Masked robbers ransack three U District homes

SEATTLE -- The University District couldn't make it one day in the new year without a crime. Seattle Police say two masked men broke into and ransacked three homes early on New Year's Day.

On one side of 19th Avenue Northeast, the burglars ripped open mesh over a bathroom window and carefully took everything off the shelves and gingerly placed them on the ground.

"I think they wanted to slip through the window and not wake everybody up by knocking everything off the shelves," said the renter inside.

The burglars ransacked the house but, oddly, didn't take anything.

It was a different story across the street after the same men broke in and stole an iPod and two wallets. Shelby Kavanie said they left behind a butcher knife after being caught in the act and scared off by neighbors waking up after parties at roughly 7 a.m.

These latest crimes are just the latest in what has been a scary time in the University District. In October, just three blocks away, there were armed robberies in back-to-back weekends.

"The neighborhood has a deep, dark history," one robbery victim said.

Police are investigating the case.