Thursday, December 31, 2015

NEW YEARS- Choose Your Ride

This is a day that police agencies warn about drinking and driving. The Washington State Patrol and local police agencies will have extra patrols looking for impaired drivers.

If you plan on partying tonight, have a designated driver to take you home. If you have had a few too many, call one of these taxi services or tow companies for a ride:


Thanks to Snohomish County Crime and Community for the graphic:



EVERETT- Missing Newborn

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office continues to look for the newborn baby of Leah Marie Lund, who is believed to have given birth to a girl between September 10 and 18. The Sheriff’s Office asked the public for help in finding the 16-year-old Lund earlier in October. She was believed to have given birth outside of medical observation. The Sheriff’s Office feared for the safety of the baby due to the mother’s alleged heroin use.

While Lund was found in mid-October, the Sheriff’s Office has been unable to locate the baby. If you know where the baby is located, please call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Washington’s Most Wanted:

BURGLARY SUSPECTS- Local Agencies Looking For Suspects

The North Snohomish County Property Crimes Unit is looking for a couple who burglarized a Stanwood home on December 7. They drove a mid-1990’s green Honda Civic. He is white, 6’3” and skinny. She is white, in her 20’s and about 5’6”.  If you know the name of this couple, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). All calls are anonymous and you might be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.


Washington’s Most Wanted:

Meanwhile, Bothell Police are looking for a suspect in an early evening burglary on December 27. The suspect spent a few minutes in the house, when the alarm sounded he quickly left the area. While the pictures from the security video are not the greatest, Bothell police hope that someone can give them a lead on the name of this suspect. If you can help, contact Officer Provencher at or at (425) 485-1254 and refer to case number 15-26870.


 Bothell Police Department:



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BURGLARY PREVENTION- Don’t Let Burglars Know What You Received for Christmas

With Christmas rapidly approaching, everyone in your family will be opening their gifts and then you will have to do something with all of those empty boxes.

After everyone in your family have opened their gifts on Christmas, break down the boxes and put them in your recycle container. Don’t leave any excess boxes showing outside of the container. Would be burglars can use the boxes as a sign that your house is worth breaking into if they see what you bought as gifts. They especially like to take high value electronics such as Xbox One’s, flat screen TV’s, cell phones, etc. Placing your old boxes in your recycling takes away knowledge of what you have and takes away an opportunity for a thief to steal from you.

And have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Thursday, December 17, 2015

SCAM UPDATE – Scams Continue to Victimize Consumers

Here are some scams and prevention measures that have made the news in the last few weeks:

·         Washington Attorney General sues world’s largest tech support company for scamming customers. Yesterday, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office announced that it has file suit against iYogi, for unfair and deceptive business practices. According to the AG’s office iYogi promoted itself with online ads. When customers called the phone number in the ads, iYogi representatives would claim that they could provide tech support services for whatever company the customer inquired about, including Microsoft, Apple, and HP. The representative would claim that he has found “infected files” on the customer’s computer then aggressively sell them tech support plans ranging in price from $140 to $379. The representative would also tell the customer that they needed to upgrade to Windows 10, an $80 charge, even though Microsoft offers the upgrade for free. For details on this scam, go to the Attorney General’s press release:

·         The Better Business Bureau has been warning the public about a delivery scam. Someone claiming to be from a delivery company calls you saying that they have a package on the way. A short time later, someone shows up with a gift package at your door. They will not know who sent you the package if you ask. If you accept the package then you will be asked to pay a “verification fee.” The driver then produces a hand held card scanner to swipe your credit or debit card. According to the BBB, this is a scam to collect your credit card or debit card information. You can see details here:

·         Be on the alert for scammers posing as legitimate business. While chip cards are supposed to make it harder for crooks to manufacture credit cards, scammers are changing their tactics by pretending to be legitimate companies to get you to give them your account information. With the data breaches over the last year or so, including those involving federal government agencies, many fraudsters may take out credit card accounts or even file income tax returns in your name. Check your credit report regularly with the three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Also, file your income tax return as early as you can. For more information go to:

·         Everett police catch up to prolific identity thief. Earlier this month, the Everett Police Department arrested Jaime Dinkins for investigation of forgery, theft and identity theft. He is accused of passing at least 74 bogus checks worth more than $50,000 in Snohomish County. He is suspected of being part of a stolen mail and counterfeit check cashing ring. This arrest points out that identity theft can be from local criminals through your mailbox (or even your parked car). The Herald:

