SEATTLE - It’s a place with picket fences and flowers, a place where plenty of people stroll down the street, a place where there's still an active neighborhood watch. 16th Ave East and Harrison on Seattle’s Capitol Hill looks a lot like Pleasantville. But looks can be deceiving.
“We go about our business and think we're on top of everything,” said neighbor Gail Goralski. “Maybe we're not.”
On a perfectly peaceful and sunny afternoon two weeks ago, crime came calling. Someone smashed through a window and kicked in the side door of the Eisenhart home - and nobody noticed.
“It's very concerning,” said Jamie Eisenhart, who has lived in the house with his wife Lynn for just over a year. “It makes you feel less safe than you did before.”
The burglars took their sweet time, stealing at least 80 items from the house. Some of it was easily hidden, like the earrings Jamie got his wife to wear on their wedding day.
Some of it was impossible to conceal, like the nearly 6-foot flat screen television. All of it marched right out the door, right around lunch time - and still nobody noticed.
“Our house is in an open, well trafficked area,” said Jamie. “We thought this neighborhood going to be quite safe.”
The couple claims it took police two weeks just to assign an investigator to their case. With police burdened with more pressing problems, it's increasingly up to neighbors to police themselves. So the Eisenharts are reclaiming their community. Since the break-in they’ve been out knocking on doors, meeting their neighbors and telling their story. Where they once knew 2 neighbors, they now know 20.
Jamie hopes the odds will be better that someone will notice, the next time crimes comes calling.
“And hopefully we'll get to talk to them about more than burglaries in the future.”