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.