·         Be sure to secure your router. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you secure your router from identity thieves by changing the name of your router from the default name, change your router’s pre-set passwords and turn off any “remote management” features that your router might have. FTC:



SNOHOMISH COUNTY – Dog Poisoning Alert

The Autumn Meadows Neighborhood Watch has notified its members about deliberate poisonings of dogs in Snohomish County. According to an Autumn Meadows resident who is active with an online dog owners group, there have been multiple poisoning incidents throughout the area. Incidents have also occurred at Willis Tucker Park.

Apparently, someone is leaving meatballs with rat poison for dogs to find and eat. At least one dog is dead, and tests proved that it ate rat poison. Other incidents include poisoned meat being thrown into yards. In several incidents, homeowners have found the meat before their dogs found them.

Autumn Meadows Neighborhood Watch encourages all dog owners to watch for meat that is out of place and to report any suspicious activity to 911.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

PACKAGE THEFT – A Way to Fight Back

As most of you know, the holiday season is a prime time for package thefts. And it seems like the problem only gets worse with reports on TV showing security camera video of people walking up to front doors and leaving with packages that have been deposited by UPS, FEDEX or the Postal Service.
There are things that you can do to protect your incoming packages like having them delivered at work, picking them up at a UPS, FEDEX or US Postal facility, having a neighbor pick up your package when it is delivered, etc.

But, one neighborhood in South Jordan, Utah (a suburb of Salt Lake City) is fighting back. The people there are placing decoy packages on their front porches with the idea that if a package thief picks them up, they will find nothing of value in the box. Neighbors hope that this will discourage package thieves from coming back.

This idea may have some merit. If the reward of stealing packages in a neighborhood becomes too low, package thieves might go somewhere else to steal, or might find another crime to participate in.

Police might be a little antsy about citizens confronting these thieves. But as long as the box is empty, or has items of little use or worth to the thief, this should be fairly benign. As one neighbor put it, “The goal isn’t to catch them in the act, that’s for the police. The goal is to make it confusing and frustrating.” The hope is that the thieves get the idea that most packages in the neighborhood are not worth the effort to steal.

So no need for snarky presents inside (say from your pets). And empty might be just as good as having some weight in the box. Many packages can be fairly light in real deliveries.

And if you have a security camera on your front porch, you can still report the theft and give a deputy or local police the information so that they can catch the crooks.

This is a new idea that might warrant consideration. How effective it is will only be known when neighborhoods try it.

Thanks to for the tip

The Seattle Times:




Sunday, December 13, 2015

SHOOTINGS – Law Enforcement Looking for Suspects

Two shootings in south Snohomish County have local law enforcement agencies looking for suspects.

The latest shooting, in the 2100 block of 132nd St. SE (Murphy’s Corner area) occurred around 1:25am this morning, when Mill Creek police responded to an alarm. A tan or beige full-sized truck with no canopy slowly rolled up to the scene. Shots were fired on the Mill Creek Officers. No one was hurt. Police do not know if the shots were targeting the officers.

Police gave chase but the vehicle got away. Later in the morning, a vehicle, matching the description of the truck, was reported driving recklessly at the Thomas Lake Shopping Center. Shots were also reported near the shopping center at this time.

Mill Creek Police ask that anyone with information about the incidents call 911.

The Herald:

News of Mill Creek:

In another incident, in the early morning hours, around 3:30am, of Saturday, Sheriff’s deputies responded to multiple 911 calls of a loud party and possible gun shots in the vicinity of 4th Ave W and 124th St SW. Deputies did not find any activity or suspects. Around 4:00am, a man with a gunshot wound was dropped off at Swedish/Edmonds hospital and then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The man died later in the afternoon.

Detectives with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit are investigating. If you have any information about this incident please call 911 or

The Sheriff’s Tip Line at (425) 388-3845.

Or going to the Sheriff’s Office web page at:

The Herald:



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

CAR PROWLS – Some Tips from a Thief

At the beginning of this holiday season, I and local police agencies have emphasized the importance of preventing car prowls. I ran across two videos from the Denver Police Department that makes the point very well.

