Crime-prevention specialists: Nicer weather doesn't lead to nicer bad guys
RICHLAND, Wash. — Spring has sprung and area law enforcement agencies are reminding everyone, the warm weather also brings a rise in crimes.
Richland Crime Prevention told Action News the two most important things for you to know to keep your family and property safe.
Specialist Cerise Peck said they need everybody to be on the lookout for property crime.
If you see vandalism or notice something missing, she said you should definitely call your local non-emergency dispatch.
"If you see something say something, we're never going to know if nobody calls us," she said.
Especially if you see someone unfamiliar lurking around the neighborhood.
"It is not going to hurt to give us a call, if they're peeking into car windows or they've got their hood up and a backpack and its 100-degrees outside, maybe give us a call, ask us to check it out."
She suggests preventing crimes before they happen.
"We can look and make sure you're in the best position to see if your house is going to be victimized by somebody else," she explained.
Trim shrubs and make sure your home is well lit on the outside.
Another tip from the specialist: lock your doors.
Both at home, and your car.
Peck said car prowls are their number one complaint this time of the year, 96-percent of which happen to unlocked cars.
"These are crimes of opportunity," she said. "Simply locking the car and not leaving anything enticing in plain sight will significantly lessen the opportunity that your car is going to be a victim."
Peck said some claim to leave the car unlocked so robbers wont smash the windows.
She said that's too much work, the bad guys just want to grab your stuff and get out.
Smashing windows is loud and takes more time than lifting an unlocked door handle.
"So, the likelihood of your window being broken," she laughed. "I don't want to say it's not going to happen, [but] the opportunity for them to take what they want [when you don't lock] your door is really what they're looking for."
Peck placed a lot of emphasis on, and even repeated the mantra, "If you see something, say something".
She said your call to dispatch could just be a false alarm, but it could also be the tip that cracks a stagnant case.
To report something suspicious in your area:
- Benton County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 628-0333
- Franklin County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 545-3510
- Grant County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 762-1160 or (888) 431-9911
- Umatilla County non-emergency dispatch: (541) 966-3650, option 1
- Walla Walla County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 527-3265
- Yakima County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 575-6200