EDMONDS, Wash. – Police are warning neighbors about a spike in car prowls; at least two have happened each day for the past couple of weeks in Edmonds.
Police said the victims don’t realize it but they are giving the crooks the advantage when vehicles are being left unlocked.
Tina Adams said she usually keeps her car clean and empty of valuables but not always locked.
“During the day I’m not as good because I’m in and out of the car,” she said. “But I don’t keep valuables in there day to day.”
Dozens of Adams' Edmonds neighbors have found out the hard way that leaving a car unlocked is a welcome sign for crooks.
“You expect to be able to park your car out in your driveway and come out in the morning and it’s the same condition that you found it and all your stuff is in there,” Edmonds Police Sgt. Shane Hawley said.
Toni Williams said she is one of the prowlers' victims. She said crooks got into her unlocked car parked in her driveway and got away with her gym bag.
“I feel very, very sorry for someone that has to spend his or her evenings prowling,” she said.
Police said the car prowls are happening late at night in neighborhoods along Highway 99. Investigators believe there could be more victims.
“We know of 30-plus but we also know a lot of times people don’t even report car prowls,” said Hawley. “Go ahead and call us if you’re a victim and report it. There may be evidence tied to that linking us to a suspect.”
Neighbors are hopeful that more police patrols will end with an arrest soon, but until then they are looking out for each other.
“Once you see something suspicious, you need to communicate to each other,” said Adams.
Police said they have identified a person of interest in connection to the case but that person has not been placed under arrest.
If you want to avoid becoming a victim, take all the valuables out of your car and don’t forget to lock the doors.