Town of Beaux Arts Village
Notification to all villagers of a home burglary:
Several months ago, a village residence was burglarized, losing a lawnmower and generator- total value of around $2000-$3000; the rear door of the garage was open, which created an opportunity that was easily visible. The same indicators were in place in a previous instance which we've all come to recognize as our homes being "cased". The neighbor next-door noticed a man in the yellow safety vest at 6:30am in his backyard. When this neighbor asked the man for ID, he didn't have any, but he said he was working for the gas company.
Hindsight being 2020, itís most likely that the man in the backyard with the yellow vest was probably a thief working as part of a team casing their targets in advance. Incidentally, the neighbor who asked for his ID did the right thing. Anything more (like taking the man's photograph ) might've been considered combative, and this makes some people uneasy for their safety. Safety is number one. Personal safety cannot be replaced; stolen items, while valuable, are replaceable.
This is a typical scenario with burglaries, first casing our house posing to be solicitors, gas company employees, students or some other ruse that makes them "invisible" and accepted. Later, they show up, usually in a team of two with a vehicle around the corner, hit their target (which is your house), grab what they can and be gone in less than three minutes. Burglaries seem to happen mostly during the day, but in some very disturbing recent incidents, the burglars have come in while people are sleeping in their homes.
When somebody you don't know is in a suspicious place (like your backyard) at a suspicious time (like 6:30am) and cannot produce identification appropriate to their stated purpose (or even a driver's license), then itís a good time to call the police. When you call 911, rest assured that the 911 operators are trained to ask you certain questions so they can determine if your call is an emergency or is urgent. If it is not, they still need to send an officer out, though it may not be immediately.
Folks, this is what the police are for. Please use them. Protect our village. Look out for your neighbors. Lock your stuff up. Get cameras. Get an alarm service. Protect yourself and your neighbors.
Walter Scott, Village Marshal
Deputy Clerk Angela Kulp conversed with Deputy Bryan Hill of the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) during a regular patrol about suggestions to pass on to residents about things to do when they will be away that minimize the appearance that no one is home. Deputy Hill remarked Beaux Arts residents already do a good job of communicating and watching out for each other here and have been fortunate to avoid some of the increased property crime that is plaguing Enatai and other nearby areas. With practice and diligence, Villagers can help keep it that way! Deputy Hill reports that most of the property crime that law enforcement is seeing is related to drug users looking for cash and/or anything they can use or pawn for cash, which may include drugs, electronics, jewelry, guns, etc.
Town Marshal Scott has shared numerous tips with residents over the years, via emails, Town bulletin notices, etc. including:
Deputy Hill reiterated the importance of these tips and added the following to pass onto you, many of which will be repeated in the May bulletin.
Remember, aware citizens make the difference. You know your neighbors and often notice when something or someone seems out of place. Deputy Hill encourages all citizens to get to know their law enforcement and to contact them when you have a concern at one of these numbers:
You can also contact Beaux Arts Marshal Walter Scott or Deputy Marshal Scott Harpster with questions or concerns to share with Villagers and to pass onto KCSO.
Beaux Arts Village and the entire Enatai area have experienced a noticeable increase in the volume of mail theft in recent years. The latest instances have included locked mailboxes, which have been pried open with tools, and have occurred both day and night. Deputy Clerk Kulp continues to send timely notices to Villagers via email when specific information is known. However, we all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you don't already have a locking mailboxes, there are a number of sources. Security Safe and Lock on Mail Street in Old Bellevue has locking boxes in stock; there are also a large number of internet sources. Locking mailboxes are not the final answer, but they can slow down a mail thief's ability to get to your mail quickly.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO IS EMPTY YOUR MAILBOX EVERY DAY as soon after the mail is delivered as possible. Mail thieves are hopeful that they will find checks, credit cards, prescriptions, social security numbers, even credit card offers in our mail so they can steal money, valuables, your identity. This time of year can be especially rewarding for them with tax information and tax refunds arriving daily. If we eliminate that attraction, weíll neutralize the problem. If you know you will be away for 3 or more days (but no more than 30 days), you can arrange for USPS to hold your mail in your absence and deliver it on the day you return. Go to https://holdmail.usps.com/holdmail/ to set this up.
THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO IS BE AWARE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Get to know your neighbors so you become familiar with the folks who belong their; if you donít know them yet, now is a great time to introduce yourself. You'll not only become a better neighbor yourself, you may even make a new friend! When you know your neighbors, you are more likely to notice a person or vehicle at a mailbox stands that doesn't belong. If something seems fishy, please record the vehicle license number, if possible, and call 911 immediately to report the incident. You can also notify Angela or post a note on NextDoor Enatai, where many of our neighbors are communicating daily on this issue.
The South Bellevue area is experiencing an increase in number of burglaries, car prowls, and similar incidents, as are many neighborhoods on the Eastside. The Town has used a Blockwatch System for many years to help neighbors remain informed about these types of incidents and always encourages Villagers to remain vigilant about unusual happenings they may see. We also try to keep residents informed of potential problems through notices in the Town bulletin or email blasts. To ensure that Blockwatch works quickly and efficiently, the Town has created a Blockwatch Email Alert list, which is maintained by our Town Clerks. If you have not already done so or if your email address has changed, please forward your current email address to Clerk-Treasurer Spens at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Deputy Clerk Kulp at email@example.com so that we can keep the distribution list for this vital service as up-to-date as possible.
Thanks to improvements in technology, there are now other options available, and we encourage our residents to take advantage of them, including the Enatai Nextdoor Website at https://enataisurreydowns.nextdoor.com/login. To use this website, you will need to create an account and confirm your address. Once confirmed, you will gain access to a "reader board" with postings about various events and offerings in the neighborhood. In addition, you will find a page devoted entirely to Crime & Safety.
As incidents become known, we will post what we can on this page to help keep residents informed. In addition, we offer the following general advice: Please remember to use your Locks, set your Home Alarms, put Lights on timers, communicate with your neighbors, and call 9-1-1 if you notice anything suspicious. License plates, names and descriptions are always helpful to law enforcement, if available. With the holidays, be careful of boxes you put out on the curb during garbage and recycle pickup; you may be advertising whatís inside your home. Have a plan for making it look like youíre home, especially if you are out of town. Remember, trust your intuition and donít leave valuables where they can be seen in your cars, or through your home windows.