Thursday, February 19, 2015

SNOHOMISH COUNTY– Thefts Are Up In Residential Areas

Lt. Robert Palmer, South Precinct Commander for the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office recently took a KIRO TV reporter on a ride-a-long in residential areas to show how thieves can easily steal low value items that are left outside of homes and in open garages.

The Sheriff’s Office has received an increase in reports of thefts in recent months. Lt. Palmer attributed the increase to the rise in heroin usage. Over the past few years, heroin has become the drug of choice locally (as well as nationally). Heroin is cheaper than many other drugs such as prescription drugs (oxycodone) and is also readily available.

Heroin addicts can pick up some relatively inexpensive items in a sweep of a neighborhood. According to Lt. Palmer, “They really only need to come up with $25 worth of property today, and then tomorrow, they’ll go out and get $25 to $50 worth of property and get their drugs because it’s so cheap.”

During the ride-a-long, which aired tonight on KIRO-TV, Lt Palmer pointed out equipment left in the front yards of homes and a garage, with the door open, full of possessions ready for the taking. Also, a resident talked about the theft of his small outboard motor. Outboards are easy for one person to take. Now, he locks his outboard motor to his boat.

Key items that thieves look for include:

  • Yard equipment such as weed eaters and power tools.
  • Propane tanks left with gas grills.
  • Valuables in unlocked cars including electronics, wallets or garage door openers.
All of these thefts are a result of easy opportunities for thieves. The best way to reduce the thefts is to take away the opportunities. You can:

  • Keep your yard around your home clean and uncluttered. Pick up tools and equipment when you are finished with projects for the day. Store your children’s bicycles and toys in your house or closed garage.
  • Keep landscaping trimmed so that your house is easily seen from the street.
  • Lock your garage door even while you are home and even when you are working in the yard. A thief can take something out of your garage without you knowing it, especially if you are working in your back yard.
  • When you park your car in your driveway or in front of your house, do not store anything in view through the windows. If a thief can see it, he will take it.
  • Be on the lookout for any suspicious person or activity. If you see anything suspicious, report it right away to 911. Many burglaries and thefts in residential areas occur during the day when few people are at home. Encourage your neighbors who are retired or work from home to be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Note: On February 18, I posted that the North County Property Crime Unit was looking for Joseph Nasby and Sarah Dreben. The Sheriff’s Office reports that both have been apprehended. The Property Crime Unit alleges that they would look for homes with open garages, sheds, and out buildings to steal chainsaws, weed trimmers, leaf blowers and weapons.

Take a look at the video of the report, it shows good examples of property at risk.







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