Protecting your stuff from Spokane's Real Life Grinches - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Protecting your stuff from Spokane's Real Life Grinches

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

To you, it may be an old gym bag, or a backpack full of homework, but all thieves see is a potential gold mine unmanned in your car. It's a year-round problem in our community, but Black Friday is like Christmas for crooks.
 
"I came back to my car and the window was broke out, everything was gone from the jockey box," said one car prowling victim. "It made me angry, it's a violation."
 
It's a story so many of us can relate to, even our officers themselves.
 
"I've been the victim of vehicle prowling," said Officer John O'Brien. "My kids have too."
 
We took a ride with Office O'Brien to see how you avoid being another statistic.
 
"Get in the habit of having nothing really in your car," he said.
 
Although it may seem like common sense to do that, officers said they see people leaving their car full of valuables every day.
 
"People are very trusting," he said.
 
We drove downtown to a parking lot and immediately found just that. A car was not only had a laptop in the backseat but an iPad in the front.
 
As we were filming, the owner came back to his car. He told us he wasn't gone more than 45 minutes to grab a coffee. He said because the errand was quick, he never thought he'd be a victim.
 
So what are less obvious things that could make you a target? Believe it or not, your cell phone charger.
 
"It just tells somebody you have an iPad or an iPhone," O'Brien said.
 
He advises hiding it in-between uses. He also said it's a good idea to fold up your car's registration and other paperwork and keep it in your wallet. That way if there is a break-in, the thief doesn't also get your address.
 
SPD said it's also crucial that we all keep an eye out for one another.
 
"A break-in really is a quick way to ruin your holidays," he said. "It can happen so fast."

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