MARYSVILLE, Wash. -- This time of year, officials say car break-ins are always higher because there are more opportunities. It is nice out, windows are left cracked open, car doors are left unlocked and cars are left unattended because people are enjoying the great outdoors.
The thefts are happening across the state, and some thieves are taking more than just your valuables.
More people, especially tonight in Marysville, are on high alert after several incidents happened within just 3 miles of each other.
Kris Rust was one of those victims.
“Stuff all over my seat, the glove box was open, the visor down, the console was opened up,” he said.
His personal belonging, rummaged through for what seemed like a lifetime.
"It was a decent amount of time to look around.”
Kris has lived in a quiet neighborhood in Marysville for about 5 years. He says he can’t remember anything like this ever happening. It is a feeling he won’t soon forget.
“It makes you feel sick...Your stomach drops and it’s like ‘oh gosh’."
And it always happens like that, right? You accidentally leave your car door open one night and you become a victim, “which I never do!! But, you know, the one time…”
This one time, Kris was fairly lucky. The thief only got away with sunglasses... “still, they’re mine...I actually did check the registration and stuff and the garage door opener and that was all there.”
That is the first thing Kris looked for when he got into his car, and it is a good thing he did. Registrations and garage door openers are being stolen from cars across western Washington. Once they have the information, King County Sheriff Sgt. Ryan Abbott says, "It's pretty easy for them to figure out where you live."
Officials say you shouldn’t keep your title in your car. Having your registration is a common practice because up until recently, you had to have it in the vehicle.
That isn't the only thing you shouldn't have in your car anymore. Sgt. Abbott says valuables of any kind are better left at home.
"Crime of opportunity is what most vehicle prowls and vehicle break-ins are all about."
The good news is, you can protect yourself. It is now legal to have an electronic copy of your registration on your phone. If you need proof of registration, officials say the picture is proof enough. One thing to keep in mind, if someone borrows your car, make sure they have a photo of the registration as well.