Record high car prowls in area - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Record high car prowls in area

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Record high car prowls in area. This is one of the worst years ever for recorded car prowls in the area. Police say there are no areas that are immune to these crimes. 

Car prowls happen anywhere from neighborhoods to busy parking lots. This fall, there's been a significant spike in the number of car prowls in our area.

Richland Police Capt. Mike Cobb says "most of them are in residential areas whether they be apartment complexes or out of your driveway or even sometimes in your garage if yours garage door is left open."

In Kennewick, the number of car prowls increased from 360 last year to almost 500 this year. Mike Blatman of Kennewick Police says "over the course of the year we've has about a 38% increase in the number of car prowls in Kennewick."Recently it's been getting worse. Blatman say "August was our largest month or highest as far as the car prowls are concerned."

Richland Police have also seen a dramatic climb in thefts, especially in the last few months. Capt. Cobb says "significantly this year since July 1st, to October 14th we've had 202 directly within the city limits."

Police say people continue to leave their cars unlocked. Cobb says "over 60%, well over half are committed on vehicles that are unlocked and have valuables placed in plain view." Blatman says "people leaving laptops, cell phones, wallets, purses, all sorts of different things."

At this point, the only thing law enforcement can do is warn people about this continuous rise in car crimes. Blatman says "if you lock the door, there's a better than 50% chance they wont ever, they'll just go by and they wont bother to get anything out of vehicles."