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MIPD explains handling of car prowls
Mercer Island and our neighboring cities are currently experiencing a high number of car prowls. These type of incidents usually come in waves and then trail off for a period of time, only to start back up. Over the past two to three weeks, we have seen a steep increase in car prowls on the Island.
Many of the recently reported car prowls have occurred in secured parking garages where patrol officers do not have access, while others have occurred in neighborhoods where officers are concentrating their efforts on patrol. MIPD’s officers and detectives are reminding residents to secure all valuables, leave nothing of interest in plain sight inside vehicles, install motion lighting where possible and set alarms if appropriate. In addition, it is most helpful if residents report the crime in a timely manner and preserve the scene for possible processing of evidence, such as fingerprints. As of late, we have had several residents call us well after the fact or after the vehicle has been cleaned up and any possible evidence destroyed, which severely hampers the investigative process.
The detective staff and patrol officers are following-up on forensic evidence found at the scene from some of the recent calls and are tracking the stolen property associated with the vehicle prowls, when serial numbers have been provided. MIPD’s investigators are pursuing any leads from witnesses and are working with area police departments in attempts to locate the suspect(s). Officers have made two arrests recently where the subjects may or may not have been connected to some of the recent car prowls.
Investigators are working on tying these subjects to some of these cases.
Officers have been provided with crime mapping tools and are conducting heightened area patrols where it is likely the suspects will hit again.
The department encourages residents to call the police if they see or hear anything out of the ordinary, so officers can check the situation out. MIPD also maintains an anonymous tip line and encourages anyone with information who would like to remain anonymous to use it, 206-275-7955.
Cmdr Leslie Burns
Mercer Island Police