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Keep Your Car Safe: Car Prowl Prevention Tips

Car Prowlers
Though crime can be unpredictable, the Mercer Island Police Department usually sees an uptick in motor vehicle prowls and motor vehicle break-ins during the fall and winter months.

Here are a few very simple tips to help keep your property from being stolen, your car windows from being smashed, and your safety compromised:
  • Don’t leave your valuable items in plain sight. Purses, wallets, GPS, Laptops, garage door openers (especially that have access from your garage into your house), and car keys. Don’t be fooled into thinking it won’t happen to you, because if it hasn’t already…it will.

  • Always lock your car and set your alarm. Most motor vehicle prowls that the Mercer Island Police Department investigates are vehicles that were left unlocked with valuable items left inside.

  • Always keep your garage doors closed and garage side doors locked.

  • Car prowlers are for the most part…lazy. If they don’t see a car that is easily accessible (unlocked) or something valuable they want inside (and in plain sight), they will usually move onto the next car that is more appealing to them and has easier access for them to break into a car undetected.

  • Park your car well-lit areas, locked garages, and in driveways with good, bright motion detector lights. If you don’t have motion detector lights, keep your exterior lights on during the evening/night, especially if you live on a street that doesn’t have street lights. Remember, prowlers don’t want to be seen.

  • Finally, watch out for each other. Watch your neighbor’s property too. If you hear or see something that is unusual, look out the window and make sure that everything is OK. If you see something or hear something unusual, call 9-1-1 immediately so that police can attempt to catch someone in the act.

  • Don’t believe the myth that just because Mercer Island is a very safe place to live, you are invulnerable to becoming a victim of a break in. Take these small steps to help protect your property and keep your family safe. Trust me…I’m a cop!

The Mercer Island Police Department has created a booklet of information on tips and ways to help keep you and your property/family safe. This booklet can be found online at

And as always … stay safe,

Ofc. Rob Jira
Mercer Island Police Department


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