Tuesday, March 13, 2012

LYNNWOOD- Meeting on Burglary Prevention

Last night, (March 12), the Lynnwood Police Department hosted a meeting on burglary prevention with about 25 citizens in attendance. Shannon Sessions, Crime Prevention Specialist and Public Information Office for Lynnwood PD plus two property crime and burglary detectives emphasized several times that burglaries are up in Lynnwood and in the Puget Sound Region.

This chart shows total burglaries for 2011` compared to burglaries to date for 2012 in Lynnwood:

Burglary Type
Total for

2012 (YTD)

Shannon Sessions started out with the following tips to prevent burglaries:

            • "use your 6th sense" when in your neighborhood. If something or someone seems out of place or suspicious call 911 and report it.

            • 911 (SNOCOM): The 911 agency that services Lynnwood PD is called SNOCOM. SNOCOM also services Brier, Edmonds, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, Mukilteo, Fire District 1 and Woodway.

                        ○ Its best to call 911 from a landline if you can. This is because with Enhanced 911, the call taker will have your address displayed on their display. The call taker may ask you for your address, but this is to verify that their display is correct.

                        ○ Cell phones: 911 does not necessarily have a GPS position on your cell phone. Be sure to know where you are before you call 911 using your cell/smart phone.

            • Call 911 if you are broken into, even if "there was little damage" or "nothing was stolen."

             • Operation ID- Don't use your Washington State Driver’s License number for engraving certain valuables. For many years, Crime Prevention Officers have recommended engraving the driver’s license number on valuables (like tools and electronics). This allowed police agencies to look up the owner if they came across stolen property and had no reports on file of who the rightful owner is. Apparently, burglars have been using the number in ID theft. The detectives recommended that now, you make up your own unique code or sign and document that code in your household inventory. Note: NEVER engrave your Social Security Number on anything. Police agencies do not have access to your name through your Social Security Number, but ID thieves would be able to use your Social Security Number.

.            • Burglars are taking jewelry. Take photos of your jewelry!

            • Alarms do help, especially alarms that make noise.

            • Single women- Make it look like a man is around. If someone that you do not recognize is at the door, come to the door like you are on the phone.

            • Motion sensor lights- Place them where you can observe them. This way, if they go off at night, you can take a look at what is going on outside.

            • Install a dead bolt lock in the door between your garage and your house. Thieves have been known to take garage door openers out of vehicles parked outside of a house, opening the garage door then entering the house.

The detectives talked about how burglars work and the Lynnwood PD’s response to burglary calls:

MO- Most burglars do not research their targets for several days. 1 to 3 burglars may work a neighborhood. They may leave their car within a block or two of their target neighborhood. They will walk in the neighborhood looking for targets of opportunity. One burglar will choose a house then knock on the door to see if anyone answers. If there is an answer, the burglar might say "Does Jeff live here?" or “I need gas” (and the less prepared will not have a gas can). If you answer the door to one of these suspicious people, call 911immediately with a description.

If there is no answer, the burglar may try to kick down the front door (here is where your dead bolt and the 3 inch or longer screws become important) or go to the back of your house to enter through your sliding glass door (got your Charlie Bar installed?).

The burglar is in the house for just a few minutes. He/she will take jewelry (most popular now) cash, guns and portable electronics.

Lynnwood Police response- When the police department receives a call that a burglary is in progress, it comes running to the scene with all available units.

When it receives a “cold” burglary report, it is still interested in the information. A cold burglary is where you come home to discover that your home has been burglarized but you do not know who did it or when it happened. The detectives emphasized that they are still interested in any information that you can provide. Especially, as detailed information as possible about what was stolen. While this information may not help you to see your burglar arrested, it may help another victim and it may help to recover your property.

If you live within the Lynnwood city limits and have questions about burglary prevention, contact Shannon Sessions at

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