Tuesday, April 23, 2013

SNOHOMISH COUNTY PARKS- Secure Your Car in County Parks Parking Lots

Ok, you want to go to one of our local county parks to take a walk on a trail and here I am warning you to be sure to secure your vehicle. But car prowls do happen at our trail head parking lots and I just want you to enjoy your day. I don’t want you to have a nasty surprise when you return to your car.

According to a recent article in The Herald, there were seven car prowls along the Centennial Trail between April 9 and April 16. Five of the car prowls occurred over the weekend. Officials assume that many more went unreported.

When you park your car at a trail head or a park, you should secure it just like at the mall:

  • Lock your car.
  • Don’t leave anything in view in the car. If you need to leave things in your car, hide them in your trunk. And county parks officials that the article quotes emphasized putting your items in your truck before you arrive at the trail head. This way anyone lingering in the parking lot won’t see that you have something that you have hidden and then smash your window and pop the trunk to take your possessions.

And, if you see anyone lingering and looking out of place in the parking lot, call 911 to report them as suspicious.

The Herald:


Snohomish County press release:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

ID THEFT- The Crime that Never Ends

Earlier today, The Herald published an article by Eric Stevick about the ID theft woes of the Mukilteo Police Chief (

I found another article by Eric Stevick that was published earlier this month giving more examples of ID theft woes:

MUKILTEO- Police Chief Victim of ID Theft

This morning The Herald published an article about how Police Chief Rex Caldwell became a victim of ID theft in 2011. It shows that no one is immune from becoming a victim of ID theft.

The source of the theft was a public records request from a man with a grudge against the Kirkland Police Department, a former employer of Chief Caldwell, in the 1990’s. At the time, certain personal information was not redacted as it is now. This information was posted on the internet. The information came into the hands of a local criminal with a history of forgery, theft and drug addiction.

For more details on this story go to:

The Herald


If you become a victim of ID theft you can have trouble with your credit and with bills that the ID thieves have created in your name.

To minimize the damage to your credit, you need to act in a timely manner. Here are the steps you need to take according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

1. Place an initial fraud alert with one of the three credit reporting companies.

2. Order credit reports.

3. Create an Identity Theft Report.

The FTC has an online checklist that helps you through the steps to complete these actions:


To prevent ID theft, here are some resources that can help:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office “Partners in Crime Prevention”-

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Identity Theft Tip Sheet-

National Crime Prevention Council ID Theft Prevention Tips-



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BOSTON MARATHON BOMBING- Scammers are Already Taking Advantage of Tragedy

Jesse Jones of KING TV has issued an alert to be careful of scammers trying to take advantage of people’s good will who want to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. He showed a Twitter account that mimicked the official Boston Marathon Twitter account claiming to donate $1 for every re-tweet. This account is a fake account. Bottom line; only give to charities that you know! If you do not know any charities do your research. One place to look them up is the Better Business Bureau,

Here is a link to his report:



The Silver Firs Homeowner’s Association has issued the following alert concerning a recent burglary:

“On Friday, 4/12/13 a home in the 14000 block of 62nd Ave SE, Everett WA in Division 2-was burglarized during the day while the residents were at work, the incident occurred between 8am and 5pm.  The burglar(s) entered through a locked window and likely entered from the greenbelt behind the backyard.  A laptop was stolen and there were no eyewitnesses. 

Even when we do our best to secure our homes, and watch out for each other it can still happen.

Here is a link to the two most recent Snohomish County Sheriff's newsletters "Partners in Crime Prevention"

Another site we would recommend is as individuals can register to receive email updates of crimes reported within so many miles of their home.
If you would prefer not to register for emails take a look at the crimes reported by a particular law enforcement agency.  We like this site because there is only a 1-2 day lag between the date reported and the date it appears on the site or email update.  To protect privacy the address are truncated by block number and street, for example 12300 block of Main Street, rather than 12345 Main Street.”

Note: Since the first of April, there has been only one other burglary reported in a two mile radius of Silver Firs, according to This burglary occurred on 4/6/13 in the 13500 block of 47th Dr. SE.

