Thursday, August 29, 2013

BURGLARY PREVENTION- Some Tips- Known and Not So Well Known

Regular readers of this blog are no doubt well aware of the common tips for preventing burglaries. has provided a list of “10 Things a Burglar Doesn’t Want You to Know.” Some of their tips are well known. Some others might be things to do, or not do, that you might not have thought about:

  • “Thanks for the ladder”- Keeping a ladder lying around outside your house only allows the burglar to enter your house from a second story window. This defeats your alarm system especially if its sensors are only on the main floor. Its opportunities like this (for the burglar) that motivates crime prevention professionals to recommend that you keep your yard around your house neat and clean. Not only does it make a statement to potential burglars that you and anyone else in your neighborhood will see anything out of the ordinary, it takes away their chance to steal something outside or gain entry to your house to take your stuff.
  • “Loved your trash”- This is something to watch out for especially during the holiday season. If you put the boxes of your new flatscreen, computer, Xbox, etc. out with your trash and recycling in clear view, burglars know what goodies are in your house. You become a target. It’s best to break down those boxes and put them in your recycling or trash container.
  • “Bad reflection on you”- If you intend to have an alarm system installed in your house be sure to have the technician locate the keypad where it is easy for you to use it. If you usually leave your house from the front door then the keypad should be near your front entrance. If you usually leave through your garage, then it should be at the door between your garage and the house.’s recommendation is that you not have a mirror placed so that a burglar can see if your alarm system is armed. Note: If you are religious about arming your alarm system whenever you are away, then placement of mirrors may not make any difference. After all, if the burglar can see that your alarm is armed, he most likely will go to another house. But, if you tend to forget to arm your alarm from time to time, you might take this tip to heart.
  • “Getting carried away”- It’s a good idea to have a safe to store your valuables. But, many safes get carried away by burglars so they can take their time to open them. Bolt that safe to the floor or use a wall safe if you can.

To see all 10 tips go to:


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Snohomish County is Fighting Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a problem in Snohomish County as much as it is around the world. Human trafficking can include prostitution or forced labor.

The following article from The Herald published on August 11 of this year demonstrates that fact. Two pimps were recently charged with the illegally trafficking of girls as young as 13 in Everett and along the I-5 corridor. Since the girls under their control would not cooperate with police or prosecutors the two pimps escaped decade’s long sentences for 2 ½ and 3 ½ years sentences. For more detail about this case go to

For more information about human trafficking, go to the latest issue of the Sheriff’s Office’s crime prevention newsletter “Partners in Crime Prevention at this link:

Monday, August 19, 2013

EVERETT- Everett PD Looking for Burglar Who Broke into House While Owners Were on Vacation

The Everett Police Department is looking for Lee Wallette for taking two rifles, a flat screen TV, a handgun, safe, silver and gold coins and two vehicles from a family’s home while they were on vacation.

Wallette has 15 felony convictions. He is a drug dealer who also sells stolen goods. He is suspected of several burglaries in Snohomish County where guns have been stolen. He operates by loading up the victim’s vehicle with their property and then driving off.

Everett police suspect that he is in the Everett area. He has four tattoos on his face and neck and he is considered armed and dangerous.

Homeowners on vacation provide an excellent opportunity for burglars. To protect your belongings the strategy is to make it look like your home is occupied while you’re gone. 

Remember to ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your house while you are gone. Ask them to pick up your mail and newspaper. Or you can also ask the newspaper and Postal Service to hold your newspaper and mail until you return.

Ask your neighbor or friend to mow at least your front yard if you will be gone more than a week or two.

Often, parking a car in your driveway will alert a potential burglar that someone might still be at home.

Put timers on some of your lights to turn them on when you would normally be home to show a burglar checking the neighborhood out at night that you are home.

If you know where police can find Lee Wallette call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

THE FALLS- Syringe Found in Park

Recently, two children found a used syringe in a private park adjacent to The Falls. Apparently, a younger child picked it up out of curiosity.

Finding syringes is an indicator of drug activity for communities. Having syringes lying around also presents a health issue for residents, especially parents.

The Environmental Health Department of the Snohomish County Health District recommends that if you find a needle or syringe you take the following action:

Put the syringe or needle in a “sharps container” using some sort of tool, such as a pliers or tongs, so that you do not touch the syringe/needle. A sharps container is a container that holds used needles for proper disposal. You see them at your doctor’s office, walk in clinics or emergency rooms. Sharps containers can be obtained from local pharmacies
Take the needle or syringe in the sharps container to a local pharmacy for disposal. The following document shows a partial list of pharmacies that will take needles:




Friday, August 16, 2013

TEXTING AND DRIVING- Film Shows the Aftermath of Texting and Driving Crashes

This morning’s Morning Edition program on NPR did a piece about a film by Verner Herzog called “From One Second to the Next.” It was produced as part of a campaign sponsored by AT&T to discourage young people from texting and driving called “It Can Wait.”

The half hour film shows the personal results of crashes that are the results of texting and driving from the perspective of both the victims and those who were texting and driving.

Film has been used to discourage drinking and drive in the past. Those films often used graphic images to show the gore of car crashes in an attempt to shock people to refrain from taking the drink. This film takes a different tact. The victims and the texting drivers tell their stories of loss, including the loss of loved ones.

This film is worth passing on to the young drivers in your life:


Monday, August 12, 2013

BOISE- Witnesses Give Information That Helps Recover Abducted Teen

You are probably aware of the Amber Alert that was issued for the San Diego teenage girl and a close family friend who apparently abducted her last week. She was recovered and her abductor was killed in rugged wilderness east of Boise, Idaho.

