CRIME TRACKER: 30+ burglaries in one week

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- We're continuing to investigate the recent spike in home burglaries.

The KEPR Crime Tracker uncovered more than 30 homes that have been broken into in just the last week.

We talked to law-enforcement about the multi-county investigation being conducted to get the thieves off the streets and keep you safe.

Dales Wilkes is no stranger to property crime. In the 35 years he and his wife have lived on this street in Richland, he's experienced his fair share.

"I went out when we started to go to bed that night and I looked to go check on something in the pickup, and it was gone!" Dale says.

His stolen truck is on par with the recent spike in home burglaries to hit our area. Four homes within a half-mile of his house have been hit in just the last week.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg when you look at the crime map.

In the last week, more than 30 burglaries have been reported across Tri-Cities. The majority involves houses being forcibly broken into like by breaking a window.

The nine in Richland were enough for the police department to assign four detectives to the cases.But the investigation is now spanning two counties.

Reporter: "What are other law enforcement agencies doing to combat these kinds of burglaries?"
Sgt. Ken Lattin: "Of course we know criminals don't respect any jurisdictional boundaries as we know them, that's why it's so important for the law enforcement agencies in the Tri-Cities to share information. And we do, through our crime analysis in each individual agency. They're looking at trends in the big picture in the whole Tri-City metropolitan area."

Sgt. Lattin says all six law-enforcement agencies are investigating these most recent break-ins.

Dale says he's getting fed up and will do what he needs to, in order to protect his family.

"We don't want to take the law into our own hands, but you gotta protect your house because that is your castle," Dale says.

Police have made a few arrests but say it's likely many of the people responsible are still on the lose.

They urge neighbors to keep an eye on each other's houses and report any suspicious activity.