Burglary; Package Theft

From the South SnoCo Crime Watch Hot Sheet:

On December 5, a homeowner, in the 1500 block of 81st Pl SE (North of the Everett Mall), arrived home in the afternoon and noticed that a light she had turned off in the morning was turned on. The homeowner contacted a neighbor for help. They checked the exterior of the house and did not see any signs of forced entry. The neighbor called 911.

Everett Police Department officers arrived at the house. After making announcements for anyone inside to come out, they searched the residence. They found a male hiding in an upstairs bedroom. He told the officers that a female, who he claimed was still in the house, let him in. Officers with a K-9 searched the house again, but found no one else in the house. The male was arrested and booked into the Snohomish County jail for burglary.

Note: It can be unnerving to think that a stranger is in your own home. This homeowner did take the right actions to handle this situation. When she discovered that something was not right in her home, she did not enter the home. She protected her own safety by staying out of the house. Then, she contacted a neighbor for help. They checked things out to gather more information without endangering themselves. Then they called for police to handle the heavy work of searching inside the house. For police and hopefully for the homeowner, this was a good day. No one was hurt, even the suspect, and the police apprehended a suspect in the act and chauffeured him to the “gray bar hotel.”

This is a great example of what to do when something isn’t right.  Don’t put yourself at risk.  If your instincts tell you something is wrong, trust them.  It’s better to call police, and have it turn out to be nothing, than to ignore your instincts, enter the house, and potentially get attacked.  Our instincts are the result of a long history of self-preservation – trust them!

Also from the South SnoCo Crime Watch Hot Sheet:

While I have not heard of reports of package theft so far during this holiday season in South Snohomish County, the following two items show that it is going on in our region:

  • According to the Seattle Police Blotter, on December 7, a white Toyota van was associated with four suspects stealing packages from front porches in West Seattle. One victim called 911 at around 11:43am, to report that a male suspect had just stolen a package from her front porch and entered a white Toyota van. Later in the day, around 3:30pm, another homeowner reported a package stolen from their front porch. This time a female suspect was seen stealing the package and getting into a white Toyota van. Minutes after the second report, an officer spotted the suspect vehicle. Four suspects, 3 males and 1 female were arrested. SPD Blotter- http://spdblotter.seattle.gov/2012/12/07/four-grinches-who-tried-to-steal-christmas-dont-make-it-far/
  • KING 5 TV reported that a package thief took Christmas gifts that had been left at a Renton home by Federal Express and left empty boxes in their place. The homeowner reviewed video from the cameras in the front of her house and called 911. The video revealed a white SUV backed up to the front of the house with the driver’s side door open. A male, wearing blue jeans, a blue coat and and hat, made his way around the back of the SUV. Renton police are looking for this suspect. KING 5 TV- http://www.king5.com/news/cities/renton/Thief-steals-Christmas-gifts-replaced-with-empty-boxes-182824741.html

Note: To prevent delivered packages from being stolen, try these actions:

  • Have the package delivered to a trusted neighbor who is usually at home or have them pick up the package as soon as it is delivered from your house.
  • Have the package placed on your back porch by the delivery driver.
  • If possible, have the package delivered to your work.
  • Encourage your neighbors to watch for suspicious people in your neighborhood and to watch for vehicles that seem to be following a UPS, FEDEX, or postal vehicle. If they see anything suspicious have them call 911.
  • Track your package delivery online. This way you will know when your package was delivered

To add to the list of suggestions, if possible, contact the shipper when placing your order and ask them to ship your order with signature required.Your Board of Directors works hard to make our neighborhood as safe as possible.  Here are some of the details:

  • A security patrol company will begin serving the neighborhood soon, which should help deter crime in our community.  (This is part of what drove the $2 increase in your monthly assessments for 2013)
  • We recently had a heavy duty fence installed to close off the path through the trees in the northeast corner of the development, where we have seen empty shipping boxes, presumably the result of package theft.
  • We are working with the county to clear brush and repair fencing along the interurban trail, another common access point into our neighborhood

No measure makes a neighborhood completely secure however, and the best way to prevent crime continues to be for each homeowner to remain vigilant.  If you see suspicious activity, dial 911 and inform the operator on the other end that you have a non-emergency, and are reporting suspicious activity.  They will route your call appropriately.  If you see a crime in progress, dial 911 immediately – this IS an emergency – especially if life or property are at risk.  Make some simple modifications to your home to make it more secure.  If we all make ourselves less appealing targets, then our neighborhood as a whole becomes a less appealing target, and criminals will simply move somewhere else, leaving us alone.Be safe, folks.

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Suspicious Individual Pounding on Door Last Night

UPDATE: The man was found by Sheriff’s deputies and arrested, presumably for suspicion of disorderly conduct, or something similar.

Last night, one of our neighbors had an odd encounter with an unknown man.  About midnight, they heard someone pounding on their front door and ringing the doorbell.  The man outside was shouting and crying, then sitting on the front porch crying and talking to himself.  The homeowner called 911.  When the man heard the homeowners’ dog barking, he got agitated again and started yelling asking who was in there and to let him in, while still sobbing.  By the time Sheriff’s deputies arrived, the man had left their home.  The deputies told the homeowner they would drive around the neighborhood and see if they could find him.  It is unknown whether deputies found the man, or whether he disturbed any other homes in our area.

