Vehicle thefts spike in Spokane neighborhoods

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by KREM.com

NWCN.com

Posted on October 30, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 9:48 AM

SPOKANE -- Police say vehicle thefts are at their highest point of the year.  Patrol units say they are almost responding to a new report every hour.  And one neighborhood is getting hit especially hard.

Neighborhood at Carlisle and Astor say they have seen thefts and prowlings from their front windows.

"You're always suspicious because there has been so many things that have happened in the neighborhood," said neighbor Elsie Setzer.

Setzer says she's seen people strip trucks and break out car windows to steal stereos along Carlisle.  She says a stolen car was abandoned right in front of her house two days ago.

On average, Spokane Police say they take 35 stolen vehicle reports every week.  This week, that number is already up to 55.  And those cars aren't ending up in chop shops.  Most are being used like a taxi service.  Then they are recovered once the suspect is done with it.

Setzer says she still parks her car on the street.  But she makes sure she can see it from her living room.  And that is exactly what police want people to do.

Police say car thefts are usually a crime of opportunity.  With the weather getting cold, they expect thieves will be looking for people leaving their cars running to get warm.

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