In many communities, the theft of property from vehicles is a persistent problem. Prowlers look for opportunities to steal mobile electronics, wallets/purses, cash, tools, paperwork that contains personal information, or other items of value. Sometimes, these crimes are driven by specific motives. Too often, these thefts are simply the product of opportunity.
Thieves may imploy varying tactics when prowling, from trying door handles in busy parking areas, to targeting vehicles that are parked in isolated areas.
No matter where you park your vehicle, the following tips can help to protect you from this type of criminal activity:
1. Avoid parking your vehicle in an isolated area.
2. Park inside a garage, or in a well-lit or monitored area, whenever possible.
3. Keep valuable items out of sight. Lock them in your trunk or remove them completely.
4. Lock all paperwork that contains personal information inside the glove box, or remove completely.
5. Use caution when placing stickers on your vehicle, especially those related to the stereo system.
6. Consider installing a vehicle alarm, and advertising the alarm with a sticker on the vehicle window.
7. Keep a record of your valuable items, including brand, model, and serial numbers.
Vehicle Prowling & The Law
Washington State Chapter 9A.52 RCW