He said that the suspect slowed down and pulled over, so he passed the suspect’s vehicle. Then the suspect began to follow the victim, and the victim said the suspect continually sped up to get close to his vehicle and then slowed down again. Eventually the victim stopped and gestured at the suspect to figure out what was wrong. He told the responding officer that the suspect then drove his vehicle into the back of the victim’s vehicle and drove off.
The victim then began to follow the suspect and took pictures and video of the suspect’s vehicle with his phone. When the suspect pulled into the parking lot, the victim parked near him and asked him about the incident. The victim told police that the suspect just walked away and said he didn’t know what the victim was talking about.
The responding officer asked the suspect what had happened that night, and the suspect said he didn’t know what the officer was talking about. He said that he hadn’t been driving that night, and he didn’t change his story when the officer told him about the pictures and video.
The trunk of the victim’s car was damaged, and the suspect’s vehicle had fresh marks on the front bumper, consistent with the damage on the victim’s car. The suspect was arrested and taken to the North Precinct.
12:09 p.m. on May 17th. 97th block of Greenwood Ave N
Police responded to reports of forced entry and squatting at an apartment building along Greenwood Ave N. The building was boarded up in preparation for remodeling, but the complainant told police that several of the boarded up doors had been pried open. The interior of the building was severely damaged, and some of the damage appeared to be recent. Police did not find anyone at the apartment but believed the squatters would return at night. The complainant said that the problem was ongoing.
3:08 p.m. on May 15th. 30th block of NW Market St
A woman called police to report a burglary at a nonresidential building in Ballard. She said the burglary occurred sometime after 3:00 p.m. on May 14th. The suspect entered the building’s storage room through an unlocked door and stole a drill, and then may have taken more items from a storage locker. The suspect later dropped the drill on the lawn outside the building. There was no damage to the building, and no fingerprints were found at the scene.
5:47 p.m. on May 14th. 87th block of 3rd Ave NW
A woman called police to report that her home had been broken into. The suspect pried open the metal front door and also ripped the deadbolt from the door. The back basement door of the house was found open, and a chain link fence had been pushed down. The suspect rummaged through drawers and cabinets and left them open, but only appeared to have taken a large number of fountain pens.
5:00 p.m. on May 14th. 41st block of 1st Ave NW
A man called police after several items, including a shotgun, were stolen from his home. The victim said that a friend was house-sitting for him on the night of May 14th. He asked the friend to leave the house by 10:00 that night, when he expected to be home, but he ended up not returning home until 5:00 p.m. the following day. The victim’s girlfriend arrived at the house before he did, and she was unable to find her iPad. The friend said that it had been on the coffee table when he left the house. The victim said that a guitar and a Browning shotgun, which was a valuable family heirloom, had also been taken. The victim believed the suspect entered the house through an unlocked basement door. He did not believe his friend was involved and thought the burglary had occurred after his friend left the house.