LETTER: ‘Events like this make me feel very unsafe in our community’

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Monday (April 8) on SW 134th Street our mail was stolen by a man with short black hair and white or tan skin driving a white/tan car probably in his twenties. My husband was looking out the window and saw him drive right up to our mailbox, open it up and take our mail. The neighbor across the street was standing just 20 feet in front of him watching as it happened too! We constantly have packages stolen from our porch, and have found our mailbox open on occasion. We called the police 10 seconds after it happened and told them where he was headed.

Separately, this month we received a note from a local pawn shop saying our two diamond rings we pawned were going to be open to sell soon. We never pawned any rings.. and looked into it. A while ago my wallet was stolen right out of my pocket when I was walking around Value Village with my two daughters! Apparently, whoever stole my wallet is now using my identity to pawn stolen goods around town. Nice.

And only last year we witnessed a group of men who stole a car and were running from the cops right in front of our house.

Events like this make me feel very unsafe in our community.

– Jessica Keen

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17 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Events like this make me feel very unsafe in our community’”
  1. Eaton B.Verz says:

    Just remember this November that the majority of the council and especially our city manager are quite proud of the direction of our city.

  2. Mary says:

    What I don’t understand is why the current city council and city manager are more than happy to spend hundreds thousands on annexation but don’t want to spend anymore money on public safety.

  3. Theresa says:

    Jessica, thank you for letting us know about this, and thanks to the blog for posting! I’m sorry this happened to you. I live very close to you, and we have had our cars broken into, and our neighbor had items stolen from his garage after someone broke his locked gate. Coincidentally, these things started happening when the halfway house went in behind the old Burger Baron, and I hear they are setting up another halfway house in the Cedarstone apartments on 132nd and Ambaum. Unfortunately, we have to live paranoia. There are vulchers constantly circling, just waiting for an opportunity to take something when we let our guard down. It’s sad we have to live this way, and even more sad that the city doesn’t care enough to do anything about it. I would love to start a block watch, but like you said, some of our neighbors don’t seem interested in looking out for each other.

  4. Chelsea says:

    You’re not alone on this one. I pick up litter around my neighborhood near Highline High School and have found stashes of mail in the bushes, all apparently stolen from people’s mail boxes. Sometimes when I walk my dogs in the morning, every single mail box on the street is open. I’ve seen broad daylight car break ins, and have also had my car broken into at least 20 times in the last 7 years that I’ve lived here. Our laundry room has been robbed several times and drug deals happen in front of our building on a constant basis. The police helicopter keeps me up a lot of nights.
    Recently, I literally walked into 3 people who had broken into someone’s car while I was walking my dogs early in the morning and they threatened to kill me. Three people have been shot in the last 6 months or so within 1000 yards of my front door. I’m done. I’ve pleaded with the Sherriff’s department and BPD for more patrols and they have told me time and time again that we simply don’t need it. I’m leaving this God forsaken wasteland on my own two feet before I leave in a box. We don’t have to live like this, and we certainly don’t need to take this crap from vandals and hoodlums who have no respect for anything nor anybody.

    • Ghost of Maplewild says:

      I’m sorry you have to put up with this. I would encourage you to send an email to Mike Martin (city manager) and Joan McGilton (council member)

      McGilton: “I am very impressed with Mike’s communication with the community. [With those] who care to listen [it] is very strong….

      Please let us know how long it will take to get a response.

  5. jimmy says:

    I suggest you grab a camera and get a high powerd semi-auto pellet/bb gun then if these punks come back take some picture of them then if you feel the need to teach the punks a little lesson unload some pellets/bb’s in to there car windows or at them then call the police and tell them to stop the car with the shatter windows

    • sallie tierney says:

      Not the best idea. You would soon find yourself behind bars if you start shooting up the neighborhood. Locking mailboxes makes sense though.

  6. Nikki says:

    You can also ask the Postal Service to put in a locking mailbox. If the neighbors all agree they put up a mailbox station with 10 or so mailboxes in it at no charge. There is also a slot for outgoing mail that people can’t access once the mail is inside. People have been stealing mail for as long as there have been mailboxes and will continue to as long as they can.

    While our city manager and city council isn’t anything to brag about I don’t think there is much they can do about mail thieves.

