Property crimes plague county, state at higher than average rates

MARYSVILLE — Burglars and thieves keep plenty busy in Snohomish County.

On an average day, they’ll pull off nearly 50 property crimes, and those are the ones that actually get reported to police.

Yet, when compared with the state, things don’t seem quite so bad.

Snohomish County accounts for 7 percent of the state’s property crimes but 11 percent of the population. It also has 11 percent of the state’s arrests for various ways of stealing, according to researchers who examined property crimes in Washington state.

The report grabbed headlines in January because it found that Washington has the nation’s highest rate for property crimes. Washington averages 3,710 property crimes per 100,000 people. The national average is 2,730.

The numbers are based on 2013 FBI statistics. They include burglaries, auto theft, car break-ins, identity theft and other crimes.

State lawmakers continue to debate what should be done, including whether it makes sense to shorten sentences but increase community supervision to keep better tabs on felons when they are released. One bill passed through the Senate; another remains in the House.

In 2013, there were 17,655 reports of property crime in the county. Statewide the total exceeded a quarter million.

Police in Snohomish County made 3,002 property crime arrests during that time.

Statewide, more than two thirds of property crimes were committed by people with felony convictions.

That doesn’t surprise Marysville Police Department Sgt. James Maples, who leads a multi-agency group of detectives investigating property crimes in north Snohomish County.

Many of its arrests have involved repeat offenders and career criminals, he said. Some have been major players on the black market in the business of selling off stolen loot.

“It’s either that’s what they know, or heroin, and they have to supply their demand,” he said. “If you don’t have a place to take it, you may have to find another way to get your dope.”

Each arrest of a major mover of stolen goods shrinks the options for thieves and burglars, he said.

Between early January and through March, the north county property crimes unit made 119 arrests, recovered $198,000 in stolen goods and seized $27,000 in cash. It also was able to return items to 52 victims.

The team includes officers from several jurisdictions who work in the same office. The strategy recognizes that many thieves cross boundaries between different cities and unincorporated parts of the county. The idea is to share knowledge among the detectives.

People can help detectives with criminal investigations and improve the odds of getting their stolen goods back by recording serial numbers and taking photos of the valuable items, especially jewelry, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said. Neighborhood block watches have programs to help people create records of their belongings.

It also is important to report stolen items as soon as possible because thieves often unload their loot quickly, Snell said.

Maples said the ability to work fast has helped the north county property crimes unit.

“We have been able to get to the property quickly, to get to it before it is farmed out,” he said.

Sometimes the detectives enlist victims to help with online searches with many items popping up on craigslist.org or offerup.com, he said.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Photos by Olivia Vanni / The Herald
Gabby Bullock sits on her bed in a room she shares with another housemate on June 14 in Everett.
‘We don’t have openings’: SnoCo recovery houses struggle with demand

Advocates say the homes are critical for addiction recovery. But home prices make starting a sober living house difficult.

Melinda Grenier serves patrons at her coffee truck called Hay Girl Coffee during the third annual Arlington Pride event in Arlington, Washington on Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Food safety team defends its work: it’s a ‘high pressure, thankless’ job

Management tried to set the record straight about long permit delays in Snohomish County.

Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. (Olivia Vanni/The Herald)
Global tech outage leaves a mark on Snohomish County

The CrowdStrike software update hit some systems at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett and briefly disrupted 911 operations.

Performers joust during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire at Sky Meadows Park in Snohomish, Washington, on Sunday, Aug. 06, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Royalty and revelry: The spirit of the Renaissance comes to Monroe

The annual Renaissance fair will open its doors every weekend from July 20 to Aug. 18

Trees and foliage grow at the Rockport State Park on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 in Rockport, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
When you get lost in WA, what’s the cost to get rescued? Surprisingly little

Washington’s volunteer search and rescue teams save lives without costly bills.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.