News

Rural area suffering from rash of burglaries

By Jessica Keller, The Courier-Herald

The King County Sheriff's Office is asking residents around Enumclaw to help keep an eye out for suspicious activity along rural roadways at night.

According to the King County Sheriff's Office there has been a rash of burglaries from barns and outbuildings on the Enumclaw Plateau since the beginning of April, with activity picking up the past few weeks to several times a week.

Jim Hilmar, a King County crime analyst, said the burglaries appear to be taking place in the greater Enumclaw area, with most of it right outside of Enumclaw and to the north and northwest.

At least 12 burglaries have occurred in the past several weeks with similar characteristics, one of the latest ones occurring on 236th Avenue Southeast last week.

The burglaries occur at night with the suspects entering properties by opening gates and cutting fences to gain access to barns from fields, where they are least likely to be noticed. Suspects are taking things like antiques, tools, generators, compressors and food from freezers. Another associated problem is livestock are getting out and wandering onto roads.

Hilmar said the similarities among these burglaries could indicate they are being committed by the same person or people, but that it is hard to tell.

"There's definitely something going on out there," he said.

Currently the Sheriff's Office has no good suspect information, but officers are paying attention to the situation.

The public can help by watching for and reporting suspicious people or vehicles parked along roadsides at night.

In addition to being aware, Hilmar said property owners can protect their property by locking gates, barns and outbuildings, even if they haven't been in the habit of doing so it the past. Property owners should also use lighting around the buildings to keep it as visible as possible.

Jessica Keller can be reached at jkeller@courierherald.com

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