Totem Diner Adds Camera System Due To Thefts From Customer Vehicles

May 6, 2021

Police Blotter

A temporary camera is next to the Totem reader board.

Similar cameras have been going up in the parking lots of several businesses in Everett.

You may have noticed something new next to the reader board in front of the Totem Diner at 44th and Rucker in Everett, Washington. Owner Steve Jermyn has installed a very visible camera system. Jermyn tells that thefts from customer cars used to be the occassional car break-in here and there at odd hours. Usually overnight or very early in the morning but the problem has continued to grow.

He says thefts are up to about twice a week, almost all during business hours. A mix of methods. Some cars left open, some smash and grabs. Pretty brazen thieves. They were smashing windows of cars parked right in front of the front door at 8:00 AM. The capper was a customer’s car being stolen 4 spots down from the front door around 11:00 AM.

The camera system was brought in about a week ago and is a temporary measure until a permanent system is installed.

We checked in with Everett Police who said reported thefts from vehicles are up up in the neighborhood around the Totem with no reported cases in 2019 or 2020 and already 4 cases reported this year. Jermyn says customers haven’t always filed a police report.

Lieutenant Karen White with Everett Police says city-wide across Everett, thefts from vehicles have increased. There was a dip during the peak of the pandemic shut down in 2020 but numbers are up this year. Thefts from vehicles include cases where something is taken from inside the vehicle.

January 78
February 72
March 88
April 91

January 64
February 65
March 63
April 64

January 106
February 104
March 92
April 74

Lt. White says there are several things people can do to lessen their chances of being a vehicle prowl victim including making sure there is nothing visible inside of the vehicle including backpacks and bags, making sure all of the doors are locked and windows rolled up and installing a vehicle alarm. “These are crimes of opportunity and if you can lessen that you can lessen your chance of being a victim,” said White.

Jermyn says he’s not a huge fan of cameras, thinks they create a certain level of deterrent, sort of an “after the fact” security, but felt they needed something very visible. Something that hopefully will deter the thieves so he’s rented a Lot Cop camera system until a permanent system is installed.

“If that doesn’t deter thieves, I will hire a security guard to patrol the lot during business hours,” said Jermyn. “I’m going to do the best I can to keep my customers safe and their property safe.”

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