Heed this warning: Remove it or lose it

What’s the best way to combat car prowls: Remove all valuables and lock your doors.

What’s the best way to combat car prowls: Remove all valuables and lock your doors.

It sounds like an easy, logical solution, yet car prowls in Redmond continue to be on the rise.

As of April 15, 185 car prowls have been reported to Redmond Police this year, compared to 147 at the same time last year.

Earlier this month, there were four different car prowl reports in the span of two hours within blocks of each other. Just last weekend, two different cars were broken into on the same block.

What make these car prowls noteworthy is that all of them involved unlocked vehicles.

How hard is it to lock your vehicle?

Why in the world wouldn’t you lock your car in today’s day and age? What’s even more mind-boggling is why would anyone leave a computer, money, compact discs or an MP3 player in an unlocked car.

In addition, almost all new cars come with built-in alarm systems, giving car owners another line of defense against car prowlers.

Yet the car prowl numbers continue to increase.

One of the biggest carrots dangling in front of car prowlers is Global Positioning System (GPS) units.

The number of car prowl targeting GPS units reported to Redmond Police increased from 20 in 2006 to nearly 100 in 2007. That’s a 370 percent increase.

As the number of GPS unit owners increase, so does the problem of vehicle prowls. If the current pace continues, GPS-targeted prowls will increase by another 170 percent by the end of 2008.

The crazy part is that most car prowls can be avoided if the proper crime prevention steps are taken, most notably removing all valuables, such as purses, computer, cell phones and of course GPS units.

As Redmond Police officers warn, “remove it or lose it.”

After all, do we want our highly trained police officers spending valuable time filling out car prowl reports because somebody can’t take the time to lock their doors or remove their valuables?

Of course not. Police officers have much bigger crimes to deal with.

If you don’t remove it, somebody else will.