Deputies investigate scavenged cars at mountain trail heads
UPDATE at 6:41 P.M. - Hikers watch out. Law enforcement officials say thieves are targeting cars parked at trailheads in the Tri-Cities.
According to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, someone smashed the windows of three vehicles at the Candy Mountain Trailhead on the edge of West Richland.
They allegedly took off with a multi-tool toolbox, a man's leather bag, an HP laptop, a Valentine radar detector and Dewalt batteries.
As of Friday afternoon, Benton County Sheriff deputies are searching for a person of interest in the case.
They're described as a Hispanic man, about 5’8” tall, weighing about 170 pounds and wearing a flat billed hat.
Even though there was a previous theft at the trailhead back in May, the recent ones have left some hikers nervous, including Jay Dekker:” Well we're kind of in a vulnerable state. They know we're gone. They can see around them. They can see that there's no one around them so it's kind of easy for them. Easy targets."
BCSO Sgt. Bob Brockman says they encourage people to enjoy the outdoors in the area, but be smart about it.
“There's all kinds of things they think that are secure because they lock the doors, but it would be more secure and less likely to be stolen if they placed it in their trunk."
If you can't put your valuables in a trunk, tuck them away under the seat.
An even better option is to minimize what you bring with you in the first place, bringing only the essentials.
That's advice that hiker David Wheland can agree on.
“What do you need to climb the trail? Right now bottle of water, put your cell phone in your pocket, lock your car and go and enjoy yourself climbing the hill.”
If you have any information on the person of interest, you're asked to call the Benton County Sheriff's Office at 509-628-0333.
RICHLAND, Wash. - Police are cautioning hikers to avoid bringing valuables to two local trail heads due to recent thefts.
Officers said thieves stole valuable items from cars parked at Badger and Candy Mountain trails. Victims also discovered a car window was smashed.
Thieves allegedly took items including a multi-tool toolbox, a man's leather bag, an HP laptop, a Valentine radar detector and Dewalt batteries.
Deputies are currently investigating these thefts and obtained a picture of a suspect and a suspect vehicle.
Anyone with information regarding the person of interest is asked to contact Benton County Sheriff's Office at 628-0333.