Monday, May 27, 2013

VACATION WATCH- New Technique for Burglars

Crime prevention professionals usually recommend that you have someone pick up your mail and newspapers, or have them held, when you go on vacation. An accumulation of newspapers and ads in your driveway or door step is an indication for burglars that no one is around, making your home a juicy target for a burglary.

Some neighborhoods think that they have seen a twist that burglars are using to determine if homeowners are at home. They have seen bright blue 5X7 pieces of paper taped to their garages. According to an email going around the blue paper is placed on garages by potential burglars. They then observe the neighborhood to see which pieces of paper have been removed. Houses where the paper has not been removed become targets for burglary.

While I have not heard of any homes burglarized with the blue pieces of paper attach to their garages, if you see anything attached to your garage (or your neighbors) remove it right away. Keeping your door step and front of your house picked up shows potential burglars that you are around, and that you will notice anything out of the ordinary on your property.


THE FALLS- Car Prowl

On Saturday morning May 25th between 3:30 and 5:00 am a red Toyota Corolla was broken into by someone using a large rock from a rockery nearby. The Toyota was parked on the street in the vicinity of the 14600 block of Cascade Drive SE. The rock smashed the driver’s side window of the Corolla.

The car prowler took an I-Touch and charger. The total approximate loss was $700.00.

The responding deputy reminded the car owner not to leave valuables visible in the vehicle.

Wherever you park your car, be sure not to have anything showing inside your car. If you park your car in your driveway, keep your lights on at your garage. This often helps discourage car prowlers since they usually are active at night when it is dark. For additional protection many people are installing cameras in front of their houses to further discourage car prowlers and burglars.

For more information on how you can protect yourself from car prowls go to this link:


Friday, May 24, 2013

SILVER FIRS- Attempted Burglary

An attempted burglary occurred on Tuesday, May 21, in the vicinity of the 1400 block of 55th Ave. SE in Silver Firs. At about 1:00pm, a homeowner observed a stranger attempt to break into the garage of his neighbor. The homeowner called 911 and attempted to follow the stranger. Apparently, the stranger did not succeed in entering the garage.

Note: This is a classic neighbor looking after neighbor. The homeowner was aware of what was going on around their home and when they saw suspicious activity they called 911 in a timely manner.

Burglars are naturally risk adverse. They do not like to be observed. They want to steal where no one can see them, or at least be seen by anyone who calls police. After all they do not want to spend any time in jail. But calling 911 so that a deputy can respond increases the risk to burglars. So calling 911 when you see suspicious activity, or a crime in progress is as important as more passive measures such as posting Neighborhood Watch signs, keeping your landscaping trimmed so that your front door can be seen from the street, or installing deadbolt locks and using them.  



Thursday, May 23, 2013

THE FALLS- Suspicious Activity

Today, Thursday May 23, a maroon Nissan sedan, license number 283ZFI, was seen apparently casing a variety houses in The Falls. One homeowner first sighted it in the 13700 block of 64th Dr. SE around 8am. The Nissan would stop for a few minutes, and then move down a few houses then stop. Then it would move on a few houses then stop, repeating this pattern. Two people were in the vehicle, both in their late 20’s, a female driver and a male passenger. When approached by the homeowner, both occupants became flustered and agitated, and then quickly drove away.

Later in the day, around noon, the vehicle was spotted in the vicinity of Totem Falls Elementary school also apparently casing the area around the school. This activity has been reported to 911.

Note: This shows that burglars are active, and our homes are susceptible to break ins. The prime time for residential burglaries is during the day between 10am through around 5pm during weekdays when most of us are at work. With Memorial Day weekend coming up, it might be a good idea to have a trusted neighbor keep a watch on your home if you plan to be away. For those who are staying home, keep a close eye out for suspicious activity in your neighborhood. And, (you knew I am going to say it) if you see suspicious activity, call 911.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Auto Thieves Target Ford Trucks

According to this morning’s The Herald, auto thieves have been targeting 2000 to 2006 F-250 and F-350 Ford pickup trucks. In April alone, over 20 of the trucks were stolen between Everett and Arlington. One of the latest stolen trucks was an F-350 that was stolen in Marysville and finally recovered in Everett after a chase by police on Monday April 29 (

The Herald quoted a spokesman for the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force as pointing out that F-250 and F-350 trucks for those years do not possess enhanced security measures that newer trucks possess. The spokesman would not specify what the security measures are.

The Auto Theft Task Force spokesman recommended that owners of F-250 or F-350 pickups:
  • Park the truck in their garage
  • Consider installing immobilizer equipment
  • Install a GPS based or radio based vehicle recovery system

For details, go to:


SILVER FIRS- Attempted Burglary

On Monday, May 6, around 8:00am, a homeowner in the 5800 block of 143th St SE, heard footsteps going up the stairs to her back deck. In looking out a window, with a view of the steps, she saw a masked man at the top of the stairs. After banging on the window two separate times the masked man finally ran down the stairs, across the yard and then jumped over the fence.

No further description is available for the intruder.

Note: It is uncertain if this incident has been reported to the Sheriff’s Office. With an incident like this making a timely call to 911 is essential to help Sheriff’s deputies catch burglars in the act. Reporting criminal activity as it occurs will get a response from the Sheriff’s Office. In this case, having a description of the intruder and knowing the direction of travel would have given deputies an idea of where to begin looking when they arrive.

Also, some people may have been concerned about the safety of the homeowner during the encounter. There was nothing wrong in finding out what was going on at her back deck. She wisely kept the wall of the house between her and the intruder. Some crime prevention professionals recommend when answering your front door (and this would be applicable in this case) to take your portable phone or cell phone with you to show that you are talking to someone, like 911.

The important thing is to call 911 when you see a crime in progress.

Calling 911:



Sunday, May 5, 2013

BURGLARIES- Warm Weather Bringing Increased Activity?

I have been checking and it seems like burglaries are picking up around me. I live in The Falls and check a radius of 2 miles around me.

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, burglaries and other residential crimes tend to increase.

This might be a good time to remind your neighbors to take precautions to prevent burglaries and car prowls. As many of you probably already know, the Sheriff’s Office has tip sheets that are very helpful in educating people on what they can do to protect themselves. Here are some basic tip sheets that you can distribute to your neighbors:

Burglary Prevention:

Vehicle Prowl Prevention:

Calling 911:

And please let me know if burglaries are increasing in your neighborhood.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

CALLING 911- Some Thoughts

I recently attended a meeting on “Active Shooters” hosted by the Snohomish County Business Watch ( One of the presenters from a local police department made a couple of observations about calling 911 that I think are relevant to homeowners also.

He pointed out that if you see something going on (that can be anything from suspicious activity, a burglary in progress to hearing shots being fired) don’t assume that someone else has called 911. Call 911 and let them know what you see or hear. If only one person calls about what you see, 911 personnel will have a limited idea of what’s going on and your situation may be given a low priority. If 911 receives several phone calls, from several people, about a situation, then it can receive a more complete picture of what is going on and will probably increase the priority in moving resources (more cops or fire trucks) to the situation.

When you call 911, the call taker will ask you questions as he or she is communicating with the police or fire dispatchers. Needless to say, giving as much accurate information as you can is always helpful. But, if you don’t know a bit of information (you could give a good description of a vehicle but missed the license plate) don’t be afraid of saying “I don’t know.” There is no stigma that you might not know everything that is going on. However, sometimes people will make things up in a mistaken belief that they are being helpful. Making things up only creates unnecessary confusion for police or fire agencies.

So, call 911 when you see something suspicious or a crime in progress. Your call could help a victim.