Seattle Police Department North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Mary Amberg provided the following tips to help prevent car prowls while shopping during the holidays.
In past years we have seen a rise in car prowls during the holiday season at the Northgate Mall. Seattle Police Department is dedicated to helping people stay safe during this time of year and will be increasing patrol and visibility in the Northgate Mall area. Please take the below precautions when parking at the mall.
Car prowls are crimes of opportunity that happen within seconds. Thieves are targeting all types of vehicles looking for recently purchased gifts, GPS devices, cell phones, purses, cash, laptops, cameras, luggage, and garage remotes. There are many things you can do to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim.
- Carry your purchases with you while you shop. If that is impractical, place them in the trunk and move your car to another location in case a car prowler is observing the parking lot.
- Remove all valuables from your vehicle every time you park, roll up windows, and lock your car.
- Do not leave cords and charging devices in plain view, a prowler may see these and take the chance that you have a valuable electric inside and enter your car.
- If valuables must be left behind, hide them out of sight or place them in the trunk before parking at your destination.
- Disable internal trunk release per your owner’s manual instructions.
- Park in well-lit and well-traveled areas if possible.
- Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.
- Remote controls for garages should never be left inside parked vehicles.
Most importantly BE OBSERVANT and report all crimes and suspicious activity to 911 immediately!!!
*IF YOUR VEHICLE IS BROKEN INTO*
You can 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 9-1-1 immediately.