On a recent post on Nextdoor, the Seattle Police Department reported, that “to date there have been almost 3,000 car prowls in the city for the year 2016. This number is up more than 500 from last year.”
In an accompanying graphic, police identified the Top-Twelve Sites to get your car prowled. Northgate Mall led all the rest with seventeen prowls; downtown Seattle came in second with eleven.
There are some simple ways to lower the chances of having your car broken into.
1. Remove all your valuables from the car when parked. Do not leave any bags of any kind in sight (put them in the trunk.) This applies even when parked in your driveway or near your house.
2. Before leaving your parked car, always remove the keys, roll up the windows and lock the car. This applies even when parked in your own driveway, parked at the curb in front of your house or when you are expecting to go out again later, such as going back to pick up a child at school. Many residential car prowls have occurred in unlocked vehicles. In hot weather many people leave the windows down when the car is parked, with the result that thieves may go through the glove box or try to remove the car’s stereo.
3. If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior porch light or yard lights on throughout the night.
4. If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, consider the City Light Area Lighting Program, which permits additional light fixtures to be placed on existing poles. The cost is less than $5 per month per light. Call (206) 684-3000 for more information.
5. if you find yourself the victim of a car prowl, you should either call the non-emergency police line (625-5011) or report it online. Reports are needed in order for police to track crime and direct patrols into the area to stop emerging crime trends.