UPDATE: Package thief identified, SPD seeks help in finding her
As a follow up to Wednesday’s story about the package thief caught on video, the suspect’s identity has been released by the Seattle Police Department – and SPD is asking residents to call 911 if you see her.
Per SPD, here is the suspect’s information:
Melissa D. Gonzales
39 year old white female
Brown hair, blue eyes
If you see this woman around Queen Anne, call 911. Here’s the full surveillance video footage captured by the reader’s security camera – it’s a Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I Outdoor HD 3MP IP Bullet Security Camera 4mm, available at Amazon.
Queen Anne package thief identified thanks to reader video
A couple of days ago, we got an email from a reader who was the victim of package theft. It’s not the only report we’ve received in the past few weeks, but this particular one ends on a positive note.
The package theft occurred near 4th Ave W and W Howe St – but the video surveillance footage taken by the reader’s security camera was so clear, SPD was able to make a positive ID of the suspect, and they’re moving ahead with prosecution.
The suspect has a criminal record, and may have hit other Queen Anne homes. Granted, she’s likely not the only one out looking for easy pickings, so if you have a camera system, make sure it’s aimed properly as SPD can use it to identify suspects with criminal records. Check out the photo to the right – it’s taken from the video and is crystal clear.
The reader called the SPD non-emergency number (206-625-5011) and told them she had video footage. Reporting crimes online is easy – and definitely report all crimes big and small – but if you have video, call SPD. An officer can respond and use the footage to help identify the subject.
UPDATE: readers have been asking what camera the reader has – it’s a Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I Outdoor HD 3MP IP Bullet Security Camera 4mm, available at Amazon.
Items taken in Queen Anne burglaries found in Burien
According to SPD, items stolen from homes on Queen Anne were among those found in a Burien house. SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force has been investigating a burglary ring that hit homes in Queen Anne, Magnolia, and North Seattle, netting the burglars “hundreds of items”. The investigation led SPD to Burien. A warrant was served this morning and two suspects were arrested.
If you were burglarized by this crime ring, some of your items might find their way home (if you reported the crime – the post below states that many of the items may be from un-reported burglaries).
Burglary Ring Investigation Leads Major Crimes Detectives to Burien Home Written byJonah Spangenthal-Lee on March 5, 2015 11:23 am
A cello taken in a Seattle break-in was just one of the hundreds of suspected stolen items found by Seattle police Thursday morning inside a Burien home.
SPD’s Major Crimes Task Force has been on the trail of a ring of burglars, suspected of targeting homes in North Seattle, Queen Anne and Magnolia. This morning, around 7 AM, SPD SWAT served a warrant at the home in the 12000 block of 1st Avenue S., where police found “a ton of stolen stuff,” according to Major Crimes Task Force Captain Eric Sano.
Police arrested two people inside the home for warrants, and are now investigating and sorting through evidence. Police believe some items found inside the homes may have been taken in unreported break-ins.
We’ll have more updates as the case develops.
Reminder: report all crimes to SPD, and call 911 if you see suspicious behavior or a crime in progress.
Car prowl prevention tips from SPD
Car prowls continue to top Queen Anne (and Seattle) crime stats. We get reports of car prowls on a regular basis that range from a prowler rummaging through a car to broken windows. For the latter, remember to remove all items from your vehicle, even bags or boxes that have nothing of value in them. Prowlers can’t tell what’s in them until they get into your car and check them out.
Because car prowls are so common, our Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator sent out a flyer with tips from SPD. Many are common sense, but if you’re new to the area, you may not realize just how everyday (or, rather, everynight) these incidents are in our neighborhood.
Check them out and remember to report car prowls to SPD. You can report crimes via the SPD Community Online Reporting Program (CORP) or by calling the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011.
If you see a crime in progress, call 911.
SPD seeking information on prolific burglar who targeted Queen Anne, Magnolia, and North Seattle
UPDATE: per a reader comment (see comments section) – a Magnolia resident spotted this suspect when he came to her home yesterday, Thursday, January 8th. She called SPD. Call 911 if you see him in the neighborhood.
Joshua Meadow-Mittenen is a “prolific burglar” who has been tied to multiple burglaries, including several recent Queen Anne burglaries and a Magnolia New Year’s Eve break-in. If you see him or have any information that could help SPD find him, call 911.
A prolific burglar is wanted by police after he fled from Major Crimes Detectives earlier today at the Northgate Mall.
Detectives believe Joshua Meadow-Mittenen, 24, is connected to several recent burglaries in North Seattle and Queen Anne, as well as a New Year’s Eve break-in Magnolia.
Police attempted to arrest Meadow-Mittenen outside Northgate Mall today around 1 PM after receiving information he had planned to meet there with a criminal associate.
Officers spotted Meadow-Mittenen driving a white Dodge Charger through the mall’s parking lot, but he sped away when police tried to take him into custody.
Meadow-Mittenen is 6’0, 185 lbs with green eyes and brown hair. Detectives believe Meadow-Mittenen is driving a black Chrysler 200 bearing Washington license plate APH7751, or a white 2013 Dodge Charger with Washington plate AJG1332.