    • Kevin says:

      We put in a couple of locking mailboxes about 3 years ago and the Post Office did NOT pay for them. 20 neighbors went in on two locking mail box clusters with 26 boxes. Total cost was $2,862.70 or $143.13 each. Less than the cost of buying a good individual box and mounting it securely. We paid about $2 more per neighbor to get larger boxes and an extra package box in each cluster by getting 13 box units. Be sure to compare the sizes of the individual mailboxes, they vary depending on the number in the cluster. The case is the same size, putting in more boxes means they get smaller, and/or you loose a package box. From the time we realized that we were being robbed regularly to having the boxes installed was about 3 weeks. It helped that all our mailboxes were already clustered together, we just put the new ones a few feet away so we had access to both during the process.

      If you Google “cluster mailboxes” you’ll come up with some companies that sell them so you can compare different models. Be sure to get a USPS approved box. The Post Office can give you the names of some local installers. We found that the price was about the same to buy them online and install them ourselves, or buy them from a local guy and have him install them, ours were bolted to the sidewalk.

      The Post Office has to approve your installation and location, everybody has to sign a form saying they agree, and the boxes need to be assigned in an order that the Post Office agrees too. We left the top two and single bottom boxes empty in our clusters since they’re the hardest to reach from the car so it all worked out.

      Be sure to get extra keys made right away once you have your box. Getting a key copied costs about $2, having the Post Office come out and replace a lock is about $50.

      It works best if you have someone who can coordinate everything, which takes some time. Retired people are great. The installer was also very helpful with the process, he took care of most of the coordination with the Post Office. The Postal Carrier helped a lot too, we got his opinion and advice before picking the location and assigning the boxes.

      • Nikki says:

        The Postal Service DID put in our locking mailbox unit and nobody on the street was charged anything. Pretty sure I would know if I paid for it. If you’re talking about the Postal Service reimbursing you then of course they wouldn’t. All neighbors did have to sign a form to have it put in, but that was it.

        • Kevin says:

          It may vary by Post Office. Even though we’re in Burien our mail comes from the Tukwila Post Office. We asked and they said the P.O. no longer provided the cluster boxes, it was up to the residents to do it. If you can get them to pay for it all the better. There are several major advantages for them: Faster delivery since the carrier can just park and hit a bunch of boxes, more security for both delivery and pickup, and the package boxes mean fewer trips to front porches.

          Either way, if you’re having problems with mail theft cluster boxes are the best solution. They’re secure and they’re relatively cheap even if you can’t get them for free. Individual locking boxes are more expensive for a good one, and they’re still not as secure because they just aren’t that solid. Plus you have to mount them properly.

          • look at the myrmidons says:

            We HAD to pay for ours as well. Interesting that the USPS would install them at no cost for some. How lovely.

  7. Joanne says:

    Today, citizen cognizance of irregular activities in their own neighborhoods is vital to maintaining safety and security. Law enforcement cannot be on every street corner in Burien 24 hours a day. Be watchful and pro-active. A blockwatch group is a great step in increasing awareness of what is going on in a neighborhood, and with an accompanying google groups website listing all blockwatch members, information to all can be dispatched by any member at any time. Many people complain over and over again, but don’t take the next step, I.e., immediately reporting suspicious activity to 911, installing a secure mailbox, regularly picking up trash or dumped furniture, installing helpful exterior lighting and security systems. The thieves and Vandals are not going to go away unless citizens make it obvious that their neighborhood is on the watch.

  8. Angela says:

    Cedar Stone Apartments now a half way house? half way from/to where?

    I thought the residences behind the former market on 134th were half way for the mentally challenged patients from Navos who were deemed capable of living independently, but that a resident case manager was to be on site too. I’ve lost track of what is actually happening there. How does one gather information on these half way houses? They are BOTH very close to where I live and I believe we, the immediate neighbors, should have the details of these places.

    Appreciate any updates or sources of information?

    • Angela says:

      I’ve been informed that both Cedar Stone and the apts. behind the former vegetable market will house patients of Navos who are deemed to be able to live independent lives and have no criminal history.

      • look at the myrmidons says:

        What could go wrong?

      • Theresa says:

        Well, that may be what they say, but the police are there quite often. We also see them walking down into the woods, and coincidentally, there has been syringes and used condoms laying around in that back alley. We need to ask ourselves what Navos’ definition of patients who are able to live independently. Just because they can live independently doesn’t mean they should. If these people have mental disabilities, why put them in the worst part of Burien? Do you think these residences would have ever gone up near dowtown Burien? No way. I’m not minimizing Navos’ great services. Everyone thinks it’s great to have mental health services, until the center of it pops up across the street from where you live 🙁

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