Pullman PD reports 24 vehicle prowls in two weeks

Pullman PD advises community members to secure vehicles, report break-ins as soon as possible

JOSIE GOODRICH, Evergreen copy editor

The Pullman community was victim to vehicle prowls ranging in the double digits over the past two weeks, 10 of which were just last week.

Vehicle prowls refer to property theft from motor vehicles, typically those that are unlocked.

“Since May 22, we’ve had 24 vehicle prowls, which is a statistically higher number than we would normally see,” said Aaron Breshears, Pullman Police Department acting commander. “I would guess that on a normal basis we would have single digits or less.”

The prowls have occurred early in the morning, typically between 2 – 5 a.m., Breshears said. Pullman PD’s graveyard shift has increased activity in residential areas in an attempt to catch the person(s) involved. 

Each of the prowls contains similarities, leading officers to believe the incidents are connected to the same person or group of persons, Breshears said. 

“The vehicles for the most part have not been broken into — they’ve all been left unlocked. The items that were stolen were items that were left in the unlocked vehicles and are commonly held items within people’s cars,” Breshears said. “If there was cash or change in a cup holder or ashtray, those items were taken. Documents have been taken such as proof of insurance, vehicle registration and those kinds of things.”

As for a crime prevention strategy, Breshears recommends people lock and secure their vehicles. They should not leave valuables within vehicles, especially items that are visible from the outside, he said.

Breshears said he estimates the number of vehicle prowls in the past two weeks is significantly higher than what Pullman residents are reporting.

“Some people may have simply not noticed and didn’t report anything if their vehicle was left unlocked and nothing was missing and they didn’t notice anything,” he said. “There potentially could be many more.”

As recently as 2021, Pullman experienced another spike in vehicle prowls, Breshears said. Officers were able to identify a group of people involved who had come down from Spokane, and they were eventually arrested for the vehicle prowls as well as other charges.

“If you discover that your vehicle has been broken into or entered unlawfully, please report it as soon as possible along with any items that were taken,” Breshears said. “I’d also ask if you see anyone who is doing this to other vehicles to report it so that we can catch the person.”