17 car prowls in West Richland

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. -- The KEPR Crime Tracker found a hot spot of car break-ins. 17 cars were hit in the same area of West Richland. KEPR found a common denominator between the break-ins and has the latest on the police department's search for a suspect.

Thieves won't fool Chris Hayes twice. After having his car stereo stolen a few years back, he's conscientious of locking his doors.

That habit may have helped him avoid falling victim to an outbreak of car prowls in his area. 17 cars were ransacked late Monday and early Tuesday.

"I was surprised. I'm friends with my neighbor over there on Facebook and he put a big long thing on there about 18 cars being broken into between his house or just a couple houses down all the way up to the intersection, he said he was one of them," said Hayes.

"Having that many cars in one night is pretty disturbing," said West Richland Police Department Captain Ben Majetich.

The cars that were hit were parked outside homes on Holly Way and Daisy Street between South Highland Blvd. and Bombing Range Road. Stuff was thrown everywhere. These thieves were after specific small valuables. Not car parts or tools.

"Change, small electronics, anything from laptop computers, cell phones, to anything else electronic, anything small, jewelry, purses, wallets, anything small but considered valuable, those are the items that were targeted," said Captain Majetich.

The one thing the victims all had in common? The cars were unlocked. Police think it could have been teens who seized a crime of opportunity.

Chris considers his neighborhood a safe one so the recent break-ins shocked him.

"We all get along, say hi to each other, recognize cars when you're driving around, wave to them, I mean it's a quiet neighborhood, nothing really strange happens here," said Hayes.

No arrests have been made but police have a few suspects in mind.