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).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (425) 485-1254 and refer to case number 15-26870.
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!
Here are some scams and prevention measures that have made
the news in the last few weeks:
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: http://atg.wa.gov/news/news-releases/ag-sues-one-world-s-biggest-tech-support-providers-stop-deceptive-scam-0
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: http://www.bbb.org/blog/2015/12/delivery-scam-steals-customer-info-with-crafty-con/.
·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: http://time.com/money/4120796/outsmart-new-cyber-scams/?utm_content=buffere603e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer.
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: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20151201/NEWS01/151209966.
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: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/your-route-security?utm_source=govdelivery.
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
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
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,
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
There is a lot of information about scams and fraud being
published now. Here is some information about the latest developments in the
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 https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1.
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.
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.