Also, reports that there have been three car prowls in this area since the first of the month:

  • 4/7/13, 1:20am, 12300 block of 51st Ave SE
  • 4/4/13, 2:41pm, 13700 block of Puget Park Dr. SE
  • 4/4/13, 12;14pm, 14400 block of 50th Ave SE

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

MUKILTEO- Police Looking for Rightful Owners of Stolen Property

Here is a case of police finding a lot of stolen property on the arrest of two suspected burglars. They have cataloged jewelry, guns, power tools, and flat screen TV’s. But they need to find the rightful owners. The two links below detail the situation:

The Herald:


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

CPTED- Protecting Your Home from Crime

Local law enforcement agencies sometimes talk about CPTED, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, as a way to prevent crime. This theory can help you to make decisions to protect your home and your property. The following is a very good simple description of the critical elements of CPTED:

EVERETT- A Missed Opportunity

The following is a tale of missed opportunity to help police catch a burglary in progress.

On April 4, a homeowner arrived home in the 1200 block of Maple Street, and discovered her living room window had been broken. Many personal items were rifled through, and she found other possessions were missing. She talked to her neighbor who works from home. He said that about 15 minutes earlier he saw a man park in front of her house. He lost sight of the man due to foliage that blocked his view of the front door. The man soon reappeared carrying a white box, entered his car and left.

The man is described as a white, about 30-40 years-old, 5’-8” tall with a beard. The associated vehicle is a white four-door medium sized passenger car.

The white box the man carried was a small fire safe containing several hundred dollars of jewelry that were family heirlooms.

All too often an activity can seem suspicious but observers of the activity do not call 911. It can be difficult to know for sure if an activity is suspicious or a crime in progress. But police officers and Sheriff’s deputies are more than happy to come to a call of suspicious activity and find that there was not a crime in progress. They are elated, to come to a call of suspicious activity and capture a burglar in the act. They are frustrated to find out that they just missed a crime in progress because someone did not call 911. If you see suspicious activity, even if in doubt, call 911.

Here are two links, one on burglary prevention and the other on calling 911:
Burglary Prevention:
Calling 911:


Each Christmas I remind people to be careful about theft of packages that they expect to receive through UPS, FEDEX, or the Postal Service. However, as neighbors in Autumn Meadows have found out, package theft can occur any time of the year.

A homeowner reports finding UPS boxes in the vicinity of 119th between 45th and 46th Ave SE three times so far this year. The boxes, 2 empty, 1 containing inexpensive merchandise, were found near a green electric box near a greenbelt.

Sometimes package thieves will dump unwanted packages. They also may follow delivery trucks at a discrete distance then take the boxes left at front doors. If you discover abandoned boxes or see a suspicious vehicle driving slowly in your neighborhood following a delivery truck, call 911 right away!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


In light of this morning’s crash by a SUV going the wrong way in the east bound lanes of Hwy 520 killing the driver of a Madza Protégé going to work on the eastside, here is an article by Brian Rosenthal of The Seattle Times that asks the question “Do state’s tough DUI laws go far enough?”:


Coverage of this morning’s crash:

EVERETT- Suspected Counterfeiter Caught

Recently, the Everett Police Department arrested a 21 year old man for using counterfeit money to pay for personal electronics through Craiglist listings. Multiple people were victimized. Everett PD worked with several local police agencies and the Secret Service. Law enforcement officers seized additional counterfeit money and money-making equipment at his home.

Note:  We usually think of counterfeiting as a problem for retail businesses. While businesses do need to be careful about the cash that they accept, individuals selling items on Craigslist or other social media sales sites for cash also need to be aware of the legitimacy of the money that they accept. Here are a few pointers:

  • Compare suspicious money with genuine bills.
  • Pay attention to the feel of the paper.
  • Look for tiny red and blue fibers embedded in the paper. Genuine bills have them counterfeit bills do not have them or an attempt has been made to print them on the paper.
  • Examine the serial numbers to be sure that they all match and are evenly spaced.
  • Look for a security thread running from top to bottom.
  • Businesses should have a counterfeit detection pen at the cash register. Mark suspicious bills with it; a black mark indicates a fake bill; no mark shows it is genuine.
  • For more information go to


The Herald:


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

EVERETT- The Dangers of Metal Theft

Two incidents come out of Everett and involve metal theft.

According to press reports, an abandoned house exploded this morning due to a 35 year old man cutting into steel pipes to sell for scrap. After he heard the hissing sound of gas he decided to take a break and lit a cigarette. That’s when the house exploded.

Often thieves will steel metal to sell to recycling yards. Copper wire is especially popular since it brings in a pretty penny. There have been several stories over the last few years of metal theft, including theft of wire from power poles and power stations. Often, utility and PUD officials voice amazement that no one was hurt. This is a case of someone almost hurt.

For more details about this incident, go to:

My Everett News:

The Herald:



In the other Everett item, the Everett Police Department Blotter notes that on Tuesday, April 2, on an inspection of power poles, PUD employees discovered five poles with the exposed copper grounding wires stolen.  The wires run vertically down the pole to disperse excess energy harmlessly into the ground, providing electrical system stability and voltage balance. Each pole had approximately 30 feet of wire missing. Whoever stole the wire may have used climbing spike to go up the poles. The thefts occurred along the Interurban Trail.

Everett PD notes that authorized employees who work on power poles will be driving marked company vehicles and/or marked equipment. Call 911 with the location, address and description of suspicious people and vehicles “working” on power poles.


AUTUMN MEADOWS- Burglary in Garage

On Saturday, March 30, a homeowner on 45th Ave SE in Autumn Meadows discovered their garage door open and that their car had been broken into.

A wallet containing an ID & debit card, sunglasses, Coach hand purse, and IPOD had been taken from the car. The thieves had made a small charge on the debit card before the homeowner could deactivate the account.

The homeowner was unsure if they left the door open by mistake or if the thieves had a universal garage door opener.

Note: An open garage door provides an easy opportunity for thieves. As noted above the thieves could have had a universal garage door opener. Another method burglars use is to break into cars parked just outside of houses to take the garage door opener, then open the garage door to take what they want in any vehicles inside, tools and other items in the garage, and if possible enter the house to take what they can find. One would think that keeping things in your car in a locked garage would be OK. But, this incident shows that that thought is not necessarily true. When you park your car, even in your garage, be sure to NOT leave anything inside it!

Monday, April 1, 2013

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Interview with Sheriff Lovick

Recently, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office created a School Services Unit. Sheriff John Lovick talked to Ross Reynolds, of KUOW, about the unit last week:


Over the last few years, county traffic engineers have been installing roundabouts at intersections throughout the county. In this morning’s Daily Herald, Bill Sheets in his “Street Smarts” column talks about how to drive through roundabouts:              

SELF STORAGE- Protecting Your Stuff

Sometimes you need to store items that you do not have room for in your home in a self-storage or mini storage unit. It can be furniture, clothes, knick knacks, family files, etc. that you need to store. Beware, though, storage units can be targets of burglars, looking for easy to sell items.

Sometimes, they will cut through a back fence then cut the locks on one or more units, taking whatever they can easily carry through the fence. Another strategy is to rent a unit, then over a period of time rummage through a variety of units taking what they want then storing their booty in their unit. They can take their stolen stuff out of the yard without being noticed.

Some ways that you can protect yourself are:

  • Be sure to use a padlock with a shrouded shackle, such as a saucer lock, to prevent the lock from being cut with bolt cutters.
  • If possible use a cylinder lock.
  • Be sure the facility is neat and clean.
  • Be sure the facility is fenced all around the storage area.
  • Access control is very important. Facilities that require renters to enter a code to enter and leave the facility ensure that only renters have access to the facility. If there is a problem, then the management can review a log to look for any unusual movements inside the fence.
  • Security cameras are also important to help identify unusual movements and burglars.
  • When you sign your lease, see if the facility owner will cover any of your losses. They probably won’t. So…
  • Check with your insurance agent that your homeowners or renters insurance will cover your belongings in storage. The storage facility also may offer insurance that you can buy.
  • Like at home, keep an inventory of what you have in storage including descriptions, pictures, and serial numbers in case your unit is broken into and your possessions have been stolen. This can help property crimes detectives recover your stuff.

Also, you may need to store your RV, motorhome, trailer, 5th wheel or boat away from your house because of the covenants in your community or just because you do not have room on your property.

Some security hints for your RV include:

  • Limited access, cameras, and fencing are important for an RV storage yard also.
  • Don’t leave alcohol, drugs (including prescription drugs) or weapons in your RV. Often teenagers will go through trailers and motorhomes looking for these items.
  • Some people will leave the blinds up on the windows and leave the cabinet and refrigerator doors open to show that they have not left anything in their motorhome, trailer or 5th wheel.
  • If you have a flatscreen TV, and it cannot be easily concealed in a cabinet, take it home with you.
  • If you are storing a boat, try to take any electronics home to store if you can. Also, secure your pony or trolling motor with a special clamp that thieves cannot defeat. Do not use a cable to secure your motor, cables can be cut. If you don’t have a clamp, take your outboard motor home to store.