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Thief loads up on goods in vehicles

November 26, 2005

While some Hood River residents were sleeping off their Thanksgiving dinners, a thief was at work in their driveways.

Police Officer Tiffany Hicks spent Friday morning investigating a rash of car prowls. The crime spree occurred between the 200 and 400 blocks of Prospect and Montello avenues. From 6:30-9:30 a.m. she was alerted to 10 separate incidents — the most serious involving the theft of a light-green Subaru Outback.

Other vehicles had been targeted for CDs, cell phones, MP3 players, miscellaneous coins, and the luggage of holiday guests. Hicks said a concertina was removed from one car but discarded in a neighbor’s yard.

“I’m sort of hoping, in the best case scenario, that we’ll find the Subaru full of everybody’s stuff,” she said.

Hicks said the unknown suspect probably entered the vehicles between midnight and 6 a.m. on Nov. 25. The car doors of all targeted cars and trucks had been left unlocked.

“It looks like he or she was just looking for the easy stuff,” said Hicks.

She is expecting more car prowl reports to come in over the weekend. Hicks observed several vehicle doors ajar in the area, but she was unable to get a response to her knocks at houses. She believes the doors of all of the automobiles that were entered had deliberately been left open to avoid unnecessary noise.

“I think a lot of people were still sleeping and we’ll be hearing from them later,” said Hicks about 10 a.m. on Friday.

She said all of the vehicles hit by the unknown suspect had been left unlocked. And valuables were sitting in plain sight of the windows.

“This type of crime goes up near Christmas and people need to be really careful about locking their doors and making sure that even their CDs and loose change are tucked out of view,” she said.

She said one resident reported that his dog had begun barking in the early morning hours. And he remembered hearing a gate close nearby – but no one witnessed any of the thefts. Some of the targeted cars were sitting in driveways, and others were parked along roadways.

Hicks asks anyone who believes they may have been victimized, or has information on the incidents, to call the non-emergency dispatch line this weekend at 386-2711.

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