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Car Prowls on the Rise

Images17 It's like Christmas morning for thieves when we leave our iPods, cell phones, laptops and GPS systems in our cars.  Especially when they are in plain view.  With the door unlocked.  Seriously- it sounds obvious but it happens all the time. I know about 10 people in my neighborhood that have had their cars broken into (or unwillingly entered) in the last few months.  It's an epidemic, apparently, so I wanted you to be in the know.

I called my handy dandy Neighborhood Resource Officer with the Kirkland PD, Officer Allan O'Neill (AONeill@ci.kirkland.wa.us), to let off some steam.  I don't know why this pisses me off so much- nobody broke into my car.  Clearly b/c all they would find are some Goldfish crackers and some lip gloss.  But all of my friends and neighbors are getting dinged and the thought of some sticky fingered creep lurking around our homes and cars really makes me want to unleash some kung fu.  Officer O'Neill confirmed my suspicions-- for full year 2007 there were 2 reported car prowls in my (Market) neighborhood and already so far this year there are 21 reported.  OUCH.  Although not as dramatic, prowls are also up in the rest of the city too.

Last week the Kirkland PD captured two car prowlers in my neighborhood with the help of their dog and a tip from a neighbor.  Congrats to our PD for the win.  These (brilliant) criminals also confessed to 10-12 other prowls.  But, unfortunately, for each one you catch there's more in the wings.  There are some things you can do to minimize your chances of being a victim.  First, don't keep valuables in your car- especially in plain view (this includes sunglasses and phone chargers) and lock up.  Also, be aware of your surroundings and team up with your neighbors to keep watch for unusual behavior/visitors in your neighborhood.  Don't hesitate to call 911 if something or someone seems suspicious to you.  Also, you should document the serial numbers of your valuables, so in the event that you do get hit there is a better chance of identifying your stolen items.

Be on the lookout, Kirkland!  The creepies are a crawlin' and it's only going to get worse.  Springtime is the biggest season for home break-in's (and especially apts/condos) because that's when everyone leaves their windows and doors open.  See-now there's a upside to this weather we've been having! Brrrrrr, no windows open here for sure.  Have you ever seen that show, "To Catch a Thief" ?  Two ex-professional thieves rob a volunteer's house and the whole thing is captured on video.  Freaks me out-it only takes a thief 5 minutes to clean your house out of all it's valuables so don't think that walk around the block with Fluffy is an ok time to leave your door unlocked.  Better safe than sorry.   ~j

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sharon

We have the same issue in my north rose hill neighborhood. We've been hit 3 times in the 10 years we've lived in Kirkland and our neighbors uncountble times. We were told the criminals like to shop in Kirkland. Our included one smash and grab the other times we left our door unlocked!

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