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Unlocked garages, cars provide opportunities

The crime spree continues in Liberty Lake.

During the week of Nov. 15-22 there were nine thefts involving unlocked cars, unlocked garages or cars that were locked but had their windows broken out because valuables were in plain sight inside the vehicles, said Liberty Lake Police Chief Brian Asmus.

There have been 19 vehicle prowls/garage burglaries reported in the city limits since Nov. 1, Asmus said. “The vast majority of those involve crimes of opportunity where the suspects are entering open garages and unlocked doors to vehicles parked in the garages or driveways,” he said.

Officers have begun knocking on doors when they see open garage doors and asking residents to close and lock them. “The thefts are occurring in neighborhoods throughout the city and on various days of the week,” Asmus said. “The people responsible for these recent thefts keep coming back to Liberty Lake because they have found an easy target. By working together and taking responsibility for securing your homes and vehicles, we hope to stop this series of thefts from occurring in our community.”

Change was stolen from an unlocked car in the 23900 block of East Maxwell Lane on Nov. 17. An officer on patrol spotted two homes with open garage doors in the 1300 block of North Simpson Road at 5:45 a.m. on Nov. 18. He contacted the homeowners and both said it appeared that someone had rifled through their cars but nothing was taken, Asmus said. A resident in the 1800 block of North Wolfe Penn Court left his car unlocked in his driveway and discovered that he was missing an iPod Nano, a mini Maglite and some change.

A briefcase inside a locked car in the 23300 block of Desmet prompted the thief to break out a window and steal it. It contained a checkbook. A miter saw turned up missing from the 24600 block of East Sinto Avenue. A wallet was taken from an unlocked car in the 1300 block of North Simpson Road. A resident who left his car unlocked in his driveway in the 23500 block of East Maxwell Court ended up losing a 9mm handgun, a range finder and department store credit cards. Another briefcase went missing from a locked car in the 1300 block of North Simpson Road after a car window was broken out.

A thief was interrupted in the 1600 block of North Cirque Lane at 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 16. A woman called to report that she caught a man trying to get into her car while it was parked in her garage. She described him as being about 20 years old with brown hair, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. She told police the man rode away on a bicycle, but officers were unable to find him, Asmus said.

There were only a handful of arrests during the week, including three for driving with a suspended license and one man who was wanted on a warrant from Yakima County.

During the week, officers gave out two citations for failure to show proof of liability insurance, three for speeding and three for failure to wear a safety belt. Additional citations were given for license and plates required and a defective muffler.

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