David is a former thief. He has reformed himself and part of his giving back for all of the hurt he has caused are the two following videos. Take a look at them and learn how you can prevent car prowls.

Tips from a thief Part 1:

Tips from a thief Part 2:

Friday, December 4, 2015

ACTIVE SHOOTER – Some Thoughts

It’s happened again; another active shooter incident. More people killed. More shock.

At this writing, the FBI has announced that it is investigating the San Bernardino shooting as terrorist related. Whether terrorist related, workplace violence related, or due to mental illness, to the victims, it does not matter what the motive, they are now victims.

As the number of active shooter incidents increase, the number of incidents of gun violence is declining according to this Washington Post article So in the big picture, we may be safer, but we have a growing problem with active shooter incidents.

The ultimate solution for this epidemic of active shooter incidents will only come after a national discussion of what to do. Whatever measures that are implemented, they will not eliminate the problem overnight.

In the meantime, we need to take action to protect ourselves while we live our lives. Paranoia and fear will not lead to effective action. Awareness and a determination to survive will lead to success.

People who teach personal safety teach the importance of being aware of your surroundings before they teach any physical techniques of personal defense. Awareness is important not only in the context of mass casualties or potential terrorism, it is important to the safety of our lives in preventing property crimes and the protection against assault.

Active shooter situations are proving to be very difficult to prevent, by police and by our society as a whole. An active shooter incident can occur quickly and at unpredictable times and places. Hardening certain locations with metal detectors, bullet proof glass and bullet proof doors might help for some locations, but as the recent Paris terrorist attacks have shown, there are many places that cannot be protected with extraordinary efforts.

Surviving an active shooter attack requires quick, thought out action. The modern recommendation from law enforcement agencies in these situations is to Run, Hide, Fight. This is a radical change in their thinking since the Columbine mass casualty incident of several years ago. Major corporations and governmental entities have taken to practicing what to do in the case of a mass casualty incident. Planning and practice before an incident, is key to survival.

Active shooter is as complicated as it is horrifying. Here are some resources that you can use to better understand the subject and can give you recommendations on what you can do to protect yourself.

CBS 60 Minutes:

The segment below, which aired before the San Bernardino shootings, and its associated videos give a broad overview of law enforcement’s perceptions of active shooter situations.

Active Shooter- Here is what to do in an active shooter situation:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:

Homeland Security:

Safety Sessions/Art of Manliness:

Thanks to Safety Sessions ( for the following link. Despite the name of the web site, the advice that is provided is credible advice.





Burglars often knock before they break into a home. Package thieves run up to the front porch and take a package. Someone may knock at your door and you may wonder if you should go to the door. Cameras that cover a front door can show video of thieves. However, many systems will only show you the images after you discover the crime.

With our modern technology, effective security devices are becoming more economical. This has been a trend for security cameras for several years. Now, with Ring and Skybell, there are devices that allow you to see who is at your door and to talk to them. Both products have cameras, two way sound (microphone and speaker), motion sensors and smartphone apps that notified you when someone rings your bell or they sense motion at the door.

Local police agencies have recommended installation of a peep-hole device in front doors for a long time. They also have recommended talking through the door instead of opening it if you are suspicious of someone at the door. Ring and Skybell gives you flexibility in that when you are at home you do not have to go to the door when the doorbell rings.

Also, when you are away, you can know who is at your door. If a package thief or burglar is at the door, you can talk to them, to give an impression that someone is at the house, or at a worse case situation, you can call your local 911 agency. Of course if you are away, calling 911 will connect you to the local 911 agency where you are located (at work or on vacation). So you need to know the 10 digit phone number for your 911 agency at home. For SNOPAC that is (425) 407-3970. For SNOCOM that is (425) 775-4545.

The units range in price between $150 to $200. Both are easy to install. Both use your Wi-Fi to send data and communicate.

For more information about these innovative products you can go to:



A review comparing the two products:




Thursday, December 3, 2015

911 – Some Behind the Scenes Insights

Most of us don’t need to call 911 on a regular basis. It’s hard to know what to expect the first time we call. Here is an article that gives an idea of the type of calls they receive, how they work, and other odds and ends of information that might help you when you do have to call.

Mental Floss:



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

BURGLARIES – Where do Burglars Enter the Home?

