Car prowls on the rise in Seattle; police pinpoint crime hot spots

SEATTLE – New data from the Seattle Police Department shows car prowls are on the rise all across the city.

The top three neighborhoods seeing car prowls right now are Queen Anne, downtown and Capitol Hill. But in West Seattle, neighbors need to be especially careful parking a car next to a city park.

“When it happens to you, you feel vulnerable,” said neighbor Jon Andres.

Andres said his friends came up for a visit from Portland last week, but they learned the hard way about Seattle’s uptick in car prowls.

“The poor thing was bawling, I mean she was so upset,’ he said.

From January 1 to May 7 more than 5,000 people in Seattle reported car prowls – that’s more than the last peak seen in 2014.

New data shows where crooks are repeatedly smashing and grabbing their way into cars.

In the north side of town Northgate Mall and University Village have been targets. Down south Seward Park and Kubota Garden are hot right now. On the west side parking lots near Western and Union and 6th Avenue keep getting hit.

On the east the parking lot next to Seattle Presbyterian and the parking deck at Seattle Central College are also on the repeat list. Plus in the southwest part of town crooks are repeatedly hitting cars near both Lincoln and Westcrest Parks.

Andres said he knows how it feels to be a victim; he hopes his last experience with car prowlers won’t be repeated.

“We got up in the morning and there were a bunch of cans of malt liquor in the back seat and somebody puked in the backseat,” he said.

Seattle Police said it plans to focus efforts on some of the repeat locations and they’re looking to apprehend prolific offenders.