Break-ins plague cars near Odell

Thieves scored hundreds of dollars in stolen car stereo equipment during a recent overnight crime spree in the mid-valley.

The Hood River County Sheriff's Department spent Dec. 22 responding to car prowl reports along Summit Drive and both Wy'East and Bartlett roads. The automobiles had apparently been broken into sometime the previous night or during the early morning hours.

Detective Gerry Tiffany said most of the cars had been left unlocked and sustained about $200 in damage when the dashboard was ripped apart during removal of the electronic equipment. He said the replacement costs for the missing stereos vary from $80 to $200 and numerous CDs were also stolen.

Tiffany said there was likely more than one individual involved in the Hood River thefts, and that group could be linked with similar crimes that have occurred recently in both White Salmon and The Dalles. He said these individuals might also be the perpetrators in a rash of car prowls that plagued city residents earlier this year but yielded no arrests.

According to Tiffany, at least one mid-valley citizen reported unusual barking from his dogs about the same time deputies estimate the recent crimes were being committed -- and citizens should pay attention to such canine alerts.

"If your dogs start barking give us a call and we'll take a look around," said Tiffany.

He said all county residents should take the following precautions while the new theft cases are under investigation:

Never leave valuables in plain sight.

Park in a well-lit area if possible.

Get in the habit of locking the vehicle whenever and wherever it is left parked.

Anyone with information about the recent car prowls is asked to call Tiffany or Detective Bob Davison at 386-2098.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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