Here is an interesting graphic that I ran across recently. When it comes to where burglars enter a house, the front door takes the lead with a back window and back door following closely.


While Hunter Security is in Alabama, this graphic does give a good idea where burglars typically enter homes


Hunter Security:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

SCAM UPDATE – FTC Takes Action

There is a lot of information about scams and fraud being published now. Here is some information about the latest developments in the scam world:

FTC Clamps Down on Favored Payment Methods by Crooks. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has adopted new rules to ban the use of payment methods often preferred by scammers and fraudsters. The methods often act like cash and are hard to trace the transaction or to recover the funds. The now banned methods include:

·         Money transfer services, including Western Union, MoneyGram, and RIA Money Transfer.

·         Cash reload cards such as MoneyPak, Vanilla Reload, and Reloadit. Also banned are services that add money to existing prepaid debit cards.

·         Remotely created electronic checks. In this case, the scammer will ask for the routing and account numbers found on your checks and then withdraw the funds directly from your checking account.

Under its rule making authority, the FTC has banned these methods. Now, if a telemarketer asks for payment by any of these methods, they are breaking the law. If you receive a call from a scammer asking for payment by any of the banned methods, the FTC asks that you report them to the FTC at
NBC News:


FTC Takes Action Against Medical “Discount” Card Scammers. The FTC has obtained a judgement against Constanza Gomez Vargas, Walter S. Vargas, and United Solutions Group Inc. for falsely telling consumers that they were buying a qualified health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act. United Solutions Group targeted Spanish-speaking consumers convincing them to purchase medical discount cards. Consumers were told that the cards were like insurance and would pay for doctor and emergency room visits. The cards were worthless despite the consumers making monthly payments from $99 to several hundred dollars.


Bad Guys Use Rentals to Scam People. If you are looking for an apartment or house to rent, be careful of whom you are working with. This item from LifeLock should be a warning:


Holidays are a Good Time for Scammers. I have emphasized this over the last few weeks. But, here is an article from the “Credit Union Times” with the 12 Scams of Christmas.” Some you already know, but others you might not have heard about.

Credit Union Times:




Sunday, November 29, 2015

HOLIDAY SHOPPING – Beware of Cyber Thieves

Online shopping continues to grow, especially on Cyber Monday. Online shopping is a prime activity for cyber thieves to steal your identity. Cyber security specialists recommend that you take the following actions to prevent becoming a victim on ID theft online:

           Watch out for online scams

   o    Be wary of deals that are too good to be true. Scammers often sneak “malvertising” with legitimate ads on the web.

   o    Avoid pop ups or offers with free downloads.

   o    Be wary of clicking on links. If a link seems to take you to a legitimate retailer, type the URL, don’t click the link.

           Shop securely

o   Be sure that the URL starts with “https” or a green lock shows on your browser before you make your online order.

o   Research online retailers that are you are not familiar with before you order.

o   Don’t do any online shopping through public Wi-Fi networks. Use your secure network at home (or work if the boss isn’t looking).

           Use two-factor authentication

o   Two-factor authentication adds a step to ensure that you are you (

           Be sure your antivirus, antimalware, web browser and firewall are all up to date







Tuesday, November 24, 2015


You might have noticed that information that you normally can see on is not available or you cannot get into the web site.

According to Shari Ireton, the Communications Director/PIO for the Sheriff’s Office, the contract with has ended. The county is looking into a new vendor for crime mapping. It will take several weeks before crime mapping returns.

SNOHOMISH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE- Crime Prevention Newsletter Holiday Issue

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office has released the holiday issue of “Partners in Crime Prevention.” This issue focuses on ID theft, tips on preventing crime while you shop and how to prevent home burglaries.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:


Monday, November 23, 2015


The holidays are coming and with that the big shopping season of the year. Online shopping and therefore package delivery continues to grow as more people take advantage of the ease of looking for gifts and ordering them with their computer, tablet or smartphone.

UPS, Federal Express and the Postal Service will be busy delivering packages in the next few weeks. Securing delivered packages can be difficult. Too often the TV news has video of someone going up to a front porch and then walking (or running) away with a package that had been left a few minutes before. Before the advent of inexpensive security camera systems, the homeowner would be out of luck. With cameras, at least the victim homeowner can show police who took the package.

