Issaquah Police Department targets holiday shopping grinches

November 22, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 9:40 a.m. Nov. 22, 2011

Black Friday means bargains galore for shoppers — and tempting targets for thieves.

Issaquah police officers plan to head out in patrol cruisers and on foot Friday and throughout the holiday season to search for prowlers and remind shoppers not to leave valuables out in the open.

“During the holidays, parking lots can be very enticing to prowlers looking for quick and easy targets,” Police Chief Paul Ayers said. “We’re hoping these extra patrols will remind our shoppers to protect their property.”

Officers also started distributing a display card at local business’ checkouts to remind shoppers to lock vehicles and not leave valuables in plain sight.

What to know

Police recommended steps for holiday shoppers to prevent thefts:

  • Lock your vehicle every time you leave, even for a short time.
  • Do not leave valuable items in plain sight.
  • Do not leave your vehicle running unattended.
  • If you place items in the trunk, do so discreetly or before you arrive at your destination.
  • If you see someone acting suspicious or looking into cars, call 911.
  • Write down the serial numbers of valuables within your vehicle and keep them in a safe location.

The effort is a partnership between the police department and local businesses.

Police recently increased patrols in business districts. Officers searching for unlocked, parked vehicles and vehicles containing valuables visible to passersby.

Police place a small card on the windshields of high-risk vehicles to warn drivers not to become a prowler’s target.

Patrol Cmdr. Scott Behrbaum said officers plan to patrol high-traffic areas for holiday shoppers, such as Costco and the Fred Meyer-anchored shopping center, as the holiday shopping season starts.

“Even if shoppers are leaving gifts and other purchases in their vehicles for a few minutes – that’s plenty of time for prowlers to act,” Ayers said. “Please be extra vigilant in locking up and making sure none of your valuables are visible.”

Issaquah police officers conducted similar patrol efforts in past holiday seasons.

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2 Responses to “Issaquah Police Department targets holiday shopping grinches”

  1. Anonymous on November 22nd, 2011 11:07 am

    If police are marking “easy target’ cars with cards, wouldn’t that just make them easier targets? If I were a prowler, I’d just look for the cars that police had already marked for me…

  2. Julian on November 22nd, 2011 12:31 pm

    Let me get this straight: the state and municipalities are facing unprecedented budget shortfalls requiring cuts that in some cases will impact public safety.

    And in the midst of all this, the city of Issaquah is going to pay police not to solve crimes but instead to alert people that they were stupid and could’ve been a victim of a crime?

    Seriously, don’t they have real crimes to solve? Frankly it would make more sense to empower the police to rob those cars they find unlocked and use the proceeds to help close the budget shortfall.

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