Thefts, DUIs mark busy February for police, sheriff’s office

Romance may have been in the air leading up to Valentine’s Day, but local law enforcement didn’t get a breather.

During the first two weeks of February, Hood River Police Department logged in about eight reported cases of theft, burglary or robbery and six instances of Driving Under Influence of Intoxicants (DUI). A handful of meth-related arrests and hit-and-run cases rounded out the busy spell.

Hood River Police Chief Neal Holste ranked the current pace of work as “pretty near” last year, with calls for service weighing in at a steady flow.

“We’ve been busy … it’s trending the same or higher (than) last year,” Holste said.

Tips from police

• Check car locks.

• Make sure valuables aren’t in plain view.

• Keep a light on near entry-ways.

Despite the notion that Hood River quiets down during the recreational off-seasons — between winter and spring — Holste said the amount of calls doesn’t drastically fall in any given month.

“It doesn’t quite die down like it used to,” Holste said.

Some odd crimes have cropped up over the last few weeks.

One vehicle suffered a broken window, but the only item stolen was a car charger, Holste said.

On Jan. 25, two Nevada men were arrested at Pine and 10th on the Heights for stealing tires off cars. Holste said their hands were covered in dirt, and officers found a car nearby that was jacked up with the lug-nuts missing. The men were lodged in Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility.

According to police records, some recently reported thefts were minor, such as shoplifting or a coat that had been snatched.

Though calls for service have been varied within the City of Hood River, theft creeped up as one of the most reported crimes around the county. Odell, Parkdale and Cascade Locks were all hit.

Between Feb. 1 and 14, HRCSO counted roughly 10 theft, burglary or robbery reports, and just one DUI.

“Occasionally we see an uptick in these types of property crime incidents,” Sheriff Matt English said in an email. “The general advice we always offer is to take steps to minimize your exposure.”

English said vehicles should be locked, and valuables kept out of sight. Plenty of break-ins take seconds, with the suspect quickly grabbing items and moving on.

As for homes, he said “take steps to make sure your house is visible.” He suggested keeping entrances free of large shrubbery or bushes (which offer concealment for would-be burglars), as well as using exterior lighting and alarm systems.

Another easy tip is letting neighbors or family members know when you’ll be out of town for an extended window of time, and asking them to check on the house.

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