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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Burglaries in north Spokane neighborhood plummet after police urge residents to close garages

UPDATED: Fri., June 25, 2021

A Spokane Police Department Ford Police Interceptor in 2014.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
A Spokane Police Department Ford Police Interceptor in 2014. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Nico Portuondo The Spokesman-Review

After a spate of 16 robberies in late May and early June, a new initiative by the Spokane Police Department helped cut down residential burglaries in the Westgate neighborhood to zero last week, officers say.

According to an SPD news release, most of the robberies occurred when residents left their garage door and cars open, giving burglars a perfect opportunity to steal credit cards and other valuables.

Property theft from cars or garages can occur even when residents step inside for a few minutes or work in their backyard, and many of these burglaries happen during broad daylight, according to the SPD.

After the uptick in robberies, SPD patrol officers canvassed the Westgate neighborhood near Nine Mile, noting open garage doors at night and during the day.

Neighborhood Resource Officer Keith Cler then visited the neighborhood, eventually contacting over 40 people to remind them to close garage doors.

Since Cler’s visit on June 16, there have been no robberies in the neighborhood, the police department said.

The simple but effective fix is a reminder that today’s thieves only need the smallest of opportunities from unsuspecting residents, police said.

“Spokane has changed and people who never had to lock their doors are finding they need to now. It’s unfortunate, but it’s a reality of the time we are in,” Cler said.

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