Tuesday, December 31, 2013

MUKILTEO- Two Women Call CPS to Help Abused Girl

On Sunday, December 22, The Herald published an article about two sales clerks who called Child Protective Services (CPS) when they saw a girl come into their department who looked gaunt and malnourished. (For details of the story, go to

The Herald story brings up two thoughts. First, crime can come in ways that you might not expect. You might think of crime in the sense of burglaries, assaults and robberies. But there are also crimes to people such as human trafficking or child abuse that may not have an obvious telltale sign that tips the average person off that something is wrong.

Second, it can take courage to call 911 or other authority when you see something suspicious or a crime in progress. The way the girl looked to the two women was obviously suspicious. But making the call did take courage. They had some apprehension that their suspicions might be wrong. There was also the childhood memories of one of the women when she was abused. While these were not concerns about retribution from a burglar or robber, the incident did bring up emotions and trauma from the past.  

This article does point out the importance of calling 911. In this case, the women’s call helped a child to leave an abusive situation. Your call to 911 can help someone else who might be in trouble.

Friday, December 20, 2013

SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Using Social Media to Catch Crooks

In a recent press release, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has pointed out three incidents where social media, YouTube specifically, has helped it to apprehend suspects in three crimes.

  1. A November 5 case where suspects were seen on camera using stolen credit cards at the Seattle Premium Mall. After publishing the video on YouTube, the Sheriff’s Office received several tips that led to the apprehension of a 32 year-old Granite Falls man. The Sheriff’s Office is currently looking for 26 year-old Melissa Linder, who is believed to be the female in the video, for forgery, identity theft, and possession of stolen property (
  2. A November 6 incident when two brothers were caught on video stealing various items including guns and ammunition from a home. Within a day of the release of video on YouTube, the Sheriff’s Office received 25 tips that helped it to apprehend the older brother. This case has been referred to the Snohomish County Prosecutors Office with a recommendation of charges of first degree burglary (
  3. The third incident occurred on November 9 when two men assaulted a cab driver and attempted to force him to withdraw cash from an ATM. Tips from the public helped to capture a 27 year-old black male. The Sheriff’s Office is still looking for white male suspect who was seen in the video. This suspect is known to hang out in the area of 164th St near Lynnwood and is believed to live or have friends in the area (

Note: In these early years of social media, the Sheriff’s Office needs to explore ways to effectively use social media in order to enforce the law and prevent crime. The three examples above shows the efforts that the Sheriff’s Office is making to experiment with new technology. In each of the examples, the Sheriff’s Office was able to post the videos in a place where the public could easily see them (the Sheriff’s Office’s YouTube account is . It also used Twitter (@SnoCoSheriff) and Facebook ( as well as traditional media (TV, radio and newspapers) to advertise the video clips.

In addition, in each of the incidents, video was an important element in identifying the suspects and documenting their actions. It also demonstrates that tips from the public are important to enforcing the law and that the Sheriff’s Office takes the tips it receives very seriously.

Social media is an important tool for the Sheriff’s Office to communicate with the public. It leverages the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to communicate as well as giving it the capability to communicate rapidly. Social media provides several methods to contact the public which may become a challenge to manage by the Sheriff’s Office. But in using all available methods, the Sheriff’s Office can ensure the greatest coverage of important information.

We cannot know how the Sheriff’s Office will develop social media in the future as a tool to protect our society from crime. It is important that the Sheriff’s Office continue to use and to grow this new tool to the benefit of all of us.   


Thursday, December 19, 2013

MUKILTEO- Thieves Try to Steal from Delivery Truck

On Tuesday, December 17, Mukilteo and Everett police apprehended three people who were accused of following a delivery truck in an attempt to steal packages.

A homeowner saw the three following the truck and called 911. Everett police found the suspects and impounded their truck. Two of the three had warrants for their arrest and were booked into jail. The third suspect was released. Police continue to investigate.

Note: Package thieves often follow delivery trucks to pick up packages left at home door steps. Due to the alert actions of the homeowner in calling 911, the police were able to disrupt a package theft ring and to apprehend two suspects with arrest warrants.

With Christmas rapidly coming, the potential for mail theft continues. Calling 911 when you see suspicious activity like this can deliver results.

For more details about this incident go to:

The Herald


Recent postings about package theft prevention:


Friday, December 13, 2013

CELL PHONES AND 911- Tell 911 Where You Are Located

With almost everyone carrying cell phones, it’s much easier to call 911 when you have an emergency or see a crime or suspicious activity in progress. You can be anywhere when you need to make that call; walking around in your neighborhood, driving to the store, or at home.

