Bellevue and Redmond (home of Microsoft) are sometimes called “boomburbs:” suburbs of Seattle that feel more like extensions of the city. And Bellevue has really experienced significant expansion – but that population growth has brought a recent increase in home intrusions that have police on the defensive. In fact, a report on early 2011 crime statistics shows that burglaries are up. Way up.
Bellevue City Council member Grant Degginger knew there was a problem when two members of his wife’s book club were victims of burglars. “It’s troubling to hear we have a spike in burglaries because we have had a safe city,” said Degginger. So Degginger asked the police department to look into it. Detectives found burglary rates had more than doubled in the first three months of the year.
The Hard Facts
According to the Bellevue Police Department, 108 burglaries occurred in the first three months of 2011 while property crimes actually dropped by more than 4% in 2010. According to detectives, the majority of the burglaries occurred in the Lakemont or Lake Hills area of Bellevue.
I’ve seen this kind of pattern in other cities: a slight decrease last year, followed by an increase this year. It seems the forces behind property crime are gaining ground. The nation’s ongoing economic woes, increased drug use and dependency, and reduced police manpower have all contributed to this trend.
“I was mad,” said 9 year-old Carlos Herrera Enrique after thieves broke into his family’s home and stole his beloved xBox and games. Along with the games, the burglars stole family jewelry and a cell phone. “I instantly panicked,” said 19 year-old University of Washington student Charlotte Anthony after thieves broke into her family’s Bellevue home during the middle of the day. “I said ‘Oh no, my laptop.’ I instantly knew it was probably gone,” said Anthony. Anthony had her laptop with all her college papers and pictures on it.
Police React, Too
Detectives have been busy tracking down the criminals. Already 16 people have been arrested, and 10 more persons-of-interest have been identified. 27 burglaries have been solved. Detectives have increased patrols, are using Automatic License Plate Readers and highly trained Crime Scene Investigators to crack down on crime. Council member Degginger says, “The police department is putting additional resources to this including adding marked patrols and unmarked patrols.”
Ah – license plate reading technology. I posted earlier this month on a town in NY (the other side of the country) using these readers to clamp down on crime. And here are three more posts that readers here appreciate:
Of course, the best deterrent is a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring and smarter interactive features. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s what we do, and we do it very well. Safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat: from California to Texas to Florida to Bellevue, Washington, in thousands of cities and towns all across the US and Canada, FrontPoint is on the job.