Holidays bring a spike in car prowls in the Tri-Cities

TRI-CITIES, Wash. -- The countdown has begun until Christmas, and that means crooks are looking to cash-in on your things, especially your ride. In the coming days, many people could be the victims of car prowls.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.. And it's just getting started for started for Kim and Tim O'Keefe.

Kim says, "Looking for Christmas tree lights.. Toppers and just getting started on our Christmas shopping."

When the O'Keefe's hit the mall, they are extra cautious...Because they've been victims of car theft before.

She continues, "I flip over personal information, like if we've got mail sitting in the car with addresses on it or anything like that."

Police are taking extra precautions, too. KPD have three additional patrols on the road until New Years. Partly because The holiday season always brings a spike in car break ins.

Officer Aaron Hamel tells KEPR, "We have a plethora of people coming into town, especially for shopping.. We definitely see an increase in vehicle prowls, thefts, things of that nature."

Shopping mall parking lots are a hot spot for these car break-ins.
The big holiday crowds make it easy for prowlers to blend in.

He says, "They're trying door handles, looking in cars for things to take."

"People aren't paying attention. It'd be easy to just pull something off real quick and nobody ever notices," Kim chimes in.

So what can you do to avoid being a victim?

--Park in open spaces, so anything suspicious is noticeable.
-- Keep Bags in the Trunk, saving big purchases for last.
--Take all your valuables, like ipods, or other electronics with you.
--And of course, be sure to lock your doors.

Police also say to beware of your key clicker, because the beep can often be someone else's car and not your own.

You should manually lock your doors to be sure. This holiday, it's one more thing to add to your Christmas list, that could ultimately save you in the end.

Police tell Action News that this time of year also brings a spike in fender bender collisions. They say an influx of people on the roads often lead to more accidents overall.