Redmond police emphasize community policing amid car prowl spike

Law enforcement is increasing community outreach after car prowls have increased over the years.

Redmond Police Department encourage locals to remove things such as backpacks, laptops, purses or anything of value to discourage prowlers. Photo courtesy of the RPD Twitter account

Redmond Police Department encourage locals to remove things such as backpacks, laptops, purses or anything of value to discourage prowlers. Photo courtesy of the RPD Twitter account

Car prowls have been a common crime in Redmond for many years and a recent spike in incidents prompted police to post a pubic notice.

“Don’t leave valuables in your car over night,” the Redmond Police Department (RPD) posted on its Twitter page on Sept. 16. “We’ve had a rash of car prowls in the Grasslawn District over the past 24-hrs.”

The tweet is the latest of many in which RPD has emphasized this crime of opportunity over the past five years.

Car prowling was the most commonly reported crime between Sept. 12 and Sept. 26, with 44 incidents within city limits. The only crime to exceed car prowl reports within the past year is general theft, which includes shoplifting, property theft and bike thefts.

Car accident reports also exceeded car prowl reports, but accidents aren’t exclusively criminal offenses.

RPD has noted in numerous public safety announcements that criminals will more often target areas where drivers leave items in their cars or leave their cars unlocked.

The RPD Twitter account used the #lockitup and #removevaluables hashtags during 2014 when car prowls seemed to spike every few months. Police even began doing giveaways on Twitter for each day without a car prowl in December 2014, attempting to raise awareness of tips to prevent prowls.

Police have shifted more recently to emphasize community policing and asked locals to report any suspicious activity to 425-556-2500.

“There are a billion sets of eyes and ears out there, and they know what’s right or wrong,” said Tim Gately, an operations lieutenant for RPD, during National Night Out last month. “Nosy neighbors are the best reporters of crime because they know if a vehicle or person on the street isn’t supposed to be [there]…If you see something, say something.”

Gately added that car prowls are among the most common crimes committed within Redmond and one of the best ways locals can prevent crime is to watch out for their neighbors and report suspicious activity.

“RPD can’t do this alone. There are many more of you than there are of us,” police wrote in a 2012 safety announcement. “Brainstorm ideas on how your street/block can work together. Remind each other to put garage doors down. Split up days to just walk your street and look out for each other.”

Locked doors make small difference, according to statistics tweeted out by RPD in January 2017, with 51 percent of prowled cars being unlocked and 45 percent of cars being locked. Police clarified that despite the statistics, prowlers tend to target areas where cars are left unlocked, according to their numerous interviews with arrested suspects.

The RPD still encourages locals to remove anything and everything from their vehicles as the best way to prevent prows.

“If it looks tempting enough, there’s a good chance someone will take it,” RPD tweeted. “[A] majority of vehicle prowls we investigate had a bag or valuable of some sort left in plain sight.”

There were 121 property crimes reported between Sept. 12 and 26, car prowls made up about 36 percent of those crimes and 25 percent of all crime reported in Redmond, including traffic accidents.

All data was taken from Redmond’s crime map and is not a comprehensive source for every crime committed within the city.

Kailan Manandic, Redmond Reporter

Kailan Manandic, Redmond Reporter

More in News

John Taylor
John Taylor appointed first director of Department of Local Services for King County

Starting January 1, Taylor will lead the new Department of Local Services to better meet the needs of unincorporated King County.

A woman works on a drawing next to an unused viewing scope as a smoky haze obscures the Space Needle and downtown Seattle last August as smoke from wildfires moved across the region. (Photo courtesy of The Herald/Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
Why do Washington voters struggle with climate change policies?

Despite environmental awareness and the public’s apparent desire for reform, statewide initiatives keep failing

Washington Supreme Court building. Photo courtesy of Everett Daily Herald
State Supreme Court strikes down I-27; King County will pursue safe consumption sites

The decision upholds a court ruling keeping the anti-consumption site initiative off the ballot.

Driver passes out at the wheel | Police blotter

The Redmond police blotter for Nov. 19 through 20.

The two suspects wore dark masks to conceal their faces. Redmond police are still investigating this crime. Photos courtesy of the Redmond Police Department
Redmond police investigate armed robbery at local Jack in the Box

The two masked suspects came in wielding guns and made off with $180.

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Washington

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

LWSD to place capital projects levy on April 23 ballot

Levy will address immediate capacity needs and district-wide safety measures.

Redmond woman tied to ‘sham’ charity scheme

The defendants gained more than $1 million and gave very little to those they claimed to be helping.

Most Read