Saturday, January 16, 2016

CRIME PREVENTION UPDATE- Stolen Cars Down, Dog Poisoning Update, Position on 911 Outage

Here is information about the number of stolen cars in Snohomish County and some updates on stories that I covered recently:

Stolen Cars in Snohomish County. Last week, the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force tweeted that car theft decreased 17.7% between 2014 and 2015 with a total of 2,706 vehicles stolen. When asked why the decrease, a task force representation attributed it to putting many auto thieves in prison. This included closing several 2014 auto theft cases. Those convicted of car theft averaged sentences of about 37.5 months in prison.

Comment: This obviously is good news for Snohomish County. It shows that the task force has a positive effect in reducing the number of vehicles stolen in the county. However, there still have been over 2,700 vehicles stolen in the county last year. And those convicted car thieves will be released after their sentences are over. A percentage of them will reoffend. There still is work to do for the task force and for us the citizens. We can still help by protecting our vehicles by locking the doors, taking the keys with us, and not keeping anything in view through the windows. Hopefully, with our help, the task force can reduce the number of stolen cars some more in 2016.



Reported Dog Poisonings. Last month, I reported on suspected dog poisonings in the county ( Yesterday, The Herald reported that a dog was likely poisoned at Willis Tucker Park. The dog eventually died. A park ranger has been investigating the incident. A veter      inarian determined that the dog was poisoned with rat poison. But the ranger has not been able to confirm that the dog ate the poison at the park or somewhere else.

Over the past few weeks, there have numerous reports of local dog poisonings on social media. However, the Parks Department has only been able to confirm 4 dogs dying or becoming ill. And information about those incidents is sketchy.

Note: While it can be difficult to investigate dog poisonings, if someone is going around poisoning dogs, it is important to report it in a timely manner to help local authorities conduct an investigation and apprehend any perpetrators. Snohomish County Parks and Recreation has indicated that it wants to know about any suspicious activity (presumably on park property). They can be reached at (425) 388-6600 or For county areas other than parks, the county’s Animal Control Services division can be contacted at (425-388-3440) or online at

The Herald:

Snohomish County Parks and Recreation:

CenturyLink 911 Failure. The Herald has issued its opinion on the potential fine against CenturyLink over the 911 failure in 2014. Spoiler alert; the paper sides with the Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson in encouraging the Utilities and Transportation Commission to levy the maximum fine. In making its argument, the editorial staff points out some facts that give insight on just how bad this problem has been and on how it has affected individuals in the county.

Note: The editorial is worth reading if only for the background that the paper gives about this issue. We heavily rely on technology for our daily lives as well as emergency situations. And Attorney General Ferguson’s emphasis on accountability is appropriate. Government and its contractors need to ensure the reliability of its emergency communications with the public. However, technology, while it can be robust, probably will never be perfect. Natural disasters can easily cut communications as well as power. As pointed out by KOMO recently ( it is a good idea to know alternate ways to call your local 911 agency should you need help in an emergency and have trouble contacting 911.

The Herald:





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