Car Prowls

A suspect in one of several vehicle prowls over the last week in Yelm is seen in this surveillance camera image.

Yelm Police Chief Todd Stancil says residents should be vigilant in locking their vehicles, making sure windows are rolled up and securing valuables amid a rash of vehicle prowls in the city.

Between Wednesday, Sept. 4, and Thursday, Sept. 5, seven vehicle prowls were reported in the city. Another was reported on Sept. 2.

Some of the crimes were likely committed by the same individual, Stancil said.

Among those was the theft of clothing and a car battery from a Ford Focus in the 200 block of Cullens Road Sept. 4 during which the prowler damaged a window that was down about 4 inches to gain access to the vehicle. Around the same time frame, a backpack and a printer were stolen from a vehicle in the 15000 block of Kayla Street Southeast. The vehicle’s window was broken out by the prowler. Another possibly related theft occurred nearby on Sept. 5 when someone shattered the window to a work truck and stole a backpack and gas card.

Several additional vehicle prowls were reported in other parts of the city.

Stancil advised residents to take precautions to help prevent themselves from being victimized.

“I hate to say we live in a place where we can’t do that anymore,” Stancil said of leaving vehicles unlocked or the windows down. “But we really can’t do that anywhere anymore.”

He said motorists should always be aware of their surroundings when leaving a vehicle parked. That means noting whether people are loitering nearby or seem overly interested in a vehicle.

Stancil noted that vehicle prowls can spike in the summer when the days are longer and the nights are warmer.

“We as average citizens enjoy that, but so do criminals,” he said. “You don’t have a lot of vehicle prowls when it’s 10 degrees.”

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