Burglary watchdog group online in Monroe
MONROE — The public is harnessing social media to spread awareness on crime in Monroe.
Former Monroe School board member Debra Kolrud can attest to the strength in numbers.
Kolrud, a Monroe resident since 1967, began a Facebook page earlier this year called the Monroe Burglary Watchdog Group to address rising burglaries in her neighborhood. The page now has more than 750 members and people are actively posting activity in their neighborhood.
As the closed group grew in numbers, so did the mass of information.
Kolrud said the bottom line is sharing and exchanging information about particular crimes, especially burglaries, could help keep people more aware and better prepared. The group shares statistics sourced from websites such as CrimeMapping.com as well as the Monroe Police Department blotter. They also share links to safety tips, security tips and signs to look for in suspicious activity or persons.
“I think what really hit me the hardest and got me going on this was (a burglary at) my 75-year-old single lady neighbor’s house,” Kolrud said. “Her house was robbed. There have been so many burglaries lately, some just walking in and taking things in the middle of the day. It’s scary.”
Kolrud theorizes the crime trend is linked to drugs.
Meth in Monroe is a sticky subject, and Kolrud witnessed a meth house in her neighborhood that she and her neighbors paid extra attention to.
She spoke with a Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office deputy and he said “to just keep calling 911, and that makes them log the location.”
The drug house activity moved elsewhere, she said.
This is a problem in neighboring city Snohomish, where Snohomish Police Chief John Flood had said most burglaries are for drug money or trade.
Kolrud is selective on who can join the Facebook Watchdog Group, making sure to filter members by Monroe residents.
Kolrud also collaborates and shares information with similar crime-related Facebook groups focused on Snohomish County. These groups are called the East Snohomish County Community Awareness Group (an open Facebook group), and the Sky Valley Crime Watch that covers the Sultan and Gold Bar areas.
“I really just want to arm citizens with more information, maybe we can protect our community stronger,” Kolrud said.
The group is online at www.facebook.com/groups/MonroeBurglaryWatchdog.
Contact Debra Kolrud, the group administrator, on the Facebook group to ask to join.