SEATTLE — Residential burglaries have been a growing problem for residents in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood.
“What they’ve been doing is prying open our fire door and then they come up this hallway, they just open this door and have full access to our mail,” said resident Zachary.
“At this point, we’re sitting ducks. We’re waiting to get injured or killed,” said Rachel who is another resident. Both Rachel and Zachary requested to not disclose their last names for safety reasons.
What started out as mail theft at a Lake City condo building has escalated for the 54 owners.
“The break-ins became more regular and so when they became more regular, we took out the mail everyday,” said Rachel.
The burglars then broke into people’s cars and storage units.
“Now that they are trying to get into secure lock boxes that have keys to our entire building, the entire building,” said Rachel.
Residents had to use their own money to buy security cameras and make repairs.
“We have footage, we know what they look like, we have police report, on police report, on police report and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere,” said Zachary.
Rachel said between four members, they've made at least 30 reports. In 2022, Lake City had 242 burglaries.
“Honestly I’m afraid to go home at night, pretty much every day right now,” said Rachel. Recently, Rachel and other residents told KING 5 they identified the man seen in the security footage.
“They told us to go home and that there is no police officer to come and investigate,” said Rachel.
The Seattle Police Department released a statement that read:
"The department has lost 525 officers since the year 2020 and has had a 30% decrease in the number of detectives able to conduct follow up investigations. SPD continues to strive to address property crimes but prioritizes violent crimes which we've seen increase in the year 2022. With this prioritization, officers have recovered 1,349 guns and are able to respond to violent crimes such as shots fired in a timely manner. The department's General Investigations Unit investigates property crimes and is working as quickly and thoroughly as they can to investigate all cases."
“We like our local police officers, but we need more to be done. It’s only a matter of time until one of us gets hurt,” said Rachel.