Open Garages Encourage Summer Crime

SPOKANE — All across Spokane homeowners are leaving themselves vulnerable. It’s led to a busy and dangerous summer for Spokane Police.

Spokane Police call it a “crime of opportunity”. Good people who leave their garage door open with plenty inside for those with lesser morals to steal.

“I think people get a little lax, it’s warm, maybe they are out doing yard work, they go to the front of their house, leave the garage door open, and for criminals it’s an opportunity for them,” said Spokane Police Officer Glen Bartlett.

Bartlett says this time of year folks are leaving themselves vulnerable.

4:03:49 “Just this morning I took a burglary report of a gentleman who left his front door unlocked, came back and some people had made off with a computer and some car keys,” said Officer Bartlett. “He ended up getting his car stolen.”

Some neighbors have received the message.

“I don’t keep any window or my garage open because I don’t think screens really afford too much protection and you just never know who’s out there,” said neighbor Eric Johnson.

On a typical Saturday in South Spokane, countless homes were left exposed to crime. One garage was under construction, door open, the items inside left exposed to all those who passed by. The irony of the situation, the owners of the home were out garage door shopping.

“Most of the time the door is down, we are in the process of sorting things for a yard sale,” said Bill Jones about the home he lives at.

Jones is a gardener at one Spokane home, he feels the neighborhood is pretty safe.

“I don’t feel threatened by the crime,” said Jones.

Officers say the key is to be aware and not make it easy for criminals. Neighbors can help by being good witnesses, pointing out anything un-ordinary on your block.

“You know your neighborhood better than anybody, please take the time to know your neighbors,” said Bartlett. “Find out who’s suppose to be there and who’s not suppose to be there.”

Though it sends a message of a lack of trust for humankind, police still say it’s best to keep your things secure.