While your smartphone can determine your location with GPS technology you might expect that calling 911 gives your location to 911 call takers/dispatchers. This is not necessarily the case. Many 911 agencies can receive location information of cell phones using the nearest cell tower. However, this information is highly inaccurate in that it can determine location only down to several hundred yards. Inaccurate location information can be a challenge for emergency responders to find anyone who needs their help.

Our county has “Enhanced 911” that provides exact address locations for 911 callers. But this is only for “old fashioned” landlines. And 911 call takers routinely ask for the address from 911 callers to verify the address on their screens since databases can be inaccurate. Nationwide, about 38% of households have cut their ties to landline phones, relying solely on their cell phones to make calls at home. This saves money, but at the expense of the safety net of “Enhanced 911” in case they cannot talk when they call 911.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 75% of calls placed to 911 agencies in California during a recent 18 month period, were placed using cell phones. So if we continue to rely more and more on cell phones instead of traditional landlines, knowing where we are will become more important in the future in the case of an emergency. While we can expect the technology to improve, giving 911 agencies the capability to locate us, that technology is not available now in way that 911 agencies can use accurately and quickly. And it may take longer than we might expect to implement location technology.

So the lesson is to be ready to give your location to the call taker when you call 911. Where your emergency is occurring is almost more important that what is going on. If the dispatcher doesn’t know where to send the fire trucks or the police, knowing that something is going on is almost useless.

For more information about this issue go to:

The Wall Street Journal-

The Herald-


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

LYNNWOOD- Sheriff’s Office Looking for Two Assailants

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two assailants who attacked and robbed a taxi driver around midnight on December 3. The assailants stole cash and a credit card in addition to beating the taxi driver in the vicinity of the 16600 block of Sixth Avenue W. in Lynnwood. The assailants forced the driver to go to a convenience store to withdraw money from an ATM. When that effort failed, the assailants fled.

One suspect is believed to be Eric T. Johnson, 27 (shown in the accompanying picture). Johnson is known to frequent bus stops and homeless shelters in the south Everett, Lynnwood and north Seattle area. The other suspect has not been identified.  He is white, about 6 feet tall, and weighs around 200 pounds. During the crime he wore glasses.

If you have any information about the two suspects please call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 425-388-3845.

For more information, and pictures, about this crime go to:

The Herald:



Sunday, December 8, 2013

LAKE STEVENS- Citizen Tip Leads to Mail Theft Investigation

Deputies, sergeants and lieutenants in the Sheriff’s Office often talk about the importance of citizens reporting suspicious activity in a timely manner to 911. This article from The Herald is a case in point.

In early November, a condo owner noticed a woman putting what appeared to be mail in a condo complex trash bin. The condo owner called 911. A Lake Stevens police officer found the suspect in a car with “a large amount of mail.” The suspect couldn’t give a good story why she had so much mail in her car. Lake Stevens’ detectives and the United States Postal Service are investigating the woman.

This is a case where a citizen’s tip has led to an investigation of a serious crime. While some calls to 911 may not turn into important investigations, local police agencies appreciate receiving this information.

The Herald article pointed out that mail theft is a major method for ID thieves to get personal information. And with the increased volume of mail during this holiday season, there is an increased opportunity for mail thieves to steal identities. Some ways that you can prevent mail theft are:

  • Check your mail regularly.
  • Use a locked mailbox or a post office box.
  • On vacation have the post office hold your mail for you (you can go online for this service at or have a trust neighbor pick up your mail.
  • Call 911 if you see someone hanging around your mailbox or following the letter carrier or other delivery services (UPS, Federal Express).

The Herald:

This older article about mail theft, on page 3, from the Sheriff’s Office’s July/August 2002 issue of the crime prevention newsletter is still valid:

Friday, December 6, 2013

CELL PHONE THEFT- Prevent Theft and Loss

Theft of cell phones can happen to anyone. In many parts of the country cell phone theft appears to be on the rise (see this recent CNET article While cell phone thefts have not had much publicity in the press in the Puget Sound region lately, it can happen here.

It’s wise to take practical measures to protect your cell phone or smart phone from someone grabbing it and running down the street with your contacts and private information. You can do that by protecting your phone and by securing it so that strangers do not have access to your information if you lose it or it is stolen.

