Sammamish sees drop in some crimes

January 23, 2013

By Caleb Heeringa

Despite a rash of burglaries in the first half of the year, preliminary year-end crime statistics show that Sammamish saw similar levels of crime in 2012 compared to 2011.

Police responded to 109 burglaries last year, only one more than the 108 they saw in 2011.

The city did see an increase in fraud last year – 110 compared to 94 the year before. Administrative Sergeant Jessica Sullivan attributed the uptick to banks increasingly requiring fraud victims to file a police report before they agree to reimburse stolen money. Sullivan said the city has also seen a large amount of mail theft this year, which often leads to fraud when criminals obtain sensitive bank account information.

Sullivan said the department recently arrested a woman they suspect of at least three incidents of mail theft in Sammamish, along with similar thefts in Klahanie, Maple Valley, Redmond and the Snoqualmie Valley. Sullivan declined to name the woman because she is facing federal charges for mail theft and has yet to be charged.

Sullivan said it’s amazingly easy to obtain personal information like bank accounts or Social Security Numbers in people’s mail. That information can then be added to a pre-approved credit card offer or used online.

“It’s amazing when you grab a handful of mail how much of that information is there,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said police suggest residents get a locking mailbox, which can be purchased for as little as $50 at most hardware stores.

The city saw a decrease in assaults in 2012 – 38 compared to 52 in 2011 – though police aren’t sure what factors would be at play in the decrease. Sullivan said approximately 70 percent of the city’s assaults are usually domestic violence related.

Though 2012 numbers for other cities have yet to be compiled, it appears Sammamish will once again have one of the lowest crime rates of any nearby city. The city’s 7.9 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2011 makes Sammamish second only to Duvall as the safest city in King County, according to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

 

Reporter Caleb Heeringa can be reached at 392-6434. ext. 247, or cheeringa@isspress.com.

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