Medical marijuana home break-ins were frequent - eight times since May

HowsafeMJ

Including Monday's robbery attempt, Sarich said his home has been broken into eight times since May, but he says he reported only one of those previous incidents.

The Seattle Times

King County Sheriff's Office deputies found 385 marijuana plants at the rented home of medical marijuana activist, Steve Sarich.

The Seattle Times is reporting that the break-in of Steve Sarich's Finn Hill rental home was the eighth time since May 2009, however, Sarich reported only one of those previous incidents. The robbery attempt on Monday lead to gun shots being fired. The robbers fired a shotgun, hitting Sarich in the face and arm. Sarich fired his pistol, hitting one robber who was later transported to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. Sarich narrowly escaped serious injury, as only a few shotgun pellets hit him.

Five young men have been charged in the case.

The young men apparently knew there was plenty of marijuana and cash lying around Steve Sarich's Kirkland-area home because they'd either worked for the medical-marijuana advocate, attended seminars at his house or had previously broken in to steal pot, according to charges filed by King County prosecutors.

In all, five suspects have been linked to the home invasion early Monday that turned into a shootout when Sarich woke up and confronted two intruders, critically wounding one. In charging documents filed Wednesday in King County Superior Court, prosecutors laid out a complex case that points to insiders familiar with Sarich's home and operation.

The Seattle Times

Many neighbors are asking themselves how so many incidents could take place in their otherwise peaceful neighborhood.

The neighborhood in which these incidents took place will be annexed by the City of Kirkland in June, 2011. The Kirkland Police Department website lists the following Burglary Prevention Tips to prevent crime in your neighborhood.

Home Burglary Prevention's Top 10 Tips:

  1. Make your house "hard." If it looks difficult to enter, is difficult to enter, and is well-maintained, chances are they will try somewhere else.
  2. Place sufficient lighting in the front/back of your home and garage.
  3. Use deadbolt locks as secondary locks on all doors. Ensure you have 2 1/2 - 3" screws in the door frame strike plate to reinforce deadbolt security.
  4. Fortify your windows and sliding glass doors with secondary locks or dowels that fit securely in windows. Dowels can be made of wood, PVC pipe or metal. Secondary locks include eye and hook, charlie bars.
  5. Secure your garage doors with a padlock or a sliding/cane bolt. Lock the door that leads into the house from the garage.
  6. Develop rapport with neighbors. You are more apt to look out for each others' homes & property if you know each other.
  7. Trim all landscaping below windows to avoid concealment areas.
  8. Make sure your address is visible from the street so emergency personnel can quickly respond with ease.
  9. Don't let mail or newspapers pile up.  It is a telltale sign that you are gone.  Arrange for a friend or neighbor to collect these items in your absence.
  10. Get a dog. Dogs are a good deterrent to burglars.

Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

Fighting crime is not just a job for the police. Everyone can join the battle through Crime Stoppers. The citizen-support program allows people to tell about criminal activity without getting directly involved. Anyone with information on a felony crime can call Crime Stoppers at 206-343-2020 or toll free at 1- 800-CRIME 13 and give the tip to police without giving his/her name. Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are paid for information leading to the arrest.

Link: Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound

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