To protect your phone, Jessica Dolcourt of CNET makes the following recommendations (

  1. Put a case on your phone. In addition to protecting it from scratches, a case can mask the distinctive markings of your phone. This way if a potential thief is looking for a “hot” phone and yours is a “hot” phone, he or she won’t be attracted to it.
  2. Hold on to your phone firmly in public. When you do have to use you phone walking down the street, hold on to it firmly. Whether you spread your fingers over the phone, or hold onto it with both hands as the author suggests, don’t hold on to your phone lightly. Also, use a Bluetooth device to talk on your smart phone. This way the location of your phone is not obvious to passersby and you can still talk to your friends or associates.
  3. Be alert to your surroundings when using your phone. The author calls this “Adopt a paranoid posture.” You don’t have to look paranoid in a way that attracts attention to yourself. But, like you should be anyway, be aware of your surroundings while using your phone. Don’t be so engrossed in your conversation (or your tunes) that you are not looking around, or walking down the street with confidence and purpose. If you are not aware of your surroundings, you look like you are not aware of what is around you and you become a target for a thief.
  4. “Embrace the art of misdirection.” If a stranger on the bus asks if your phone is that latest, fanciest model that just came out, tell them no. It’s an old model that isn’t working too well.
  5. Keep your phone out of sight and hard to get to. If no one can see your phone, thieves can’t be attracted to it. But even if it is in your pocket, thieves often know the common places where people keep their phones. The best place to store your phone is in an inside pocket of a jacket. Another good place is in an inside pocket of a purse with the clasp closed or the zipper closed. And also, hold the purse close to your body.
If your phone is stolen, report it immediately to your carrier. They can put it on a blacklist to block phone calls and data plan usage. Activate any phone tracking features and phone management features, such as phone wiping. Also, report the theft to the police. They may not be able to recover your phone right away, but they can put together case if they find a thief with your phone and it has been reported stolen.

Prepare for the worst by taking advantage of the security features of your phone.

  1. Lock your phone. By doing this you set up a simple passcode that you use to access your phone. This way a stranger cannot get into your phone.
  2. Learn how to use the “find my phone” feature of your phone. This way, if you lose it or it is stolen, you can find it on a map.
The following article gives instructions for the security features of each of the major smartphone operating systems (iOS, Android, Windows phone):


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE- November/December Crime Prevention Newsletter

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has released its November/December issue of “Partners in Crime Prevention.” This is its annual holiday issue giving tips on crime prevention for the holidays. It also talks about placing “Security Freezes” with the major credit reporting agencies.

You can find it at:

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE- September/October Crime Prevention Newsletter

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has released its September/October issue of “Partners in Crime Prevention.” This issue focuses on local drug trends and where to get help for teens on drugs.

You can find it at:

Friday, November 29, 2013

GOLD CREEK – Attempted Burglary

A burglar tried to start their Back Friday shopping early with an attempted to break-in to a Gold Creek home around 10:45pm on Wednesday November 27. The homeowner had just turned off the lights and was upstairs for about 10 minutes when the alarm went off. The burglar apparently tried to enter the house through a garage window. Deputies did respond.

While I have emphasized, many times, that burglaries usually occur during the day it is possible for a burglar to operate at night. In this case the burglar even tried to enter a house with signs posted on the outside warning of a burglar alarm. The alarm did work in that it scared the burglar away and alerted the homeowner.

With the holiday season here, there are more opportunities for burglars to steal. As we shop at the malls for gifts and order gifts online we will have more valuable items in our homes, under our trees, and on our doorsteps than during other times of the year. Remember:


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

PACKAGE THEFT – More Prevention Measures

Recently, I shared an email from the Mays Pond Neighborhood Watch Coordinator who pointed out methods to prevent package theft. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has distributed a link that expands on how we can prevent package theft.

The link is to Yale Mail Service (that is Yale University). It talks about some features of the Postal Service, FedEx and UPS that might be helpful in protecting the packages that you receive or send. Some highlights:

For FedEx-

  • Have the package delivered to an address where you know someone can receive it, such as your work address, a nearby relative, or a trusted neighbor who will be home.
  • Have the package delivered directly to a FedEx Office location or FedEx Express station location.
  • Choose one of the premium services offered by FedEx Ground. If you use FedEx Ground Home Delivery, request evening delivery, date-certain delivery, or make an appointment for a specific delivery time.
  • Ask to have a signature required at delivery.

For UPS-

  • Consider using UPS My choice
    • You can decide when and how your packages are delivered.
    • You receive an email or text message the day before delivery.
    • You can reschedule delivery to another day or another address.
  • Have the package delivered or rerouted to a local The UPS Store.
  • Have the package delivered or rerouted to another address.
  • Ask to have a signature required at delivery.

