Issaquah Police Department targets holiday shopping grinches

November 29, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The holiday shopping season means bargains galore for shoppers — and tempting targets for thieves.

Issaquah police officers headed out in patrol cruisers and on foot Nov. 25, Black Friday, and will continue 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 distributed a display card at local business’ checkouts to remind shoppers to lock vehicles and not leave valuables in plain sight.

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 continues.

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

Police recently increased patrols in business districts to search for unlocked, parked vehicles and vehicles containing valuables visible to passers-by.

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

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

“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.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or wkagarise@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

What to know

Police recommended steps for holiday shoppers to prevent thefts:

4Lock your vehicle every time you leave, even for a short time.

4Do not leave valuable items in plain sight.

4Do not leave your vehicle running unattended.

4If you place items in the trunk, do so discreetly or before you arrive at your destination.

4If you see someone acting suspicious or looking into cars, call 911.

4Write down the serial numbers of valuables within your vehicle and keep them in a safe location.

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