From the Forum – Intruder in my backyard

Intruder in my backyard (1800 Newton NW Block) on 4/11/2015

“I discovered an intruder was casing my backyard at 3:03AM Saturday morning. I was informed that my neighbor 4 houses down had an intruder in their backyard Monday morning. I have video surveillance, and below are videos from Saturday. I have other videos from Monday as well that may help with my neighbor’s case.

I contacted the police via 911, and they were quick to dismiss the case as nothing was stolen or broken in to. Never-the-less I pressed and they sent an officer that looked at the wrong yard, and never came to my door.

Please email this thread if you also had an intrusion, seen a suspicious person, or have images/video from the 1800 block Engleside/Newton alley.

Hopefully posting here can at least make the neighborhood aware of this problem, and help stop these intrusions.

– Ben

Saturday 4/11/15 3AM videos

Intruder Enters Backyard
4-11-2015 3:03.10AM

Intruder Leaves Backyard
4-11-2015 3:03.39AM

Intruder Bikes Away
4-11-2015 3:04.13AM

Update:I emailed this information to the police”

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17 Comment

  • gotryit

    Thanks for speaking up about it.
    One piece of advice that you didn’t ask for: consider your camera placement / angles so that you can get better video.

  • thanks for sharing. Can you tell me a bit about your camera set up? I’m looking into getting one

  • I wish police took EVERYTHING more seriously in this city. Don’t hold your breath.

    • Exactly. Forget “broken windows” policing, unless you are in the middle of being shot/stabbed/mugged/assaulted the MPD could care less

      • Initially I didn’t have a swift in-person response from the police; however yesterday I spoke with a mountain bike police crew assigned to my area of the neighborhood for about an hour. During our conversation two other neighbors came outside to join in on the discussion. This included the neighbor four houses down that had the attempted break-in on Monday, and another neighbor that had a break-in on their basement rental while her tenants were asleep. These cops were really cool to talk to, and were very informative on how we can help lower these crimes. I have to say, I’m rarely an advocate for the police. However I’m optimistic and hopeful they can help. I ended up writing a letter to the Commander thanking him for the bike-crew.

        There has been an uptick in home invasion attempts (from what I can see), so please do participate in sharing any suspect observations. Please check your surveillance feeds anytime there may be information helpful to the police.

        My back gate is now locked, motion lights are now active, and cameras have been re-aligned.

        Thanks again for all your responses!
        – Ben

  • Ick. This totally creeps me out!

  • get one of those motion activated sprinklers, might scare them away.

  • what brand of camera did you use. I am in the market for one.

  • Forgive my bad eyes but I can’t tell from this video, is your yard fenced in? I don’t live near you but I had a similar problem.

    • Yes, however not all yards next to me are fenced in. The entrance is a tall narrow stairwell from the alley behind my home.

  • This is one of the things that irks me about MPD- the constant “downgrading” of crimes and their disinterest until a criminal does real damage. personal example: someone jimmied my back gate lock and attempted to crowbar open my back door, neighbors saw him and scared him off. Because he didn’t gain access to my property the police didn’t file it as “breaking & entering” because he didn’t actually enter my house (and there’s no charge for “attempted B&E”); it was written up as trespassing and I wasn’t notified, I had to find out from a neighbor posting to the group listserv that it happened. When I complained to the cops that my back door was badly damaged they said they would add a charge of vandalism as well. Oh, and don’t expect much, because they don’t expend a lot of resources on simple trespassing charges. I wouldn’t care if it was a one-off, but it seems to be endemic.

    • Write your councilmember with your story and urge them to enact a law against attempted B&E (and ask their legislative staffer to double check that the code has no such prohibition)

  • thank you for sharing this. it’s important people share incidents like this so, at the very least, there is a record. so much of how city resources/police protection are allocated depends on records like this. thanks for saying something when you saw something. glad to hear the bike cops were helpful!

  • Last night (April 15) around 11:30pm on the 1400 block of Monroe St NW a man attempted to enter my basement apartment. He knocked at first. When I responded by shouting that he had the wrong place he started trying at the lock and continued for some time. I called the police. By the time they arrived he was gone.

    It could have been a random drunken stranger which happened a few months ago (middle-aged Hispanic male who claimed he used to live here and shouted “punta” while trying to kick in the door). But it sounded like he was trying to break the lock and a look in the daylight shows a few dents I don’t recall from before. Additionally, I hadn’t turned on my outside light yet, so the stairs were pitch black. Odd for someone to accidentally stumble down to the rare unlit basement door.

    Be careful folks.

  • It has happened again, just two weeks since the first intrusion. Same guy, same clothes. I actually ran outside and saw him leaving my alley; then went to the front of my home to see him going South Down the West side of 18th street. Please provide any information if you saw this man at 9:30pm Monday Night.

    I filed a police report for Unlawful Entry this evening. I hope we can finally catch this guy.

    Intruder at Garage Mon Apr 27 21 28 05 2015

    Intruder Enters Backyard Mon Apr 27 21 28 41 2015

    Intruder Exits Backyard Mon Apr 27 21 29 21 2015

    – Ben

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