Check with the delivery service for any additional costs.

Here is the link to the web page with this information:

Yale Mail Service:

Friday, November 22, 2013

MAYS POND- Package Theft Prevention

The Mays Pond Neighborhood Watch has recently sent out a reminder on preventing package theft to its members.
Package theft receives emphasis during the holiday season with the increase of package deliveries by UPS, FEDEX and the Postal Service. While delivery services handle an increase in volume of packages to deliver during the holiday season, bringing an increased opportunity for theft, package theft can happen any time of the year.

The Neighborhood Watch Coordinators recommend taking the following steps:

      ·     Insure packages
      ·        Follow tracking number- Online through the delivery company’s web site or an app on your phone.
      ·    Alert trusted neighbor- Ask them to retrieve the package and give it to you when you get home.
      ·    Deliver to work
      ·    Require signature- If you are not home, the delivery person will not leave the package at the door.
      ·    Have it held at the post office, Fed Ex or UPS for pick up

Last year KOMO 4 News ran this segment on package theft. It is still relevant today.

KOMO TV 4 News:


Friday, November 15, 2013

WILLIS TUCKER PARK- Community Meeting with Sheriff’s Office

On Wednesday, November 13, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office met with about 86 citizens from The Falls, Gold Creek, Silver Firs as well as Pioneer Trails and Autumn Meadows. Representing the Sheriff’s Office were Lt. Rob Palmer, Commander of the South Precinct, Sgt. Jim Upton, Property Crimes Detective for the South Precinct and Ann Gifford, Director of Community Partnerships. During the meeting, the Sheriff’s Office representatives discussed recent burglaries and car prowls/car thefts and methods that citizens can employ to prevent these crimes.
During the month of October, the Sheriff’s Office saw a spike in burglaries, car prowls and car thefts in the areas of The Falls, Gold Creek, Silver Firs as well as Pioneer Trails and Autumn Meadows.

Sheriff's Office deputies apprehended and jailed a suspect who was associated with a red 2 door Mazda. This suspect made bail and has returned to his home in Snohomish County. While the name of the suspect was not released, the Sheriff’s representatives did note that any citizen can see who is in jail on the jail’s web site ( The suspect is known to knock on front doors. If no one answers, he will go to the back of the target house and break a window or sliding glass door to gain entry.

This led to a discussion about what to do if someone knocks on the front door or rings the doorbell. Knocking on the front door is a common tactic by local burglars. Understanding this often makes some people hesitant to answer the door. If you don’t answer the door, you expect to be protected from any potential assault. However, if you don’t answer the door and the burglar breaks it down, you have a potentially dangerous situation. Most burglars are risk adverse. That is why they knock on the door. They don’t want to be seen or confronted. If someone answers the door, they just move on to another house. But, if you fear for your safety, you do not have to open the door. You can talk to whoever is outside through the closed door. Be assertive. Tell them your “not interested” in whatever the say they are selling. Or just tell them to go away. Indicate that someone is there with you. Or bring your cell phone or mobile phone to the door and tell them you are calling 911. Then call 911 and report the incident.

Someone asked if burglar alarms were worthwhile. Burglar alarms do have their place. First of all, a sign posted in front of your house of a legitimate, well known burglar alarm company will deter most burglars. They see the sign and move on to another house without an alarm sign. If the burglar doesn’t see your sign or ignores it, on entry, the loud piercing siren will quickly drive most burglars out of your house. Some burglars, however, have been known to do a “dash and dive” where on entry with the burglar alarm siren going off, they will grab anything within sight of the door or window that they entered. Often, that can be a laptop or tablet computer, purses, or other small electronics or potentially valuable items. So, it might be a good idea, that when you leave your house, to remove from your front door area or rear door or sliding glass door area anything of value that could be grabbed quickly even if the siren goes off.

Someone else asked if “home invasion” robberies were a big problem. According to both Lt. Palmer and Sgt. Upton, there have not been any home invasion robberies in South County for several months. They also pointed out, that home invasions are not a problem for the average citizen. In most cases, home invasions involve people who know each other- the perpetrator knows the victim. For example, a drug dealer might have a beef with one of his “customers” or with another drug dealer. Or someone knows of a marijuana grow, or a stash of other illegal drug and decides to robbed the owner of those drugs.

Lt. Palmer highly recommended investing in a good safe. You do not have to spend a lot of money to have an effective safe. But you need a place where you can lock up important documents such as your passports, IRS tax returns (that have your Social Security Numbers), little used credit cards, and other documents that can an ID thief could use. Also, your valuable jewelry and guns should be stored in your safe. The safe should be bolted to the floor or secured to the wall.

Documents that can help in ID theft are as highly prized as electronics or jewelry. Anything with an account number can be useful for the burglar. One trick, involves your checkbook. If they find it, they might take a check from the middle so that you don’t notice it missing right away.

Sgt. Upton also emphasized keeping an inventory of your valuables. Take pictures from several sides of each item, including serial numbers if available. Include a list with a description, of each item. Save this information on to your computer or laptop. But also save a copy to a thumb drive or CD and place that in your safe and someplace off site such as your safety deposit box or with your insurance agent. For more information go to:

As far as car prowls, Sgt. Upton repeated what I have said many times. Don’t have anything showing in your car. When you park your car at home, remove everything in your car, including your garage remote, and bring it into your house. When you park in a parking lot, place anything in your car in your trunk, glove box or console before you arrive at the parking space.

Regarding car thefts, the key is to lock your doors! Also, do not run your car’s engine unattended. During the winter months, some car owners will run the car engine to warm up the car then go back into their house to get ready for the day. Doing so gives a great opportunity for a car thief to steal the car. Many people in Snohomish County lose their cars to thieves in this manner.

Always be on the alert for suspicious activity. Keep a notebook handy to jot down descriptions and times and places. Call 911 when you see suspicious activity. Don’t worry about bothering the Sheriff’s Office or 911. Also, if you are in the habit of taking a walk, take your notebook with you along with your cell phone. Be alert to your surroundings. If you see a crime in progress or suspicious activity call 911 and report it. And if possible, discretely take pictures.

Lt. Palmer pointed out that suspicious can be viewed with two questions as you are observing your surroundings. What is happening that is unusual? What is usual that hasn’t been happening?

Here are some resources for more information about crime prevention:

Burglary Prevention:


Car Prowl/Car Theft Prevention:


Calling 911:


For more information on other crime prevention topics, go to:




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

SOUTH SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Detectives Need Your Help

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office wants to know if anyone in South Snohomish County has seen suspicious activity by the driver of a newer, light gold, Mercedes 4-door sedan.  

 If you have please contact Sgt. Upton directly at or 425-388-5258

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

SNOHOMISH- Burglars Steal from Snohomish Home

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has released home video of an October 29, 2013 burglary near the Flowing Lake Golf Course in the vicinity of Snohomish. The video shows two male Caucasians in their early 20’s drive up in a dark colored Hyundai Tiburon. After breaking into the home, they are believed to have taken property that included high-powered rifles and ammunition.

 Take a look at the video at the link below. If you have any information about the suspects, please call (425) 388-3845.



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

GRANITE FALLS- Burglars Show Their Stuff

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two burglars who stole credit cards, several guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, as well as electronics, jewelry and a checkbook from a Granite Falls home on October 7.

On Tuesday, November 5, the Sheriff’s Office released surveillance footage showing the suspects using the stolen credit cards to make purchases in the amount of $1,500 at the Seattle Premium Outlet in Tulalip.

Take a look at the video at the link below. If you have any information about the suspects, please call (425) 388-3845.

The Herald:






Sunday, November 3, 2013

SCAM ALERT- Scammers Claim to be from the IRS

The Everett Police Department has sent out a warning about a sophisticated scam that has been targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants.

The scammers will call saying they are from the IRS and claiming that you owe the IRS money. They will tell you that you must pay promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If you refuse to cooperate, they may threaten arrest, deportation or suspension of a business license or driver’s license. The caller may become hostile or insulting.

The IRS does not ask for credit card numbers over the phone or in emails. It also does not request payment with pre-paid debit cards or wire transfers. The IRS warns that if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS who threatens arrest, deportation or loss of a license or other coercive action, you are not talking to an IRS employee. When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer about a legitimate tax issue, it communicates through the mail (“snail mail’).

Other characteristics of this scam include:

·       Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
·       Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim’s Social Security Number.
·       Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it’s the IRS calling.
·       Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
·       Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
      After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue – if there really is such an issue.  

  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you’ve never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
  •  If you’ve been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

The Everett Police Department says:

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website,

For more information about scams like this take a look at the video at this link from CNN:



Friday, November 1, 2013

AUTUMN MEADOWS- Attempted Burglaries

The Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for Autumn Meadows reports on two attempted burglaries, one on Monday, October 28, and the other on Tuesday October 29. Both attempts involve a classic technique burglars use to determine if it is safe to break into a house.

