goskagit

It’s hard to believe, but 2021 has come to an end.

It was a year to remember, as the pandemic continued with variants and new restrictions.

The year included one of the worst floods we’ve seen here in the valley, and on the heels of that a very cold winter front blasted us after Christmas. But Skagit County is full of resilient citizens who seem to always conquer whatever challenge we face.

A rise in reported crimes to the Sheriff’s Office also occurred. Following is a breakdown for our most reported property crimes.

BURGLARY

For the most part, this is a crime of opportunity. Burglaries that occur in vacant houses or summer cabins are two of the most common kinds that deputies investigate.

There were 300 burglaries reported to the Sheriff’s Office in 2021, up from 274 in 2020.

Here are some tips to help keep you from being a target:

— If you have a home that is not regularly lived in, consider not leaving valuables inside.

— Summer cabins are targeted during the nonsummer months as most people who own them are only there during the summer. When you winterize the cabin, take the summer gear home.

— Daytime burglaries are still the most common kinds of burglaries the Sheriff’s Office investigates. Always lock all doors and windows when leaving for the day or just when making a quick drive to the store. If your home appears to be vacant and has easy access for a burglar, you could become a victim.

— Leave something on inside your home that can be heard from outside: TV, radio, etc.

VEHICLE PROWLS

This is another crime of opportunity.

There were 328 prowls reported to the Sheriff’s Office in 2021 after 282 were reported in 2020.

Here are some particulars about vehicle prowls and ways to help keep from being a victim:

— A vast majority of these crimes occur at trailheads while you are exercising.

— Backpacks, purses or any other valuable item left out to see are targeted.

— Credit cards are used within minutes of the theft.

— Lock your doors and windows and leave nothing of value in sight.

— Do not cover valuables in your car with a coat that is visible. This can get the attention of the car prowler who may smash your window to see under the coat.

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY

This is a call that we like to see on the rise.

When a community is engaged and looking out for one another, these calls for service go up. Unfortunately, these calls have taken a slight decrease since 2020.

In 2021 we received 1,534 suspicious type activity calls, and in 2020 we received 1,648.

Many people ask, what is considered suspicious?

— You know your neighborhood better than anyone. If something isn’t right and is something that you haven’t seen before, call us.

— A car that keeps cruising up and down your neighborhood, stopping in front of houses.

— An unknown person walking in your neighborhood during late-night hours carrying a backpack.

— People who come to your house and seem startled that you answered your door. They ask if you have seen their dog, or need to use your phone, etc.

Please email me with questions you have or any suggestions to help reduce crime in Skagit County.

— Chad Clark is undersheriff of the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office. Send questions to: scsocommunity@co.skagit.wa.us

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