Thieves seek out unlocked, running cars

In the past week, five cars prowls took place in the Odell area and a vehicle was stolen from Cascade Locks and has not yet been recovered.

Those crimes follow a rash of vehicle break-ins and thefts throughout Hood River County since the beginning of the year. Victims have already reportedly lost a combined total of more than $4,000 in lost stereo equipment, CDs and damages.

Both the Hood River City Police Department and Hood River County Sheriff's Office have noted that almost all of the subject cars were left unlocked and/or running while unoccupied.

"It's a bad idea to start your car to defrost it and then go back inside the house because you don't know who might have been standing there to see you do that," said City Detective Andrew Rau.

That was the case when a red 1988 Chevy Beretta was stolen while idling in front of a Cascade Locks home on Wednesday. There are no known suspects for that crime and sheriff's deputies are on the lookout for the vehicle with a license plate that reads PUW605.

"Car prowls are the most common crime in Hood River right now and it's a smart idea to secure your vehicle even if you're going to be out of it for a little while," said Rau.

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