Preventing package theft can be difficult. For most of us, having a package waiting on our front doorstep makes it vulnerable to theft. Even if a neighbor picks it up for you, soon after it is delivered, or you have a camera covering your front porch, the package can be gone. You can’t expect your neighbor to have their eyes glued to your house all day. And your camera cannot stop a thief. All it can do is show a picture of a thief.

Crime prevention professionals often talk in terms of “hardening the target” and taking away “opportunity” for a theft. One way to harden the target might be to have a locking box that the UPS or FedEx driver can deposit your package into. No one makes a locking box that is easy to use for the driver or the homeowner. And if they did, then there is a problem of how big to make it; too small and larger packages can’t be placed in it, too large and it may not be practical to place on the front porch.

Taking away opportunity would mean that the package is not visible from the street. Some things that you can do to take away opportunity include:

  • Request a signature on delivery. This means that whoever accepts the package signs for it ensuring that the driver hands it to someone at the delivery destination. If no one is available to sign for it, the driver will try to deliver it on another day.
  • Instruct the delivery service to leave the package someplace that is out of sight of the street, such as the back door.
  • One other option that UPS offers is to enter your garage code as part of your profile in their free My Choice service. When the driver is 10 feet from your house, he/she is given your code to open the garage door. The driver can place the package in your garage and then close the door. The code disappears from the driver’s handheld when he/she is beyond 10 feet from your house. 
If you are having a package delivered to your home, sign up for an automatic alert to your email or via a text so that you know it has been delivered. You might also consider using an app that tracks your package.

Encourage your neighbors who stay at home to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles (for example following delivery trucks) and report them to 911 right away.

This is where locking mailboxes have an advantage. Many residential locking mailbox units that serve 4, 8 or more houses have one or two locked package compartments. While UPS and FedEx drivers do not have access to these units, when a package is delivered by your postal carrier it is secure.

You can also:

·         Have your packages delivered to your work address or to a neighbor’s address.

·         Have your packages sent to a nearby UPS or FedEx Office location.

Protecting your delivered packages is currently an imperfect proposition. To have absolute security from the time the package delivery company accepts it to your hands may require some inconvenience. While cameras can act as somewhat of a deterrent, they are not perfect. If you are not picking up your package at a UPS, FedEx, or Postal Service facility or at work, taking your package into your house as soon as possible after delivery may be your best strategy to preventing package theft.









Sunday, November 22, 2015

WASHINGTON STATE PATROL- Scammers Impersonating WSP Troopers Association

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) reports that it has received numerous calls from the public regarding phone calls from individuals claiming to be from the WSP and soliciting contributions over the past 4 months. The WSP has determined that the phone calls are from scammers

The Washington State Patrol Troopers Association (WSPTA) does have a telemarketing company that solicits the public for donations. However, the company does not use hard sell tactics nor will they ask for credit card numbers or personal financial information over the phone. Also, individual troopers will not call you soliciting donations.

Be skeptical of anyone representing themselves as a trooper or from the Troopers Association who wants your credit card or other financial information. WSP recommends that if you think you are receiving a call from a WSP scammer, hang up and call one of the local WSP district offices.

District Offices:

District 2, Bellevue- (425) 401- 7788

District 7, Marysville- (360) 654-1204

For information on legitimate solicitors in Washington State, go to the Secretary of State’s Charities Program webpage at








Saturday, November 14, 2015

PARIS ATTACKS- Where to Give

With our revulsion at the Paris attacks yesterday we naturally want to give support to the victims.

In a press release, the American Red Cross says that it is currently not seeking donations for Parisian victims (  

If you would like to donate for victim relief, here are some legitimate organizations to consider:

·         Doctors Without Borders-

·         French Red Cross (in French)-

·         Restaurants du Coeur (in French, provides food for those in need)-

·         Secours Populaire Francais (an aid organization)-

·         Solidarites International (an aid organization)-

Be wary of anyone contacting you on the phone, email, or via social media soliciting donations related to the Paris tragedy. If the caller pressures you to donate right away, wants cash or wants the funds wired to them hang up.

Here is some general guidance if you would like to give:

Washington State Secretary of State:


Federal Trade Commission:

Here are some other articles about supporting the Parisian victims:





Thursday, November 12, 2015

BURGLARIES- Advice from an Edmonds PD Detective

We all fear a burglary at home. Sgt. Shane Hawley talks about when burglars are most likely to break into your home. Hint, it’s not at night, that’s when the car prowlers are out. Take a look at this YouTube video learn when to expect a burglary:

My Neighborhood News Network:

SCAMS- Update on the Latest Scams

Here is an update of some of the latest (and some of the oldest) scams currently going around:

Secret Sister Gift Exchange- Facebook and Instagram users have been seeing posts for a “Secret Sister Gift Exchange.” In this scheme, someone makes a first post inviting 6 friends to participate with a list of secret sisters. If you receive this first post, you are supposed to send a $10 gift to sister number 1 on the list provided by the person who invited you. Then you move sister number 2 on the list to position number 1, place your name as number 2 and invite 6 of your friends to take part. Theoretically, your 6 friends would invite 6 of their friends and you could receive 36 gifts.

The problem with this scheme is that it is a “pyramid scheme” like old chain letters that you might receive in the mail before the internet. Pyramid schemes and chain letters are illegal according to federal law. So, ignore any invitations to participate. For more information about this pyramid scheme, go to:


US Postal Inspection Service:

Holiday Scams- The AARP Fraud Watch Network is warning the public about holiday scams that are likely to occur this Christmas season.

·         For example, scammers will be posing as charitable organizations to take your money. Some may give only a small percentage to a legitimate charity while keeping the bulk of the collected proceeds for themselves; others will just keep all of the money for themselves. The Fraud Watch Network recommends that before giving money that you make sure the charity is registered with the Washington State Secretary of State’s office at 1-800-332-GIVE or online at

·         A great way to for a fraudster to take your identity is through public Wi-Fi. In middle man attacks at your local coffee house, hotel or airport, the potential ID thief can capture your ID, passwords, and account information if you check your bank account or purchase items online using the available free Wi-Fi. This is true even if you connect securely by https. The best action is to do your online banking or purchasing from your own secure network at home.

·         When making any kind of purchase use your credit card, not your debit card. This is true if you are at a restaurant, a brick and mortar store, or online. With your credit card, you are only liable for the first $50 of a fraudulent transaction. With a debit card you have no recourse and the fraudster can have unlimited access to all of the funds in your bank account if he obtains your debit card account number. Leave your debit card in your safe at home.

·         The holidays are the time of year when we often give gift cards to family and friends from specific stores. Often we see racks of gift cards at grocery stores there for our convenience. Some scammers have been known to surreptitiously collect the account numbers of these cards on the racks and then check online to see if someone has purchased the cards and activated them. If they have been activated, the fraudster quickly drains the card of all of its funds. If you want to give a gift card to someone, purchase the card directly from the restaurant or store.


AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Scams that target older Americans- The elderly are often targeted because scammers assume that they probably have money and/or they may be easily confused or persuaded. This recent article from lists several scams to watch out for:



Monday, November 9, 2015

CAR PROWLS- One Officer’s Advice

Car prowls seem to be a consistent problem in our area. In this video of a training session sponsored by the NW Law Enforcement Business Alliance, Everett Police Department Crime Prevention Officer Eddie Golden gives some perspective on car prowls and identity theft.


1.      Officer Golden points out that the FTC does not investigate specific cases. On its web site, the FTC says that it collects “…complaints about hundreds of issues from data security and deceptive advertising to identity theft and Do Not Call violations, and make them available to law enforcement agencies worldwide for follow-up.” So while the FTC may not be able to help you with your specific case, filing a complaint with them can help with FTC and law enforcement agencies’ investigations and law suits against those who break consumer laws (

2.      In his talk, Officer Golden talks about how one car prowl group operated. It is a good example of how easy car prowls can occur.

Take a look at this 18 minute video and heed officer Golden’s recommendations for protecting your possessions and your identity:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

THE HERALD- What Jail Can't Cure

This morning The Herald published an in depth four part series on jails, alcoholism and mental health. It covers the potential tragedy of jails and inmates with mental health problems, Sheriff Ty Trenary’s policies on mental health and addiction in the Snohomish County jail, the efforts of the Sheriff’s Office to encourage the homeless with addictions and mental health problems to get help and a success story of how one man, with the help of a new program, has been working to solve his addiction problems.

