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: