How to prevent car prowls — local police offer tips

PASCO, Wash. – As the summer heats up, car prowls in the area tend to rise. However, there are a few simple tricks that you can employ to help make sure you and your belongings are safe.

KAPP/KVEW spoke to Pasco Police Department’s Sgt. Rigo Pruneda about safety tips.

“We just want to keep everybody aware on some things to do to prevent them from being victims of these car prowls, ” Sgt. Pruneda said.

1. Lock your car doors

“First and foremost,” Sgt. Pruneda said. “We need to lock our vehicles. It’s as easy as that, just lock your vehicles and you’ll be okay.”

Most prowlers tend to check open door handles, and avoid breaking windows. Once they’re in though, they’ll take anything they can find, from mail with personal details, loose change, laptops, to even unsecured firearms.

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“A lot of people keep firearms in their vehicles, they don’t secure them, and they get stolen,” Sgt. Pruneda said, “When those types of things get taken, it’s a big risk to the community.”

2.  Get a security camera

In the case that your car is broken into, a security camera is a great way to see what happened.

“We can’t be everywhere at the same time,” Sgt. Pruneda said.

Being able to look back on security camera footage allows officers to get a better idea of who to look for in an attempt to identify and catch the car prowler. The more footage available, the more information officials will have to look back on and get an idea of the situation.

3. Keep your neighborhood well lit

A lot of times, prowls happen when it’s dark out. Keeping a light on in your driveway will help deter criminals from trying to open your car doors.

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“Remind your neighbors,” Sgt. Pruneda said, “If you notice that your neighbors aren’t turning on their lights at night, just a quick reminder that ‘Hey, it’s pretty dark over by your house, can you please leave your lights on at night?’ That would help.”

Franklin Pud Security Lighting Program

The Franklin Public Utility Department has a Security Lighting program. Details are available on their website.

Some Public Utility Departments (PUD) have programs to help with security lighting. Franklin PUD runs a Security Lights program where homeowners can have the PUD install a 100-watt high-pressure sodium luminare to either an existing distribution pole, or a suitable location where one can be installed.

4. Keep your valuables out of your car

The biggest reason prowlers are successful is because they have stuff to steal. If you take your stuff inside, however, then there’s nothing for them to steal.

“If you don’t have anything in your vehicle that’s worth anything, that’s a good thing,” Sgt. Pruneda said.

5. Double check for your spare key fobs

A lot of vehicles today have keyless entry, which can pose some problems for certain models of cars. Not every keyless car alerts you when you have two of the same key in your car.

“A lot of our vehicles now are all keyless entry, so there are proximity sensors on the key fobs,” Sgt. Pruneda said. “So if they are in the car, and you leave them in the car, anybody can jump in, open the door, and take off. So be very careful about that too.”

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