Counties battle thefts and car prowls

BENTON/FRANKLIN COUNTIES - It is a worst case scenario for pretty much anyone. You walk into your home, only to find it ransacked--- and all your valuable gone.

In the last few months it's been happening far too often in Benton and Franklin Counties. KEPR tells you which areas are becoming hotspots for crooks.

Einar Frimodt III and his wife know their neighborhood well. After all, they're lived in the Tri-Cities since 1970.

"I had never really felt insecure here at all," said Franklin County resident Einar Frimodt III.

Safety is important to them. It's why they were shocked to find out someone had broken into their house - and had stolen their safe.

"We felt pretty much like kind of violated," said Frimodt.

That was a while ago. So when Einar learned of another recent outbreak of theft, he wasn't surprised.

He lives on one of these roads recently hit by thieves.
Eltopia West Road, Taylor Flats, East Vineyard Drive and Road 88 -- among others -- were also targeted.
Franklin County reports upwards of 13 thefts since late December.
Officials tell me that's higher than normal.

When we last talked to Sheriff Richard Lathim, he said both rural and residential areas were struck.
Over in Benton County, officials are fighting similar crimes.

A series of six car prowls hit streets in unincorporated Kennewick last month - near Oscar Villa's home.

"Well, we're a tight-knit community," explained Benton County resident Oscar Villa.

The Finley and the areas surrounding Benton City only report one car prowl. But burglars hit the Kennewick-West Richland and Finley areas four times each.

Deputies tell Action News burglars hit the Prosser area the most. 13 are reported since December.
The other crimes are minimal in Benton City and Hanford.

"We know our neighbors -- we watch out for each other," said Frimodt.

Working to protect our counties that much safer.

Action News also reported a series of mailbox thefts in Benton County.
Since then, officials say there's only one to report in the past month.
And as always -- you're advised to lock up those doors and vehicles.