Burglars were licking their chops waiting for people to head out of town for the Memorial Day weekend.
At least nine Spokane homes were burglarized late Friday and early Saturday as the holiday weekend began.
As quickly as residents filled the campsites at popular recreation spots such as Priest Lake, Farragut State Park and Lake Roosevelt, burglars poured into their homes.
Although one person was arrested, police do not think the crimes are linked.
They happened all over the city, from North Moore to East Rowan to South Inland Empire Way. Among the items taken: stereos, power tools and bicycles.
“Just the usual stuff,” said police spokesman Dick Cottam.
The nine were just the number of burglaries reported.
Cottam anticipates more reports will roll in when people return from their holiday weekends.
Burglaries always rise during holiday weekends, Cottam said. Residents have either gone away or they’re working in the yard and leave their homes and garages open, exposing tools, bikes and power equipment.
“(People) need to look at their home the way a burglar does,” said crime prevention specialist Sandy Richards. “Are door and windows open? Is there evidence that no one is at home?”
Half of all home burglaries in Spokane occur through open or unlocked doors and windows, Richards said.
Police suggest people leave radios turned on near windows, put lights on timers and have mail and newspapers picked up by friends.