At least 16 vehicle prowling incidents were reported overnight June 21 or the morning of June 22, according to Mercer Island police reports.
In some of the cases, prowlers attempted to break in to multiple vehicles, according to the reports, and in one case, a caller reported seeing two or three "male subjects" attempting a prowl, according to a report.
Mercer Island Police Commander Leslie Burns told Mercer Island Patch Saturday that there may be more reports of car prowls, but did not comment further.
The car prowls occurred in the Mercerwood and East Seattle neighborhoods, according to reports.
In many cases, the prowlers smashed one of the windows of the vehicles and rummaged inside. Items taken included a credit card, sunglasses, small electronic devices including cameras, and cash and loose change, according to police.
In one case, a caller told dispatchers that two or three male subjects wearing dark clothing were attempting a possible prowl in the area of the 9500 block of Mercerwood Drive around midnight in the early morning of June 22, according to police.
Officers checked the area and stopped a woman driving around, who said she was looking for her boyfriend who called for her to pick him up, police said. No damage or items were found to be missing on the first call, but a second call in the same neighborhood came two hours later, when a neighbor reported that someone broke into a vehicle and took a credit card, a GPS device and a $20 bill, according to police.
Mercer Island has been subject to several rashes of vehicle prowls since March, including three vehicles prowled near East Mercer Way last week.
In March, . Police Chief Ed Holmes told the City Council in April that the March rash of car prowls was connected with one suspect.
Police suggest the following precautions to avoid car prowls, though there is guarantee.
- Lock your car doors.
- Remove all valuables that are visible from the outside.
- Don't leave your GPS navigation device mounted to the window when you leave your car.
- Don't leave money sitting on the vehicle's dashboard or in the console
- Don't leave purses and bags out in the open