Time for checkup to prevent residential burglary and car theft
By Jennifer Danner
Seattle Police Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator
As we head into the fall months, there are a few important messages the SW Precinct would like to remind our community about. We would like to emphasize general property crime prevention (including residential burglary and auto theft/car prowl prevention), as well as pedestrian and traffic safety- specifically as it relates to school children.
When it comes to prevention techniques for residential burglary- there are several important things to remember. All exterior doors should be strong enough to withstand force and should be secured with a deadbolt lock that has a minimum one-inch throw. Try not to leave valuables (such as packages, electronics or cash) in plain sight through windows or doors. The main entrance door to a home/apartment should have a door wide-angle (180 degree) viewer/peephole. Make the home appear as if there is someone there by leaving lights, music and/or televisions on. Install motion sensor lights to be specifically directed and focused on entry points and vulnerable areas, use lights set to a timer or leave lights on. Secure and lock all windows and doors when leaving the premises- even if you plan to return within a short amount of time! Do not leave a spare key out. Secure and maintain yard, patios and outdoor spaces- making sure you trim back all concealing shrubbery. Engraving your items and keeping a household inventory list can be extremely helpful in investigations and it allows recovered items to be returned to you- the SW Precinct has engravers that community members can check-out to engrave their electronics and personal belongings with an identifying number such as your Driver’s License number. Be consistent, and always stay vigilant and observant to what is going on around you; remember to always call 9-1-1 immediately to report suspicious behavior and if you see something- say something!
Other than residential burglary, the SW Precinct is also seeing an increase in auto thefts. Here are a few important prevention techniques to keep in mind for auto theft-
-Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away, even for ‘just a minute’, please remember this is illegal in Seattle and in Washington (SMC 11.70.160, RCW 46.61.600)
-Remove remote garage door openers from vehicle
-Always lock doors and roll up windows, even if the car is parked in front of your home
-Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked
-If possible, park vehicle in a busy, locked, monitored and/or well-lit area
-Utilize anti-theft devices
-If possible, activate alarm
With children back is school, it is crucial to be reminded about general traffic and pedestrian safety as well! Pedestrians must be very mindful of how they are utilizing the street, sidewalks and crosswalks- children should be reminded to be extra cautious when walking to and from school. Motorists and cyclists must pay attention to traffic conditions and all pedestrians. The most important overall advice for any kind of pedestrian and traffic safety is PAY ATTENTION!! Drivers, please be aware that with school back in session, children will be walking to and from schools and transit stops. As autumn approaches- there will be less daylight; please pay extra attention, as children may be out early in the morning/late in the evening and may be more difficult to see.
Below you will find my contact information, including email address and phone numbers. Keep an eye out for my newsletter next month, which will again focus on a specific crime/safety issue and include important prevention techniques. Below you will also find upcoming event in the SW Precinct in the next month, as well as other resources- such as the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, the link for our online-reporting system and the link for how to ‘thank an SPD employee’.
Contact me with questions, concerns, to request my presence at a future meeting, to discuss Block Watch, to request a free safety/security assessment of your home or business and/or if you are interested in free firearm cable locks.
Email address: Jennifer.Danner@seattle.gov
Desk phone number: (206) 256-6820
Work cell phone number: (206) 471-2849
Upcoming events in SW Precinct-
- National Coffee with A Cop Day Event
- Wednesday October 3rd, 1pm- 2:30pm, Starbucks at Westwood Village (2600 SW Barton St)
- West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting
- Tuesday October 16th, 7pm- 8:30pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St)
- West Seattle Block Watch Captains Network meeting
- Tuesday October 23rd, 6:30pm- 8:30pm, SW Precinct (2300 SW Webster St)
- Alaska Junction Harvest Fest
- Sunday October 28th, 10am, Alaska Junction (SW Alaska St and California Ave SW)
- Seattle Police Department Non-Emergency Phone Number: (206) 625-5011
- Seattle Police Department’s Website: http://www.seattle.gov/police/
- Seattle Police Department’s Online Crime Reporting: https://www.seattle.gov/police/need-help/online-reporting
- Seattle Police Department’s ‘Thank An Employee’: https://www.seattle.gov/police/about-us/contact-us/thank-an-employee
- Contact information for other SPD Crime Prevention Coordinators:
- North Precinct- Mary Amberg- Mary.Amberg@seattle.gov
- East Precinct-
- West Precinct- Barb Biondo- Barbara.Biondo@seattle.gov
- South Precinct- Mark Solomon- Mark.Solomon@seattle.gov