Insurance agents and glass-repair experts say that the number of ‘car prowl” victims in Seattle is increasing, says the Seattle Times. Car prowls, in which windows are smashed and valuables grabbed, are by far the city’s most frequently reported crime and no neighborhood is immune. In the last two weeks of November, for example, more than 370 car prowls were reported. That number represents just the tip of the iceberg, as most people – especially those who have been victimized more than once – don’t report the damage and thefts to police or their insurance company.
The cost of replacing the window may not meet an insurance deductible and the police don’t even come out to take a report. In residential neighborhoods, car prowls often occur between midnight and 6 a.m. but aren’t discovered until people head out to their cars for work in the morning. A police officer say the perpetrators are “youth who are taking a break from burglarizing homes. They are addicts looking for an easy score they can turn into quick cash for their next fix. They are transients walking through the area. They are adults. They are young people. Most of all, they are opportunists.” A local glass store worker estimates that 97 percent of broken car-door windows are from car prowls. “It’s busier this year,” she said. “People are getting more desperate and more nervy.”