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Victims of car break-ins in Wallingford frustrated over lack of police response

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SEATTLE -- People living in the Wallingford neighborhood are frustrated after a string of car break-ins.

They say several neighbors called Seattle police to come check out the break-ins, but residents say police never showed up.

Picking up the pieces of glass from smashed car windows is what people in this Wallingford neighborhood were doing all day Tuesday.

“It was a pretty nice hole right there,” said Gerald Booker, who added that he woke up to his car alarm going off at 1:30 a.m.

“It was just that fast, they had went through the armrest and were gone by the time I had gotten to the front door, like 30 seconds,” said Booker.

Booker says a few minutes later, he heard another car alarm just a block away on Thackery.

Broken glass was visible on the sidewalk on Thackery and also around the corner on 47th.

“I was parked right on the corner of Latona and 47th,” said Hayden Malan, who explained that he was heading out the door when he noticed the window of his car was smashed.

“Getting ready to go to work and came outside and there was kind of a commotion that other people were coming out and seeing their windows were also broken,” said Malan.

He says he’s out about $400 for the cost of fixing the window and missing work to get it taken care of.

“There’s nothing we can really do except be more vigilant. It’s hard when they’re coming at 1 a.m. and breaking windows,” said Malan.

Malan says he called the police but was directed to the non-emergency number, which then directed him to file an online police report.

“I went on there to file the report and said they were having technical difficulties, so I couldn’t file the report,” said Malan.

He says better police response may have helped.

“I have not seen one police officer at all,” said Malan.

On Wednesday, police reports showed the first call came in at about 1:10 a.m. Tuesday and officers did not arrive on the scene until about 8:30 a.m.

"I would say this is an outlier," Seattle police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said of the delay. "This is not the normal. We've done a lot of investment in the 911 center and we have hired more officers to work patrol to make sure we're providing top-tier customer service."

Neighbors say the police response has been poor but the homeless crisis being top of mind for many, this community wonders if that’s part of the problem.

“You get people who are transients who are walking through and looking for an easy way to get money,” said Malan.

“I know it was probably someone homeless or someone on drugs and I know we’re taxed a lot and we spend a lot of money on that already and it seems to keep happening,” said Booker.

Frustrated by these string of car break-ins, people here say they just want police to respond and to care about the safety of where they live, too.

“I honestly think Wallingford is a gem in the Seattle. It just sucks this is happening,” said Malan, who added that his roommate’s car was also broken into a couple months ago.

The SPD website is functioning properly to file police reports.

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