Ballard apartment residents on alert after series of burglaries

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SEATTLE - Another Seattle neighborhood is on alert after an increase in thefts. Police are investigating after several apartments in Ballard were broken into.

Thomas Kelly wasn’t that surprised to hear that thieves had found a way to break into AVA Ballard, even though residents are given electronic key fobs to get into the building and into their individual apartments.

“There’s no lock that can’t be picked,” he says. “Clever people, if they want something bad enough.”

Apartment managers sent notices to all residents this week, letting them know about a series of burglaries. They say the thieves were caught on surveillance camera, and police are now investigating. They also say the locks that were affected have been replaced.

But Kelly says more needs to be done to make the complex safer.

“The residents are kind of casual, they hold the door open. It’s controlled entry, but someone can just run and grab the door and pretend like they live there.”

He’s also concerned about underground access.

“The garage is open for the most part during the day, they close it around 7 or 8 pm. But other than that, it’s open all day.”

Seattle police say they have had reports of thefts in this garage before. They also say throughout the city, thefts in secured parking garages are up. Their advice is to pay attention to who’s around you, no matter what neighborhood you live in. Residents of AVA Ballard say they will be doing that from now on.

“I’m definitely going to be keeping my eyes open,” says Kelly. “I’m not going to be holding the door open for anyone anytime soon, unless they have a key for the apartment.”

Many of the crimes have been happening late at night or early in the morning.