Car Prowls Spike In Spokane Valley Parking Lots - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Car Prowls Spike In Spokane Valley Parking Lots

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Police in Spokane Valley have a warning for you tonight: be on the lookout when you park your car. Multiple people told KHQ they were the victims of a string of car break-ins during the past several weeks.

KHQ talked to one victim on Wednesday, Lisa Williams, who's car was broken into while she was at Centennial Middle School watching her daughter's basketball game on Sunday. Williams said she was only inside for about an hour but criminals still managed to break the back window of her SUV and steal her purse and her husband's wallet.

Thieves broke into four other cars at the middle school that day too, Williams said.

Car prowling victims said they've also seen bad guys prowl cars in the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in north Spokane as well as Andrew Rypien Field where she often takes her daughter to play soccer. In the winter, investigators say parking lots in sports complexes and concert venues are high targets for thieves since people are away from their cars for an extended periods of time.

"I felt very scared and first, violated, then anger," Williams said. "Things are happening with the economy and people are in dire straights and taking advantage of the fact that people are watching games and not watching their vehicles."

Spokane County Sheriff's deputies are investigating William's break-in as well as others who's cars were prowled.

KHQ checked the September statistics for car prowls in Spokane Valley - the latest available - and found car prowls were up this year at 136 in one month. For the whole year to date, Spokane Valley Police reported 1,121 car prowls. That's 50 more than the last year in Spokane Valley.

For all of Spokane County, car prowls rose 33 percent since last year and officers say those numbers could be higher during the holiday shopping season.

TIPS:

*Always lock your car and roll your windows up all the way.

*Do not leave valuables in your vehicle.

*Do not leave anything out in the open.

*If you are concealing something in your trunk or glove compartment, do that before you park.

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