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Crime Spotlight – Seattle, WA

by Amy November 16, 2012

We are excited to feature the first in a series of monthly blogs by Peter Rogers, Co-Founder & Senior Advisor, of FrontPoint Security Solutions.  Peter has more than 20 years of wireless home security experience, including leadership positions at some of the country’s most prominent alarm companies.

Residential Crime Trends – Police Bust Burglars in Seattle with Help from Apple Technology

Known for its physical beauty and temperate year-round climate, Seattle, Washington has traditionally experienced higher property crime rates than the rest of the US. In fact, according to the FBI, the incidence of home intrusion in the Emerald City runs half again as high as the national average. But thanks to a smart burglary victim and some good police work, one Seattle neighborhood should now be a little safer, as described in this recent news report.

A man’s search for his stolen iPad helped lead Seattle police to a home in Seattle’s Capitol Hill filled with stolen technology devices and bicycles. Using a cellphone app, the burglary victim tracked his stolen iPad to a home doubling as a computer repair workshop near 12th Avenue East and East Mercer Street on Friday, according to Seattle police.

Not the First Time Police Tracked an Apple Device

This story reminds me of the recent burglary in Palo Alto, California: in that case, the thief happened to break into the home of Steve Jobs’ family, and stole a number of Apple devices. Police were able to track down the stolen devices, and catch the burglar in a short time.

What Happened This Time

The burglary victim called police to accompany him when he knocked on the residence’s door. Once they made contact, the man activated the app on his phone and his iPad made a sound that could be heard inside the home. Officers arrested a 41-year-old suspect and booked him into King County Jail for investigation of possession of stolen property.

More Stolen Items Recovered

After getting a search warrant to go through the rest of the home, detectives found computers, computer parts and high-end bicycles in the basement, shed and garage, according to the department’s online blotter. “There appears to be quite a number of items from recent area burglaries at this location,” the department’s blotter said. “This remains an active and on-going investigation, and detectives have quite a bit of evidence to sift through.”

A smart burglar might realize that this tracking ability exists: but then again, most burglars aren’t that smart – by definition. Even so, we do know a lot about burglar behavior. For instance, we know exactly where burglars break in, and what burglars steal. But what’s harder to figure out is why only one in five US homes have a monitored alarm system, with a burglary occurring every 14 seconds!

It makes sense to do everything you can so your home is not a target. You can start with installing a monitored alarm system and some cameras. Your peace of mind is worth a lot, and there’s nothing more important than protecting your home and family. And make sure you have those tracking apps loaded!