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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 13, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 20
Car prowls on Capitol Hill happen often according to SPD data
Section One
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Car prowls on Capitol Hill happen often according to SPD data

by Shaun Knttel - SGN Associate Editor

Seattle Police officials released citywide car prowl data May 11 that included repeat locations as well as ranked Seattle neighborhoods by the frequency in which car prowls are reported. It turns out, according to SPD, Capitol Hill is the third worst neighborhood to park your car if you don't want to increase the chances that it could be stolen.

According to data SPD collected from January to May 7, 2016, the top 10 neighborhoods that show frequent car prowls are:

1. Queen Anne
2. Downtown Commercial
3. Capitol Hill
4. Northgate
5. Roosevelt/Ravenna
6. SLU/Cascade
7. Ballard North
8. Belltown
9. University
10. Ballard South

According to SPD, more than 350 car prowls have been reported in Queen Anne, which tops the list of neighborhoods with most car prowls. SPD says that nearly 350 vehicles were prowled in the Downtown Commercial neighborhood, while more than 250 were stolen from Capitol Hill.

SPD says that car prowls happen most frequently in the East Precinct at 7 AV/Spring (parking lot by Seattle Presbyterian), 1609 Harvard Ave (Seattle Central College Parking Structure), and 900 Poplar Pl. S (Seattle Self Storage).

Police officials say that in less than a minute, an experienced car prowler can break into a parked vehicle.

KEY TIPS
o Do not leave any valuables in plain sight.

o Remove or hide anything that a car prowler might mistake as something worth stealing.

o If valuables must be left behind, hide them out of sight several blocks away before parking.

o Disable internal trunk releases per your owner's instruction manual.

o Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.

o Remote controls for garages should never be left inside parked vehicle

PARKING TIPS
o Take a moment to observe your surroundings when leaving or returning to your car.

o If your car is stored in a carport or parked near your house, leave your exterior lights on throughout the night.

o Increase the visibility of parking spaces on residential or business properties by trimming back trees and bushes, and installing motion-detecting lighting.

o Drivers can help keep thieves out of secure parking garages by taking a few moments to ensure security doors fully close behind them. Contact your building management and advise them to accelerate garage door timers.

o If you park on the street, choose a well-lit, open space.

o If you park your car in a dark or isolated area, you can make a request for a new streetlight if there is an existing pole nearby. Call (206) 684-7056 for more information.

IF YOUR VEHICLE IS BROKEN INTO
File a report by calling the non-emergency number at 206-625-5011, or file one online at: http://www.seattle.gov/police/report/default.htm

When filing a report on-line or over the phone you do not need to remain at the scene. If you choose to call the non-emergency line, simply ask to report a crime and, if it meets the criteria, the call-taker will forward you to an officer who will take your report over the phone. The officer will still provide you with a case number.

If the crime is still in progress or it is an emergency situation, call 911 immediately!

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