The first incident occurred in the 12000 block of 45th Ave SE around 12:45pm. The intruder knocked on the front door. The teenage girl in the house did not answer it. The intruder entered the house through a back window then went upstairs. There, the intruder encountered the teenager and immediately left the house. A red Mazda was seen leaving the area.

The other incident occurred in Pioneer Trails around 8:30am. The homeowner noticed a red sedan (possibly a Nissan) in her driveway with the engine running and a dark headed man in the driver’s seat. Another dark headed man knocked loudly and rapidly on the front door. The homeowner yelled from upstairs “who is it?” The man gave a name that homeowner didn’t recognize. She yelled down “what do you want?” They said they were there for Mary. The homeowner yelled again “what do you want?”  The man said something about they must have the wrong person and left in the car.

Note: Sheriff’s Office deputies have been emphasizing the techniques that burglars use to enter homes. When the burglars select a target house they may go to the front door and knock or ring the bell to see if anyone is around. If a homeowner answers the burglar leaves. They may have some sort of excuse, “is Mary here,” “we are selling magazines (or whatever).” Sometimes the excuse is not well prepared. If no one answers, the burglar will enter the house either by kicking in the front door or going around to the side or back of the house breaking a window to enter.

With this knowledge, it stands to reason that if you are at home that you should answer the door when someone knocks. Some people might be concerned about their safety at opening the door to strangers. There is nothing that requires you to open it. You can talk through the door to anyone outside. You might have your cell phone or mobile phone in hand. If the person on the other side of the door seems especially sketchy, you can inform him/her that you are calling 911. Some crime prevention officers have even recommended that you pretend to be talking on your phone to give an impression that you are not isolated.

If you have an encounter like this, call 911 immediately to give a description of the person at the door and of any associated vehicles. If you can give 911 the license plate, that is golden. But if all you have is a car description, and a description of the suspicious person(s) call anyway. Our deputies appreciate any information you can give for potential burglars.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

CAR THEFTS- Don’t Give Your Car to a Thief

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office reminds you not to give your car to thieves by warming it up on a cold morning while you get ready for work. Doing this only invites a thief to take your car. In the colder months of each year many cars are stolen this way. The Sheriff’s Office suggests “If you start it, stay with it.”

Also, it is illegal to run an unattended car. For more information go to this link:

GOLD CREEK/THE FALLS- Burglaries and Car Prowls

Gold Creek Neighborhood Watch reports several homes burglarized yesterday in Gold Creek. The word is that laptops, jewelry and ipads were taken.

Also, a burglary and a car prowl occurred this week in The Falls. This would be the second burglary and car prowl in The Falls since October 13.

Here is a listing of car prowls and burglaries in the Gold Creek/The Falls/Silver Firs area since October 15 as reported by (


Case #
6300 BLK 149 ST SE
2:27 PM
Gold Creek
Vehicle Prowl
7:59 PM
The Falls
6400 BLK 138 PL SE
4:00 PM
The Falls
6500 BLK 152 ST SE
Vehicle Theft
6:25 PM
Gold Creek
5900 BLK 143 ST SE
Vehicle Prowl
10:05 AM
Silver Firs
5000 BLK 146 PL SE
Vehicle Prowl
10:47 AM
Silver Firs

Note: Since mid-September, our area has been active as far as burglaries, car prowls and car thefts. This might be a good time to review our habits to ensure that we are locking doors in our houses and cars. Also be sure that we are not leaving anything in view in our parked vehicles.

 Here are three tip sheets from the Sheriff’s Office that can help:

Auto Theft:

Burglary Prevention:

Car Prowl Prevention:



Thursday, October 24, 2013

FRAUD WATCH NETWORK- A New Way to Stay Ahead of Fraudsters

Yesterday, October 23, AARP of Washington launched a new service called “Fraud Watch Network” for members and the general public at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

With the Fraud Watch Network, anyone can sign up online for alerts on the latest frauds going around in Washington State and the nation. The idea is to make fraud watch users aware of frauds and scams so that they can protect themselves and so that users can pass the word to their families, friends and neighbors. The key to this strategy is to make as many people as possible aware of the latest frauds to take away the opportunity for fraudsters to victimize the public.

To sign up for Fraud Watch Network, call 1-800-646-2283. The Fraud Watch Network should go online next week.

Here is some information about fraud prevention tips and common frauds and scams:

Fraud prevention tips-

Frauds and Scams-

More information about the Fraud Watch Network:

KOMO News: