LAKE FOREST PARK, Wash. -- A rising number of home break-in burglaries in Lake Forest Park have residents concerned for their safety.
Police Chief Steve Sutton says there were 12 burglaries in January and are still on the rise in February -- that’s enough to rattle nerves in a normally safe community.
In most of the cases, thieves broke in through the back by kicking in a door or shattering a window.
“They are looking for something they can get their hands on so they can exchange for drugs,” Sutton said.
“You really need an alarm system today. That’s the easiest fix. It’s not going to solve it 100 percent but it’s going to be a deterrent,” Sutton said.
Fritz Anderson's home was hit recently.
In a matter of minutes, thieves stole priceless items and left behind a mess.
“They completely disassembled the closet; my wife’s jewelry over there, and my coin collection over here,” Anderson said.
Thieves also snatched a gold railroad pocket watch that belonged to Anderson’s great uncle.
“When I was little I would climb up on his lap. That was the first thing I would go for was the pocket watch,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s house backs up to the Burke-Gilman Trail, giving burglars easy access to get in and out.
Anderson says he will invest in a security system -- something he hasn’t felt the need to do for the past 24 years.
“We get lulled into a sense of security; that’s totally the wrong feeling,” Anderson said.
He’s more aware and not taking safety for granted.
“When I watch somebody walk by now, (I think) why are they here? And I never thought like that” before, Anderson said.
Lake Forest Park has a unique program for residents who go on vacation. Residents can visit the Police Department fill out a form requesting officers to monitor their home while they are away.