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Crime Alert: Sammamish Police Identify Trend in Local Vehicle/Home Break-ins

Police have seen some cases of vehicle prowlers getting home addresses from car registrations while people are shopping and immediately burglarizing the owner's home.

Sammamish detectives have issued an alert, saying they have identified an emerging crime trend on the Eastside where thieves break into vehicles at large commercial stores, then immediately target the vehicle owner's home for a burglary based on the address listed on the vehicle registration.

So far, one Sammamish family has been affected, and police in Woodinville and Kirkland have also had cases in the last few days, says Sammamish Police Sergeant Jessica Sullivan. Though it's just beginning here, Sullivan says the police have seen this kind of targeting become a large problem in the past.

"We'd like to get the word out to people," Sullivan said, though thus far there have only been a handful of recent cases. 

Police urge people to report vehicle break-ins while shopping immediately, and to consider making a call to a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home.

She said police, as always, advise people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, and if you have a locking glove box or other way to keep the vehicle's registration from being found by thieves, take advantage of it. It is important to ensure that the registration is in the car whenever driving, however.

Police ask that if you see anything suspicious, call the Sammamish or Issaquah police department.

Bob McCoy May 29, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Perhaps it's time we revisit the entire notion of carrying car registrations, in the car or on our persons. Aren't all police cars now equipped with computers linked to a database? I suppose the officer enters the plate on the car, and the registration appears on the screen. The information displayed can show if the plate matches the car, whether it's current and the like. I guess the only reason to keep up the paper exchange is because the police's communications link does not have 100% availability or coverage. In that case, we could go to smart card registration with encoded information, and equip police cars with a card reader.

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