From this, I have two reminders for my fellow homeowners:

First, calling 911 is absolutely the right thing to do in this situation.  For all you know, the man could be drunk, or under the influence of drugs, and he could be armed.  The right thing to do here is to stay in your home, ensure your doors and windows are locked, and wait for law enforcement to arrive.  It takes several minutes for police to arrive, so if a person’s actions begin to cross the line into attempting to forcefully enter your home you’re in a dangerous situation that may warrant defensive actions on your part.  Only you can decide when that line has been crossed, and what actions you should take.  Consult a lawyer about the legal nuances surrounding self defense.

Second, do not open your door to anyone you don’t know.  Sometimes the situation seems harmless enough.  Maybe it’s raining and cold, and a teenage girl is outside without a coat, crying.  And maybe she’s got two friends hiding around the corner, ready to rush at you the moment they hear the door open.  There are too many stories out there of people opening the door to strangers, only to have those strangers invade the home.  Every situation is different, so I can’t recommend you talk to the person through your closed door to figure out what’s going on, but in some situations, that may be helpful.  Use your best judgment, and trust your instincts.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

There are urban legends/hoaxes about people using recordings of a crying baby to get homeowners to open their door.  There aren’t any confirmed cases of this actually happening, but it’s useful as a reminder to stay alert, and stay safe.  Our homes all have peep-holes installed in our front doors.  Use them!  Don’t open the door for anyone you don’t know.  And when I say anyone, I mean ANYONE, including police.  In Tucson, AZ, two men dressed as police officers invaded a home when the homeowner opened the door to them! [link]  If you didn’t call the police, it is entirely appropriate to ask for the officers’ names and badge numbers and then call 911 to verify the officers are legit, before speaking with them further.  If they’re legit, they’ll understand your hesitation.  If they’re not, you may have just saved your life.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I recommend you replace the screws in your door hinges and strike plates with 3″ or longer screws.  Long enough to penetrate through the door jamb, into the stud behind it.  Here’s a link with other home security tips that are easy to do with just a little bit of know-how.

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And we’re back!

After a long summer absence, here I am again, with the most recent newsletter from the SnoCo Sheriff’s Office.  This issue focuses on bullying.

Newsletter-September October 2012

Remember, the Association’s monthly board meeting is this Thursday, 10/18, at 6:30 in the Mariner High School library.

Hope to see you there!

 

Next week: Tips for security and safety as we head into the winter months.

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Be On The Lookout For These Burglars

Property crime detectives are looking for the burglars depicted in the attached composite sketches.

The first composite (#0284) is a burglar who on 7/19, about noon, forced his way into an occupied residence on Serene Way in Lynnwood.  Two residents confronted him and he quickly ran out from the rear patio door.  The witnesses said he had a full right arm sleeve tattoo that was of unknown design but blue in color.  He had slight acne on his upper facial cheeks and a several days growth of whiskers.  Additionally, his upper front tooth was crooked. He was wearing a blue/white baseball style cap, white (crew neck) tee shirt and blue jeans.

The other two (#0285 and #0286) composites are a male and female residential burglary team.  The male breaks into the rear of the residence while the female driver remains inside the suspect vehicle (silver, late 90’s Mitsubishi Eclipse) that is parked in the victim’s driveway.  The latest burglary by this duo occurred on 7/20 at about 5:45 p.m. in a multi-apartment complex located on Admiralty Way in Lynnwood.

If you see any of these suspects, IMMEDIATELY call 911!  Don’t attempt to confront or detain them.  Observe from a safe distance and be a good witness.  If possible, write down information such as license plate numbers or other identifying vehicle marks, decals, etc.  Notice what they are wearing at the time. If they leave the area, make note of their direction of travel.

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Package Theft

A package was stolen from the doorstep of one of our neighbors, last friday, between 2 and 3:30 pm. Anyone who may have seen the thief should contact the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office by dialing 911 and informing the operator that you are not reporting an emergency, but have information about a recent theft.

To reduce the risk of theft, try to use the US Postal Service for shipping packages, since USPS can use the locking compartments in our communal mailboxes for many items. Also, check with the shipper to see if you can have your item shipped with a signature requirement.

Obviously, there’s a downside in that most of us work, make signing for a package delivered during the day…problematic.

Other options are to consider a PO Box. There are also businesses that will accept packages (and sign for them) for a small fee, generally payable on pickup.

We shouldn’t have to take these kinds of measures, but unfortunately, this is the world we live in.

Be safe.

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Burglary Prevention Resource Fair

The Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with other south county police departments, is holding a Burglary Prevention Resource Fair:

Saturday, May 5th
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Meadowdale High School
6002 168th Street SW
Lynnwood

There will be a wide variety of vendors displaying their products and services (locks, alarms, camera systems, home inventory, etc.).  There will also be property crime detectives on hand to discuss burglary prevention and answer your questions.

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Blue/White Ford Pickup Doing Suspicious Things

(Reposted from http://ssnoccrimewatch.blogspot.com/2012/02/gold-creek-suspicious-activity.html)

February 14, a homeowner in the 6800 block of 154th St SE in Gold Creek, arrived home at 6:25pm to find an older model (late 70’s, early 80’s) two toned blue and white Ford pickup blocking her driveway. She shined her high beams and saw a platinum blonde white female in her 20’s sitting in the middle of the front bench seat. The driver’s door was open. A white male, also in his 20’s, with short blond hair, ran from the driveway, jumped into the driver’s seat and “took off like a bat out of hell.” While the homeowner was unable to take down the license plate, she did note that the rear of the truck had illuminated amber lighting.

The homeowner assumed that the suspects were casing her house.

If you see this vehicle, or any other suspicious activity, call 911 immediately.

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