If you have any information which could lead detectives to Meadow-Mittenen, please contact police at (206) 786-2746 or 911.
Woman fights off attacker Friday night near Queen Anne Ave N & Aloha
We received a reader tip about a woman who was attacked at 6pm this past Friday, December 5th. The SPD report hit the map with the time (6pm) and location (Aloha & Queen Anne Ave N) of the incident.
For those not aware, many SPD reports are often brief and cover only the basics on the crime. The reports with narratives are more insightful as they provide details on what happened and any witness accounts.
In lieu of a narrative from SPD, here’s the account from the victim’s neighbor:
“My neighbor was heading from our shared parking lot to our shared downstairs laundry area (accessible from the backside of our complex), and a man came up from the bushes behind her (accessible from Aloha and between Queen Anne Ave N & 1st Ave W), put his arms around her head and waist. She fought her way free, and he held his finger up to his mouth in a “shh” gesture.
She started yelling at him, and chased him across Queen Anne Ave N and Aloha, where he ran into a wooden-fenced garbage disposal area. The victim called police, and they found the man hiding in the garbage collection area.
He was arrested after being positively identified by the witness, and assault charges are pending.”
A few things of note: the assault occurred at 6pm (it may be dark at 6pm, but it’s not late at night, the victim was able to fight her attacker off and reported it right away, and the attacker was caught and arrested by SPD. Stay aware of your surroundings and call 911 if your see suspicious activity or a crime in progress.
Tips from SPD on staying safe and keeping Queen Anne crime stats low this holiday season
We’ve had several readers report that they’ve had packages either stolen or tampered with in the past few weeks. Sadly, the holiday season is not all cheer. It’s also a prime time for thieves.
Our West Precinct SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator, Terri Johnston, sent us the tips below on keeping your home safe from burglars and packages safe from theft. If you’re interested in setting up a Block Watch for your neighbors, see SPD’s Block Watch site, it explains what it entails and how to get one up and running:
Locks: Please use the locks/ latches you have. Many of the burglaries that occurred this past month were made through unlocked windows. Some had screens that the burglar simply removed to then gain entry. Even if you are going to be gone just a short time, lock up!
Exterior doors should be secured with a dead-bolt lock with at least a 1”throw. The doors should be strong enough to withstand excessive force. The door’s hardware such as strike plates and frames need to be anchored to the homes main construction. We recommend a wide-angle peephole on the main entrance door.
Windows: Sliding doors/windows can be fortified with a snug-fitting dowel placed in the lower track. Ensure windows are closed and locked prior to leaving home? If your valuables are visible from the sidewalk, consider closing the blinds when you are away.
Shrubbery: Burglars love secluded backyards. Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed to allow for greatest visibility. Consider motion-sensitive lighting for side and rear areas of your home.
Door Answering: Since many burglars knock on doors to ascertain whether anyone’s home, it is imperative you always answer the door. By this I MEAN, talk through the door, don’t open it!
Home alone? Bluff! Yell out, “Honey, I’ll get it!” or whatever words you can use that might indicate there are others in the house. Then, by talking through the door, you can say you’re on a conference call; you are contagious; or your pet snakes are out of their tanks, etc. Model this for your kids. They may be home alone and find themselves in this situation. It is not rude to talk through the door and it may save yourself a face-to-face encounter with a burglar.
Mail Theft: Already the reports of stolen packages from porches and multi-family dwellings are being made. I researched alternatives to home delivery of my packages and found there are many ways to minimize this popular crime. It is possible to track delivery of your pkg. which may allow being home then. Can you arrange for the package to be sent to another location, such as a FedEx office or perhaps your workplace? Could you tip off a trusted neighbor to sign for you, should a package come when you are away? Talk to your neighbors and see if they’d be willing to store the package inside their home until you get back or instruct them to place it unseen on the side or back.
9-1-1: Cannot stress enough the importance of reporting all suspicious activity to 9-1-1. It’s okay if what you are reporting turns out to be nothing. You don’t know what is prevented by getting the patrol car into the neighborhood. 9-1-1 is not just for emergencies, it is for all police reporting and that includes suspicious activity. This is how many of our burglars and car prowlers are caught.
Block Watch: Did you know that statistics show one is more likely to call 9-1-1 to help a neighbor out, if they know that neighbor’s name? Even though Block Watch was created to help reduce burglaries, knowing your neighbors and agreeing to watch out for them just makes sense. Natural emergencies, power outages, landslides, etc. are additional reasons we need to stay together as a neighborhood. We may have to wait for first responders to get to our ‘neck of the woods’ and our neighbors may be our salvation.
Inventory Lists: itemizing your valuables and noting serial numbers; model and/or photos of jewelry, art, bikes, etc. is helpful to follow-up detectives. Stolen property is often recovered without a chance of returning to the rightful owner.
Stay safe, call 911 if you see suspicious activity or to report a crime in progress, and report all crimes both big and small. For crimes such as car prowls and property theft under $500, you can report them via the SPD Online Reporting tool. Watch out for your neighbors and let us know if a crime occurs that the neighborhood needs to know about!
Video from Q13 includes interview with victim of Tuesday’s gunpoint robbery
The victim of Tuesday’s night’s robbery on Queen Anne spoke with Q13 News last night. The man is not a Queen Anne resident, and it’s sad and frustrating that his introduction to our neighborhood was a scary one. (The suspect is still at large, so please contact SPD if you recognize the man in the photo to the right or have any info to share.)
He exited the bus on 6th Ave W and being unfamiliar with the neigbhorhood, he tried to make his way to a main road. He cites the dark streets as adding to the confusion and we do certainly have some streets that are very poorly lit. It gets dark around 4:30pm now, and not all streets are well-lit, even ones we think of as “safe” neighborhood streets.
He talks about the incident and offers advice based on his experience. For example, he didn’t get the license plate of the red vehicle that was likely driven by the robber’s accomplice – but, in the heat of the moment, many of us might do the same.
Here’s the coverge from Q13’s broadcast:
Here are tips from SPD to keep in mind as we continue to see crime increase on Queen Anne – be sure to call 911 if you see something suspicious or are a victim of a crime, and take note of this information if possible:
Good description of the person – race, gender, height, weight, age, clothing
Location – street name, number or hundred block, or address
Direction of travel
Identifying features and/or items: e.g. are they carrying a backpack? If so, what color is it?
Description of car and license plate number, if applicable
If you see something that is suspicious or are a victim of a crime, call 911 or the non-emergency number (206.625.5011). Here are some tips from the officers, to give you their perspective:
SPD officers gravitate to hot spots of activity – for example, repeated reports about suspicious activity at a park raises SPD’s awareness. A particular location can become a hot spot for proactive patrols.
Response time – with the limited number of SPD officers, you may not get instant gratification from a call for something like suspicious activity – but if you call for every incident, the tracking data will show there’s an ongoing issue, and SPD can target it proactively
Call a lot – to echo point #2, don’t stop calling just because the first call didn’t yield results. Tracking data is key, and calling repeatedly on criminal or suspicious activity does not make you a nuisance. Calls feed into the tracking database, which is key for identifying trends or hot-spots
When to call – the officers emphasized that residents need to call for both large and small issues. Don’t let smaller crimes go unreported: Did your car get broken into but nothing taken? Report it. Did a strange person walk through your backyard? Report it.
Man robbed at gunpoint on Queen Anne Tuesday evening
UPDATE: the iPad stolen by the still at-large suspect has been recovered. According to SPD, “A good Samaritan contacted North Precinct officers about an iPad they found in the street in… Ballard today. Officers discovered it was the victim’s stolen iPad and have returned it to its rightful owner.”
SPD is still looking for the person pictured below. If you have any information about this crime please call detectives at (206)684-5535.
We were first tipped to a robbery at gunpoint last night when a Tweets-by-Beat came in for 4th Ave W and Crockett St, and had several people email us to ask about the incident – which took place around 7pm Tuesday night:
Today, we have more information to share via SPD’s blotter. According to SPD, a black male in his late teens, robbed a man who’d just exited a Metro bus, and was walking east (presumably on Crockett). A photo of a potential suspect is included below (he used the victim’s credit card in Ballard), if you have any information, contact SPD at (206) 684-5535.
NOTE: write-up below is from SPD, incident took place at 4th W and Crockett – the man had walked east from the bus stop, which would be on 6th Ave W.
Detectives are searching for at least one person after a robbery at gun-point in Queen Anne overnight.
The victim had just gotten off a bus at 4th Ave West and West Crockett St and was walking eastbound just after 7 PM Tuesday. The suspect, a black male in his late teens, pulled out a handgun and demanded the victim’s wallet and iPad. The suspect walked away westbound after taking the belongings. As the victim stood there a red sedan pulled up and the driver asked about the robbery and the direction of the suspect. The driver then pulled away and was not seen again.
The victim called 911 and assisted them in tracking the iPad to north Seattle. Officers were unable to find the suspect, electronics or red sedan after an extensive search.
Officers have recovered photos of a possible suspect using the victim’s credit card to purchase items at a Ballard drug store. If you are able to identify the person or have any information of this case please call robbery detectives directly at (206) 684-5535.
Washington is now #1 in property crime
We probably could have guessed this statistic, but now we have data from the FBI that proves it. Washington leads the nation in property crime.
“Property crime elsewhere in the country dropped, but new FBI crime statistics show that Washington leapt from third in 2012 to first in 2013 thanks in part to a 6 percent jump in car thefts. The trend demands changes on the ground and in state sentencing policy.”
You can read the full article here. If you experience property crime of any time, be sure to report it to SPD. For many crimes such as car prowls and thefts of items valued below $500, you can report them online.
As a victim of property crime overnight last night, I can attest that the online reporting tool isn’t the most user-friendly – but persevere so our Queen Anne stats can hit the database… even if there’s not much being done about them (yet?).