Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ROBBERIES- High-tech Solutions for Low-tech Crime

ROBBERIES- High-tech Solutions for Low-tech Crime

On Sunday, October 28, The Herald published an article headlined “High-tech tools foiling low-tech bank robbers”  (

The article points out that robbery is a high risk crime compared to the gain that the robber may achieve. Low level robberies usually net only a few hundred dollars compared to the average home burglary which nets an average of $1,700 in cash and goods.

Robbery is considered a crime of violence by the criminal justice system. Therefore, police pour more resources into solving robberies. Robbers use the threat of force and harm to coerce victims into turning over cash or valuables. The likelihood of harm both physical and psychological is very high during a robbery.

Local police have improved their communications among police agencies. They also have improved analytical tools and techniques that make their investigations more effective. Banks also have become better at prevention, by keeping windows clear (this allows outsiders to see into the bank easier, increasing risk to the robber), by having security officers onsite and by greeting each customer as they enter the building, by using sophisticated dye paks that identify stolen money and the robber(s) and by using digital video that provides suspect information quicker to police.

Note: Most burglars are relatively low tech when it comes to entering homes. They can easily kick in doors that do not have deadbolts or screws that are at least 3 to 3 ½ inches long. They can break windows for entry. Also, often, there are not many witnesses to residential burglaries.

Finding suspects can be hard. Detectives look for tips. A video of a stranger kicking in a door can be very helpful. Property crime detectives also have to prove that a burglary suspect has possession of stolen property.

If a victim can provide a description of property stolen from them, serial numbers where appropriate, pictures, detailed descriptions, then a property crimes detective can check with local pawn shops for the property. Also, you may have heard of victims checking ebay and Craigslist for their property. If they find it they can point that out to detectives. But, most of the time, the detectives do not have good descriptions of stolen property.

Currently, successful burglary prevention requires convincing the public to take actions on their own that takes away opportunities for burglars to steal by using techniques such as using deadbolt locks on front doors, and Charlie bars on sliding glass doors. And by giving a burglar the sense that committing crime in specific neighborhoods is risky. Homeowners can do that by posting signs where they have an alarm, placing cameras on their property, and participating in an active neighborhood watch that calls 911 whenever they see suspicious activity.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The Sheriff’s Office has posted its September/October issue of “Partners in Crime Prevention.” This issue focuses on the serious subject of bullying:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Burglaries in Mobile Home Parks

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Everett Police Department are both looking for a person of interest in connection with a series of burglaries at mobile home parks that have retired people 55 years and older.

The person that the law enforcement agencies are looking for is described as a person of interest, not a suspect. He is described as about 6 feet tall, about 180lbs. He was last seen in the 16800 block of Highway 99 in Lynnwood at 3am on Thursday, October 4, 2012 wearing a black or dark blue hoodie with orange writing and grey sweats.

If you know who this person is and where to find him place call the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (425) 388-3845.

At least 25 burglaries have been reported in Carriage Club Estates, Lynnwood Heights, Wandering Creek, Lago de Plata Villa and Mariner Village mobile home parks. The burglar took jewelry, cash and electronics. Entry has been at night through a window, often unscrewing porch lights or interior lamp bulbs.

According to The Herald, many people were home during the burglaries. The burglar tended to be quiet and tidy.

Police have been working with residents in the mobile home parks and Neighborhood Watch groups.

Note: Most residential burglaries occur during the day when fewer people are around in the neighborhood. This burglar must figure that retired people are around during the day, and that entering their homes at night when most people are asleep is not as risky as entering during daylight.

Here is a link to a Sheriff’s Office Tip Sheet on “Residential Burglary Prevention.” Please pass it to your friends or relatives who like in mobile home parks.

Residential Burglary Prevention:


SO Press Release:

Article in The Herald:



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

DELTA AIRLINES- Scammers Try to Trick You to Get Your Information

Jesse Jones of KING 5 News recently posted a warning about scammers who claim to be from Delta airlines sending emails to Delta customers.

The scammers will send an email that appears to be from Delta that claims that you can download your ticket for a future flight. To print your “ticket” the email has you click on a link and open an attachment.

Delta has issued an advisory warning its customers to:

  1. Change your SkyMiles account PIN and monitor your account
  2. Do not click on the link in the email or open any attachments that might be with it.
  3. Delete the email from your inbox.

Jesse’s alert points out that after you have purchased a ticket from Delta you almost immediately receive an email e-ticket. It does not come on a later date. So if you receive one of these emails and you had not purchased a ticket from Delta a few minutes earlier, treat the email with suspicion.

Note: This scam is pretty basic. Scammer poses as a company, which he is not, and tries to get you to click on a link and/or open an attachment. The link and/or attachment gets you to give the scammer your personal information or it installs some nasty malware that gets that information, including social security number, account numbers, account ID’s and PIN’s or passwords, etc. by itself. What makes this unique is Delta’s warning. It recommends that you change your PIN for your account. Apparently, this email targets Delta SkyMiles accounts for their PIN numbers. Don’t click or open anything with this email, just delete it from your inbox.  

Get Jesse- Delta, Alaska partnership opens up opportunities for scams:


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BURGLARY- Trade Secrets

The following link from the national home security company SimpliSafe gives a composite description of what a burglar looks for, how a burglar breaks into a house and what the burglar does once inside. The company says that it interviewed several burglars to come up with the description.

While I have talked about much of the same thinking and techniques, it’s worthwhile to look at the description. It has added credibility since the information comes from a source outside of our area.

The link:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Prosecutors Honored for DUI Program

Local law enforcement agencies have been focusing on the problem of drinking and driving. Frequently, we see reports in the news of vehicle crashes that severely injures or kills innocent people due to a driver drinking and driving.

Snohomish County prosecutors as well and Snohomish County law enforcement agencies have joined "Target Zero" which is a statewide effort, including the Washington State Patrol, that has a goal of  reducing traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero by 2030. Target Zero attempts to achieve this goal by reducing the three main factors that contribute to traffic fatalities:

  1. Impaired driving
  2. Speeding
  3. Failure to wear seat belts
(For more information about Target Zero go to 

Prosecutors have been lauded for their more coordinated approached to prosecuting DUI charges in the court system.

As a result of added patrols and the improved effort by the prosecutors, the annual death toll from drunken- and drug-impaired driving has been reduced from 26 to 16 between 2009 and 2011. 

The Herald:

Friday, October 5, 2012

NORTH PUGET SOUND- Outboard Motor Thefts

Recently, KIRO TV news ran an article about outboard motor thefts in the northern Puget Sound region including Everett, Mountlake Terrace and Bothell. According to KIRO TV more than 18 motors have been stolen from boats stored in homeowner’s driveways.

A suspect has been apprehended who admitted to stealing 5 motors in the Bothell area.

Police who were interviewed emphasized storing outboard motors in a garage or other secure place when parking boats. Typically, smaller outboard motors (such as trolling motors) are easy to take. Cables and chains are easy to cut with the right cutters. There are locking clamps that can be used that make it difficult to take a motor. However, keeping an outboard motor in your locked garage or storage building is probably the most effective action to take.

 KIRO TV link: