KING COUNTY, Wash. — The King County Sheriff's Office told KIRO 7 deputies are seeing a huge rise in car break-ins at dog parks and trailheads.
KIRO 7 talked with Noel Gallagher, who had finished walking his dogs, Phoebe and Jeff, at SeaTac's Grandview Off-Leash Dog Park, and he said he has seen more things in the parking lot.
"Plenty of times I've seen broken glass on the floor, and sometimes, we'll have the police here and posting up on things, but they can't be everywhere," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said he tries to take the proper precautions.
"I just take it with me, lock the doors, don't leave anything of value in plain sight," Gallagher said.
Deputies said, right now, that may not even be enough.
The Sheriff's Office said theft at dog parks and trailheads is a crime of opportunity. Criminals are looking for cars -- and the holiday season is when they're really active.
"People are looking for cash. Christmas is coming up and they need a quick way to make money. So, they're looking for purses, looking for valuables, laptops," King County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott told KIRO 7 on Wednesday.
Deputies said at Redmond's Marymoor Park there have been as many as 25 car prowls this year.
Warning signs have been posted, telling people to keep their valuables hidden and they are located at dog parks and trailheads across King County.
KIRO 7 learned that thieves are hitting several cars in a row.
"They're looking for easy targets. They know these are the places to go. You go on a hike for four hours or three hours, and they go through these trailhead areas and they look in the windows," Abbott said.
Deputies said the best advice is to leave any valuables at home.
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