According to the Idaho Statesman, four Idaho residents who were riding their horses in the area at the time encountered the girl and her abductor apparently camping. The four then reported their encounter to police after returning home and seeing news coverage of the Amber Alert.

This is a classic case of police receiving information from the public that helps in solving a crime and apprehending a criminal.

Deputies often talk about going with your gut to sense that something was out of place. In fact one of the horse riders said that he had a “… gut feeling…” about the situation. Specifically, the newness of the camping equipment seemed to indicate that the two were novices to camping. They said they were heading to the Salmon River which was in a different direction than they indicated. The teen’s sweat pants or pajama pants seemed out of place for wilderness camping. And, the two seemed not to want to talk in an environment where most people are usually very open and chatty.

What’s important here are not the specifics, but that the horse riders took their experience of the environment and their knowledge of camping to judge whether or not there was something unusual about the campers. You can do the same in your neighborhood, at work, or going about your day shopping. Be aware of your surroundings. Having sense of what your neighbors drive can help tip you off to suspicious vehicles in your neighborhood. Knowing when your neighbors are usually home can alert you if you hear an unusual noise or see someone at their house. Rely on your experience and observation to judge your surroundings as normal or out of the ordinary.

And when you sense that suspicious activity, take action by calling 911. Your report might not be the key to solving the crime of the century, or give you nationwide publicity, but it can help the Sheriff’s Office and a potential victim.

For more detail about the Idaho incident go to:


Friday, August 9, 2013


This morning, Shari Ireton, Director of Communication/Public Information Officer for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue volunteer Oyvind Henningson were on KSER 90.7 to talk about hiking safety.

I know, it’s not burglary prevention, or catching car thieves, but enjoying our trails and nature safely is as important as crime prevention. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for searching for lost hikers and climbers who get into trouble in Snohomish County. It’s Volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) unit (small staff and many volunteers) regularly conduct SAR operations throughout the year.

The main point that Ireton and Henningson made this morning was to take 10 essential tools with you when you go hiking:

  1. Navigation- Bring a map and a compass so that you can find your way around. If you bring a GPS unit, be sure you know how to use it. And even if you have a GPS with you take that map and compass.
  2. Sun Protection- Bring your sunglasses and sunblock. Protecting yourself from the sun is an important part of survival in the mountains.
  3. Insulation- You might be able to start your hike in shorts and T-shirt, but the weather can change quickly in the mountains and if your hike takes longer than planned, into the evening hours, you can find yourself pretty cold finding your way back or waiting for help. Take a waterproof jacket, an extra layer of warmth, extra socks, gloves and a warm hat.
  4. Illumination- Bring a flashlight (or headlamp) in case your hike takes longer and it gets dark.
  5. First Aid- Bring a first aid kit with you to be able to handle small cuts and injuries. It can include Band aids, adhesive tape, gauze pads, tweezers, over-the-counter pain reliever and antihistamine, compression bandage (such as an Ace bandage), and a triangle bandage to act as an arm sling.
  6. Fire- If you get stuck on the trail at night, you will want to be able to start a fire. Take matches or a lighter or other fire starting tool.
  7. Repair Kit- If something breaks, a zipper won’t zip or a tent pole gets bent, you will need tools to repair it. Some tools can include duct tape, knife, safety pin, fabric patches.
  8. Nutrition- You might bring some light snacks for the planned duration of your hike. But, take a little extra in case you find yourself on the mountain overnight.
  9. Hydration- Bring plenty of water with you to keep you hydrated for the hike.
  10. Emergency Shelter- Bring a shelter in case you find yourself staying overnight. For a day hike it doesn’t have to be much, a space blanket can provide warmth and a shelter from the elements.

Another important point is to plan ahead before you go. Study maps, hiking and camping books and websites about where you plan to go. Two good websites are Northwest Hiker ( and Washington Trails Association ( Check the weather forecast for the time that you want to go out.

Another important part of planning is to let someone know where you are going, when you are going, and when you expect to be back. Let them know when they should call 911. The Sheriff’s Office has a form that you can fill out to provide the essential information that it can use to find you faster. The form is at:

For more information about Hiking Safety go to:


Saturday, August 3, 2013

EDMONDS- Car Prowls at Church Leads to Burglary Suspect

The press has been reporting on the burglary suspect who broke into cars in a church parking lot in Edmonds then was seen at the home of one of the parishioners burglarizing the house. Eventually, Edmonds police found the burglar in an Edmonds motel, where they took him in custody after a short standoff. There, the police found a large cache of stolen items.

Unfortunately, this example points out that burglars/car prowlers will work anytime and anyplace, even at a church parking lot during services. After all, the burglar knows where the victims are, he can assume that he will be safe of not being discovered while he breaks into a few cars and goes to some houses while everyone is in church.

So how did the burglar know where to go to burglarize the houses? The press has not said. But a likely source could have been the registration in the cars. The registration is a good source for your home address.

From time to time, burglars will break into cars and take down the address of the owner from the registration then go to the address. We are accustomed to keeping the registration of our vehicles in the vehicles because if we are stopped by police we need to be able to produce the registration for their inspection. However, there is no law (that I am aware of) that requires us to store our registrations in our cars and trucks. One thing you can do is put the registration in your purse or wallet. Another thing you can do is to block out the address on the registration. As long as you keep the owner’s name, VIN number and license number, police can verify the information.

The Edmonds Police Department is looking for the owners of the stolen material. You can go to to see pictures of the stolen items. If you recognize any of the items as yours, call Detective Andy Mehl at 425-771-1780.

The Herald:

My Edmonds News: