Community Post

Car Prowls Are Up – How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

At last week’s East Precinct Crime Prevention Coalition meeting, Capt. McDonagh said that most categories of crime were flat or down a bit over the last month. The one exception is car prowls, which have started to climb back up as the weather has improved.

A police report from last week illustrates how quickly the thieves can take advantage of a situation. On Saturday April 18th, a woman parked her white Toyota in the parking lot next to the Garfield Community Center. She returned an hour and a half later to find that the front passenger window of her vehicle had been busted out and her purse, laptop, and iPhone had been stolen from the front seat.

Note that this happened on a sunny weekend afternoon when there were likely a lot of people around the neighboring playfield, possibly creating a false sense of security for the victim. But it only takes a few seconds for someone to break out a window and make off with whatever tempting targets are within sight.

Police say that it’s easy to avoid becoming a victim: just don’t ever leave anything of value in your vehicle, even for a few minutes at a time. Then you’ll make sure you keep your iPod, purse, and laptop, and don’t have to worry about the time and expense of replacing a window of your vehicle.

0 thoughts on “Car Prowls Are Up – How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

  1. If you’re going to hide your valuables in your trunk, do it BEFORE you get to the parking lot (where the thieves will be watching you do so).

    Agreed, best not to leave anything in the car. Hasn’t stopped us losing 4 car windows in the last 25 years: total yield to thieves: manual for car radio, manual for 1987 Civic (now there’s a valuable item), key for gas cap, one infant’s diaper bag (alas, no poopy diapers therein).

    Always amazed what the non-local-residents parking their cars at playfields leave in their cars. It’s pretty clear that the car thieves know this and target the parking lot cars. Used to happen all the time at Miller in the Deano’s days.

  2. There’s this nifty device thing I bought at Target a couple of years ago… all it is: a blinking red light (small, like car alarms have). It’s got adhesive on the back so you just attach it to the dashboard of your car… when you turn it one way, it goes on, turn it back it goes off. So what you get is this alarm like blink, looks especially convincing in the dark… it’s kept me prowl free for years! I don’t know if you can still get them at Target but I’m sure they’re somewhere online. Cost about $1.99 or so. Also want to give props to Andrew Taylor about putting your valuables in the trunk first… a definite must.

  3. “her purse, laptop, and iPhone had been stolen from the front seat.” Hard to interpret that in more than one way…..

  4. The exact wording of the police report is “in the front seat area”. So it may have been on the floor in front of the seat…

  5. Too bad we have to drive to Factoria or Northgate to go to Target as opposed to having one at the Goodwill site.

  6. Cool idea! Do you recall what it was called? I’d like to look it up on

  7. i dont think a red blinking liget will deter a thief maybe a gun would be a good deterent….

  8. You can find them in a lot of places, here is one at Amazon:

    Wishful thinking, but it would so nice to put the Swine Flu to good use here, it’s a shame we can’t bottle up a vile and place it ‘bait style’ in a fancy handbag in a bait car with the door unlocked (so as not to lose a window)…that would teach the perps what for…

  9. Get rid of your car.

    It’ll be easier to get by without one late next decade, but I’ve gotten along fine over the past 10 years, so…

  10. Simplest idea: Wades Guns in Bellevue. They have training and a range:

    The one time I had trouble in the front yard I walked out with the gun. The neighborhood ‘kids’ have never stepped a foot near my house since.

  11. Ya right, leave a gun in full view so that you can be sure they bust the window and we have another stolen gun on the street! Where are your brains?

  12. Great “Jeff”
    Now the kids know where to steal one and your neighbors think you are a problem house!

  13. Really? Steal it?

    1. I keep it in a safe at home
    2. these kids are dumb, but not that dumb.
    3. So the only way to get it from me would be from my hand but luckily I’m trained. They would never get that close.
    4. Last time I saw the kids they crossed the street so I don’t think they’ll be ****ing with my car anytime soon.

    These kids are cowards. They seek out the weak.

  14. I hope the discussions on protecting a vacant car, with display of a gun, are not something any of us would actually consider. My property is valuable to me, but certainly not worth someones life!

  15. “certainly not worth someones life!”

    Well, that depends how sh***y your car is. Looking at some of the punks in my neighborhood I can tell you my car is definitely worth more then their potential contribution to society.