Crimes Of Desperation On The Rise In Spokane

SPOKANE — As the slumping economy takes it’s toll on people, police say they’ve seen a jump in crimes of desperation including robberies, burglaries, car thefts and shoplifting.

Police say with the economy tanking and more people without work crime is on the rise.

“Since the beginning of the year, January to February we’ve had increases in burglary, vehicle prowling, and a little bit of vehicle theft in particular areas,” Tom Michaud with the Spokane Police Department said.

In and around Spokane there are numerous stories of crimes of desperation. The economic downturn has meant a jump in car burglaries and Spokane police say they’re seeing double the number of car break-ins compared to two years ago.

“We were normally seeing 70 to 80 vehicle prowlings we’ve seen quite a few that are above 100, even one week where we saw about 130 vehicle prowlings,” Michaud said.

Roger King lives on the South Hill and recently had his car burglarized.

“I see some of my stuff laying on the ground, it was just a violation,” he said.

With young children at home now he worries for his family’s safety.

“Now I’m worried about my house. I’m standing here watching my window even having my kids out playing in the yard,” King said.

Experts say when the economy is looking bleak that’s when crime goes up.

“My fiancé and I went to the Garland District Theatre to go to the movie marathon there and when we got out of the movies my car was broken into,” Jordan Hartnett said.

Hartnett, who moved to the Spokane area from Arizona, finds the fact his car was prowled surprising.

“Kind of shocked me, my stereo was taken,” Hartnett said.

As for the king family they’re heading to another neighborhood.

“Breaking in your car isn’t that far from breaking into your house especially when they’re doing it right there,” Roger King said.