Let's just say it - Car Prowls, what can we do?

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SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - As we head into Spring and Summer for the Pacific Northwest, thousands of people will hike trails across western Washington, and crooks know cars get left at Trailhead parking lots for hours.

Snohomish County says Lake 22 is one of the worst for car prowls because of its close proximity to the highway, but they're taking steps to prevent those break-ins and others at Trailheads; at least anecdotally they say their efforts are working.

"Smash a window, smash and grab. Take an ice chest, shoes, telephone,” these are common items that are stolen from Lake 22, and other Trailheads.

Whenever you are parking your car in an unsecured area - do not leave anything in sight. Also, do not place anything in the trunk on site. Yes, there may be people watching and waiting to see who places their purse (or, other valuables) in the trunk or cargo area.

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Try to park in a visible, well lit area. This includes Malls, Grocery Stores and Trailheads.

Snohomish County knows car break-ins at Trailheads are a huge issue, and there's one officer with the Forest Service to respond to all crimes on the county's more than 100 miles of trail. So Deputies are contracting with the Forest Service to provide extra patrols, but the County couldn't say how many.

There used to be cameras, but the County says they needed them elsewhere, so now nearly a dozen Deputies rotate spending entire shifts focused on trail patrol.

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"It's difficult to patrol and be effective. A smash and grab takes about 30 seconds,” he says.

Take precautions, practice due diligence, lock your car, set your alarm - enjoy the scenery.

Test your alarm system.
Update your Emergency (ECL) Call List - if necessary.
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