Police offers tips against car burglary

Department urges locals to prevent theft, lock up valuable items

NAJMA SHECK, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Police Department asked the public to help combat the recent rise of car burglaries in the Palouse.

Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said the police department noticed a rise in car burglary rates when the weather is warmer.  As spring  approaches, the police department urges residents to stop leaving personal belongings in plain sight.

Tennant said local residents need to understand how easy it is to become the next victim.

“Don’t set yourself up to becoming someone else’s target,” he said. “First thing you need to do is remove visual attractive stuff out the front seat stuff like laptops, cellphones [and] purses.”

Tennant said car burglaries are not premeditated, but criminals often see something they want when they pass a vehicle and decide to break in because it is easy not to get caught.

“Seventy-five percent of car burglaries are people walking down the street flipping door handles in parking lots,” he said. “Once they find an open door they’ll go inside to search for any valuables to take and go.”

Tennant said when most people think of car burglaries, they have this perception of breaking into a vehicle by smashing a window.

“Those are rare to find because it makes it easier for them to get caught,” Tennant said.

Car prowls are very popular, but are often unreported because most people see a glove box open and think that nothing valuable is missing, although it should be taken seriously and reported as a suspicious activity, Tennant said.

“Putting out notices on social media as reminders gives tips on ways to prevent car burglaries,” he said.