Jeff Humphrey

Summer Serves Up Crime Opportunities

Jeff Humphrey, Media Content Coordinator, 509.625.6308

Friday, July 27, 2018 at 4:09 p.m.

Summers in Spokane are great but our travel plans and warmer weather create some new opportunities for thieves.

“I’m hearing from my constituents that property crime is a huge concern,” Lori Kinnear, the Chairwoman of Spokane’s Public Safety Committee.

And that’s why Kinnear asked Spokane police officer John O’Brien for some ideas about making your home a less attractive target to burglars.

“So take a look at these newspapers in the driveway. This is a prime example of a telltale sign that lets a thief know you’re not at home and it makes your house more likely to be victimized. So taking the simple step of not having those delivered while you’re gone can help you,” explained O’Brien.

The officer then spots something else that’s putting the same home in double property crimes jeopardy.  

“So this is another sign to a thief who may not know your pick up schedule for your recyclables and garbage but if you’re the only cans left out in the neighborhood it’s another sign you may not be home or away on vacation,” O’Brien said.  

“So let’s help this homeowner out by pulling his cans back and hopefully making him less likely to be a victim of a burglary,” O’Brien said as he and Kinnear dragged the bin back up the driveway.

Councilwoman Kinnear also wants you to know that even if your car is parked and locked in your driveway whatever’s left inside still isn’t safe.

“There are a huge number of vehicle prowls that are preventable. So the community can do their part, not be a victim, by stowing their stuff in their trunk,” Kinnear recommended.

Lighting is a great way to safeguard your home at night but if you leave your lights burning 24/7, you’re signaling the crooks you’re not home. Ditto on the uncollected mail.

“So if a person wants to do a property crime on you they’re going to drive around neighborhoods, aimlessly, looking for any opportunity,” O’Brien said of the crooks who troll for crimes of opportunity.

 And this time of the year, as we do projects around the house, thieves are finding a lot of open garages

“Most of our property crimes suspects have a drug addiction and they are just looking for anything they can steal out of your garage to pawn it or trade it to somebody for their next fix,” explained O’Brien. 

Thieves carefully case their targets so if they hear you mowing the lawn in the backyard they might try walking through your front door.

“It only take a moment for them to grab it put it inside their car, put it in their backpack and take off in their car or on their bike,” warned O’Brien.

For more crime prevention ideas about how to protect your family and property head to your nearest C.O.P.S. substation or click on their resources button on the Spokane C.O.P.S. website.

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