Three Men Casing the Neighborhood

Three men in a rather run down vehicle were seen this afternoon looping through the neighborhood in what appeared to be an operation to identify homes vulnerable to burglarization. Most burglaries occur during the day, when fewer homes are occupied.

Here are some steps you can take to make your home a less attractive target for burglars and more secure if a break-in is attempted:

  • Install a security system
  • Keep plants groomed so that they don’t provide hiding spots
  • Have lights (interior and exterior) on a timer
  • Leave the TV on or set your TV to come on partway through the day.
  • Replace the screws in your exterior door hinges and strike plates with 3″ screws, going all the way into the studs. This will make your door much harder to kick in.
  • Install a door bar on your sliding glass doors and windows. Wooden dowels or 1×2 lumber can serve this purpose and are inexpensive. Aluminum fixtures are also commercially available.
  • Pay special attention to the windows and doors opening onto your back yard, and consider putting a lock on your gate.
  • Try to limit the valuables that are visible through windows, but avoid closing all your blinds if possible (criminals know that blinds work both ways – if everyone’s blinds are closed, no one in their houses can see people breaking into their neighbors’ houses)

There is no non-emergency line for reporting suspicious activity. The instructions given by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office are to call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity. Inform the dispatcher that your call is not an emergency (unless a crime is actually in progress) and that you want to report suspicious activity. Try to give a clear description of any persons or vehicles involved in the suspicious activity. An officer may not respond, but information such as suspicious activity reports are part of what drives the deployment strategy of the Sheriff’s deputies. If suspicious activity is on the rise, deployments may be adjusted to give us more coverage.  There is no harm in reporting suspicious activity, but there could be harm in not reporting it.

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