This article is worth taking some time to read.

The Herald:



Friday, November 6, 2015

ATM’s– Scammers are Innovating to Take Your ID at the ATM

ATM skimmers have been around for several years. Skimmers are devices that are surreptitiously placed on an ATM machine to record the account information on the magnetic tape of your credit or debit card when you swipe it in the ATM. The Skimmer equipment is often designed to blend in to the ATM and is often hard to spot.

With at advent of chip cards, in Mexico, scammers have developed a new device called a “shimmer” that tries to capture the information on the chip. The shimmer is designed to cover the ATM’s chip reader so that the shimmer can also read the card’s chip.  

In Europe, security officials have noticed the use of an “insert skimmer” which is a wafer-thin device that fits inside the slot that you insert your card into. Insert skimmers are much harder to detect.

The scammer may have your account information, but without the PIN number he cannot get into your account. An easy way for the scammer to get that information is to hide a pinhole camera near the ATM’s keypad. They get clever by placing the pinhole cameras on a false panel above the keypad, beside the keypad, behind convex mirrors, or even false fire alarms.

AARP’s Fraud Watch Network recommends that when you are at an ATM:

·         Examine the ATM before entering your card. Look for parts that have different colors than the rest of the machine. Look for unusual equipment at the mouth, keypad, sides or overhead. Wiggle the slot. If it is not securely attached, go to another ATM.

·         If you see an out-of-service message, go to another location. In one scam, out-of-order signs were placed on ATM’s to steer victims to a compromised ATM.

·         Before inserting your card, try several keys such as “enter,” cancel,” and “clear.” A sticky keypad could be a ruse to prevent you from completing your transaction. When you leave to complain about the problem, a fraudster can come up to the machine and complete your transaction to withdraw cash.

·         Always cover the keypad as you enter your PIN! By protecting your PIN in this way, if a scammer does get your account number, he will not have your PIN to get into your account.

AARP Fraud Watch Network:

Krebs on Security:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

SNOHOMISH COUNTY– Property Crimes Unit Looking for Suspect

The North Snohomish County Property Crimes Unit is looking for Michael Dean Taylor who is a suspect in several vehicle thefts in North Snohomish County. Unit detectives say that he is also a prolific car prowler and ID thief.

According to the detectives, Taylor likes to hang out at casinos where he spends money and gets free coffee. He is known to spend time in Skagit County, Stanwood and Arlington.  

If you know where to find Mr. Taylor, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Washington’s Most Wanted:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

HALLOWEEN– Think Safety Whether Trick or Treating or Partying

Halloween is coming and time for trick or treating and partying to enjoy the tradition. The Lynnwood Police Department reminds everyone to be safe:

• Go trick-or-treating with a grown-up. If kids are mature enough to go trick-or-treating without supervision, make sure they stick to a predetermined route with good lighting.

• Take advantage of one of your community’s pre-planned indoor events.

• Make sure your costume lets you see and hear perfectly. You need to watch and listen for cars.

• Wear brightly colored clothing, use glow sticks and carry a flashlight so drivers can see you.

• Have an adult check all treats before eating them. If in doubt, throw it out.

• Cross streets safely. Cross at a corner, using traffic signals and crosswalks. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Look left, right and left again when crossing, and keep looking as you cross. Walk, don’t run, across the street.

• Walk on well-lit sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk in familiar areas with minimal street crossings.

• Be a safe pedestrian around cars. Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.

• Be especially alert. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours occur during the typical rush-hour period, between 5:30-9:30 pm.

• Drive slowly. Slow down and anticipate heavier than usual pedestrian traffic.

• Lights on. Be sure to drive with your full headlights on so you can spot children from greater distances.

Some fire safety tips include:

• Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-o-lanterns and avoid using candles.

• When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric.

• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.

• Teach children to stay away from open flames including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them.

• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes. Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working.


And, Sheriff Ty Trenary reminds everyone:

Impaired driving is a leading factor in Washington traffic deaths. We’re working with the Washington State Patrol and other Snohomish County law enforcement agencies to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the roads.

You can do your part this Halloween by driving sober, designating a sober driver, or taking alternative transportation.

Don't let Halloween become a nightmare: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.





Lynnwood Police Department:

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office: